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“nice complex but basic and sleepless nights in LOT 4 ROOM 202”
Review of Vila Rosa Hotel

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Vila Rosa Hotel
Ranked #13 of 20 Hotels in Praia da Rocha
leeds, west yorks.
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“nice complex but basic and sleepless nights in LOT 4 ROOM 202”
Reviewed July 27, 2008

Me and my partner booked a weeks stay at vila rosa with thomas cook, Never again.
firstly we arrived at faro airport after a cramped uncomfortable flight and the most ghastly inflight breakfast ever, we were then told in arrivals by a rep to find coach E amongst the many coaches in the car park.
once we found the coach a rep entered the coach only to try and sell us some £15 phone cards, once she realised nobody was intrested she informed us that no rep would be on the trip to our hotels and departed leaving us in the hands of a portugese coach driver that didnt speak english, a great laugh and some frustration was had trying to understand him and what hotel we had arrived at surely a rep should have been present.
we were the last to be dropped off and again no rep was present to welcome us, strangely he was apparently on airport duty,,,, perhaps the rep (mark) was still looking for coach E but i doubt it, he was probably tossing it off somewhere having a beer etc, in fact we never saw him at all during our stay even on our journey home he didnt appear, mind you going by peoples comments about him we were probably not missing much.
anyway, we check in only to find that our special requests hadnt been forwarded by thomas cook dispite my partner double checking them and having them confirmed by thomas cook. they then tried to put us in block 22,,, no way was we stopping there, not only had we read bad reports about block 22 it looked like it belonged to a different complex set away far from anywhere.
thankfully we were moved to lot 4 which is in a much better location on the complex, however the apartment was so basic (4 electric rings and a fridge) self catering was impossible so we had to eat out every night, be warned a lot of the apartments are apparently this basic so be prepared to eat out, average meal out for 2 people costs 20-30 euros not including drinks.
the vila rosa complex is very nice and the staff are great and very helpfull, the 2 pools are lovely and clean and you really dont need to rush down with your towel for a sunbed.
the maid service is okay but not overly impressive they make your bed and clean the bathroom but thats it roughly, sheets and towels only changed once a week, twice a week would be better.
balconys are okay but very narrow and because off high rise blocks everywhere views are of other people in their apartments, great if you like people watching, bad news if you want pleasant views.
The barking dogs here are legendary and if you ever stay in apartment 202 of lot 4 you will hopefully see the white barking machine and his little black puppy sidekick which is owned by some muscle bound macho man and his girl who both kick, punch, belt and lash these dogs with a massive leather belt and a big stick until they yelp in agony,,, does the rspca exsist in portugal ? if so this couple need reporting and the dogs removing.
just as noisy as the barking dogs are the seagulls, these bloody things join the dogs and screech out all night long along with passers by etc, believe me its very hard to sleep at night especially as its so hot at night and you need to leave the balcony doors open due to no air con, hence you hear everything.
due to the heat, hills and steps in and around the complex, beach and resort centre i wouldnt recommend this resort or complex for anyone who is elderly, disabled, heavily pregnant has walking difficulties or who is largely overweight.
Food was not impressive in most of the restaurants we visited, there is a restaurant joined to the complex which runs a help yourself buffet/eat as much as you like menu for 9.80 euros per person in the evening, this was really good value everything from prawns, fish and meat, to salads, soup, pasta and rices and you can have as much of it as you want, the waiters even give you clean plates for return visits to the buffet and the service was very good.
the restaurant is called SABOR GAUCHO (RODIZIO) you can access it from vila rosas gardens near to the small pool, its sign posted in the gardens as restaurant, lunch buffet is 6,80 euros per person evening price is 9,80 euros per person as previously stated
overall we managed to have a lovely time and a few good laughs on this holiday it was our first time to portugal and we found the portugese people very friendly and portugal to be very clean and the weather wonderful. it was more built up and more commercial than we both expected and we both hated the high rise blocks this was the main disapointment of our trip, well that and thomas cooks service or lack of it.

  • Liked — staff and pools
  • Disliked — high rise blocks surrounding vila rosa, noise from seagulls, barking dogs etc.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank TrueAccount08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2008


In our experience the reception staff spoke very good English and were helpful.
Unlike most hotels we've stayed at, the reception staff did not need to keep our passport overnight, they verified it there and then. This meant that we didn't have the trouble of going back to collect it the next day, but, if there had been more of us arriving at the hotel at the same time, this would probably have slowed the booking in process down quite a bit. The cost of a room safe was 15 euros per week with a 25 euro deposit.
You can book trips, from either of the two leaflets provided at reception, via reception and you get a 10% discount.
There are a few books and magazines that you can borrow from the reception area. On request reception will provide you with a free map of the resort and Portimao, which is the main town behind the resort. In fact the one they give you is also available on the internet at www.freemaps.net so you can have a look before you go if you wish. You'll find Vila Rosa between number 3 and number 40. The map also gives details of some of the restaurants etc. Presumably these 'reviews' are how the map is paid for, but in our experience the reviews seemed to be correct.


Our apartment, in 'lote 4' was quite spacious but only had four hobs (which boiled water extremely slowly) and no oven or microwave (although I believe that some apartments did have these). It also had a fridge and all necessary cups, glasses cutlery etc.
The rooms were cleaned and beds made every day of the week except one. Towels were changed twice a week even though it was advertised as once a week.
A lot of people have mentioned the noise from dogs barking which did disturb us a little, although there isn't anything the hotel can do about this as the dogs appear to be in a residential area. However, the biggest noise came from the seagulls. It seems as though they have built colonies on every hotel roof and every now and then during the night they would 'go off on one' for some unknown reason, possibly due to gulls from other olonies flying overhead (yes they even fly at night). Then you get the morning chorus (I'll never moan about the songbird chorus gain). It's not so bad if your balcony door is closed but, because we didn't have air conditioning, ours was open most nights.


The grounds of the hotel were very nice with a lot of thick grass which must be well watered and fed. There are lawns around the two swimming pools which meant that, if there weren't enough sun beds (usually there were, but we were just outside the school summer holidays) you could lay on the grass. Around the smaller swimming pool (which is the one we always used as it was quieter) there are a couple of trees that you can lay under in the shade. There are bars around both pools but I can only comment on the one around the small pool which was open from about 11:00 to 19:00. This bar had friendly staff and you could get the usual snacks (chips 1.75 euros, crisps 1 euro, beer about 3 euros, ice creams etc.) The pools themselves were open from 09:00 to 21:00. There are notices saying that sun beds should not be reserved and, in our experience, they rarely were which made a nice change. It meant we could get down to the pool at about 10:15 and still get a sun bed.
There are two entrances/exits to the hotel, there's the one you'll go through when you get dropped off, and another one near the small pool which has a pink canopy. This one is marginally nearer to the beach and 'strip' but there's not a lot of difference. Most of the organised coach trips seem to pick you up from this entrance.

Out and about

You can easily get to Portimao using the small busses which run about the resort. These can be caught a couple of hundred yards, to the left of the pink canopy entrance/exit. The cost seemed to vary by a few cents but it was about 1.45 euros single into Portimao. When travelling by these buses to Portimao, if you're not sure where to get off, just stay on until you reach the marina, the town centre is not far from here. A map of Portimao can also be found on the previously mentioned www.freemaps.net.
Portimao is quite nice and has a few shops. There's also the railway station where you can catch a train to Lagos in the West and Faro in the East. We caught a train to Faro for just under 10 euros return each (timetable can be obtained from the tourist information centre on the 'strip' in Praia da Rocha). The train took approximately 1.5 hours to get to Faro. Faro was really nice and well worth a visit. It's probably best not to go on Monday as the museums seem to be shut on this day. Pay a visit to the cathedral in the walled 'old town' and you can go up the tower and get a nice view of the town. There are quite a few shops in Faro and, just outside the town centre, to the west, there is a reasonably large shopping centre (Faro Forum). This can be seen from the train, to the left hand side, when arriving at Faro.
We booked the holiday through Thomas Cook and we usually book tours though them, at the resort, using a credit card. However, in this instance we couldn't pay for our trips using our credit card we could only use cash. This threw us a bit because we were spending around 450 euros on trips. So be warned if you plan to use your credit card to pay for trips.
Via Thomas Cook we booked for Seville, Best of the West and Zoomarine. Seville was nice, but a very long trip, I think it was around 4.5 hours each way (which included all the pickups first and a 40 minute stop). Seville is a lovely city but it was a long trip and you can't really do it justice in such a whistle stop tour. The Best of the West tour was good and we saw most of the things we wanted to. We booked Zoomarine because my Daughter wanted to 'swim with dolphins' which costs 145 euros plus the entrance fee of 23 euros each. I wouldn't really recommend Zoomarine, although, having said that, the dolphin display was very good. There's a sea lion display as well but we didn't get to see that because my Daughter was with the dolphins at the time and we were watching.


The 'strip' is about a 10 minute walk from Vila Rosa, turn left at the pink canopy exit, then cross the road and over the fly-over.
The beach is beautiful, but it got a bit too hot for us and also, a lot of sand can be blowing around.
There's a small 'train' running around the resort, I think it was about 3.5 euros per person. We didn't actually go on it and I don't think it goes very far but I could be wrong.
We found most of the portugese people we met freindly and helpful.
The weather, when we went, was very warm hovering around the 30 mark during the day for the fortnight. Most evenings were warm but there were one or two evenings where there was a bit of a breeze and it was a bit cool.
There are a lot of restaurants along the strip and down at the marina. Out of the few we visited our favourites were Bulli and Pupe which served really nice Italian food, Asia chinese resaurant and Safari (which has a nice balcony at the rear overlooking the ocean). All three restaurants are quite reasonably priced with Safari being the most expensive of the three. We quite often had a coffee or cocktail in the Algar Bar which had freindly staff and the drinks were quite reasonably priced, especially the coffee.
Prices for a pint of lager ranged from about 1.5 euros (during various 'happy hours') to 2.5 or 3 euros in restaraunts. Cigarettes seemed to be the same price (33 euros for 200 Mayfair) at all the shops and the airport on the way home. I think these prices must be fixed by the Government.

Google Earth

Paste this into "fly to" on Google Earth to see the apartments: 37° 7'29.49"N, 8°32'26.50"W

  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank ARKSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vila Rosa Hotel

Property: Vila Rosa Hotel
Address: Urb Vila Rosa, Praia da Rocha, Portimao, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Praia da Rocha
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Praia da Rocha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 333
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Hotel Vila Rosa
Vila Rosa Hotel Praia Da Rocha, Portugal - Algarve

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