Vila Gale Praia
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great place for a quiet week of relaxation.
"I am 33 year old and travelled with my girlfriend for one week. Agree that this hotel is very quiet, so if its chilled out relaxation you are looking for then its ideal. I saw comments about the noise from the kitchens in some of the rooms - we had that issue in our room (315) but I have to say it wasnt a big deal and didnt detract in any way. A very modern and contemporary hotel for the Algarve, very clean, staff were excellent. I dont think the pool view rooms are worth the significant premium myself mind you. Hotel dining was fine and quite modern and stylish so again isnt like the algarve norm which tends to be more rustic and simple. However you can have some great food at the various beach bars nearby and on the fishermans beach in Albufeira nearby (other than that bit Albufiera is not really for me but some folk will like the kind of "englishman in the costas" feel of it). Highlights were excellent tennis courts, great nearby shopping centre, very good hotel breakfast, dinner on the small beaches on the way to the marina, salads at the beach bar near the hotel (the first one you come to) and the nearby golf. Lowlights were not many....double bed was actually two singles pushed together and wasnt very comfortable, taxis from anywhere back to the hotel seemed to be tricky and some of the sunbeds are very uncomfortable. In all, a good hotel, I wouldnt rush back to it, but had a fine time all the same."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of July 2007
A lovely hotel, but
"My wife and I and another couple spent 10 nights there at the end of June. Without doubt it was the cleanest and tidiest hotel we have stayed in with the exception of Thai hotels.Everything that has been written already we can heartily endorse except for the evening meals. We did not eat in once at dinner. Breakfasts though wewe magnificent.We always went to the beach bars in the evening. The one on the left as you get to the beach did the best salads we have had in a long time. Fish was a speciality there. The one directly at the end of the road in the middle of the 3 bars was possibly the best value but nothing special. Don't go to the one on the right, bearing the same name as the hotel. Poor is not the word to describe it.
The hotel is in a residential area and is quiet and restrained. The pool area could be a laugh if the right crowd were there but we got the impression that people were afraid to have a laugh and joke for fear of disturbing others. The staff were helpful and friendly. The waitresses at breakfast especially so when we mentioned that the head waiter( efficient to the point of being a nuisence, but a nice chap) was like a headless chicken. At that point the jokes started and livened the place up nicely.
This was our first visit to Portugal and we found it a little disappointing. It seemed to be either a concrete jungle and loud bars or deathly quiet. We did not find a happy medium.
If the hotel was in a slightly more happening location with places to walk in the evening it would be perfect. Oh, and moving the figurines by the lift became compulsary. The competition as to who could get them in the most compromising position did add to the enjoyment."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of July 2007
"If you want somewhere in the middle of it all, with bars, restaurants and nightclubs this is NOT the place!
Instead Vila Gale Praia is nestled in a relaxing, quiet semi-suburban area right beside a fantastic beach.
The hotel boasts very friendly staff, who between them seem to be able to speak every European language and cater for everyone young and old.
The rooms are spacious, clean and very comfortable. The pool area is relaxing (though the constant "atmospheric" music can be a bit much at times!) and no more than a 2 minute walk from any room in the hotel. There is also a waitrom on hand all day to save you walking to the bar. They can be a bit irregular though so grab them at every available opportunity!
Within walking distance of the hotel are plenty of great value, good quality restaurants and bars. No mater how long your stay, take a different road each night and you will find somewhere different to eat. That is of course, if you choose not to eat in the hotel restaurant, which offers a range of very high quality meals, though at a price quite a bit higher than the surrounding restaurants.
The hotel bar is also comfortable and serves a good range of well made cocktails.
Upon arriving at the hotel you will be notified of a "Priority" card scheme. It is free to join and offers great value on facilities and eating/drinking in the hotel. However, in case they forget to tell you, mention it to your server EVERY TIME you order food or drink. Otherwise you won't get the discount.
This is a fantastic hotel and perfect for anyone wanting a quite relaxing time."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of July 2007
Great Hotel - shame about the resort
"We have just returned from our holiday to Portugal. We stayed at the Vila Gale Praia (originally booked for two weeks). The hotel is beautiful, modern, clean boutique style hotel. The pool area and restaraunts in the hotel are great, however it is in the middle of nowhere. We decided we would get a taxi to the nearest town, Old Town Albufeira, which cost about 20 Euros return, so that we could enjoy an evening out and some good food. We were very mistaken, the place is awful and tacky and the restaurants are gross (I ordered Antipasto from one rest. and it came with cheese slices!). We ate in the Vila Gale Praia hotel twice which is lovely but pricey, but as we were staying for two weeks didn't want to have to eat in the hotel every night. The staff in the hotel were friendly, although reception were pretty useless when asked to reccomend somewhere to eat. After 5 days we decided to transfer to Vilamoura. If you could pick this hotel up and put it in a different resort the holiday would have been perfect."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of June 2007
a touch of class in the Algarve
"Just got back from 7 days at Vila Gale. We enjoyed our stay in this small but intimate hotel, ideal for couples on a romantic stay away. Our room (318) was one of only two with an extra large veranda (the other is 317), with views of the pool, and down to the beach. The hotel is located within a 2 minute walk of a lovely beach, with 3 restaurant/cafe's on hand (as mentioned in previous reports). We just loved sitting there, looking out to sea, with the sun setting, working our way through a cold jug of Sangria. Smashing.
Away from the beach, the area is hightly residential with shops and restaurants a little thin on the ground. However, if you dont mind a bit of a walk, there are some nice places to eat. We found a restaurant called O'Marinheiro, 25 mins walk from the hotel (ask the hotel for one of their free maps, this restaurant is marked as number 24). Although a little more expensive than some places, the food and service is excellent. We went back twice.
We stayed B&B, but ate dinner at the hotel restaurant three times. It was really very nice, good quality food, very well presented. The pool area was well laid out, but as stated in an earlier report, the number of sunbeds were limited. We (along with many others) reserved our beds whilst on route to breakfast in the morning, by leaving our towels laid out on them (pool/beach towels are provided in the rooms). This appeared to be an acceptable rule. The alternative is a short walk down to the beach where you can rent a sunbed for a few Euro's per day.
On a lighter note, we noticed what appeared to be a game played by a small number of guests, which involved moving the six porcelain figures (located on the sideboard at the top of the stairs by the lift) into different positions, without being caught. Harmless fun, but quite amusing. One of the other guests (Ian from Blackpool) and myself were getting quite competitive towards the end.
We would have no hesitation in returning to this hotel, and probably will do so next year."
- Travel date: Sun 24th of June 2007
"We had a 2 week stay at this hotel and booked our flights and accommodation separately which worked out a lot cheaper than to book via a travel agent.
On arrival you were greeted by an efficient receptionist and a welcome tea (word of advice - dont' drink). Room was spacious with a huge bed and small balcony, flat screen television and DVD player. As it was a special occasion on arrival we contacted the hotel direct to let them know. We were greeted by a bottle of champagne, strawberries and candles, very romantic.
Breakfasts in the morning were very good with a choice some mornings of smoked salmon, avocado and champagne.
Pool area was very nice but with 40 rooms and only 40 sun loungers this sometimes proved difficult to get a sun lounger, maybe this was because we are coming into summer time and the hotel was fully booked.
Spa facilities were lovely and we used these 3 times (once due to bad weather). I would highly recommend a Romeo & Juliet massage - word of advice, be ready for the paper thongs which myself and husband had to wear. Massage lasted for approximately 1 hour and was very relaxing.
Restaurant was good but food in the evening was a little "frilly". Not much on big white plates.
Restaurants in the area, there were more than 2-3 as stated by other reviewers. There are 3 at the beach area and the rest you have to walk for. There is an Italian which is a 15 minute walk away called Quo Vadis, and next door to this is an Indian called the Curry Club. I would recommend the Indian even though it did not look much from the outside. If you fancy a walk into a place called Parque (25 minute walk) there was a very stylish Indian restaurant called Kahari. Just past the supermarket there is a fish restaurant called Ti Manel which a lot of the locals frequent. For 13E you can eat as much fish as you like (7 varieties).
If going into Albufeira I would recommend a beach side restaurant (fish) called Ruina.
Hope this helps someone !"
- Travel date: Mon 18th of June 2007
A wonderful stay!
"We heard that Albufeira is the Ibiza of Portugal and we were a little concerned as we wanted a relaxing beach holiday and that is exactly what we got!
The hotel is excellent. It is a small hotel in a residential area and away from the annoying Ibiza style part of Albufeira and we loved it.
A spa hotel with only 40 rooms and a great pool area to hang out at. The hotel is more of a couples hotel and not really a place for children or families, which was another positive for us.
The rooms are modern and a good size and the breakfast is excellent. Plenty to chose from.
The public areas of the hotel are very well maintained and made for a great relaxing break.
The beach is a very short distance away and the hotel would be suitable for someone in a wheelchair.
Our only issues were trying to get pudding served to us in the bar after 7.00 pm. We were told it might be a problem, but I could not understand why as the restaurant and bar are together. We were told we could order room service, but that was crazy as the cost is obviously a lot higher, so we went out! The prices for the food seem high considering that there are places within easy reach of the hotel that cost less than 60-75%.
The hotel also seems to have a local resident couple that comes in to use the pool, but they do not stay at the hotel. This is also a little annoying.
There are three places to eat on the beach and we recommend the Praia da GalÃ© restaurant (same name as the hotel, but not connected). The food and the service is much better than the other places on the beach.
The hotel seems to require everything to be paid in cash for taxi bookings and excursions, which is a little awkward, but not the end of the world.
The issues we did have were small, but because everything about the hotel is so great it did make these little issues seem worse and I think that the staff let themselves down.
That said, we would stay at the hotel again."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of May 2007
Even better than the reviews!
"Just returned from a four night break at this hotel which we found to be faultless. Very helpful and friendly staff in reception, bar and restaurant. The facilities were first class and the room comfortable and spotlessly clean. Would recommend this hotel to anyone who wanted a quiet, relaxing break with excellent facilities. The restaurant was a bonus (we ate there twice and can recommend the "piggy medallions with rusty potatos" and "feng choc" - the translation does not do justice to these dishes!). The choice at breakfast is also first class. Thanks to all previous reviewers for your postings as without them I would not have found or chosen this hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of April 2007
"Booked this hotel purely by chance for a short break during April 07, what a revelation.
Fantastic location near a lovely beach, food top class, staff friendly and efficient. I agree with every one elses comments concerning decor and up market feel, although its in a very quiet location, which may not please those looking for night time bars and clubs etc.
Cant wait to go back later in the the year for another long weekend of relaxation, good food, and chilling out in the spa"
- Travel date: Fri 27th of April 2007
Oasis is the best word - Tranquility assured
"Just a quick review because everyone has already said such great things.
Basically, everything you read in the positive reviews is true. I travel on business A LOT and this hotel is really lovely. My fiancee and I have just returned from a week (end of March) and we really loved the place.
For the Brits reading, the Gale Praia is a lot like a Malmaison hotel, modern design, upscale and cool.
The service is great, the food excellent and the rooms are comfy, with well designed features an fittings. All rooms have LCD television with CD/DVD player, aircon and the usuals.
The pool was a little cold, but it was March. We played Tennis every day and used the spa and gym as much as possible. (The spa was closed for 3 days but is now open again. it offers couples massage, cocoa therapy etc... try it out (I didn't but I'm wimpy about massages... low pain threshold I think).
The area around the hotel is full of villas so not very busy, Gale has a great beach that is 200metres from the front door of the hotel.
we would suggest a visit to Guia, it's inland, about 5 minutes by taxi and it has some lovely restaurants.
Oh, a little suggestion, the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to Albufeira (around 15 mins away) Don't bother... Albufeira is an old tired resort and is also in the middle of a massive reconstruction. We spent around eight minutes there before getting a taxi out of the "hellhole" to Villamoura instead.
Finally... Didn't see any Parador reps (or indeed any reps)"
- Travel date: Sun 1st of April 2007
This holiday was fantastic, we went to t...
"This holiday was fantastic, we went to the same resort for a week at the same time in March 2006, and we thought that it was so good we would try going again.
We weren't disappointed, it was great.
It is a spa resort, peace and tranquillity is what you get and they even remembered us from 2006, it was that good again that we will most definitely be visiting again in 2008!
A must for anyone wanting peace & quiet & a must also for pampering."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of May 2007