10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Bit of a late review, but better late than never... We spent 6 nights in Vale del Rei in June 2008 and had absolutely fabulous time. The place is new, comfortable, very clean and well designed. It is surrounded by olive groves (I think, some kind of groves anyway) and vineyards as well as some villas. One very important thing to mention: CAR IS A MUST. As much as secluded location is lovely, you need a car to get to the beach, the town or just a local shop.
Our room (2nd floor) had a see view (in the distance, so get your specs on), was a good size with ample storage space and large bathroom.
There is a pool bar with a terrace where the breakfast is served and another bar for the evening drinks. The bar in the evening was pretty quiet and there were a few evenings when we were the only customers, which is a bit too quiet. There is also a restaurant which we haven't tried primarily due to the fact that food seemed to be odd cross-european combos as opposed to local fare (and looked pricey at that).
Clientele is very mixed, from couples (both young and old) to families with kids, this also applies to nationalities - pretty much whole Europe covered.
The pool is not big but we had it pretty much all to ourselves most of the time. (we used it mainly in late afternoons after coming back from the beach) There is also separate paddling pool for kids and a tennis court if you are feeling active (all those good intentions ...). There is plenty of sunloungers (the classy wooden type) spread around the pool and also in the gardens which is really nice as it gives more of a feeling of privacy.
The stay here is superbly relaxing and we were well take care off by the helpful staff. It seems to be relaxing to such an extent that most people seem to be in bed by 10. But if you are looking for relatively quiet, beach/pool holiday, it is perfect."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of September 2008
"What a fantastic time we had.
My husband and i thoroughly enjoyed a 5 night break in this lovely hotel. The room was perfect ,comfortable and clean. the maids came everyday to replace the towels, change the sheets and generally tidy the room.
The pool area was always kept clean. with towels provided.
We were on a b&b stay ,the breakfasts were continental with a good selection but the hot food could have been hotter.
The staff couldn't do enough for you and were very friendly,
everywhere was spotlessly clean and tidy.
The closest beaches were a 10 minute drive away , the local town was a 15minute drive away .
If you want a beer swigging ,noisy holiday with holiday reps trying to get you to join in everything then this isnt the place for you, but if all you want is peace and relaxation in a beautiful setting then this is the place to stay."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of July 2008
Did exactly what it said on the tin!
"In this case, looks are certainly not deceiving. This was a fab choice of hotel at short notice - and we think it's a little gem of a place. Woke up Friday, booked by lunchtime (based on trip advisor and other website reviews), arrived in the Algarve the next day. The deal offered on expedia was so good, we both thought the hotel might not live up to expectations. But it did. A modern hotel, the welcome we received from Joao (John) was pretty unbeatable - reception couldn't be more helpful - they checked us early, gave us a really nice room (5) and from that moment we were in chilled holiday mode. Best Bits: Pool was a 30 second walk from the room, the hotel is small enough to retain a certain intimacy, staff couldn't have been more helpful, we had the astro-turf tennis court pretty much to ourselves and the food in the restaurant and the pool resto seemed reasonably priced. The pool (infinity style) area is quiet too (tho it was obviously off-season).There's grass all around and given the hotel is quite new, the landscaping is suprisingly advanced.
The beach is about 3 km away (hotel offers free bus to beach at 10am and 1400 - last pick up 1800) But get a car. It's no big deal. Hire small and cheap. We loved being a little distance away from things and the countryside around the hotel is lovely. For us this was about 5 days of relaxation from hectic schedule. But with a car Marinha Beach is great nearby alternative veg-out location (sunbeds with unbrella 8 euros for half a day / 12 euros - all day.) And on the way is the Marina Brasserie - bit pricier, but reflected in the food. In ten mins you can be in the small town of Carvoeiro - lots of tourists though (german, dutch and brits) and there's plenty of nightlife there). If you want your day to be like this: wake up 10am - get full breakfast by the pool - fall onto a sunbed 10 yards away - drift in and out of sleep in the sun for a couple of hours - walk the 10 yards back to the pool restaurant for some lunch and a glass or two of rose, amble back to the sunbed to pick up where you left off till 7, play tennis for a bit (to feel virtuous) then grab some fish in or out at nearby resto, come back to the hotel bar for nightcap and then repeat the process the next day - then this would be a place for you. Enjoy. We did."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of June 2008
Peaceful & Beautiful
"We returned back from Vale d'El Rei Hotel last night and we didn't want to come home! It is a beautiful, peaceful and lovely place to stay away from all the hustle and bustle. The staff are very nice and friendly and the food was very nice although I did expect more authentic Portuguese cuisine. Having lived in the Algarve I know how good Portuguese food is!
It is a very quiet place, ideal for couples really. The night life is a drive away and you do need a car to get to beaches etc. as it is a little remote but there are some fabulous beaches not too far away namely Albandeira, Marinha and Benagil.
On the whole, a very enjoyable holiday and I would definately recommend the Hotel.
Places to visit I would also recommend are Alte, Silves, Monchique, Cape St Vincent and if you do take the kids, Zoomarine!
Restaurants: Marisqueira Rui in Silves, Ramires in Guia, Tres Palmeiras in Praia D'Oura, O Pescador on Santa Eulalia Beach and Ambrosia in Olhos D'agua.
- Travel date: Sat 31st of May 2008
"Beautiful hotel in beautiful surroundings in the middle of no where. You definatly need a car as the nearest main road is about 3 miles away.. Staff extremely friendly, mattresses a bit on the hard side but we coped! Their is no night life so if u want a good night out you need to get a taxi to a different resort, about 10-15 mins away. Would definatley stay there again :-)"
- Travel date: Wed 21st of May 2008
Lovely 4 Star Hotel
"Booked this holiday via Teletext Holidays (Hotel and Globespan flights from Glasgow), however did a bit of research on trip advisor and other review sites first. Not a bad review which is a good sign and I am glad to report no problems and had a really nice stay at the beginning of April 2008.
We were allocated a room on the top floor (2nd floor - only 2 floors) which has nice views overlooking Lagoa. The room was reasonable spacious and modern. The room was cleaned everyday including Sunday.
Room had a flat screen TV mounted on the wall and a few english spoken channels including ITV. Plenty of room to hang clothes and enough drawers and shelf space to store other items. The room had a free safety deposit box which does not require a key - configure a personal pass key to gain access.
The breakfast was buffet style and included hot and cold food, which did not change throughout our stay but usually find this is the case with many hotels anyway. However, fresh coffee is served when you are allocated your table. The hotel or villas were not full when we stayed so the whole complex was quite when we were there which made it a really relaxed.
There is a restaurant above the bar area. We ate there two nights and the food and service was really good. I would ask for advice when choosing the wine - we had the house wine one night and have say was not that great. Top tip - Try the O Patio in Carvoeiro. We went two or three times as the food and drink was first class. Down by the "square" at the beach. Approx 10 Euros in a taxi to Carvoeiro
One thing I do recommend - Hire a car as the hotel is located in the countryside, about 3Km outside Lagoa and about the same distance to the sea side town of Carvoeiro. We found the hotel no problem and did not have sat nav - just look out for the signs. When coming off the N125 follow the sign for Benagil at the International School. The junction is before Lagoa (when coming from Faro) but is slightly confusing as there is not a right turn, you have to pass the junction then turn at the traffic light and come back on your self - remember - just follow the signs for Benagil. Stay on the road for about 1Km then first right (the hotel is sign posted) and right again then left.
Hotel staff were really nice and helpful. There are two swimming pools including a heating pool which is located at the other site of the complex by the villas. The gardens are quite large and well maintained. If you wish to use the tennis courts it cost approx 10 euros for equipment and the access key.
Overall - no problems with accomodation"
- Travel date: Tue 20th of May 2008
Friendliest staff ever
"Lovely little hotel, we were made to feel extremely welcome from the first minute, very nice setting but really only suitable if you have a car due to the location, nearest real beach/shops/restaurants are some 3km away.
The only minor caveat is to be careful which room you need/book as we were in one of their smallest which had no seating area other than a small balcony, and no fridge. It was very comfortable, clean and well appointed though.
Like several other people we had some difficulty finding the hotel as it is not actually 'in' a town or village, the best advice we can give would be to drive to either Carvoeiro or Lagoa and then follow the signs to the other - at some point along that road there are a series of roundabouts with little white sgns to the hotel.
For anyone taking a sat nav, the c-ordinates according to my TomTom are N37.11540, W8.42129 (I think, no responsibility taken if wrong but seems to work on Google Maps!))"
- Travel date: Tue 1st of April 2008
Great hotel for families
"My husband and I stayed here for a week in July and were very pleased to find that it was exactly what we expected!
The rooms are great, large and spacious, newly decorated, very nice furniture and great air conditioning. The only thing I would point out is that although there is a kitchenette in each room, they did not supply any utensils for cooking and actually told us that they didn't want people cooking in the rooms, as it was a fire hazard. Shame, as the very nicely fitted kitchen could have come in useful on occasions.
The restaurant on site offered a 'tourist buffet' every night for 20 euros and was ok, but if you wanted to order from the a la carte menu, you were left waiting for at least an hour - the staff are really only there to keep the buffet running smoothly. We would advise driving the short distance (10 minutes) to Carvoeiro for dinner instead.
The main hotel pool looks very stylish but you have to get out there very early to get any beds or sun shades. It seems that to avoid looking overcrowded, they simply haven't got enough beds for all the guests. Our advise it to seek out the heated smaller pool in the grounds - lots of children down there, but always a free bed or two.
The staff were great and overall, we had a great time.
A car is essential to stay here and ask for a map before you leave as it is very difficult to find first time round!"
- Travel date: Fri 27th of July 2007
Welcome from the first minute...
"From the moment we approached the reception until we walked out to our rental car for the last time, we felt truly welcome in the Vale d'el Rei (Lagoa, Portugal). In fact, the very sweet Carmina bade us farewell with the comment that, if we should have any questions or need any help before leaving Portugal a week later, we shouldn't hesitate to give her a call.
I booked this wonderful hotel through HRS in early January for our August stay. We paid 96 Euros per night with breakfast buffet. (If we had booked closer to our arrival, it would have been more than twice the price that we paid!) The rates do vary greatly, depending on season -- between 60 Euros and 180+ Euros for our 2 room suite in 2006.
Vale d'el Rei is quite a small hotel, as new building standards go (less than 60 suites, plus several larger townhouses). Our suite was 2 rooms with kitchenette and we have rarely had the pleasure of occupying such tastefully furnished quarters. The apts. are done in earthy brown tones, including a very comfortable suede sofa-bed in the living room. Beds are very comfy and our bathroom had all necessary amenities including marble vanity. The apts. are cleaned daily and are spotless.
We were amazed to go out on our terrace and find lovely teak-wood chairs and table AND a fantastic hammock. What a great place to curl up and read!
The swimming pool(s) are not overly large, but sufficient; and the small waterfall helps to cover up the noise of children playing (they were on vacation!) . Again, surrounding the pools are teakwood loungers, no plastic here!
We had only booked 2 nights, but look forward to a longer stay next time. I should mention that the hotel is in a rather secluded area - no restaurants or anything within walking distance. You will need a car unless you want to spend all your time at the hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of September 2006
Lovely hotel, great relation price/quality
"It was my first time at the hotel, but for sure will not be the last one! The hotel is very nice and it has a clean design with some exotic touch. The swimming pool is nice (it could be bigger) and the gardens around the resort are very relaxying. The staff is attentious are ready to help guests. The breakfast is what you might expect in a four-star hotel (I don't know other meals quality because I didn't tried it). It's mainly a hotel for families. Although the hotel has a courtesy bus, it's better to have a car. The relation price/quality is by far the best that I've ever experienced in Algarve. For sure I'll take my family there more times."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of August 2006