13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
5 Star, You Must Be Kidding!!!!!
"I can only really comment about the golf course as I stayed at the Residence at Victoria in Vilamoura (Is certainly more 5 star than Vila Sol). After paying 165 Euro's for two of us to play golf and hire an additional set of clubs, we were very impressed initially with the layout of the course. Certainly nicely established. Trouble appeared at the first green, when upon checking the clubs, I was issued with a child's putter and two pitch and wedges, no sand wedge or 56 degrees club. The club heads were very dirty as well. The front 9 were certainly playable, however more trouble was in store for the back nine. Due to work, unknown to us, the back nine greens were being treated and thus were full of sand. Upon raising our issues with the pro shop at the end of the day, hoping for some fairness, the shop assistance and her supervisor informed us that we should have played holes 19 to 27 and not 10 to 18. Rather than rant on and on, please before you hand over any monies, Â£50pp is a lot for a course which is no more than a Â£30pp course in the UK, check the state of clubs you might hire as well as confirming the holes you should be playing. A word of advice, pay a little more and play the Oceania courses. You will not be disappointed!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of August 2015
Vilamoura whats the stora? Wouldn't you like to go...
"My wife, 15 month daughter and I have just come back from a 1 week stay at the Vila Sol apartments (Vila Sol Village). Ok 1st the good news: the apartments are really spacious and very nicely decorated. Our apartment had a massive lounge/dining room with glass doors on to a terrace (make sure you get a ground flr aptment) with table and chairs and loungers. In front of the terrace was a grass area which led to a decent sized circular pool (just for the apartments). We had 2 large double bedrooms (almost large enough to consider taking the in-laws next year for babysitting duties) and 2 bathrooms (1 en-suite) and a great kitchen with bosch appliances and a utility room.
We were collected every day by the hotel mini bus and for a fantastic buffet breakfast (make sure you get this included as it can serve as lunch and breakfast especially if you take along plastic containers as we did - how things change when you have kids!). All the staff were very friendly and clearly like children. The maid service (Mon-Fri) was also a big plus.
The bad news: the apartments are a long way from the hotel and it isn't just the distance its that as they forgot to build pavements it would be a difficult and treacherous walk anyway. Every time you want to go to the hotel you have to call reception for them to send the bus (sometimes this took up to 40mins!) The tip is though, as we learnt by day 3, don't bother to go to the hotel (except for bkfst), the food is ridiculously expensive and really not very good (40 euros for 2 sandwiches and 2 drinks!) and really slow. They also only have a childrens menu in the restaurant which doesn't open until 7pm(!) so at the pool bar one day we asked them to rustle up some fishfingers (they were grey and cost 10 euros as opposed to in the Mayflower on the Marina which were white and 4.5 euros!).
There are also no shops or restaurants or anything serving the apartments, I guess the tip here would be to get a car although when we worked out the score we just got cabs in to Vilamoura every night for 5 euros (do not get the hotel to book you a cab as it will cost you double). Actually there is 1 good restaurant by the apartments called Paisegem - 5 min walk -but thats it.
Do NOT go to Quateira it is a hole. Unless of course you like sitting on a red plastic chair outside a grotty cafe by a main road. At first sight we thought the marina at Vilamoura was very touristy (Indian, chinese and Italian restaurants cos thats what we brits eat apparently!) but after we went briefly to Quateira it felt like we were walking along the croisette in Cannes! and actually we did find some good reasonable restaurants along there in the end.
All in all it was a good holiday and I would go back maybe next time we'll rent a car?!"
- Travel date: Mon 18th of June 2007
"We stayed in the Vila Sol Village part of the Vila Sol resort, which was approximately half a mile (i.e. 10-15 min walk) from the main hotel and facilities, including restaurants and kid's club. This was a bit of a pain, as we had booked on a half board basis and had to travel up to the hotel every morning and evening for meals. However, the hotel did offer free transfers to and from anywhere on the resort. The apartment was of a high standard, very spacious and was fully equipped for a self-catering holiday - even had a washing machine and tumble dryer in a separate utility room. There was also a private swimming pool for the Vila Sol Village residents.
The Vila Sol resort is also a fair distance (at least 5 miles) from the nearest supermarket. There is no shop that sells a bottle of water on the site, which I found surprising considering the size of the resort. We were told it is currently being built! A free shuttle bus into Vilamoura did operate twice daily, but only one way - you have to get a taxi back.
We travelled with our 3 year old daughter and the staff were all very friendly towards her. The Kids Club is quite good, offering activities such as colouring and puzzles. It was very quiet when we were there - we were often the only ones in there and the Kids Club staff, although very friendly, didn't really engage with the children - it was more 'help yourself to whichever toys you want to play with'.
The food in the Green Pines restaurant was excellent - a fine dining experience! There was also a children's menu available. To have been more child friendly, I felt the hotel should have offered either an "early bird" tea or a buffet-style restaurant, as Green Pines did not open until 7pm, by which time a 3 year old is both tired and hungry!
Overall, a very good resort and excellent value for money if you are on a half board basis, as the food was of superb quality. The addition of a supermarket on the site would be helpful. The only downside of this resort is its distance from the main resort of Vilamoura, so top tip would be to hire a car."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of May 2007
Just returned from a short break at the...
"Just returned from a short break at the 5 star Vila Sol Spa and Golf Resort.
We had a perfect time, my husband and son played golf on the fantastic course at Vila Sol, my husband said it was one of the best courses he has ever played, he said tee 1 to 18 was slightly better than from the 18th to 27th, but all nice anyway.
Our golf tariff was included in the holiday deal but the boys needed a buggy which was 50 Euros per buggy.
The pool was slightly heated making it perfect to swim and not too chilly, pool towels all provided which was great because you don't need to bring towels with you. A lovely seating /sun lounging area very clean and well throughout.
We stayed in a garden room combined with a garden suite, which consisted of two bungalow type rooms with interconnecting doors.
The garden room had two single beds with lovely fresh white linen and full bathroom and the garden suite had a very large super king bed and a sitting room area with settee and table and chairs and a full bathroom.
The accommodation was well appointed and very comfortable, crispy white clean sheets and pillows and maid service twice daily was a real treat.
The breakfast was great, plenty of choice and well presented buffet style, the evening meals Gourmet Style in the Green Pines restaurant was a dining experience food fantastic and beautifully presented with the service second to none, the approx rate per person was 40 Euros with wine.
Nothing was too much trouble for the staff.
We enjoyed drinks on the large terrace overlooking the golf course and lake; this was lovely in the late evenings (still very warm then). Drinks were approx 3 Euros for half beer and 3 Euros for a small house wine, cokes were 3.50 Euros (quite expensive).
The beach was closed unfortunately for May apparently it opens in June so a little disappointed but the staff said we could go down and take a look anyway. The courtesy bus from the resort will take you there free of charge.
What a magnificent beach and very private.
Taxi's from Vila Sol into Vilamoura were approx 5 Euros one way, it is about 10 minutes drive away, it is not possible to walk down as it is like a country lane for best part of the way with no shops or buildings so a taxi is the only way.
We ate a couple of times in Vilamoura Marina but preferred the food at the hotel. The ice creams were good in Vilamoura though. Vilamoura was not too busy this time in May in fact not much going on there.
We did go on a rib ride out to sea to see dolphins and the caves and booked through Polvo Water Sports on the Marina front, a trip well worth doing because you got to see the whole coastline of Albufeira and Vilamoura, the trip cost 35 Euros each.
Also booked Zoo Marine to swim with the dolphins there a trip with life time memories - fantastic experience a must do (cost 140 Euros per person with the coach service included but the gate price for the rest of the park was 21.50 Euros each adult.
The Zoo Marine coach picked us up from the Vila Sol free of charge, excellent service.
We as a grown up family of 5 recommend the 5 star Vila Sol Hotel if you would like an up market quiet break of pool, beach and golf and fine food.
I would say it is not for young children as there is not much to do for them, although there is a crÃ¨che. We found with our teenage children that we had a full action packed afternoon and that after the evening meal and a couple of drinks on the terrace we were all ready for a good nightâs sleep ready for the golf or trips the next day.
Full sky television in room as well so some good movies for later at night. No entertainment at the hotel. Our teenagers had a great time for the 5 days we were there, but they said if we were on a fortnights holiday they would need to have entertainment at the resort.
I can't express enough how helpful all of the staff were from the reception to the dining room waiters, to bar staff. The Portuguese have certainly got charm in this line of work.
Vila Sol has lots of nice touches and little surprises as you go along which put a real "icing on the cake" feeling we will be booking again next June.
When booking be careful that you ARE situated at the hotel as we were first offered the vila sol village which is too far away from the main hotel with restaurants etc.
It is a short bus ride from the village to the hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of May 2007
Loved this hotel...
"My husband booked this wonderful holiday for us both, he is a keen golfer and thought I'd enjoy the spa facilities...
I loved every minute of this holiday, found it so relaxing and peaceful. We had a lovely room, very much like a little cottage from the front of it - and out the back we had this gorgeous garden which we ended up sunbathing in next to the beautiful pond and indoor swimming pool.
I had a few treatments in the spa - well worth the trip - treated like a queen in here... my husband loved the golfing courses/facilities
Found the outdoor pool lovely but the gardens more peaceful for sunbathing. The facilities of the hotel were excellant - internet access room, indoor swimming pool (heated) and jucuzzi, steam, sauna, gym - found all these wonderful. Towels provided with lovely fluffly robes - no need to bring your own.
The toiletries in the room/hotel were lovely - the staff were friendly enough although we have had better service in Thailand to be fair.
The hotel run a shuttle bus to the beach and into Vilamoura/Marina every day/evening - found this really good - and FOC.
We dining mostly along the marina - wide choice of restaurants to choose from.
Overall - cannot wait to get back here - was one of the most relaxing holidays my husband and I had. Love it...and would certainly recommend to family and friends but not everyone - don't want too many people knowing about this hotel as it'll become too crowded then!!"
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of May 2007
The place, the people, perfect!
"Just got back from another week at the Vila Sol resort and I am just as pleased this year as last. Of course the hotel, golf course and spa is all you would expect from a five star establishment but what really makes this place shine are the people who work there. Nothing is too much trouble for them. They seem to always anticipate your needs and are eager to help out best they can. Thank you again to all at guest services, the front desk and the to all the helpful bell captains.
Rooms are spacious and bathrooms with marble from floor to ceiling are top rate and very clean. Nightly turn down service always ensures fresh towels, the beds are a bit hard but there are plenty of pillows of various degrees of softness.
All rooms in the main hotel building face the gardens or golf course but most rooms are in the garden suites overlooking the laguna, pool or beautifully landscaped gardens. Facilities are spread out so make sure to walk around the pool area and gardens to find where everything is. To get to the gym (very small but with very good equipment) and saunas you have to go down the steps by the pool bar. The indoor pool is up the other side, check it out on a rainy day.
The resort is sort of isolated, you can't walk to the marina or to any shopping but they do provide a free shuttle bus at certain times. The spa is also a good 10 minute walk away (thru the villa development so you get to see some pretty great houses).
Breakfast buffÃ© is fantastic, with everything you could wish for. Caffein free coffee or capucinos are available on request. On the other hand the dinner menu is a bit boring, with not many things to choose from (and exactly the same as last year!)
For dinner outside the resort I would recommend Paisagem (a short walk or shuttle ride just outside the resort area). This is a family run local restaurant with all kinds of grilled fish, very fresh, very friendly. Be aware, cash only. But there is an ATM at the golf club house.
A great Italian restaurant down at the Marina 10 minutes away (free shuttle bus at 8 pm or 6 euro taxi) is Il Lamparo.
Will we make it three years in a row next year? Maybe, but if we go in april we will take warmer clothes for the evenings :-)"
- Travel date: Mon 9th of April 2007
"We stayed at the hotel in oct , with our 2 little girls(6 years & 1 Year).Just loved the place, we were allowed a early check in @ 9 am. Our garden suite was very cosy, facing the pond, magical! Our girls loved the kids club. All the staff are so helpful & polite & really good with the kids. Played golf &Tennis. Free shuttle to the beach. Loved the beach, very private, some days it ll be only 4-5 people, free loungers, sun creams & towels,superb restaurant. Hotel breakfast is the best, try the pool bar's delicious burgers & we had the best dinners @ the hotel. Great location ( very quite), superb food, rooms with great views, fantastic grounds & extremely helpful staff, cant wait to go back again."
- Travel date: Sat 10th of March 2007
Fantastic luxury hotel, well above expectations
"I stayed here on conference; never been to Portugal before. The breakfast , and buffet lunch were excellent, much better than I expected. Rooms were fantastic; however I was disappointed by the gym area, which was tiny- far too small with only a couple of machines. The spa is world class, there are no shops however and the minibar is around Â£3.00 for a can of coke/ bottle of local water. I intend to return with my family"
- Travel date: Mon 5th of February 2007
What a great hotel
"My wife and I stayed in this hotel for a week last October. We had a great holiday. All the facilities in the hotel are excellent. The breakfast was brilliant my wife said it was the best she'd had anywhere. Our room was outside the main hotel block beyond the pool and it was modern, clean and well serviced. If travelling to Vilamoura in the evening the hotel run a shuttle bus but ask at reception for details. We had a couple of really nice meals in Dom Pedros restaurant in Vilamoura. Dom Pedros is behind the marina not far from McDonalds. I recommend the fillet steak Portugese style one of the tastiest tender steaks ever. I would definately stay in Vila Sol again."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of January 2007
"My wife and I were in the Algarve looking for a holiday home and used Vilasol Hotel for our base. We liked the resort that much we bought our house there, overlooking the 17th fairway. The standard of accommodation is very good and the meals are excellent. Dinner at the d'olive restaurant in the golf clubhouse is a beautiful experience, service second to none. I would have no hesitation in recommending."
- Travel date: Thu 26th of October 2006
"We visited the Vila Sol for a long weekend in October. Everything about the room, facilities, service and restuarant were excellent.
Pleasant, courtous and helpful staff made a difference.
Our only slight criticism was that the golf courses seemed overplayed and that handicap checks could be more discriminating.
The course ranger/caddymaster (as my friend called "The Golf Gestapo") was officious but inefficient as this apparently did not extend to removing obviously poor golfers from the course. He seemed to like the sound of his own voice more than actually promoting smooth traffic round the course.
The 3 9-hole courses were very good but not great, not as impressive as Penina or Quinta do Lago, but having the advantage of a very good hotel with everything on site made for a very relaxing break.
We would definitely return."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of October 2006
Vila Sol Village
"After looking at hotels around Vilamoura we really liked this and we ended up renting a 2 bed apartment in Vila Sol Village direct with the owner. We got a 2 bed apartment over-looking 3 pools for approx. a quater of the price it would have cost us to book with the hotel! The complex is huge and on the first two days we did a lot of walking, into Quateria and round the grounds to the club-house and main hotel buildings. Sunset villas is still under construction which is comparatively near the main hotel, they are also building a commercial area (to include a supermarket) at the entrance of the complex - the introduction of a roudabout half way through our stay confused the taxi-drivers!
There are a couple of restaurants on the main road but if staying in the main hotel it's a bit of a trek and would reccommend car hire or a taxi. We didn't eat in the hotel restaurants prefering to eat in Vilamoura itself (a 5e cab ride) where there are plenty of acceptable restaurants, the best fish we had was in Casa de Pescatore or similar in the 2nd square behind the marina.
I could see that a fair few of the 260 odd apartments were occupied but the (heated) pool was never busy and the atmosphere definately relaxed, perhaps they were all off playing golf?
The only fault with Vila Sol was the lack of a nearby supermarket, which is being rectified, otherwise it was perfect for our holiday."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of October 2006