Hotel Vila Gale Ampalius Hotel 4 star
Alameda da Praia da Marina Vilamoura, Portugal -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Located in the heart of Vilamoura, a resort set on a built-up marina close to Albufeira. Vila Galé Amaplius is probably best left to those who prefer an urban resort atmosphere and brash restaurants and clubs. The hotel itself is one among hundreds of other hotels and bustling restaurants. If you are thinking of coming here, think again. Vilamoura is the place to come for partying throughout the night and if you are lucky, you might even catch the sight of a couple of major Portuguese football players. The advantage with holidaying in such a compact area is that there is no need for a car unless you want to explore the region, which we strongly recommend as it is beautiful. The resort itself has some great views over the marina, but it is in dire need of a complete refurbishment. The hotel is however well-placed for golf lovers as there are several golf courses nearby.

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    • Hotel Vila Gale Ampalius

      Vila Galé Ampalius   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Vila Gale Ampalius

      Vila Galé Ampalius   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

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    Location 3.0 /10

    The Vila Galé Ampalius is in the heart of Vilamoura summer resort, facing the Atlantic, between the casino (100m) and the marina (300m). Faro international airport is 14 miles east (about  20 minutes by car). To get there take the N 125 towards Vilamoura or the highway A22 (remember that permission needs to be sought prior to use of this road), and exit at Quarteira.  In the city, follow the sign 'Marina'.

    Well located for golf lovers, there are five golf courses - Pinhal, Vila Sol, Laguna, Millenium, and The Old Course are all to be found a few minutes away by car (free shuttle service from the hotel). A dozen other courses (among them Quinta do Lago, Ria Formosa, and Salgados) are to be found in the near surroundings.

    Accommodation 6.70 /10

    The 357 rooms are divided up into several categories: 273 rooms, 54 junior suites and 30 duplex suites, which overlook the beach. Duplex suites all have balconies and face the marina and sea, while the other rooms are city-facing without balconies. Double rooms (20 m˛) are fairly small for a hotel of this size - one would expect much larger rooms from the size of the building - they are plain and basic and the tattered tired furniture could do with a change. The double beds are made up of two twin beds pushed together meaning that the groove in the middle can be uncomfortable in the night. All rooms have a television, a large electronic safe (extra charge) and a fridge (empty but can be filled at the guests' request). All bathrooms have bathtubs, hair dryers and sufficient bathroom products although if you like being pampered, bring your own as the quality isn't the best.

    The second, third and tenth floors all have smoking rooms, so if you require one, make sure that you place a request at the time of booking.

    Wireless internet access isn't available in the rooms, but does work in shared areas like the lobby. There was no internet in the rooms during our visit, although the hotel manager told us that this is being put in place for the end of 2013.

    Overview 7.70 /10

    Ideally-located for golfers, the hotel clientele s made up mainly of golfers and their families. Otherwise, the hotel was built in 1992, which shows through its tattered and garish furniture and bland colour scheme throughout the hotel.

    Another enormous and heavy cement structure scarring the coast, he Vila Galé Ampalius is a large white semicircular building with nine floors, overlooking the city on one side and the Atlantic on the other. The common areas with bright marble are vast and standard furniture is placed in various areas of the hotel. The hotel is completely non-descript and there really is nothing to write home about here.

    In terms of facilities, there is a large outdoor pool with glass walls in some places, meaning other guests walking round the hotel can get a look at swimmers' paddling about in the depths of the pool. There is a health club (see the Spa section below) and a main restaurant (see the Food and Drink section below).

    Food and drink 6.70 /10

    The main restaurant, the 'Myrtilis' is in a large hall extending onto a narrow terrace and a covered gallery overlooking the pool. It has international and Portuguese cuisine (simple, light menu) and many country wines to choose from. Breakfast and dinner are served in the main hotel restaurant as is lunch, however during peak season (the school holidays), the pool bar is open for snacks throughout the day. For guests not wanting to brave the bustle of the main restaurant, there is 24-hour room service. For drinks, there is also the interior bar where entertainment like shows and dancing takes place every evening (in peak season). At the Ampalius, available meal plans range between bed and breakfast and half-board. There is no all-inclusive formula. However, breakfast and dinner are served as a buffet.


    Although there is no spa as such, there are five massage rooms; treatments must be booked at least 24 hours in advance as the hotel outsources this service. Otherwise there is an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna as well as a gym, all of which are included in the room rate. However, this area is dark and some what depressing instead of being light, bright and a place to relax!


    Only a couple of minutes' walk from the hotel, the beach can be reached just by crossing the road, which runs along the seafront. The beach is long, flat and wide with coarse sand - not quite the exotic location you may have imagined. There are deck chairs for rent here (not included in your room rate) and there are no water sports on offer.

    To know

    The hotel is one for golfers due to the easy access to nearby golf courses - the hotel also provides a free shuttle between the courses and the hotel. The hotel is open all year-round.

    The hotel is part of the Portuguese hotel chain, Vila Galé. There are 17 hotels in Portugal, of which nine are in the Algarve - see our reviews here. Vila Galé also has six hotels in Brazil.


    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, (paying), hammam, stretching, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, aqua gym, aerobics, beach volley, horse riding, golf, dance, step, water-polo, fitness, sports

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath


    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room


    • Close to the beach and lots of touristic bars and restaurants - handy if that is what you are looking for.
    • Close to a range of golf courses for golfers.
    • Great views of the marina and out to sea from certain rooms.


    • If a resort holiday sandwiched in between brash bars and restaurants isn't your thing then Vilamoura won't be your cup of tea.
    • Hardly any garden; the concrete is overbearing.
    • The hotel needs to be done up to give it a fresh look as it looks drab and dull.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10