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Hotel Vila Gale Marina Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
Av. Da Marina, lote H-2, 8125-401 Vilamoura Vilamoura, Portugal -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Vila Gale Marina is found in the heart of Vilamoura marina close to all sorts of touristic shops and restaurants. Vilamoura is popular with golfers due to the range of golf courses in the area, however, if you were hoping to head here for some deep relaxation, it is perhaps best to go a little further out from this manmade bubble of large constructions and brash hotels. The Vila Galé Marina isn't as brash as its neighbours, but its décor is non-descript and the entire hotel could do with a renovation. The hotel is popular with families on a budget who want to have the convenience of retailers in close proximity.

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    • Hotel Vila Gale Marina

      Vila Galé Marina   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Vila Gale Marina

      Vila Galé Marina   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 9.89 /10

    The Vila Galé Marina is in the heart of Vilamoura seaside resort, near the casino, the marina, and the beach. Faro international airport is 14 miles east (30 minutes by car). To get there, take the N-125 towards Vilamoura. In the city, follow the signs 'Marina'.

    There are five golf courses nearby, Pinhal, Vila Sol, Laguna, Millenium, and the Old Course are all only a few minutes away by car (free shuttle service from the hotel). A dozen others (among them Quinta do Lago, Ria Formosa and Salgados) are a little bit further out but still in Vilamoura.

    Accommodation 5.70 /10

    The 243 rooms include 12 suites. Although spacious for the most-part, the interiors are depressing. The rooms to have been renovated last have a fresher look about them and the hotel's ?subtle' maritime theme is more explicit here and borders on being actually pleasant despite the cheap furniture. Most rooms overlook the marina, which is the only advantage of staying here. The double beds are all twin beds pushed together, so be aware of this if you're not a fan of having a groove in the middle of the bed. The older rooms have green and red carpets that could do with a (very) deep clean. All rooms have the same amenities: a television, a mini-fridge (that can be filled upon request) and a safe. All bathrooms have bathtubs, hair dryers, and a selection of bathroom products, although if you like feeling pampered, you are best off bringing your own.

    Although all rooms, except for those on the fourth floor, have a small balcony, they are very close to the neighbouring room's balcony meaning that there is no intimacy. For a better view of the marina, try and ask for a room on the fourth floor - also keep in mind that the higher the room, the less audible the noise from the crowded pool area.

    Overview 5.70 /10

    The Vila Galé Marina is a 9-floor, U-shaped building that is ugly and truly overbearing, especially when outside by the small cramped pool area. Due to the tall structure of the hotel, there are little sunbathing hours as the hotel creates shade around the pool.

    The reception is pleasant enough although decorated with cheap faux-leather sofas and plywood tables. The low ceilings give it a stuffy look. Lining the lobby is a bay window that runs right along the back including the restaurant, meaning that you always have a view of tourists sunbathing, even while eating.

    The rest of the hotel is fairly grim, especially its indoor health club (see the Spa section below) and its main restaurant (see the Food and Drink section below).

    Food and drink 5.70 /10

    The main restaurant, the 'Galeao', is situated on the lobby floor, lining the pool area. All three meals are served here and are served buffet style. The view of the bright turquoise pool adds colour to the drab area. The menu is simple (two meat, one fish; the food is a mix of local and international fare. The 'Bounty' bar near the pool serves drinks throughout the day and in summer it also has snacks for lunch. Live entertainment takes place every evening in the bar - this includes live music, shows and karaoke. For guests not wanting to brave the crowds at meal times, the hotel has 24-hour room service (at an extra charge).

    The hotel offers the choice between bed and breakfast, and half-board, as far as meal plans go.

    Spa

    You couldn't really call the hotel's health club a 'spa' as such or a health club, come to that. Depressingly grim, the bear concrete walls enclose a round puddle of a Jacuzzi and indoor pool. There is hardly any natural light in this area. There is also a gym. All the facilities here are included in the room rate.

    Beach

    Vilamoura public beach is some minutes away from the hotel on foot. You get there by crossing a one-way road which runs along the seafront. The coarse sand beach is very long and wide - limited on both sides by a pier, however it is hardly an exotic type of beach so don't be expecting something from the film, 'The Beach'! Deckchairs (extra charge) are available.

    To know

    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 other hotel reviews. Vila Galé also has six hotels in Brazil.

    There is a large underground car-park for guests, but this comes at an extra charge. Also good to keep in mind is that the hotel is closed annually in December and January (as dates tend to vary, enquire directly with the hotel).

    Withregards to the internet, there are two computers available for guests behind the lobby area, past the reception desk. Otherwise there is no other internet available.

    Equipment

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

      massage, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, beach volley, horse riding, golf, water-polo, fitness, sports

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Close to lively restaurants and bars - this could be seen as an advantage to some guests.
    • Seaviews from the fourth floor.

    disadvantages

    • The area is typical of constructions that have ruined the landscape, taking away anything natural from it.
    • The hotel is dated and dull.
    • The hotel building is extremely ugly; a large concrete structure without any charm.

    Traveller Reviews

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    • Overall Score -/10