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Vila Gale Marina Hotel 3.0

Vilamoura, Quarteira, Faro District

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A block from the marina, and a five-minute walk from the beach
  • Clean, airy rooms with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges
  • Many rooms have great views of the marina
  • Pleasant outdoor pool complete with a kiddy section and a hot tub
  • Two restaurants, including buffet and a la carte options
  • Lobby bar, and poolside kiosk with a few tables
  • Spa with small indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, and steam bath
  • Cute kids’ club with daily activities and outdoor games
  • Three meeting rooms, all with natural light and audiovisual equipment
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Free shuttle to local golf courses
  • On-site parking available for a fee

Cons

  • Rooms and bathrooms could use an update
  • Not enough loungers around the pool
  • Complaints of spotty to nonexistent Wi-Fi in rooms
  • Fee for use on in-room safes
  • Basic, dated fitness center with old machines

Bottom Line

The 243-room Vila Gale Marina has a great location a block from the lively marina and a short walk from the beach. Rooms have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges stocked with water, and air-conditioning, but decor is plain and dated throughout, and Wi-Fi, though free, is spotty at best. Outdoor spaces are especially nice here, and there are a small but pleasant pool, a seasonal bar, and a hot tub. The small indoor pool -- complete with a sauna, a whirlpool, and a steam bath -- is convenient for the cold months, and free shuttle service to local golf courses is a great perk for golfers. The hotel also features meeting rooms, a kids’ club, and on-site parking. Sister property Vila Gale Ampalius has similar rates and better amenities, including direct access to the beach, a full spa, and a nicer fitness center.

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Scene

No-frills mid-range hotel with simple interiors and a large pool deck

With curved balconies jutting out from the U-shaped, cream-colored building, the Vila Gale Marina Hotel has a somewhat futuristic look that makes it stand out among its more boxy, '70s-style neighbors. Although urban and large, a cute garden at the front of the property makes the Marina Hotel feel more welcoming than the buildings around it, which have shops, restaurants, and bars on the ground floor. The entrance is on a small side street in the rear side of the building, across from a quiet garden with trees, flowers, and manicured lawns. Sliding glass doors open onto a spacious lobby with a curved front desk and a big seating area with lots of blond wood accents. Large windows let in lots of natural light, but the orange-and-white floor tiles, and the generic moss-green and Prussian-blue couches give the space a dated feel. 

Separated from the seating area by a small railing, the lobby bar has a similar basic feel, with the same old-fashioned tiles and simple blood wood furniture. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the large pool deck, which includes a hot tub and a rectangular family pool connected to a kiddy pool with an island featuring a palm tree and loungers. Although the hotel underwent renovations in 2013, the only more contemporary space here is the restaurant, which is decorated with dark furniture, clean lines, white table runners, and wooden ceilings.

Location

Within walking distance of the marina and the beach

The hotel is located on a wide one-way street lined on one side by vacation homes and on the other by tall hotels. It is just a short block from Vilamoura’s famous marina, home to plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops, and a lively nightlife scene. The beach is a five-minute walk away, and there are several other nice stretches of sand within a 20-minute drive of the hotel, including Praia da Falesia and Praia dos Pescadores. Several wonderful golf courses can also be found within a 10-minute drive, including the Old Course, the Pinhal, and the Millennium, and the hotel provides free shuttle service to many of them. Quarteira, which to many has a more local and family-friendly feel than Vilamoura, can be reached on foot in about 20 minutes. The hotel is about a half-hour drive from Faro Airport.

Rooms

Clean, basic rooms with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges

Rooms at Vila Gale Marina Hotel are clean and sunny, and many have furnished balconies with lovely marina views. Decor is simple and dated throughout, with basic blond wood furniture, dark green carpets with geometric patterns in red, cream-colored bed runners, and old-fashioned red-and-white striped curtains. Some rooms are a little small, and a few have limited storage space, but most guests consider them comfortable and pleasant enough for a short stay. Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges stocked with water, safes (for a fee), and air-conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, but it is spotty to nonexistent in most rooms. Bathrooms are clean but a little drab, with dated white and dark green tiles, and plastic curtains. Junior Suites and Suites have spacious seating areas with a couch and a table with chairs, as well as terraces with panoramic views. 

Features

Three pools, a fitness center, two restaurants, on-site parking, and a free golf shuttle

The hotel is built around a central deck and garden, complete with a medium-size family pool connected to a round kiddy pool. There is a small island in the middle of the kids’ section with several loungers and a palm tree for shade, and a couple dozen other sun chairs are available around the main pool. A cute wooden kiosk serves snacks and drinks in the summer months, and a small hot tub is a favorite among couples. An additional whirlpool is available at the spa, which also offers free access to a tiny indoor pool, a sauna, a steam bath, and a small, dated fitness room. 

Overlooking the pool deck are the hotel’s two restaurants. Galeao serves breakfast buffet, as well as buffet and a la carte dinners in a spacious room decorated with large sailing photos; the Coffee Shop offers dinners only. Separated by the lobby’s seating area is Bounty, the hotel’s only bar. Daily activities are available at the kids’ club, and a small playground and ping-pong tables can be found on the pool deck. The hotel also provides on-site parking (for a fee), free Wi-Fi throughout (although it only seems to work properly in the common areas), and free shuttle service to local golf courses. 

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Address

Lote H 2 Alameda Praia da Marina, Vilamoura, Quarteira 8125-408, Portugal

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