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Hotel Review: Hotel Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa, in Albufeira, Portugal

Wednesday 31 October 2012

I'm going to end up sounding like a brat in this post. That's almost a guarantee.

Because it's hard to start a post with "I was in Portugal last week..." and then do anything but sound grateful. But... I'm going to gripe. Get over it.

It's not that this was a bad hotel, it's just that it didn't exactly have much character. I wouldn't go as far as to say soulless... but I would hint at it, and then nod frantically at you when you said it.

I suppose I should take into account that I was ill while I was there. And, to be honest, I barely spent any time there. We left in the dark, and arrived back in the dark. I spent a few hours there on my first day, but apart from that we were off gallavanting the whole time. Maybe if I'd have had more time to relax, I would have appreciated it more? Perhaps.

Anyway, to the review.

Albufeira is not a place I would choose to go. From the short amount of time I spent there, I would sum it up as a package holiday spot. There are English restaurants, a nice beach (with wicked waves, actually), a neon strip of bars and fast food chains. Across from the Hotel Vila Gale was a Macdonalds. And a KFC.

I think that sums it up, really.

Again, the room was fine. But just fine. If I wanted to niggle, I would say that the bathroom is in need of an upgrade, and the mattress is super hard. There was a wee balcony which looked out to the sea, which would be nice to enjoy a glass of wine from in warmer months. One bonus? Next to the bidet in the bathroom, there is a little rack of small towels, which can only be used for the bum. Which gave me a good giggle.

There's an outdoor pool, an indoor pool and a mini spa, with sauna, steam and Jacuzzi, described by a girl on my trip as "the first Jacuzzi ever built". Which was pretty accurate.

There was a huge choice at breakfast, and I'm only looking down upon it because I was there at 7.30am each day, a time when I cannot bear to eat too much. There were baskets of pastries, a good selection of fruit, and a cooked breakfast counter which I didn't investigate too much. There were tiny sausages, which looked quite comical. There were also a couple of bottles of sparkling wine out each morning, which I would have had a taste of had it not been SEVEN THIRTY IN THE MORNING.

I didn't have too much contact with any staff, but any time I did they seemed pleasant enough. It's a large hotel, with approximately 74,038 rooms, so you probably wouldn't see the same person twice.

It seems that double rooms start at around €60 per night, which is a fair rate for what's on offer.

A couple of things to note - Wifi isn't free, but it is available at €2 per 30 minutes, or €2.50 for an hour. Free Wifi doesn't come as standard in many hotels, I know, but you really do miss it when it isn't. Also, a small bottle of water in the bar downstairs is €2. So... don't buy that.

If you're looking to go to Albufeira, then you could probably do worse. If you want a cheap place to crash, with a pool, a few minutes from the beach and easy access to a happy meal, then you'll be grand. But if you want something a little bit special, then look elsewhere (and away from Albufeira).

Hotel Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa
Rua do Munícipio, Lote 26 - Apartado 2155 - 8200-916 ALBUFEIRA
Phone: (+351) 289 583 100

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