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Vasco da Gama Hotel 3.0

Monte Gordo, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Great beachfront location in the tiny town of Monte Gordo
  • Private beach area with free loungers
  • Some rooms are bright and modern with rainfall showerheads
  • All rooms have mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, safes, and air-conditioning 
  • Large pool in an attractive terrace, plus a kiddy pool
  • All-day buffet restaurant, plus attractive beach bar that serves lunch
  • Small but decently equipped gym and massage room
  • Mini-golf course and two tennis courts
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No tea- or coffee-making facilities in rooms
  • Some rooms and shared areas are a bit dated

Bottom Line

Sitting right on Monte Gordo’s soft white sands, the three-pearl Vasco da Gama is ideally located for beach-seeking vacationers -- both families and couples. The hotels’ interiors are not the most modern, but some of the 186 rooms have been renovated with bright and contemporary decor, plus rainfall showerheads. All rooms come with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and air-conditioning. As well as a large lap pool set in a sunny terrace, features include a mini-golf course and two tennis courts, a gym, and a massage room. A buffet restaurant and bar with live entertainment round out the amenities. Guests looking to stay somewhere more lively might want to try the Vidamar Resort Algarve in nearby Albufeira.

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Scene

Beachside hotel with good leisure-focused amenities

From some angles, the Vasco da Gama Hotel looks like a great white cruise ship. The hotel has a big lap pool set in a sunny terrace surrounded by mature palms and planters filled with flowering bushes, while just past here is the vast expanse of white sand that makes Monte Gordo such an attractive prospect for vacationers. The hotel has a straw-roofed beach bar with jazzily colored stools and attractive white seating. The interior areas are more dated, though antique wooden furniture and a brick mural of the hotel's Portuguese explorer namesake, Vasco da Gama, add charm. The hotel tends to attract a clientele that skews towards the more mature, although a fair number of families with kids in tow stay here, too.

Location

Along Monte Gordo’s soft white sands, and 10-minute walk to most everything in town

The Vasco da Gama is ideally located for access to Monte Gordo’s white sands -- the hotel backs onto the beach, where it has a reserved area and a beach bar. Monte Gordo is a tourist town, with a fair number of bars and restaurants, as well as a casino for those who wish to try their luck. Nothing in the town is more than 10 minutes’ walk away. Guests looking to soak up some culture, however, might be better off crossing over the Rio Guardiana, which marks the border between Portugal and Spain, and visiting the city of Huelva, a journey that takes 50 minutes by car. Head the other way for 45 minutes, and you hit Faro and the Ria Formosa natural park. Expect transfers to Faro Airport to take between 50 minutes and an hour.

Rooms

Not all rooms have been refurbished, but those which have are modern

Not all of the hotel’s 186 rooms have been renovated, leaving them somewhat of a mixed bag in terms of both decor and furnishings. Rooms which haven’t been refurbished are dated, with patterned tiles on the walls that clash with those on the floor, and wood furniture painted a bright blue. Their bathrooms are finished with tiny blue tiles on the walls, and a shower/tub combo and bidet. 

Refurbished standard rooms, meanwhile, have dark-wood furniture, dramatic damask feature walls behind the bed, and colorful striped bed runners. Fabrics across the board are better quality. Bathroom come with a rainfall shower. Superior rooms have a couch that doubles up as a bed, and more stylish, boutiquey decor. Their bathrooms, however, are tiled in an unattractive shade of avocado, with a shower/tub combo and old hose-style hairdryer.

All rooms have a safe, mini-fridge, a flat-screen TV, and free WiFi. Also standard are furnished balconies, some of which have lovely sea views.

Features

Private space on the beach, beach bar, and buffet eatery

The Vasco da Gama has a long list of features aimed at keeping vacationing tourists occupied day and night. The hotel has a private area on the Monte Gordo beach, with plenty of sun loungers and a beach bar serving drinks, snacks, and light meals. As well as this, there is a large, wood-paneled bar inside, and a restaurant that serves three buffet meals a day. Within the hotel’s grounds are a large lap pool and smaller, shallow pool for kids, as well as a mini-golf course and two tennis courts. A small gym has a treadmill and cycles, as well as free weights, plus there's a massage room. An animation team puts on entertainment for adults and kids daily throughout high season. The hotel has free Wi-Fi throughout.

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Address

Av Infante Dom Henrique, Monte Gordo, Algarve 8900-412, Portugal

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