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Vila Gale Nautico 3.0

Armacao de Pera, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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  • Lively, family-friendly resort hotel with nautical theme
  • Five-minute walk from start of long stretch of sandy beach
  • Bright rooms with furnished balconies and air-conditioning
  • Large outdoor pool with plentiful sun loungers
  • Health club with heated pool, whirlpool tub, and small fitness area
  • All-day poolside entertainment and activities 
  • Restaurant serving Portuguese and international options plus pool bar
  • Children's amenities include kids' club, splash pool, and playground
  • All-inclusive options are available
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout


  • Some rooms prone to noise
  • Style is a bit worn, tacky, and dated in rooms
  • Fees for safes and no electric kettles for tea or coffee
  • Fitness equipment could use an update

Bottom Line

The Vila Gale Nautico is a mid-range maritime-themed hotel on the western edge of the quiet Algarve fishing village of Armacao de Pera. While the beach is about a five-minute walk from the hotel, many guests choose to spend their days around the outdoor pool, where animation staff work tirelessly throughout the day. The 233 rooms have free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and furnished balconies -- though none have sea views, and the style is a bit forced and dated. Travelers might want to also consider the nearby Holiday Inn Algarve, which is on the beach, but the Vila Gale Nautico's child-friendly amenities, livelier vibe, and all-inclusive option might make it a better choice for families traveling with kids.

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Humble resort near the beach with a lively, family-friendly vibe

Tucked away down a narrow road, there's certainly little fanfare when arriving at the unassuming and easy-to-miss entrance to the Vila Gale Nautico. Stepping inside the colorful lobby, though, guests will find the property more upbeat, with its undulating red rugs, contemporary furnishings, and walls studded with vintage brass portholes -- part of a nautical theme that runs throughout the property. The theme, however, feels a little forced at times -- in the rooms in particular -- and the style otherwise is quite generic. A central building and two long wings form a U-shape that encloses the hotel's usually busy gardens -- the lawns are a bit patchy and are dotted with palm trees. There's a partly tiled sun terrace surrounding the main pool that's a popular place for everyone to gather. The vibe is relaxed and fun, appealing to an even mix of couples and families with kids -- most of whom opt for the hotel's all-inclusive option.


A five-minute walk from beach on the west side of quiet fishing village resort

The hotel is located on the western edge of the laid-back and peaceful resort town of Armacao de Pera -- still an active fishing village, albeit one characterized by numerous apartment blocks. While the neighborhood is largely residential, it's a five-minute walk to the Avenida Beira Mar, where there are a few local shops, restaurants, and cafes. The long sandy beach is about a minute farther on foot. The more traditional "old village," where the fishermen still keep their boats, is at the other end of the resort, but still within walking distance. There's little in the way of nightlife in the area, but Carvoeiro and Albufeira are a 20- to 25-minute drive away. Faro Airport is about a 45-minute drive from the hotel.


Nautically themed rooms with furnished balconies, air-conditioning, and great Wi-Fi

The Vila Gale Nautico's maritime theme is most visible in its 233 rooms, with a blue-and-white color scheme, nautical-style lamps, and clipper ship etchings in porthole frames. The result is bright and playful, though some might find it tacky and we did spot a bit of wear on the furniture. In fact, while nothing is particularly old, the look can't help but feel a bit dated. Sliding glass doors let in plenty of natural light, and they open onto furnished balconies or terraces; most of which overlook the pool -- it's worth noting that no rooms have sea views. Junior Suites have separate sitting areas. All rooms include air-conditioning, mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and strong free Wi-Fi, though they lack tea- coffee-making facilities, and safes require a fee. Bathrooms are done in attractive blue-and-white porcelain tiling and have shower/tub combos plus bidets. Wall-mounted hairdryers and basic toiletries are provided. Previous guests report that internal soundproofing can be poor, and rooms near the elevators do tend to pick up noise.


All-day entertainment and activities, plus indoor and outdoor pools

The hotel's only restaurant provides a full breakfast buffet, and offers both buffet and a la carte options for lunch and dinner. There's also a pool bar open during the warmer months, while serves snacks and light meals, and the spacious Mayflower Bar offering live music shows. The popular all-inclusive option covers all buffet dining, snacks, and most drinks and receives generally favorable reviews. The lively hub of the hotel centers around the large, outdoor pool where entertainment and activities go on from morning to evening. Sun loungers are plentiful and there's a separate splash pool for children, together with a kids' club and playground. Another heated pool can be found in the hotel's health club, which also includes a whirlpool tub and massage treatments; it also has a fitness room, though the equipment could use an update. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, and while parking is available, it comes at a fee.

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