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Hotel Vila Joya Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Estrada da Galé, 8201-917 Albufeira, Portugal Albufeira, Portugal -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

As soon as you enter Vila Joya's gates, the rest of the world just becomes a distant memory. Along with the Bela Vista in Portimao, the Vila Joya is the best hotel in the Algarve as far as luxury boutique hotels go. With an intimate setting and extremely high-end facilities, stunning views and direct access to its own private little beach cove, there is absolutely nothing to add to this lovely hotel. Located close to Albufeira in Praia Galé, this is the only place to stay during a holiday around Albufeira. Not really a place for children, but more of an adult haven of peace and tranquillity for spending quality time with your other half, the Vila Joya is the jewel in the Albufeira crown.

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    • Hotel Vila Joya

      Vila Joya   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Vila Joya

      Vila Joya   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.0 /10

    Located on the way to the discreet Praia Galé just next to Albufeira and across the road from the Vila Galé Praia Hotel, the Vila Joya is so discreet sitting behind its hedges and picket fence that we actually drove up and down a few times before actually noticing it. Although you probably won't want to leave the hotel once inside, there are a few shops and naf tourist bars in a parade adjoining the Vila Galé hotel across the road. The Praia da Galé beach is also beautiful (especially off season as it tends to get quite crowded otherwise); there are a couple of restaurants perched up on the beach, one of which is definitely worth trying when in the area - see what we had to say about the Restaurant Praia da Galé.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    With only 20 rooms, the hotel is hardly ever crowded, meaning its soothing atmosphere is hardly ever disrupted. The rooms are located on one level, half to the left of the restaurant and the other half to the right so that every room has its own terrace looking out onto nothing else but sparkling turquoise waters. The views are so beautiful that it isn't unusual to see guests dozing off on their deck chairs, an abandoned copy of the Financial Times drooping to the floor, throughout the day.

    The rooms in themselves are nothing special and aside from being spacious and generally comfortable, the décor is simple with neutral tones and natural materials. The rooms, due to the view being allowed to seep in through the large double sliding glass doors, are extremely pleasant and fresh. The room comes with all the expected mod-cons like a flat-screen television (with English channels), mini-bar, bathrobes, slippers, and in-room safe.

    The bathrooms are beautiful, also in neutral tones, but with quality fixtures like the double shower-heads, which we loved, and delicious-smelling Molton Brown amenities, which are just perfect for feeling pampered after a day dozing in the afternoon sun, or sunbathing at the beach. The bathrooms boast double vanities and a full bathtub as well as the separate shower room.

    The only low point of the accommodation is the unused room that is used for storage right at the end of the row of rooms to the left hand side of the hotel (with your back to the sea). Badly drawn curtains reveal a clutter of mattresses and all sorts, which isn't particularly what you want to see when on holiday (or paying the bill).

    Overview 9.90 /10

    A hotel set inside a former house, that truthfully isn't like any other in the region, stepping inside the upmarket Vila Joya is like taking a breath of fresh air, but the real highlight - well, there are a few actually - is the stunning view of the sea and beautiful gardens right from your room. As the single-floor hotel is located on a cliff with tiered surrounding grounds, the rooms all have stunning views from the terraces and sometimes, even from the large cosy king size bed.

    The other plus is the private beach cove that is accessed via a small gate at the bottom of the hotel garden passed the pool (there are two pools, one in the garden and one higher up closer to the spa). With only 20 rooms, the beach is never crowded, heightening the exclusive experience. Not mentioning the breakfast experience every morning! Facing the sea, looking right out to the horizon as the sun, makes its way up through the sky, is one of those things that doesn't have a price.

    It is very rare for us to express satisfaction when we visit a hotel; indeed, all those 5-star stays have caused a somewhat demanding nature to develop in us, but the Vila Joya really is exceptional. That and its stunning spa (more in the spa section below), Michelin-starred restaurant (see the Food and Drink section below), friendly service and all-round tranquil atmosphere make up enough reasons to book yourself into this hotel, especially if you are in dire need of a break.

    Food and drink 9.70 /10

    Featuring in the world's best 50 restaurants list, the Michelin star fine dining establishment is renowned through the region. Sitting atop the cliff, it has indoor seating in its original hearth with original terracotta tiling and a large bay window running the entire length of the cosy room. The outdoor terrace however, is second to none. With round tables dressed in crisp white cloth lining the edge of the cliff, there is nothing in the world that beats waking up to this view. Breakfast consists of a fine buffet of cold cuts, cheeses, various breads, yoghurts, fresh fruit as well as eggs and hot options - although you will find the same sort o f food at lots of hotels, the Vila Joya only has produce of the highest quality.

    For a quick snack or bite to eat, there is the bar adjoining the restaurant and the pool bar down in the garden with more elegant tables set up by its side.

    Spa 9.7 /10

    The Joy Yung spa is just how a spa should be. With lots of nooks to relax and shower in, a maze of walkways across water, fountains, outdoor showers, dim indoor massage rooms as well as rooms with bay windows looking out to the sea. The treatments are in tune with the relaxing ambience of the hotel - so you haven't had the full experience until you top off your stay with a treatment. They range from 45 euro for a 30-minute head massage to 995 euro for a body ritual treatment.

    Beach 9.70 /10

    The hotel has its own private cove surrounded by rocks, creating all the privacy guests need and most importantly, keeping the illusion of being the only ones alive in the entire world - when actually bustling Albufeira is less than a 5-minute drive away! The beach is clean, with soft golden sands and calm transparent waters. Beware: the sea is deceptively cold in the Algarve and doesn't heat up until the end of August. The beach is accessible via a small gate down at the bottom of the sloping garden.

    To know

    Easily missed when driving past, the inconspicuous Vila Joya is a discreet haven for the utmost rest and relaxation. Top-notch quality reigns here and is a good base to isolate yourself away from the rest of the world in order to feel refreshed even after just one night spent here!

    Although you might not want to use it while here, Wi-Fi is included in the room rate throughout the hotel.

    Equipment

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

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, golf, mountain bike, fitness

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Private beach
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Stunning setting.
    • Beautiful views.
    • High-end facilities like its Michelin-starred restaurant and stunning spa.
    • The relaxing atmosphere.
    • Private beach.

    disadvantages

    • A stay here is a little pricey, especially in season.
    • For those staying in the last room at the end of the row (left hand side with back to the sea), there is a slight view onto an unused storage room.

    Traveller Reviews

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    • Overall Score -/10
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