Vila Vita Parc: Luxurious Algarve 'heat retreat' makes the ultimate escape
PUBLISHED: 14:11 05 August 2016 | UPDATED: 19:58 05 August 2016
With Faro just over two hours away by plane, the Algarve's Vila Vita Parc is the perfect 'heat retreat' away from London where you can discover contemporary Portuguese hospitality.
If you dream of getting away from it all - somewhere luxurious and yet nestled amongst nature, with all the peace and quiet you could wish for - the Vila Vita Parc might just be the very spot for you.
A two night stay at this five-star Algarve resort was all it took to recharge my batteries, relax and rejuvenate.
As soon as you pass the iron gates, pull into the verdant driveway and get your first glimpse of the lush tropical gardens, the golden dolphin adorned fountain and dominating whitewashed hotel, you know you have arrived somewhere special.
The high-end cliff-top retreat is like few others, with exquisite accommodation set within 54 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and stunning views.
Staff are on hand to greet you like royalty, and to chauffeur drive you around the resort in golf buggies at your whim.
The first thing I did once shown into our contemporary bedroom in the ‘Residence’ wing was to lay back in the sun lounger on the private patio under the arches, basking in the heat, listening to the birds and marvelling at the flawless lawns and fantastic view of the valley.
The resort’s mature gardens apparently boast 5,000 palm trees, not counting the other subtropical and Mediterranean plants, trees and blossoming flowers.
The second thing I did was marvel at the room itself. With light pouring in through the patio doors which stretch the entire length of the wall, it feels spacious and airy.
Decorated in an elegant white and turquoise palette with a light wood floor, there is a huge flatscreen TV opposite the bed, a study area with white leather cabinets and a comfy velvet sofa.
From here it’s just a short walk to the newly-refurbished Club House - the culmination of several years of extensive renovations which have seen the whole resort - which opened in 1992 - beautifully updated.
With its commanding sea views, breakfast at the Club House is heaven.
There’s an array of anything you might wish for, from the most delicious exotic fruits, home-made jams and breads, eggs Benedict, and super-healthy nutrient-packed green juices, alongside Prosecco – which I have to admit I indulged in before heading over to the four-poster sun beds which were in view alongside the sleek new infinity pool.
VILA VITA Parc:
One night for two people in a double bedroom suite at the Vila Vita Resort and Spa costs from 200 Euros.
Vila Vita Parc is close to Porches, half an hour drive away from Faro airport.
For more information see www.vilavitaparc.com.
It would be easy to spend all-day, every day here on the sun bed – with waiters on hand to ferry over drinks and snacks.
But it would be a real pity not to explore - especially as the private secluded beach is just a two-minute walk down the cliff.
VILA VITA Parc
The new deluxe suite at Vila Vita on the Algarve
The infinity pool at Vila Praia, Vila Vita on the Algarve
The roof terrace at the Oasis suites, at Vila Vita on the Algarve
An aerial view of Vila Vita on the Algarve
The new bedroom suites at the Vila Vita
The traditional Portuguese restaurant Adega, set around an olive tree. (Photo: Rafael Lami Dozo)
The new bedroom suites at the Vila Vita, with sunloungers overlooking the grounds
The rooftop bar on top of the new club house at the Vila Vita
The central fountain at Vila Vita
Vila Vita is a paradise for guests of all ages and children are very welcome too, with plenty of activities for everyone, with an 18-hole mini-golf course, tennis courts, football, volleyball, ping-pong, paddleboarding and waterskiing.
The kids’ club will lay on nature walks, bird watching, Master Chef Junior cooking classes, a cake designers’ club and even gets youngsters to lend a hand watering the resort’s organic veg garden.
During the school holidays there is a programme for teens with surf lessons and day trips to water parks.
Wine produced in the resort’s sister estate, the Herdade dos Grous farm and vineyard an hour drive away is served at the hotel’s restaurants, and we sampled it at the Adega restaurant on our first night – one of the resort’s eight restaurants, which also include the two-Michelin starred Ocean.
It’s bliss to spend the balmy summer evening eating traditional Portuguese fare like sardines and stews in Adega’s courtyard set around a mature olive tree, and a pleasure to be served by long-standing staff.
The following night, we dined at the newly-renovated Whale seafood restaurant, also in the Club House, where the blue-lit infinity pool lends a lovely atmosphere after dark.
You can really leave the world behind and switch off at Vila Vita Parc’s blooming oasis.