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All reviews star michelin restaurant boutique hotel john dory fabulous property rose petals grounds are immaculate complimentary bottle direct access beautiful algarve lounge chairs heated pool small hotel private beach restaurant staff are welcome drink spa area german family
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19 - 24 of 275 reviews
Reviewed 27 September 2017 via mobile

We came for dinner on the back of a number of recommendations. 2 Michelin stars being an interesting driver for us.

The place is surprisingly nestled in a residential area, tucked away. On entry it is very nice a welcoming, as are the staff. The small bar area opens to a lounge area and then to the dining area and the open seas. The view is quite beautiful. Make sure you arrive in time for sunset.

Tables are nicely set with a number at the cliff:waters edge. These are generally reserved for hotel guests.

Staff are courteous and efficient and a nice touch is the white glove service.

Unfortunately the nice ambience was destroyed by a party boat stopping in front of the restaurant. So we endured loud music for 30 minutes or more before it moved away. Such a shame that this is allowed.

The food was a disappointment. Far too many 'surprises' before the tasting menu formally commenced. Be aware it is this menu only. Which in itself was ok but after some 8 or more surprises, we lost count, served rapidly you were needing a good long break before the main courses.

Nothing in the process was stand out and it felt like the chef was obliged to bombard you with invention that sadly lacked the tastes that one has expected.

The quail was the best dish by far but nothing else excited.

A great shame as this is a special place.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank WFN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2017 via mobile

1) The location
+residential area away from the mass tourism chaos of Albufeira
+nice restaurants walking distance (try Laurencio)
+ other beaches
+high end supermarket with amazing choice of local and international products (they even sell Petrus)

2)breakfast: I loved the quality of food

+ service (even though sometimes a little slow) is impeccable.
+Some details: The fruits buffet is fantastic and so is the freshly pressed juices and smoothies corner. Wide selection of cheese, different sort of bread. Several diary free products available: soy yogurt, almond milk. Seeds and dry fruits with organic oats.
- quality of espresso which, personally, I found similar to an americano in a small cup rather than a real Italian espresso.

+I loved the room and how cozy the bathroom is designed: a small built-in window looking at the room with a blue roof which resembles a sky full of stars when you turn the light on.
+The towels are outstanding: very high end cotton and you get a beach bag to use during your stay
+Lovely small goodies with the turn down service at night.
-The air conditioning and the lack of privacy were the negatives: it's brutally warm in Algarve and sleeping with a defected air condition was not nice. After informing the receptionist twice, it was fixed.
- The room has a nice balcony but it's on the way to the pool so, all the guests going to the pool can easily look inside

4)The beach
-not really what I liked but this is very personal: the ocean is obviously cold than the Mediterranean Sea and rough so as I am keen on swimming this was not really possible there. But if you don't mind, the location of the beach is very convenient and the beach restaurant is another highlight: do sip a cocktail and have some small bites to enjoy the sunset. It's a superb experience and the staff is so friendly and kind. We tried the toro tuna: really really good.
Some details: The menu is perfect for those who want to keep a light food nutrition regime: avocado salad, sashimi, sushi, soups but for sandwiches and burgers lovers also those options are available. The restaurant is only open from 1 to 3 pm and then in the evening. It's a pity if you want to have a snack in the afternoon.

5) Other facilities and or services
Tennis court, a tiny gym(cardio machines few weights), sauna (only available from 4pm or earlier but upon request), steam room, rainforest shower, outdoor jacuzzi. Mountain bikes.

Last 2 considerations:
1. The majority of the clients during my stay were German (the hotel is owned by a German family). Germans don't mind to get around the spa area naked and use jacuzzi and other facilities without bath suits. In many other countries this is normal, so you wouldn't mind but in my personal view is a little disturbing and if you have kids who are not used to this is awkward to explain.
2. In the end, everything is definitely high end but, honestly, I think you pay a high price for it and even though the quality is very very good, for what you pay,it should blow your mind. This didn't happen to me

Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Queen s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2017

They call it your home, but it isn't really. My home doesn't have a 2* Michelin restaurant, sun-loungers under the trees, lunch beside the pool, etc, etc! We stayed 5 nights and spent 2 whole days relaxing under the trees reading books, with the occasional trip into the pool. We dined two nights in the restaurant (divine!!) and one night in our room (well, on the terrace outside our room, cheaper but less courses, still lovely). We had lunch beside the pool twice. Janet had a massage in the spa and was as relaxed as a jelly afterwards. No children to be seen (except a baby at diner one night). Everything was just perfect. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.

Room Tip: The lower level terrace rooms are lovely and you can walk straight out onto the lawn.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Loones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2017

The only problem with Vila Joya is that ratings only go up to five stars. This is a truly first class place that isn't just a hotel, it's an experience. The staff are exceptionally well-trained and cater to your every need promptly, professionally and subtly. The in-house two Michelin star restaurant is everything you'd expect, with a tasting menu that changes daily and wine pairings that are impeccable.

For our trip, I used it as an opportunity to propose to my girlfriend, and in this the staff were amazingly helpful and at every stage exceeded my expectations. From setting up the spot and decorating it with flowers and pillows with chilled champagne waiting for us, to the subsequent dinner table and bed decorated with rose petals. They really made it a memorable experience and made it very easy for my now fiancé to say yes!

Vila Joya is worth every cent and more for the rooms, the food and the service. Talking to some of the other guests and staff, most people are repeat customers and I look forward to being one of them!

Room Tip: The suites are definitely worth the price
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TomF2962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2017

We did a 17-day tour of Portugal, and it was mostly go go go. The four nights we spent at Vila Joya were my FAVORITE because we just relaxed and soaked in the beauty. Beautiful gardens, trees, pool, beach, food, hotel grounds... everything lived up to our expectations. We really only left the hotel a few times when we were in Albufeira: for dinner twice, and once for an afternoon to check out the downtown area. There is no good reason to leave this paradise!

We stayed in a Double room. I wish SO MUCH that we had splurged and stayed in one of the suites - they look incredible. Our room was kind of small and cramped, and the bathroom was kind of dark - but overall it was definitely adequate. We had our own patio area with lounge chairs and a view of the pool and sea, and that was definitely top notch. Relaxing in the sun with a glass of wine was heaven.

The pool was also spectacular. We spent a lot of time there. It's surrounded with GORGEOUS foliage, flowers, and trees, and there's a path down to the beach. Accessible bathrooms and a nice pool bar as well.

I loved the brunch every morning. The buffet-style food was so good! And the tables overlooking the water were just incredible. A great way to start each day in paradise.

The restaurant is beyond words. We went to three Michelin-star restaurants in Portugal, and this one was the best. The tasting menu is to die for, and do not skip the wine pairings. Worth the money, trust me. The ambiance is also fantastic, and it was fun to get dressed up.

Overall, I'd go back to Vila Joya in a heartbeat. It was the highlight of our Portuguese tour. Great service (we were given drinks when we arrived, and the staff were so nice). Beautiful property, inside and out. The sky just seems bluer in Albufeira. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Sarah Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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