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“a little paradis in Algarve”
Review of Vila Joya

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Vila Joya
Ranked #13 of 162 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
algarve
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“a little paradis in Algarve”
Reviewed 9 June 2009

the hotel is small charmy and tailored for best service for the customer , you are not a number (as per your room) but you are the Guest (with capital letter)
suggest if you like to treat you well and get nice senary every morning when you wake up and , in the evening a romantic sunset different every day .
best place to relax , think positive , and to put out of your door DO NOT DISTURB .... i'm at the verand with my white wine (very cold) some fruit .

enjoy it

  • Liked — the rooms service and confort
  • Disliked — the spa
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tancorre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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224 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Badajoz
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2009

We read a lot about the Vila Joya and its 2 Michellin Star restaurant and decided to see by ourselves. Great experience! It is definitely one of the best restaurants in Portugal and Europe!
First of all, the place, the ocean view, the gardens... We now look forward to go back and lodge in Vila Joya as we believe it shall be fantastic.

But the meal: Lunch time at leisure, spotless service.
A tasting menu that fulfilled our desire. Different wines were recommended according to the dishes and served by the glass. All outstanding portuguese wines. (Portugal has fantastic wines, cheeses and «conventual» desserts, mostly egg desserts).

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mapimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2009

First thing...the picture on trip advisor is NOT Vila Joya it is Vila Gale Praia across the road. My husband and I were staying at this hotel and spotted Vila Joya across the road so decided we would have dinner there one night during our holiday. Vila Gale is nice but Vila Joya is heaven on earth! We had the chef's tasting menu which was 11 courses of the best food I have ever tasted. Amazing, exquisite food and wine in a dreamy atmosphere with the most attentive but discreet staff that I have ever experienced. It was truly mind-blowing. The chef has 2 Michelin stars and this is the best restaurant in Portugal. Forget the price and just enjoy it! Guys if you want to propose bring your girl here she will definitely say yes. I felt like I was on my honeymoon again, it has that romantic secret feel that is difficult to put into words. It reminded us of a James Bond-style hill top retreat that doesn't really feel like hotel but a beautiful moorish mansion. I have begged my husband to bring me back here to stay because I just love it! Also we loved the fact that we didn't have to wait for months on end to eat here like in London....god knows how many months you have to wait to eat at Ramsays chef's table and I would bet the food is nothing like this. My tip, stay here if you can if not have an extravagant dinner and you will not regret it!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ladysmasons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2008

We had the pleasure of having lunch at the Vila Joya last October while we were staying at another property. We were completely besotted with the food, service and atmosphere and put it on our wish list for a return visit.

When we decided to return to the Algarve for a week at a time share exchange property, my partner made arrangements for us to stay two nights at the Vila Joya as a surprise for my 50th birthday.

As we were staying locally, we dropped in one day to confirm our reservation and make a spa booking. We were warmly welcomed and encouraged to check in early on our arrival day and have breakfast (complimentary) and that is exactly what we did. Breakfast is served on the terrace overlooking the garden and the ocean. We thought the breakfast was divine - lots of fresh and exotic fruit, freshly made bread and pastries, cereals and yogurt, 4 or 5 different freshly squeezed juices, lots of meats and cheeses and if that wasn't enough, one could order something cooked - my partner had perfectly poached eggs and bacon. Breakfast is served until late in the morning and we found no need to eat lunch.

While we ate breakfast, our luggage was taken out of our car and stored until our room was ready. We wandered about the gardens and then got our swim gear and went to the spa. The property has two pools, one in the garden that is heated and another beside the spa which is not. The spa is gorgeous and has a small but perfectly formed gym that overlooks the ocean, a steam room and sauna along with showers that have computerised sprays - tropical storm, tropical mist etc.

We had a couple's Indian deep tissue massage and I have to say that it was the very best massage I have ever experienced. Afterward we went to the spa pool and lounged on one of three double 'beds' they have for guests - all we could hear was the surf below it was absolute bliss. The next day we spent some time by the other pool. The padded lounge chairs are very comfortable and there was no music whatsoever which suited us perfectly.

Our room was ready after our spa treatments. We stayed in a Terrace room, but I don't think one stays at the Vila Joya for its rooms - unless you stay in a deluxe room or suite perhaps. The room was perfectly adequate with air conditioning (that we didn't use), flat screen television and music system. The bathroom is a good size and quite strikingly turquoise. The shower pressure was fine, but the drainage was not and one was left standing in a pool of soapy water - the shower curtain is also not long enough and blows about sticking to one's legs. The Molton Brown toiletries were appreciated as was the welcome basket of fresh fruit and bottled water.

On our second day/night the toilet would not stop violently gurgling and there was a foul smell in our room when we came back to get ready for dinner. We called the front desk who sent someone by and she told us that this sometimes happens as they are by the sea. She showed us the room spray she carries around in her pocket and sprayed some of it in our toilet and that was that. We shut the bathroom door and the surf noise blessedly drowned out the gurgling noises and so long as we didn't have to actually use the toilet it was fine. Fortunately the weather was beautiful and we spent very little time in our room except to sleep.

Vila Joya's restaurant has 2 Michelin stars and it is not difficult to see why. The presentation and multi-layered flavours of the food is simply wonderful. Dinner is three courses, often with 'extras'. When we ate lunch there last year, we asked for the wine list and were given two huge volumes. As we knew very little about Portuguese wine, the sommelier offered to serve us wine by the glass for each course and this proved wonderful. This year at dinner there were suggestions on the menu of one red wine and one white and you could order by the bottle or by the glass.

On the first night we dined at Vila Joya, there was a film crew occupying one of the dining rooms (we had seen them filming throughout the day but they did not bother the guests in any way). We had a brief word with the sommelier and asked to see the wine lists again. We didn't see him or the wine lists for the rest of the night. On our second night, we were greeted as usual when we came into the restaurant. We indicated that we would like to take a drink on the terrace and were told that someone would come out to take our order. After 15 minutes my partner went inside to order our drinks. We had another lovely meal and again asked to see the wine lists and again they were not produced. As the rest of the service was excellent, I have to think that the issue is communication between staff members.

When my partner booked our room he told them that we were staying to celebrate my birthday. On our last night, someone at a nearby table received a 'special' slice of chocolate cake for her birthday, but mine was not acknowledged in any way. I do not mention this as 'oh poor me' (though I do love chocolate!) and while I recognise that my complaints are tiny in the grand scheme of things, this is a property where mistakes like this should not happen.

Overall our Vila Joya experience was definitely 'above average'. It is the issues with a few small details that stop me from rating it 'excellent'.

  • Liked — The food and spa.
  • Disliked — The smelly toilet.
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Sapphire22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
60 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2008

My husband and I celebrated our honeymoon at Vila Joya as part of a multi-stay European trip. It was absolutely fantastic and we cannot wait to go back!

Upon arrival, we were treated to a glass of champagne - perfect for the weather! Our room was ready and all of our bags were brought up quickly. Upon entering the room, we saw fresh flowers everywhere, a complimentary bottle of champagne, and a heart made of rose petals on the bed. Our room was small, but comfortable and we loved the balcony looking right out at the ocean. The bathroom was nice too, although I almost flooded the place the first time as the shower curtain is not a full one.

I cannot say enough good things about dinner - the food was phenomenal and absolutely out of this world. Breakfast was fairly standard and nothing to write home about. We never had lunch at the resort as we preferred to go exploring and try somewhere along the way.

Bed linens could use an upgrade, along with the towels used. Not high quality, but were fine.

The gardens are amazing and so relaxing to spend time in. We did the couples spa package and we thought it was amazing. We are Americans so a bit shyer than Europeans - as we were surprised when we were invited to go in the open air jacuzzi in nothing but a paper thong...while people walked by and could get a great view....but maybe we're just not used to that.

Overall, we loved it and would absolutely go back. It is perfect for a romantic retreat. Not a good choice for people looking to party or have a crazy wild time. We took some gorgeous pictures and loved the sound of the ocean lulling us to sleep at night.

It was wonderful to have everything put on our tab without having to settle up for things or sign bills each evening. This is definitely a place for people with expendable cash as we could have easily spent way more than we did on alcohol (1 glass of champagne = 27 USD), but we provided some of our own from the supermarket in walking distance so you can do it either way.

We loved how intimate it was and how every staff member knew who we were without having ever been introduced. Very classy place...if you can afford it, GO!

  • Liked — amazing dinner, gorgeous views and scenery, romantic atmosphere
  • Disliked — price, bed linens and towels
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NicoleandKyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2008

Out of this world - seems steep but 2* Michelin dinner for two included. Slight glitch on arrival as we were early and frankly ignored or in reality misunderstood. 3 promises when room would be ready were missed when we'd preferred they tell us the real time and we'd have been fine about it. Service damn fine otherwise - pool barman knew our name as reception had phoned ahead - nice touch! Grounds peaceful. We were about the only guests using the pool! Spa to die for. Food not quite as good as our previous visit for dinner only but still legendary.

  • Liked — Spa, food
  • Disliked — Basic rooms a bit cramped
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank r21442
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
153 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 426 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2007

Superb, spot with well cared for gardens and wonderful surroundings.

Standard rooms are nicely appointed, though the space is somewhat restricting. Limited and poorly laid out/equipped closet space (i.e. all hangers provided were large, for men’s clothing, with no smaller ones for women’s clothing; drawers are very narrow and are good for storing few items et cetera). For a hotel of this quality/price point, bathroom area is cramped and a bit disappointing.

Attentive, friendly staff that help to make for a fabulous experience. Extremely well trained and most gracious staff in all areas of the establishment. The property and facilities are well maintained throughout. We were surprised by the flies that seem to be prevalent throughout the acreage. Pools(2)and surround areas are nice, but neither have sea water and smelled of chemicals on several occasions.

The day of our arrival, the wonderful out-of-doors environment was “polluted” by a constant drone of disco type music that could be heard throughout the property from morning to night emanating from Vila Joya’s beachside cabaña area. On the second day of our stay, the music was not as dominant but troublesome nonetheless. We complained about it several times and were told it would be turned down (it was not). For us, this spoiled much of the glorious days on-site, effectively forcing us to leave the property one afternoon, and thereby severely detracted from our stay. WTS, on the third day the music from the cabaña area was all but none existent and the environment tranquil.

As one would expect of Michelin Two Star establishment, the evening meal, is to die for. We were particularly pleased with the fish dishes and the staff.

The wireless internet access only available in main reception area is slow and not encoded.

  • Liked — The evening meal is to die for.....
  • Disliked — disco music that emenated from the beachside cabana area on occassion
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank YYZGuy99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vila Joya

Property: Vila Joya
Address: Praia da Gale, Albufeira 8201-902, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Albufeira
#6 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#10 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#22 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Vila Joya 5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vila Joya resembles a small oriental palazzo and is nestled in a breathtaking garden setting on a cliff with stunning views facing the sea. Winner of the 2016 Europe's Leading Boutique Hotel Awards, this Albufeira beach resort also boasts a two Michelin star Restaurant and features luxurious spa resort accommodations, exclusive golf packages, and rejuvenating body treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Joya Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Vila Joya Hotel Albufeira

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