A blissful oasis invites you to leave the real world behind. Charming, comfortable, but extremely elegant. Luxurious without being intimidating.
A very special hotel for celebrating, indulging and generally spoiling yourself. Unquestionably smart-casual, you should pack your best and enjoy treating yourself to a slice of heaven.
21 beautiful rooms and suites, all individually decorated. All but one have stunning sea views.
What to eat?
One of only two restaurants in the Algarve (and one of only three in Portugal) with two Michelin stars. Austrian Dieter Koschina has been at Vila Joya since 1991 and is a perfect gentleman as well as a superb chef. Degustation (tasting) dinners are suitably waist-enhancing and the food is international with a modern Portuguese twist. Attention to detail is as expected and breathtaking. Lovely outdoor heated pool has a small bar and serves lighter food during the day, plus excellent jugs of white sangria.
A good tip? Lunch is a favourite. The views are fantastic, so close to the sea and so quiet. The gardens are beautiful and it is a real haven. They serve an a la carte menu or a set three-course lunch, which is priced accordingly. But be warned - chef likes to tempt you, and a '4 course lunch' also has several small treats in between courses.
What other facilities does the hotel have?
A small poolside restaurant (summer only) and a great spa which offers a wide selection of treatments in a private area. Outdoor treatments are also an option. The superb wine cellar can also be used for private dining and wine tastings.
Anything that clients should know about?
They seem to have thought of everything. It is more of a restaurant with rooms, and guests of course come primarily for the food. If you are not an avid 'foodie' you may feel slightly over-awed by the whole two-star Michelin service and traditions, although the ambience is anything but stuffy.
When to go?
Anytime. With only 21 rooms, it is never packed and the restaurant serves only a limited number of non-residents, to ensure standards and service are maintained at all times. It is of course perfect for 'that' special occasion and the staff are very well trained to help with all special requests.
Don't worry if you have any special food requirements. The chef has prepared great vegetarian menus for us and catered for people with nut and other allergies. Nothing seems to be too much trouble.
If you're the sort of person who loves to see what's going on in the kitchen, you can book the chef's table for a bird's eye view.
Who owns the hotel?
Privately owned by a German family.
Praia de Galé. Albufeira. It looks like a private gated villa - you have to 'buzz' yourself in via a security gate.
A variety of accommodation offers, with lunch and/or dinner included, are available on the website. The lunch-only tasting menu costs around €105 per person (drinks excluded).
Tends to close for a break in the winter. Check the website for dates.