VILA VITA PARC
BEST FOR: ANYONE LOOKING FOR A LUXURIOUS, HEALTHY BREAK
NOT FOR: THOSE WANTING A BOUTIQUE HOTEL EXPERIENCE. THERE IS NO GETTING AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT THIS IS A RESORT. PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST THERE IS.
Just 40 minutes west of Faro, Vila Vita Parc, is a rejuvenating 5-star beachside retreat spread over 55 acres of landscaped gardens and waterfalls. couples come here for a pampering and revitalising retreat, and families come here for a sophisticated family holiday, either way, Vila Vita has perfected the knack of making you feel at home as soon as you arrive.
Family room options include the two or three bedroom white washed villas or the Oasis Parc family suits with a practical layout and the perfect proximity to the main pool. For the ultimate privacy book Vila Trevo or Vila Praia, which sleep up to 10 and have their own cliff-top pools. Couples should book one of the ocean view rooms in the adults-only Residence, fresh and bright they have their own balcony.
Seven pools are spread across the estate including heated baby pools and a large indoor pool; some of them have swim-up pool bars serving an exotic selection of healthy smoothies, milkshakes and non-alcoholic cocktails. Adults can rest easy in the knowledge that the most striking pool in the resort is for adults only.
The Annabella Kids Club, which includes a creche, is open every day and is great for younger ones who enjoy trampolining, climbing frames and art & crafts, leaving teenagers to have a game of tennis, mini golf, volleyball or go on a day trip to the nearby Zoomarine where there are water slides and the chance to swim with dolphins. Don’t be alarmed if you are after some peace and quiet; Vila Vita has separate family areas and adult-only areas allowing the two to co-exist happily side-by-side.
From barefoot beach feasting at Arte Nautica, a 10-minute shuttle ride away, to rustic Portuguese dishes at Adega, most of the restaurants have an extensive children’s menu including Hello Kitty Stracciatella and Lion King Nutella crepe. Adega is the most relaxed, authentic and atmospheric restaurant in the evenings for families serving traditional Portuguese dishes whilst the Atlantico has the best sea views and the most seductive al fresco evening setting for all ages over six. Book the babysitter and dress up for an elegant dining experience at adults-only Ocean, one of only two two-Michelin star restaurants in Portugal, where fish and seafood are the focus and Austrian head chef, Hans Neuner’s mantra is to ‘keep it simple’.
Cafe Bica in The Piazeta serves pastries and coffees and the most sublime pasteis de nata, a Portuguese speciality and one that is well worth the guilty pleasure! The food by the family pool is lacklustre. For dinner we recommend you head to The Whale which is open for lunch and dinner and serves local grilled fish, wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta that’s a hit with all ages. Newly opened Japanese restaurant, Mizu, is also a hit with teppanyaki and sushi lovers.
Five of the hotel’s 10 restaurants have been given a complete overhaul as well as four of their bars, with tantalising new menus to match, making Vila Vita one of the best gourmet boltholes in Europe.
Breakfast is a buffet feast with an extravagant selection of organic home-reared meats, organic local cheeses, homemade granola, fresh juices, freshly baked pastries, eggs, five different type of bread (including gluten-free) and an array of organic jams and honeys, most of which is from the estate in Alentejo. Those on a detox have a choice of over 20 fresh fruits and there is a juicing corner with a daily concoction and where you can select the fruit and veg you would like and top it off with chia seeds or spirulina. Sit on the sun terrace outside and watch the waterfalls come to life at the newly revamped restaurant Belavita – early risers will be pleased to know that breakfast starts at 7:30am. Service at breakfast time in the Belavita restaurant is either right on the money or a little too laid back, so be prepared to be assertive. Adults and children over 12 can head to the sophisticated Atlantico for an a la carte breakfast where you can soak up the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean in peace.
Vila Vita Parc has also upped its game in the last year or so and areas that once were a little dated have been brought back to life with a modern, on-trend facelift. The revamped Clubhouse features a new infinity pool with massive day beds dotted around in the shallow waters and a new large roof terrace with faded Moroccan fabrics has a laid-back Ibizan vibe.
Revitalise and detox during your stay where complimentary daily yoga and pilates classes bring energy and serenity to your stay. Three different yoga classes are offered here based on Hatha Yoga: Power Yoga, Wake-Up Yoga and Yoga & Meditation, all of which are adapted to suit the group of individuals in the class. With two heated pools, a fully-equipped gym (with personal training sessions), ice grotto and sauna all within the health club, it’s never been easier to keep in shape on holiday whether your aim is to lose weight, find inner calm or increase fitness.
Inner beauty and holistic health are the main focus of the spa, and treatments range from a luxury manicure, hydrating facials and Thai massages to body scrubs, bathing rituals, Osteopathy and Reflexology. We particularly love the treatments specifically tailored for teenagers including full body massages, manicure using chemical-free, organic nail polish and facials geared towards teenage skin.
CONTACT: +351 28231 0100 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
PRICE: Low season rates start from EUR 200 per night including breakfast
NEAREST AIRPORT: Faro Airport
TRANSFER TIME: 40 Minutes