In Summer 2021 on the Algarve, we experienced a stay in an undiscovered jewel, swept high above the grand cliffs surrounding a private beach, the Vila Vita Parc Hotel - a hotel that epitomises luxury family friendly stays.
Part of the Leading Hotels of the World Group, we entered through a magnificent gate and driveway on a warm Summer's day to be warmly welcomed with a glass of champagne and a mocktail for the little one.
Designed in a boho-chic style with Moorish influences, impeccable designer furniture including the likes of Boca di Lupo and Eiccholtz, grace every part of the hotel. A grand entrance leads you to the Manzar terrace where wonderful sea views awaits. We had a quick yet decadent lunch on the terrace whilst our room was prepared - the hotel prides itself on its culinary delights, and it certainly did not disappoint.
Our room was a gorgeous large family suite including a sitting area and sleeping area for our son that led on a large landscaped grassy terrace. The room was decorated with style and grace remiscent of contemporary-meets-traditional influences, and was filled with authentic Portuguese curios and artwork. The one minor one let-down was the lack of an independent shower in the master bathroom. Gorgeous Banho toiletries were available to our needs and were supplied daily. Room service was available via an i-pad which could be carried throughout the resort to access other services whilst on the move too such as connection points with concierge, reservations, special housekeeping requests, etc.. It was fantastic as room service orders could be timed for our arrival from the pool after a midday swim.
We were sent gorgeous gifts everyday and on arrival, were welcomed with a fruit basket, bottle of Prosecco, and chocolates in our room. Every afternoon we came back to find delicious chocolates, pasteis de nata, juices, port and other delectable desserts. A real treat! I also love a hotel that has great accessories and in our room we had slippers for adults and children, bath robes and a gorgeous beach bag to take the hassle from bringing our own.
The resort is sprawling and large with gorgeous landscaped gardens and it's own private beach, a rarity on the Algarve. There are golf buggies available to transport you around the resort if you would like to take it easy. The beach is enclosed by two large cliffs whilst sunbeds, towels, drinks and snacks are available to staying guests. There are 4 pools in total, including an adults-only infinity pool with an immaculate view of the sea, a family pool between the hotel and villas (including a small splash pool), indoor pool that also extends outdoors as part of the spa and another small independent splash pool close to the adults-only pool area.
There are 10 restaurants in the resort but 4 of these are adults-only or allow children over 12 years of age. As a result, we didn't get to try the raving cuisine at Mizu Teppanyaki or the 2 starred Michelin 'Ocean' restaurant. However, our meals especially at the Whale restaurant and their independent beach restaurant Armecao, which were phenomenal to say the least, offering a perfect fusion of Asia-European cuisines and freshly caught seafood.
The hotel prides itself on being a child-friendly resort and this was evident in every interaction. From the focus on child-friendly menus in every restaurant, the superb attention to kids from the staff, miniature golf, kids club for babies and children, and family friendly pools. There were activities available throughout the day for kids and Alexander managed to join a little tennis class and swimming lessons whilst we were there, and couldn't wait to return.
We took a trip along the coastline in a traditional fishing boat catered directly by the resort. The crew were incredibly informative, friendly and gave us great restaurant and beach recommendations.
COVID-19 measures in place at the hotel were utterly impressive. Staff donned masks indoors and outdoors, religiously. There were sanitisers available at tables during meals and at the breakfast buffet, mandatory hand sanitisation and mask wearing was in place for all guests. This together with the fact that the hotel was not at full capacity, made the entire stay feel really safe.
All in all, what makes this resort stand out is not just the design and facilities which offer a pure luxurious stay, but the incredible hospitality and service, making it a cut above the rest. Truly a memorable experience. The small improvements are so minor that it will only make the experience move from remarkable to perfect.
Would we return? In a blink! Vila Vita Parc has certainly raised the bar in our global hotel experiences and is up there for us.
The Kensington Diary