I’m a PortuGeezer
I took my first trip to the Algarve last weekend to see 2 of our partner hotels, Vila Vita Parc and The Conrad. Two very different properties in quite different locations, Vila Vita Parc was my first stop. It was a forty minute drive from the airport to Porches where the hotel is situated. Incidentally, we flew from Stansted Airport where we now have access to a fast track service so please let us know if you are interested and we can arrange it in advance.
Vila Vita Parc is set on 22 acres and is over 20 years old. They have recently refurbished many of the rooms in the resort with another program of refurbishment due to be completed over winter 2014/2015. The grounds of the hotel are beautifully lush and they have a number of pools and areas to hang out as well as a number of restaurants. If you stay here you will probably not do much outside of the resort. Unlike Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, Vila Vita is not in an area where you would go out to restaurants but there is plenty of choice at the resort and it’s only a 40 minute cab ride (around 70 – 80 euros) to the aforementioned areas if you’re looking for a change of scenery.
We stayed in an Oasis Family Suite with rooftop area complete with sun beds and an outdoor shower. With 2 bedrooms and lounge area this is a great option for a family or you could splash out and stay in one of their villas with private pools. The ultimate is Villa Trevo or Villa Praia which are 3/4 bedroom ocean front villas which can also be sold as a two bed option by splitting the upstairs/downstairs. There are also a couple of two bedroom villas which are not ocean front. In addition, families will appreciate the large kids club where you can pack the little ones away whilst you chill axe.
The beach is small and reached by a number of steps. It’s a beautiful beach but there are no sun beds. You can however sunbathe on the grassy area above looking out to sea. If you do want the beach experience the hotel can shuttle you to Armação de Pêra beach which is 5 minutes away and this is where you can also do water sports.
If you are active you can play golf on their 9 hole pitch & putt course, volleyball or tennis on their clay tennis courts and there is also a surf school. You can also hang out and sunbathe at the health club where they have an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and snow room. In addition, the hotel has it’s own wine cellar and a yacht. The wines in Portugal are delicious and definitely under rated. If all that sounds too busy why not have a treatment in their spa.
The Conrad is part of the Hilton brand and is the only Conrad currently in Europe. Situated in popular Quinta do Lago, this is a high tech, contemporary option. As you turn into the hotel, they have a huge sweeping driveway leading to a futuristic lobby.
The spa is gorgeous and they have this beautiful indoor pool.
They also have a Golf Concierge and indoor practice area with snooker table.
The outdoor pool has sun beds and cabanas which can be rented for a charge during the day unless you are staying in the Grand Deluxe Suite then it’s included.
Prior to your arrival you can download the Conrad App and make spa/restaurant reservations or order your pillow from the pillow menu. The rooms are high tech and feature a TV in the bath, a range of plug sockets and of course you can plug your music in.
We were also very lucky to experience their signature restaurant Gusto by Heinz Beck which as 3 Michelin stars. We had the tasting menu with wine paring which was outrageously good and needless to say felt a bit tipsy by the end!