Portugal – ‘Autumn on the Algarve’, Vila Joya, Luxury Hotel Gastronomy
Take an indulgent, luxury gourmet & spa break this season and not only eat well and get pampered, but be inspired too, with luxurious, decadent and warm autumnal style.
A grand five metre marble table dominates the breakfast room of Vila Joya; its antique patina reflected a long history.
It was this unique piece of furniture that inspired Dr. Jung to view this stunning villa overlooking a secluded Algarve cove, whilst on holiday in Portugal. His curiosity and love of art and fine things encouraged him to see the table described by a friend. Yet in the end it was the property that was to capture his heart.
30 years of hospitality
Dr. Jung so loved the setting he purchased the villa in the 70s, that housed this striking table. Although a private holiday home for his family for over a decade, in 1982 Vila Joya was transformed into a world-class boutique resort, centred on fine cuisine.
Portugal’s magical Algarve, with its expansive unspoilt beaches and authentic villages is a perennial favourite for discerning travellers.
During autumn, when the crowds have left, this southern coast of Portugal comes into its own. The landscape bursts into seasonal autumn colour and the skies are clear and the air fresh.
Luxurious yet welcoming
At Vila Joya, recognised as one of the country’s finest boutique resorts, guests enter a privileged environment where hospitality is a refined art.
Guest suites combine the radiant light and freshness of this Atlantic coast, with welcoming and indulgent tones. Snuggle up in the deep, embracing sofas, flicking through the choice of coffee table books left in each suite. Fall asleep listening to the waves breaking onto the golden beach below, and awake to sunlight filling your private terrace. Bathrooms are huge, some with double rainforest showers; and all feature Molton Brown toiletries.
The property interior is relaxed and welcoming; one feels instantly relaxed and at ease. The public spaces and large suites are furnished with on-trend theatrical dark tones, lifted by fresh orchids and fascinating details from distant travels. Dark, luxurious velvets are matched with rich hardwoods, together with European and Asian art.
The entrance lobby is defined by its grand sweeping staircase, whilst the bar and dining room both have an unusual warm coloured brick vaulted ceiling. The overall feeling is luxurious yet relaxed and homely.
The latest edition is the ‘Joy Jung’ spa – the perfect place to be pampered. Its unique design, featuring a stunning integrated water feature and vintage carved doors, is focused on energy flow, to help balance the senses. The therapists, all trained in Asia, are specialists in holistic and traditional Indian and Ayurvedic treatments.
However, it is probably cuisine that has been one of the major elements of the success of Vila Joya. Since the early 1990s, world famous Austrian chef, Dieter Koschina has been responsible for the kitchen, creating dishes that have led him, in the last few years, to be rewarded with two Michelin stars. Sophisticated French cuisine is prepared with local market fresh produce as well as exceptional fish and seafood from the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Each menu is married with fine Portuguese, French and other international wines from the hotel’s designer wine cellar. This room is a master piece in its own right, a seductive space of black slate, and cascading cooling water. This hidden gem of the hotel is perfect for private wine tastings too.
Each March Vila Joya hosts an International Gourmet Festival – next year’s event will run from the 8th to the 17th of March, 2013. Each year it attracts renowned award-winning and Michelin- starred chefs from across the world to cook each day.
So head west, to the Europe’s magical Algarve and embrace autumn in style.
Vila Joya Hotel, Restaurant & Spa
Praia da Galé, Albufeira, Portugal
+351 289 591 795
©COPYRIGHT ANDREW FORBES