Review: Vila Vita Parc *****

As you may have noticed I’ve been off the radar for a week or so. And that’s because I’VE BEEN OFF ON HOLIDAY! Portugal to be exact, at The Vila Vita Parc. I’ve been coming to this hotel with my family since I was young, and it pretty much is like our home away from home.

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So I thought I’d tell you a bit about the holiday, and share some snaps. N.B. thanks Dad for being my photographer for the week, and Mum for putting up with me stopping to take selfies every 5 minutes. Knew I should have gotten that selfie stick, which fyi is only £8 at Primark! Bargain!

Last Monday, we awoke to a rather rainy UK at about 6 am. This was my 3rd morning in a row of getting up at 5.30, so I was just as grumpy as you can imagine! My mood did lift when we got to Gatwick’s lounge: prosecco and fucking bacon rolls! Was definitely more excited about the bacon rolls, but apparently there’s a shortage of grapes used for prosecco, so should have savoured that more! Arrived to a lovely sunny Faro and after a 40 minute drive, got to the hotel. Where we had more prosecco. Now realising maybe it’s my drinking habit which is causing the prosecco shortage!

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The Vila Vita Parc is a family friendly hotel, but it’s also suitable for couples looking for a romantic, relaxing getaway. Basically, to quote Stefon again:

SNL/Via styleblog.ca
SNL/Via styleblog.ca

For the kids: a kid’s club, a kid’s playground, mini-golf, swimming pools, kid-friendly menus, table tennis, table football, swans, ducks and a turtle named Terry!

For the couples: a private beach to stroll along, a spa, massages and other treatments, adults only restaurants and an adults only breakfast overlooking the sea!

For the big kids: tennis, mini-golf, proper golf, A HELICOPTER LANDING PAD WHICH DOUBLES AS A VOLLEYBALL COURT!

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It was really hot when we were there, the week after that massive heat wave hit Portugal and Spain. So most mornings were spent lounging by the pool, trying to avoid getting sunburnt. No, literally, everytime the sun moved, the shade moved, so I moved! We were normally at the Delfim Pool, which is next to the main hotel building, and we were looked after by the lovely Emerlinda and Vera! We’ve known them for more than a decade, and it’s always lovely to see a friendly face when we come back! Most lunch times were spent at the same place: the pool bar overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Could have worse views! Sometimes we’ve come at this time of year and the bar has been closed, but this year it was open and we couldn’t have been happier! This is our favourite place to have lunch: gorgeous views, amazing food, and lovely staff! Claudio and Paulo were the 2 members of staff in charge of the bar when we were there, and both are super friendly and by the end of the week knew my order: margherita pizza and a coca light!

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Afternoons mainly consisted of a nap- because doing nothing all day is really exhausting! 😉 We also scheduled an activity in the afternoon. I use ‘activity’ in the loosest of terms, because it could range from,  ‘Let’s play a round of mini-golf’ to, ‘Let’s go the beach’, or ‘Let’s walk like 100 yards, have an ice-cream and the another nap!’  We pretty much stayed onsite the entire holiday: they have everything you could want/need in the complex! But if you feel like having a look around the area, the nearest towns are Armacao de Pera, Albufeira and Porches, which is famous for its pottery.

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The hotel has a great selection of places to eat in the evening, onsite and offsite too. My favourites onsite are The Adega and The Aladin Grill. Do try the ‘Steak Portuguese style’ or ‘Beef a Adega’, and in the Aladin, the Lobster Bisque. Both restaurants also do table side service for certain dishes, so if you ask for anything with ‘flambee’ in the title, expect 1) there to be fire, obviously, and 2) everyone else in the place to turn and look at you! If you feel like something lighter, I’d recommend having lunch/dinner up at the Oasis Bar. Located just after reception on the hotel’s terrace, they do a range of light snacks including soups and club sandwiches, and you can see the whole of the resort from here! Thanks to Samuel, Joao, Antonio and all the teams working at the Oasis and Aladin bars: they’re so attentive, friendly, funny and welcoming!

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Finally, I just have to relay how amazing they were on my Dad’s birthday! Not only did Dad receive a cake and card from the management (I say ‘not only’, I think he hoped that was all), but there were a few other surprises arranged! Down at the Delfim pool, Emerlinda, Vera, my Mum and me arranged for our sunloungers to be decorated with balloons. Bright coloured balloons. For my Dad who had said, and I quote, ‘Let’s not make a fuss about my birthday’! Also, when Emerlinda had got them from the kids club, they asked how old the little birthday boy was. I don’t think they were expecting 54! Dad was thrilled, very suprised but thrilled! And then later at dinner in The Aladin Grill, the table was strewn with rose petals, the staff sang Happy Birthday at the end of the meal, and presented him with ANOTHER cake! We were all birthdayed and caked out at this point, so I took one for the team and ate like a good 50% of that cake!

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We had a lovely time at the Vila Vita Parc: breath-taking views, delicious food, awesome activities, and amazing members of staff! Truly, they are the reason we keep coming back: seeing their familiar, friendly faces, they make it feel like a home away from home!

If you like what you’ve heard, be sure to visit the Vila Vita Parc’s website for more information!

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