Ever since I’ve had a baby, people with kids often email/text/call me to find out one thing: where to travel with their kids. It should be a family friendly place, warm weather, not too far a flight. Well, here comes my top answer: Vila Vita Parc in the Algarve.
Ever since I first visited the Algarve when my little guy was only 5 months old I have loved the warm weather, the serene location, the easygoing luxury, the wonderful food… this list could fill up an entire post. At the time I went to check out Martinhal which is also a prime resort when it comes to family travel.
Vila Vita Parc had a lot to live up to, but the bottom line is: it did. How do the two compare, you may wonder. Well, Vila Vita Parc just oozes 5-star luxury. At no point did I feel like I wasn’t being pampered at the highest level. I mean, anyone can just design a beautiful hotel but to really get the details right, to pick out staff with brains and a big heart and to hire chefs that will cook up a dinner that still has you reminiscing for months to come, well, that is hard to come by.
2 nights were not enough to fully get a grip of all that Vila Vita has to offer but here are my Top 5 reasons why I am sure that families will have an amazing time here:
1. Kids Club
Admittedly, putting the kids club in pole position on this list is sitting somewhat on thin ice; after all the idea behind a family holiday is not to shove the kids off to some sort of daycare. This kids club is a little different though, because while some very nice ladies who speak multiple languages are present to entertain and take care of children aged 6 months or older, parents are also welcome to just come here with their children and play with them.
I have yet to see a bigger, better equipped kids club than this one – it really stands out, particularly the variety of toys. Kids can set up a full band, cook up a storm in the toy kitchen, play mini carpenter or race cars. While the indoor part of the club is actually huge, right outside a wonderful playground awaits with all the wonderful shenanigans kids love. Trampoline, swings, slides, you name it, it’s there.
2. The beach
To call the dramatic coastline that connects Vila Vita Parc with the Ocean a beach seems like a bit of an understatement; this is not just any old stretch of sand. Our stay fell upon a bit of a rainy day so walking down the rocky dunes to eventually arrive at a beautiful stretch of sand gave me all the feels. There is really no need to leave the resort to have it all, including a nature experience that is one of a kind.
3) Food, glorious food
There are those hotels who feel food is important and are trying their best to provide a varied offer of healthy and delectable dishes and then there are (very few) places like Vila Vita Parc who have put outstanding foodie experiences on top of their agenda. Nobody actually told me this directly, but any place I have eaten at in the resort – including the breakfast buffet – has confirmed to me that food here is taken very seriously.
While I loved the homemade pastries at breakfast, the Nutella crepes, the fresh yogurt and strawberries and the wonderful cheese omelettes, what truly blew my mind a bit was Cafe Bica, a small place with no more than 5 tables inside (though many more outside on the terrace) which gave us 2 plates of the most delicious homemade gnocchi we’ve ever had.
Yes, Vila Vita is one of those resorts where there really is little need to ever leave the premises. All your holiday-hungry heart could possibly wish for is right at hand; amazing restaurants, spa, playgrounds, a gold court, a spectacular beach and of course POOLS! Who doesn’t love an awesome pool? Or 2? Or 3? Well, I am happy to report that Vila Vita has 2 fabulous large pools, one featuring a swim-up bar and another being indoor, for those rare windy days. All pools are heated which is always excellent news, isn’t it? I much appreciated being served cake and coffee to my lounge chair as well. Life does get tough….
The Algarve is one of those amazing corners that make it so great to live in Europe. Low-cost Airlines will fly you to Faro, the region’s capitol in just under 3 hours for not much money at all, so even a weekend stint makes sense when you think about it. The Algarve sees about 300 days of sun year-round, making it the sunniest place in Europe! There are wonderful beaches here, quaint little villages, and some quite wonderful restaurants. Never did I feel like tourism has stolen the heart of the region, the people here are authentic to the core and that’s what makes this place such a wonderful one to visit, year after year.