Editors' Picks

Vila Joya

Culinary paradise, intimate, charming

Estrada da Galé, Albufeira 8201-901


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At a Glance

The crown jewel of this inviting boutique property is its delicious, Michelin-starred restaurant.


Vila Joya is a gorgeous, secret little hotel in the Portuguese Algarve. On a coast teeming with big hitters, it is a lovely alternative to hole up and hunker down, enjoy peace—a perfect escape without the children—and eat outstanding two-Michelin starred food that’s not in the least bit fussy. Just a forty minutes drive from Faro, the hotel itself is old-fashioned and family-run.

The sound of the sea echoes through open windows and the bedrooms are simple and comfortable (stay in the new Joya Suite if you want something sexier – it comes with its own terrace, a wooden four poster bed and a Jacuzzi). There are five golf courses within a 30-minute drive away, but most guests don’t leave the hotel. There’s a pretty jasmine-scented garden with a heated pool and knock-out views of the ocean. The beach is perfect for long walks and the intimate spa is truly serene: no branding, no lists. Seek out Dr. Kurian Jacob, an Ayurvedic specialist from India.

You can walk to buzzy local restaurants for fresh fish lunches, but the food at the hotel really is sensational: five course suppers with foams and sorbets, or simple chicken salad with chilled rosé for lunch – all served on the open air terrace. The hotel also has a lovely, casual restaurant by the beach.

Who Should Stay

Intimate and indulgent, Villa Joya is best for mature, sophisticated travellers.

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