Let’s get something straight from the start: Vila Joya isn’t a hotel, it’s a home. That’s Joy Jung’s philosophy, as she builds on the incredible reputation created by her parents, since taking over Albufeira’s finest getaway destination.
It may have been the sublime sea views from the palazzo’s hillside vantage that first drew the Jungs here, but the professional eye of Joy’s mother, interior designer Claudia, has elevated its visual artistry, both inside and out.
From the hand-painted Portuguese bathroom tiles in the double rooms to the penthouse majesty of the Royal Suite Joia, Vila Joya is a haven – boutique and beautiful, yet resolutely welcoming to all.
Indeed, Joy attributes much of the home’s success to her team’s unstinting friendliness, believing the villa touches the souls of guests, giving them the space to set their spirits free. Space which includes air-conditioning in all rooms and at least a terrace or balcony overlooking the sea in all bar one.
There are lush gardens, an in-house spa, a golf academy and a golden beach right outside. While management of the house may have moved on since the early days, these remain Vila Joya’s constants.
As does the kitchen. Austrian chef Dieter Koschina has ruled Vila Joya’s restaurant for over 25 years, proudly holding two Michelin stars since the end of the last century.
Incredibly, Dieter and his chefs create a new six-course menu every single evening and yet still produce the consistency required to be recognised as one of the world’s 50 greatest restaurants. That’s some achievement. And Vila Joya is some home.