Last week we spent a glorious 7 days in the Algarve sunshine staying with James Villas. You may have seen some of our pictures over on my Instagram account but I wanted to show you a bit more about the place we stayed in this post. A sun, sea and sangria holiday isn't something we usually go for, opting for city breaks and shorter stays when we travel. However as we are approaching (in just over two months!) becoming a family of four and all the madness that will bring we really wanted one last break, which didn't really involve doing much else but eating and relaxing!
It turns out Vilamoura in the Algarve was just the place for that. Oh take me back!
As you can see our private pool got a lot of use and it was really lovely to see how confident Wilf got in the water. I used to swim competitively and swimming was very much a huge part of my childhood (I even did synchronised swimming!). It's a constant guilt to me that we stopped taking Wilf to swimming lessons when our lives got busier but this past week has been a reminder of how important it is to me that we do that. I want him to be able to be confident in the water and enjoy the pool as much as I did in my youth. We've already decided to book him on some lessons ASAP (although Tom will be taking him).
We actually chose this villa which can accommodate six. For the first half of the week we were joined by Tom's mum and sister which was a lovely treat for Wilf to spend some quality time with and then the second half just us three which I think we all felt was a good balance. It would be the perfect place to visit with a group of friends too if you weren't going as a family or even two families!
The Villa comes with two twin rooms both with on suites (one a bath and one a shower room) and a double room also with an on suite. Each room had a balcony too (although ours was the largest with outdoor seating and a view over the pool, it also had a great white wall for us to take our daily outfit photos ha!)
It also came with a room full of large bean bags and a xbox which would be brilliant if you had older children or teenagers that needed their own space to hang out. The room looks out onto the living room so although it's separate also feels like you are all hanging out together. Wilf just loved jumping on all the bean bags! You could also take the bags outside for additional seating around the pool if you needed or if your kiddos prefer bean bags to loungers! We ended up eating outside for most of our evening meals (if we didn't eat in the restaurants) and ate breakfast indoors. One evening we got to take advantage of the outdoor bbq which was of great excitement to Wilf who'd never really had one before.
I loved the minimalistic feel to the property, with clean white walls and modern furnishings. All the rooms were also very spacious which made for a really calm atmosphere.
Wilf actually saw this picture behind the bed and said 'aww it's a drawing of you mummy!' haha
One of the things I loved about the villa was that it had electronic shutters that you could programme to go down over windows or certain rooms or the whole house whilst you were out (to keep it cool). It also made for the best black out blinds and Wilf even woke up at 7.30 on two occasions which is an unheard of lie in for us!
The service from James Villas was absolutely brilliant, from supplying us with a welcome pack of tea, bread, jam, juice, wine & beers upon our arrival (which was so handy as we arrived quite late and needed a snack and something for the morning). We also had our representative pop in on the second day to answer any questions and make sure we were sorted for the week. Our flights had actually changed times on the return so she was able to arrange the transfer times to be changed without us worrying about it and organise a place for us to be picked up after check out as our flight was at mid-day. Those little touches really did make for a very stress free break and just the one I needed at almost seven months pregnant.
It was also really accessible for people who don't drive, apart from the transfer from Faro airport (which was arranged by James Villas and took approx 30 mins) we didn't need a car at all. The beach was about a 25 minute walk but you could also use a bus (shaped as a train) that shuttled around the location and stopped at a few different points if you didn't fancy the walk. The harbour was again a 15/20 minute walk and Vilamoura Old Town (which is just the prettiest! post to come) was a ten minute walk from our villa.
I'll be posting about some of the things we got up to during our stay but you can also see 'what we wore' during out stay and 'Postcards from Portugal' if you fancy a peek!
We received a stay in this villa in return for this review but all words and thoughts are my own and I would genuinely recommend a visit!