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Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort 4.5

Porches, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautiful location on top of a cliff, overlooking the sea
  • One of Portugal's best thalassotherapy medical spas with wide range of treatments
  • Surrounded by expansive verdant garden grounds
  • Easy access to a gorgeous beach with free umbrellas and loungers
  • Large, stylish rooms and apartments with views, minibars, and balconies
  • Six freshwater and saltwater pools, including a heated pool and kids' pool
  • Two restaurants and bars, plus free breakfast with cooked-to-order omelets
  • Fitness features include a well-equipped gym, sports courts, and yoga 
  • Child-friendly features include Koala Kids Club, babysitting, and kids' tennis clinics
  • Business center, plus meeting and banquet rooms
  • Self-service laundry, open-air theater, movie room, and excursions available
  • Free parking and high-speed Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Barbecue restaurant and Second Bar are only open seasonally
  • Location is 10 minutes by car to nearest town (pro for some)
  • Cliffside setting means hike up from beach might be an issue for some

Bottom Line

Thanks to its slightly secluded location, large and serene garden grounds, and cliffside ocean views, the Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort is ideal for couples or families looking for a relaxing vacation. This 131-room luxury resort is outfitted in a modern Mediterranean style and features one of Europe's top thalassotherapy spas, as well as six pools, a kids' club, private beach access, and two restaurants and bars. Spacious rooms come with minibars, Nespresso machines, and sleek bathrooms, plus breakfast is included. Travelers might also want to check out the nearby Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa, which offers even more on-site dining options with nine restaurants and a wine cellar.

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Scene

A stylish seaside hotel ideal for couples and families who want to relax in nature

Though similarly priced to the neighboring (and main competitor) Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa, Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort has less of a luxurious feel, instead opting for a simple yet chic look. Here, you'll find a casually elegant, modern Mediterranean design with a mix of mid-century and classic decor. The resort's smaller size allows for peace and tranquility, plus the expansive gardens (stuffed with over 150 species of plants) and the stunning clifftop views over the sea are hard to beat. Add easy access to a stunning golden beach surrounded by rocky cliffs and a world-class thalassotherapy spa, and it's easy to see why this quiet and romantic resort is a favorite among couples. Kid-friendly features also make it suitable for families. 

Location

Slightly secluded location with garden grounds and gorgeous clifftop sea views

 Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort is an ideal spot for travelers seeking a tranquil location. Set on a large cliffside property with garden grounds in the slightly tucked away Faro District of Algarve, there's not much nearby besides other hotels and a few small restaurants. You'll have to travel about five minutes by car to the nearest town of Porches to get to any larger local restaurants, bars, ATMs, or shops. The hotel has free parking for guests. Faro Airport is about a 40-minute drive east. 

Rooms

Spacious suites and apartments with Mediterranean-style decor and modern amenities

All 131 rooms and apartments feature modern Mediterranean style, polished tile floors, alcove sleeping areas, and semi-separated or fully separate living room spaces. White is the dominant color, with pops of orange and yellow in bed runners and throw pillows. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, fluffy bathrobes, slippers, Nespresso machines, and minibars with drinks and chocolate. Bathrooms are sleek and large, featuring CastelBel Porto toiletries, bidets, and rainfall showers. The 100 Junior Suites are primarily broken up by view -- garden, pool views, or sea -- with a rise in price for each upgraded vista. Junior Suite Spa and Junior Suite Emotion rooms have a more apartment-like vibe thanks to 50-percent more space. The Spa rooms have romantic two-person whirlpool tubs, as well as exercise bikes. All rooms have lovely furnished private outdoor terraces.

Upgrades to Suites will get you a more Cycladic vibe, additional space, two bathrooms, and dedicated bedrooms. While there may be more room to stretch out inside, the outdoor terrace is significantly smaller than that of a Junior Suite Spa. The resort's 13 Apartments vary from unit to unit, so it's best to call and see what's available. 

Beach

Beautiful private beach area with umbrellas and loungers

Although the hotel is located on a cliffside, access to the resort's beach is easy (except for those who have mobility issues). The stunning stretch of golden sand looks out onto dark blue waters and tall, free-standing rocks. The higher location of the resort lends to less background noise for those on top of the blue loungers. Guests can use the loungers and umbrellas for free. Note that the sand is full of rough shell fragments, so travelers might want to wear shoes. 

Spa

One of the top thalassotherapy spas in the world

The resort's world-class Vilalara Longevity Thalassa and Medical Spa is one of the resort's major features. Occupying close to 30,000 square feet, this massive spa uses natural seawater as treatment. You'll find three separate pools, several treatment rooms with modern hydrotherapy equipment, a selection of wet and dry treatments, as well as a steam room, sauna, and sunny relaxation areas. It was the first of its kind in Portugal and remains one of the world's most-respected thalassotherapy spas. 

Food

Two restaurants and two bars, though one of each are seasonal

The hotel's main restaurant, B&G, has great views of the ocean and the main pool. Situated on the cliff, guests can either sit inside or out on the terrace while they nosh on the restaurant's take on Portuguese cuisine, health-focused meals, or the free breakfast buffet. There's also a second, seasonal spot called Terrace Grill, which is open in summer and serves up live music, fresh seafood, and barbecue meals out by the pool. If you're looking for drinks, you'll want to head to the Tonic Lounge Bar, located by the main pool. This casual but stylish spot has a modern Mediterranean style with white walls, built-in shelves, curved ceilings, and a beautiful poolside terrace area with tables, chairs, and umbrellas. The second bar is only open seasonally. 

Features

Six pools, variety of sports activities, golf access, and unique outdoor theater

In addition to the spa pools, the hotel also offers four saltwater pools and two freshwater pools. All of the saltwater pools are outdoors and one is heated, while one of the freshwater pools is exclusively for children. The main pool has gorgeous views out across the beach to the sea. 

If you are looking for a more active experience, the Blue & Green has a big, contemporary gym outfitted with TechnoGym machines, plus there are four tennis courts and a multi-sport court for basketball or soccer. Discounts are available for nearby golf courses. Guests can book coaching or training sessions (for a fee) in the gym, on the tennis courts, or on an exercise mat (with Tai Chi and yoga classes). An extensive selection of excursions, such as wine tastings and horseback riding, are also available to book.

Kid-friendly features include a Koala Kids Club for ages three to 11. Activities and games are planned in both indoor and outdoor spaces. The indoor area is painted in all green and has lower ceilings, giving kids the feeling of being inside a burrow. Babysitting services are available, as well as kid-specific tennis courses, for an extra fee. 

A unique feature that this hotel has is an outdoor, arena-type theater. With stadium-style seating built from rock and grass, this cliffside theater is rustic, but a memorable experience. Back inside are meeting and banquet rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a small movie room with multi-level seating and a large flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. Additional features include a business center with couches, computer, and a printer in an upscale country inn-style room; a boutique selling souvenirs, clothes, and sundries; and free parking for guests.

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Address

Praia das Gaivotas, Alporchinhos, Porches, Algarve 8400-450, Portugal

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