On Friday 15th April, I spent the weekend in Portugal as a guest of the 5*Villa Vita Parc Resort & Spa hosted by Benjamin Buttery from The Leading Hotels of the World. The weekend was spent making full use of the hotel and its facilities along with enjoying some fine dining at a selection of their restaurants including their 2 Michelin Star restaurant, Ocean Restaurant.
On landing at Faro Airport we were met by a representative from the hotel who led us to our private transfer. On arrival at Villa Vita Parc Resort & Spa we were greeted by Katya Bauval (Director of Sales & Marketing), Carol Goovaerts (Sales Executive) and Claudia Martins (Groups & Events Co-ordinator)
We checked into our rooms that were overlooking the manicured gardens, which led down onto their private beach with views out across the Mediterranean. That evening we went wine tasting at Cave de Vinhos, their very own underground cellar where their Sommelier was able to talk us through the various wines we were tasting including a very rare port that dated back to 1850! Later that evening we dined at the 2 Michelin Star, Ocean Restaurant and were treated to a 7 course dinner with different wines accompanying every dish. The food was impeccable and the setting was amazing.
The following morning we had breakfast and were ready for a day racing cars at the Algarve International Circuit (this track was built in 2008 in anticipation of bringing Formula 1 to Portugal, however just after completing the track the Portuguese economy went into decline and the did not have the funds to bring Formula 1 to Portugal – despite this they have a world class track and facilities for all to enjoy making this the perfect place to organise an incentive weekend for those who enjoy motor sport). We were picked up by the local classic car club who took us in their vintage cars to the circuit located about 40 minutes away. On arrival we were taken to the hotels VIP box that has a great view of the track and pits. We were treated to soft drinks and canapés whilst watching the Honda GP riders test their bikes around the track before the driving began.
We went down to the pits were we were met by Miguel Praia (an ex-Portuguese Motor GP champion) who runs Autodromo Internacional Algarve, a track day experience company. I was now in my element – the choice of a Porsche Cayman, Audi TTs or Audi RS3! I went for the Audi TTs and spent the following hour racing around the circuit with Miguel Praia. We spent the rest of the day there enjoying other track experience activities before being transferred back to the hotel to enjoy some down time relaxing in their spa. I have done a few track days in my time but this was by far the best I have ever experienced!
The following day we checked out and were transferred back to Faro for out flight back to Gatwick. The whole weekend from start to finish was amazing. The staff at the hotel could not have been more welcoming and accommodating, the facilities and dining options were amazing and the track day was awesome!
A big thank you must go to Benjamin Buttery form the Leading Hotels of the World for organising this amazing trip and also to Katya Bauval and her team at Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa for hosting us at their beautiful hotel and also Miguel Praia from Autodromo Internacional Algarve.