After reading the negative reviews about this villa, we were concerned about our week in Portugal given how much we had spent booking our holiday. We arrived home last night and felt that this villa needed an honest, decent review on Trip Advisor rather than a page criticising one aspect of it!
The most outstanding feature of Villa Julia is the stunning cleanliness of the whole place - you could literally eat off the floor it is so clean. Every surface, floor, cup, plate, knife, fork, bed sheet, pillow was absolutely spotless - and for us, that is really important.
The villa itself is beautifully laid out with a roomy lounge area - two large and extremely comfortable sofas, a television, DVD player and table. The air conditioning in this area works PERFECTLY. The bedrooms are equally nice, with plenty of storage space, bedside cabinets, mirrors and plugs. The bedding is bright and cheerful and beautifully clean. Our only criticisms of the bedrooms is that bar the pink room, the mattresses are unbearably hard. However, this is down to personal taste as some people prefer firmer mattresses. The air conditioning unit in the blue room is also very noisy during the night. All of the bathrooms/en suites are equipped with a great shower, plenty of hot water and lots of storage space. The kitchen is spacious and accommodates 8 people easily. We were impressed at how clean everything was and that there was plenty of cutlery and crockery at all times. The fridge/freezer and microwave is spotless and works well.
What can we say about the pool area but WOW!!!!!!!! This is THE highlight of the villa and would sell it to us every time. The pool is just stunning - a very large pool, spotlessly clean with a fantastic surrounding area full of clean sunbeds and umbrellas. Half the pool is shallow enough for an adult to stand up (which suited the non swimmers) whilst the other half of the pool was 6-8ft and great for swimmers. We loved the pool SO much we spent virtually the whole week lounging around it. It really is absolutely superb - you could not ask for more. With regard to the point in the review below where the lady refers to the pool area as a 'death trap' - we could see how the pool area would be challenging for small children as it has steps, railings, kerbs etc but this arguably would be the same in a hotel. Care has to be taken walking down steps/around pools/ on marble surfaces as they are hard and slippery but that is something we are all aware of when we have children. We walked carefully and slowly wearing flip flops all the time and had no issues whatsoever.
With regard to location, this is a stunning area out of the hustle and bustle of Albufeira main town - it is beautiful and tranquil where needed but easy enough to visit busier areas and find lots of life. The two restaurants within walking distance are ok - in our opinion Museu offered great food but was expensive, whereas Prima Pasta was cheaper but we were not overly keen on the food. Again, personal taste. You DEFINTELY need a car if you are staying in this villa - there is very little in walking distance but just 5-10 minutes in the car there is a whole world of gorgeous cake shops, bars, restaurants, snack bars and supermarkets. You can literally get everything you need at any time of the day or night! We were very impressed with what was available in Guia and bar a day out to stunning Vilamoura, we didn't venture out of Guia itself.
The local agent Carmo is just a wonderful lady - SO helpful, so kind and friendly. She went out of her way to help us when we arrived as we had delays at the airport and were driving around tired and disorientated yet she kindly helped us find the way even late at night. In person she was a delight and nothing was too much trouble.
We really enjoyed our stay at the villa and really cannot find fault with it at all - the reviews previously comment on it being 'tired and dated' but we disagree. Yes to us as Brits the dark wooden doors and furniture would be considered 'dated' in our houses in the UK - but it was fitting in this villa. Yes, they could modernise the dark wood if they wanted to - but does it ruin your stay in a stunning location, in a beautifully immaculate villa? No....
Fantastic villa in a fabulous location - we will definitely be going back.
Villa julia is absolutely not suitable for children under 5 - which it claims to be. It is a death trap. I write this as I sit on the terrace (nice view) but looking at chicken mesh and string that we've had to have put across the large gaps in the balustrades on each side, that my 18 month old headed straight for, and had we not caught her she'd have fallen several feet on to stone steps. Worse still, it is the same around one side of the pool area (about 20m) where children can fall up to 7 ft on to concrete. There's also free access to fall down stairs as nothing is gated - the opposite impression to safety that is given in the description and the main reason I chose this villa. The one gate from the pool to the house is so loose that my 18 month and 3 year old can both open it.
I asked Carmo, the local agent for (Im)Perfect Villa Escapes to help and she has done the mesh on the terrace, but has refused to do around the pool.
Consequently we have had to buy string to improvise and attempt to make it safe. It isn't. And we are not able to relax on what should be a special family holiday for my birthday.
There are no gates stopping small people getting from the terrace on to the concrete steps. We had a travel stair gate with us so have used that, and after much complaining from me, Carmo left one for us yesterday- which we had to set up ourselves. Not a major issue to do, but hardly proactive customer service!
The air con unit on the terrace also blasts out hot air and is on the floor, ready for little fingers to be lost.
Furthermore, my stepmum leant on a balustrade only to discover the concrete 'egg' on the top wasn't fixed on, and someone had just put it back after being broken.
On the plus side, the villa, while tired and dated, is well laid out and equipped. It's clean and certainly 'does the job'. The BBQ area is lovely: but there's no umbrella so you can't eat there in the day and there's several steps without sides to fall off (only on to grass but sharp edges). There's also an unlockable electricity cupboard which is like Narnia for inquisitive kids. So we've only had adult time in the evening there.
And the '5 minutes' to restaurants is more like 10. And down / up a totally non-pram friendly slippery road. Although the two nearest restaurants are fantastic, thankfully!
So all in all, hugely disappointed. But we're making the best of it. You'd be fine here if you had an older family or all adults. The indoor and outdoor space is great, the pool is great and a lovely temp, and not being overlooked is lovely. Just never bring small people!!!!
We spent two weeks in Villa Julia in September 2016. The villa is spacious with 4 good sized rooms, a large pool, a large lounge and a well stocked kitchen and good outdoor space. For us the location was just right as it is not among loads of other properties so you're not overlooked but is easily walkable to the beach, some shops and restaurants, though a car is useful to get to the nearby towns if you are not a strong walker. We were very pleased that the pool is both gated and lockable and the entire villa is very secure as are the grounds it is on.
We will definitely stay here again and highly recommend this to other potential guests.
We're do i start, on Arrival at Julia villa we let our selves in via key safe, to look round and pick our bedrooms there was five of us including one teenager with three twin rooms and one double room.
It soon became apparent that the villa was very old and tired, although it had a refit in the kitchen, but on a closer look it got worse it was dirty and grubby, and had not been cleaned properly.
The bath and shower seals were mouldy and our shower curtain the same, two of the twin rooms the mattresses were so cheap and old the springs were showing, the swimming pool was cloudy, the shutters are the old type that had to be opened from the inside then clipped back from outside, not the nice electric ones we have been used to.
We phoned the our rep from the local office, and even she was astounded at the maters we showed her.
The pool man came a through some chemicals in to clear the water, the maid returned to clean the property properly.
Next day handy man was here to re seal showers and sides of baths, replace mouldy shower curtains and two of the four mattress was on order for next day delivery (three nights on a very Un comfortable bed).
After the pool cleared it then was green algae on the floor of the pool took another two days for him to return and put more chemicals in to clear that, but never in the two week stay did clean the pool, he did top the water up one day but forgot to turn the water of all night, flooded the terrace and the street below.
The toaster packed in and needed a replacement, our en-suite the sink and bath waste must of been blocked as it took an hour for either to empty (they never came back to sort this one) the air conditioning unit for the living room the out side fan is positioned on the terrace at the side of the dining table so you could not use it while the air con on as it was blowing out constant hot air, and the overflow pipe runs across the terrace and on to the stairs to the lower area ( major slip hazard)
This villa is not fit for purpose and certainly not worth over£2000 a week, we asked the booking company for compensation as we felt that there was so many issues to be presented with, but we was told it did not warrant it !!!
This place is a death trap for young family as there is gaps in the fencing so any youngster who is inquisitive could loose there lives as it is a 20ft drop to the road if they fell !!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !!