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Six Senses Douro Valley – Portugal

The detail

Hotel Type: 5* boutique spa retreat.

Location: East of Porto – 90 minutes from Oporto International Airport and close to the historic town of Lamego.

Style: Historic Portuguese meets contemporary chic.

Rooms: 71 characterful rooms, suites and villas with outstanding views.

Our Favourite Room: We love the stunning views across the Douro River in the Quinta Panorama Suite thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Ideal For: Grown up weekends away and relaxing.

Swimming: The hotel includes an unheated outdoor pool, and a heated indoor pool that’s available for adults only.

Dining: Garden-to-table culinary delights made up of produce from the hotel’s organic gardens.

Children: Family-friendly with the option to combine suites for larger families or those wanting extra space.

Activities: Take part in one of the hotel-run classes, ranging from cookery to tile painting, or dabble in watersports such as paddleboarding, kayaking, water-skiing and wakeboarding on the Douro River. A visit to the area isn’t complete without visiting the vineyards or enjoying a wine tour to discover a new favourite. 

Spa: You’ll be spoilt for choice at the Six Senses spa with 10 treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and a vast menu of treatments on offer. Choose from body massages, acupuncture, underwater sound therapy and plenty more. Feeling more indulgent? There are wellness programmes lasting up to 7 nights that include sleep tracking, private meditation and fitness sessions, body massages and facials, all tailored to you after a personal consultation.

Accessibility: The hotel includes one room that has been adapted for wheelchair accessibility.

Low Season Price From: £310 for a double room including breakfast.

High Season Price From: £560 for a double room including breakfast.

Open From: All year round.

The brand’s first foray into Europe, Six Senses Douro Valley is a heady blend of authentic Portuguese style and contemporary design. Standing on a promontory in the oldest wine region in the world, this magnificent historic manor house has panoramic views along the UNESCO World Heritage listed valley. Stunningly transformed into a 21st century retreat, it exudes charm and elegance. It forms part of the landscape, in its own 19 acres of estate and surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye can see. The river slips gently past, adding to the serenity of the setting. The service is faultless, staffed predominantly by locals who know the region like the back of their hand and are more than happy to impart their knowledge of the best places to visit. If you like understated luxury and somewhere off the beaten track, this is your place.

Accommodation

The light filled rooms and suites all have enormous picture windows, bringing the glorious views inside. With oak floors, textured walls, polished granite bathrooms – some where you can soak looking out over the valley – and supremely comfortable beds, they effortlessly blend contemporary design with original features and historic authenticity. And some even have their own wine fridge. The very generously sized Quinta Superior rooms have views of the terrace, courtyard or the vineyards and come with a comfortable living area. In the main house, the Quinta Deluxe rooms either face the valley or the wooded hillside, and some have their own terrace. The glorious Vineyard Deluxe rooms have a super king size bed and spectacular views. Those on the fourth floor have a large terrace with a seating and dining area and promise total privacy. The even larger Quinta River rooms are amongst our favourites – with cinematic views of the Douro from your bed and sleek bathrooms, and some with a terrace or a balcony. The Vineyard Premier rooms are enormous, with a living area and balcony with comfortable daybeds and dining table and chairs. This is the place to sit back with a glass of something local and take it all in. In the old wine lodge are the Valley Superior rooms, with private terraces and a shared pool in the gardens outside. The Valley Premier rooms are romantic and feature a large private terrace with a vitality pool.

No two suites are the same – all have different layouts, some have a balcony and all look out over different parts of the valley and vineyards. The Quinta Suites have a separate living area and are very generously sized. The even larger Vineyard Suites have a sophisticated feel and look out over the vines. The split level Quinta Duplex Suites are located in the hotel tower – we love the sunken bath with the river view – seriously romantic. The Quinta Panorama Suite is aptly named. From its fifth floor position, the views down the Douro River are sublime. For intimacy and privacy, the Vineyard Rooftop Suite really delivers. It has a Scandinavian feel with its pine walls and ceilings, and its very own private garden with a hot tub reached by a little wooden bridge. The large Quinta Courtyard Suites are contemporary and sophisticated and out over the river and vineyards beyond. One of the most elegant, is the Vineyard & Garden Suite, with its own conservatory and terrace with daybeds and a hot tub. Inside is equally spacious with separate living and dining areas. The spacious Valley Suites can be combined for families and friends. Located in the old wine lodge, one has a fully equipped kitchen, and they all share a private garden and pool. The largest of these is the Valley Master Suite. The One Bedroom Villas take local architecture and contemporary design and create an intimate hideaway. They come with a heated pool and a large garden and terrace overlooking the vineyards. The palatial Two Bedroom Pool Villa can sleep four and can be taken with the adjoining One Bedroom Villa for larger parties. 

Restaurants

Fresh ingredients straight from the estate’s organic gardens and produce from the region, and traditional Portuguese dishes are a main stay of the menu here at Douro Valley. The convivial and beautifully styled Vale de Abraao Restaurant, with its cork ceiling and azulejo tiled walls, sprawls out onto the terrace, where guests can enjoy superlative views whilst feasting on a seasonal tasting menu. You can marvel at the skill of the chefs in the open kitchen and the smell of the freshly baking bread coming from the wood fired ovens, is something else. During the summer, enjoy freshly grilled meat and fish in the Summer Garden – a pop up restaurant making the most of the long, warm evenings. And of course, we can’t not mention the wine. As you would expect, the wine list features the best of the region, and nowhere better to try them is in the Wine Library, accompanied by a delicious selection of tapas, and surrounded by heavy tomes on viticulture.

Children

Six Senses Douro Valley has quite a grown up feel, however children are most welcome with many child-friendly activities. The Valley Suites can be taken together for larger families.

Activities

Being a Six Senses hotel, the Spa is understandably an impressive feature. The list of treatments and therapies is almost overwhelming, with underwater sound therapy to Cryotherapy, private yoga sessions and personalized treatments designed to your individual needs – you won’t be able to resist. Outside of the hotel, there’s a myriad of activities from which to choose. From walking or cycling the many paths along the valley and through the vineyards, to exploring the medieval town of Lamego with its Cistercian monasteries. One of the best ways to see the valley is by a boat cruise, and if you’re feeling energetic you can take out a kayak, or maybe a more sedate paddle board. There’s a range of fun classes you can take from cookery to pickle making, and the resident gardener will take you on a tour of the estate’s gardens giving a detailed explanation of the planting. Finally, you can’t come here without a wine tasting. The dedicated wine team have created on and off-site wine tours which we absolutely recommend. The delights of the Douro Valley are limitless.

Sustainability

Being in a World Heritage Site comes with obligations, and the Six Senses Douro Valley is committed to reducing its impact on the local environment. From regenerating local woodland and being custodians of the stretch of stream that passes through the property, to sponsoring local underprivileged children, the hotel has a range of programmes supporting the local ecology and economy.

Pricing & Availability

For all hotel pricing and availability please speak to Philippa, Gemma, or Jo on the phone (01306 264 005), or via email (hello@fishandpips.co.uk), or

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