“A romantic riverside bolthole with modern furnishings and an intimate vibe”
The 6 rooms are identical, 3 either side of the central living space. Although they are narrow and feel rather cabin-y, they make clever use of the space, somehow managing to fit in a kingsize bed, sofa area, shower bathroom, wardrobe and a small deck with seating. There's not much room left over to swing a cat, or even a kitten, but they're fine for a couple of nights, especially if you're a tidy soul who unpacks.
Décor is pristine white and tasteful, with tongue-and-groove panelling, high-quality furnishings and vast photo canvases of the Douro. Sofas are beautifully worn leather, and a silver wood-burner pod dangles from the ceiling for a fire in the colder months. We loved the novelty of the mirror TV, and all the little touches including fragrant toiletries, art books and a coffee machine. Remote-controlled blackout curtains will lull you into a dreamless sleep, and upon waking you can lie in bed and gaze at the river. Sound-proofing isn't great so bring earplugs.
Evening meals are a set 3-course menu, accompanied by Quinta do Vallado wines, which are all superb. We started with delicious Serra da Estrela cheese, served with homemade tomato jam and local meats. Next came veal carpaccio topped with parmesan and rocket. Our main was a hearty monkfish and prawn stew, and a cinnamon crème brûlée rounded things off. Fairly simple but tasty fare.
Breakfast is a generous buffet of meats, cheeses, fruit salads and yummy homemade compotes with yoghurt. Eggs are made to order. We felt it a shame that the fresh OJ was watered down and the croissants tasted like they were from a packet, but it's a hearty spread so you can fill up.
Sandwiches, salads and tapas are available all day, as are coffee and homemade cakes (don't miss the pastéis de nata). Be aware that on Sunday nights dinner is not available, so you'll need to drive into Castelo Melhor (15 mins).