“Stunning wine and wellness estate cradled in vineyards by the Douro River: luxe relaxation at its best”
Rooms come in a host of categories, according to their view and square footage. In the main hotel, all you need to know is that all are super-comfortable and smart, and all are big with similar facilities (even some of the smallest rooms have free-standing bathtubs or outdoor space). But splashing out on a River view will elevate your stay from memorable to unforgettable.
Queen and kingsize beds are perfectly firm yet soft, swathed in cool cotton sheets with wool throws and a big bank of pillows. There are linen-tweed grey sofas, dark-wood tables (and big TVs, should you tire of the views). Powerful showers are invigorating, baths are deep enough for a serious wallow. The Organic Pharmacy toiletries smell spa-divine.
Gadget-lovers will be in heaven, with smartphones controlling everything from the lighting to the room service, and walls of clever switches controlling everything else. You'll find Iley espresso machines, just-picked grapes and a library of guest information folders. Best of all, you'll find peace.
The Vineyard Apartments and Villas are spread between standalone buildings deeper in the grounds, with private or shared pools and gardens. They come with full kitchens so offer more independence and are popular with groups/families and for longer stays.
Whether you eat indoors or out on the river-view terrace, meals are an occasion, yet the ambiance is relaxed and unstuffy. The restaurant is stylish, with wooden tables, low-hanging wicker lanterns and Azulejo tiling on the wall. Charming staff advise on the menu and wine list; you'll want to try everything.
My gazpacho of oxheart tomato was delicious, as were my husband's oven-roasted sardines (the roasting oven is fuelled with fresh eucalyptus). Mains were a local codfish with garden-herb crust (fabulous, especially the earthy mushrooms that accompanied it), and a grilled tiger prawn with leek salad (slightly overdone, but tasty). The wine list is of course phenomenal. For dessert we galloped through banana French toast, and a puff pastry pasteis de nata with cinnamon ice cream.
As for breakfast, it was the biggest buffet spread I've ever seen. Glass jars of almond yoghurt sat alongside rhubarb puree and pots of goji berries and chia seeds. A whole table groaned under charcuterie and local cheeses. Delicious juices included a yummy carrot and orange. There was so much on offer, we didn't even look at the cooked options.
Children are welcome at the hotel, and staff were incredibly kind to our 1-year-old daughter, but it doesn't feel like a family hotel. The ambiance is quiet, the emphasis is on wine and gourmet food, and there aren't any specific children's facilities. That said, beds and cots are available, and kids under 12 stay for free and are just charged for meals.
Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)
Quinta Rivers can fit a baby cot, and Quinta Superiors and Quinta Suites can fit an extra bed or baby cot, but baby monitors will only stretch from the dining terrace to 2 of the Quinta Superior rooms and the Douro Master Suite. For more independence, the Vineyard Apartment and Villas offer full kitchens and private or shared gardens and pools.
Full babysitting on offer, or staff can do a couple of checks on a sleeping child for you while you dine.
Baby cots and high chairs.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
No specific menu but the chef will cook anything for you on request. He whipped up fishfingers and chips for our daughter (I know! At a wellness retreat!).
You'd need to keep an eagle eye on children as there are lots of breakables/expensive furnishings. The outdoor pool is unheated. Families can go in the indoor spa pool provided the spa is not busy. The nearest shops are a drive away.