Vila Foz Hotel

Porto, Douro & Minho, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £189 per night

Vila Foz Hotel

Porto, Douro & Minho, Portugal

An elegantly restored palace by the sea, with dreamy ocean views, a sleek spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant

An elegantly restored palace by the sea, with dreamy ocean views, a sleek spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant

There are lots of reasons for choosing the seafront Foz do Douro quarter as a base for exploring beautiful Porto. This well-heeled neighbourhood has leafy promenades, sandy beaches, appealing boutiques and a thriving food scene. A short tram or cab ride gets you to the city’s vibrant historic centre. And now a new reason: this dramatic reinvention of eye-catching luxury, perched just a few steps from the beach.

What was once a grand 19th-century palace has now doubled in size, thanks to a bold 2019 extension. The result: an intriguing mix of old and new, courtesy of renowned Madeiran designer Nini Andrade Silva (she of Funchal's Savoy Palace, among other design hotels). Bedrooms in the manor house come with high moulded ceilings, marbled walls and made-to-measure furniture; in the new wing, expect big ocean views and curving patterns reminiscent of Atlantic breakers. All are sumptuous, unrestrained, full of textures and luxuries. This is not for minimalists; it is - as staff like to say - for 'ninimalists'.

Meanwhile, in the Michelin-starred Vila Foz restaurant, acclaimed chefs present sublime freshly caught seafood; or you can lunch in the less formal Flor de Lis or on the sea-facing terrace. The vibe is lavish, yes, but, by all accounts the service is super-friendly. This is Porto done the five-star way, and we’ll be checking in as soon as we can get there.

Highs

    • With its lavish interiors, spectacular ocean views and high end service, Vila Foz is perfect for those seeking proper 5-star luxury
    • The food at Restaurante Vila Foz is so delicious and wonderfully presented they've been awarded a Michelin star
    • We love this true city neighbourhood, with quirky shops and restaurants beloved by discerning 'Tripeiros' - plus endless horizons
    • Beach lovers can enjoy doorstep access to the sea, plus more gorgeous beaches within easy reach
    • The beautifully designed spa gets rave reviews

Lows

    • The seafront location means the must-see historic sights of Porto are 15 minutes away by tram or free shuttle
    • Some may find the mix of old and new a little jarring; and be aware that most bedrooms are in a newer, cubical wing
    • There’s no outdoor pool and under 16s aren’t allowed in the indoor one (a plus for some!)
    • There are no extra beds, but you can request connecting rooms (and all rooms can be set up with twin beds if preferred)

Best time to go

Visit during late spring or early autumn for fewer tourists and pleasantly warm temperatures. The summer months are hotter and busier but the beach is within throwing distance, so you’re well positioned to hit the sand early and beat the crowds.

There are festivals-galore in Porto, including the famous Festa de São João in June. Get booking early if you fancy attending one!

Our top tips

Comfort is key if you plan to explore the delights of Porto. Hilly, winding cobbled streets are everywhere, so swap the heels for more practical flats! Your Louboutins will thank you for it.

Great for...

Foodie
Beach
City Style
Eco
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 66 rooms
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Free city transfers
  • Electric car charger
Room:

Rooms

Of the 66 rooms, a handful form part of the original Manor House, while the majority are in the more contemporary, cubical Onice extension, named after the onyx bathrooms. Opt for the former if you like opulent, 19th-meets-21st-century decor (polished wood floors, marbled walls and gilded stucco ceilings); the latter for a more modern, groovy feel (big sliding windows, patterned carpets and some swirling bedheads).

Entry-level 'Onice' rooms are spacious enough for two, but consider upgrading to a Sea View room for spectacular Atlantic vistas from your balcony. The sunsets are worth it! Manor House Rooms and Suites have either sea or garden views, and are generously sized; there's one of each on the top floor for those seeking additional privacy. For maximum splurge, stay in the Vila Foz Suite, also in the original manor house, with a separate living area and superb balcony views of the ocean. All rooms can be set up with queensize double or twin beds.

Travertine and onyx bathrooms, with power showers, thick robes and Maison Codage amenities, are every bit as indulgent as the bedrooms.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

Foodies, rejoice: there’s a lot to love about the dining scene at Vila Foz. The ample breakfast buffet is served in the Flor de Lis restaurant, where you can also choose between 2- and 3-course set menus for lunch, based more on traditional Portuguese food (think codfish with batatas a murro, or chicken with spinach polenta). In summer months, settle in at a table on the terrace and watch the ocean sparkle.

But for the full regalia, newly Michelin-starred Restaurante Vila Foz offers 5-course tasting menus in an elegant dining room with a focus on mouth-watering seafood. Perhaps lobster or squid with daikon and iodized broth; then suckling lamb with pistachio and super-fresh vegetables; and finally an abade de priscos caramel pudding with Azorean pineapple.

For something a little more informal but no less extravagant, head to the hotel bar where oysters can be washed down with Champagne, and cocktails and posh afternoon tea is served.

Beyond the hotel, the possibilities are endless. Stay local and head to Treze % Restaurante along the seafront for highly rated Portuguese fare (we hear the octopus fillet with coriander soup is a must). For ultimate scoffing potential, try Mercado da Foz (20 min walk), a renowned covered market with high-end hot dogs, Trás-os-Montes cheeses and excellent Douro wines. Divine.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Book a luxury treatment in the hotel spa, enjoy a hammam or swim some lengths in the relaxing indoor pool
  • Borrow bikes from the hotel and ride along the Douro from Foz’s leafy promenades to picturesque, cobbled Ribeira (guided cycling tours are available too)
  • The sandy beach, mere steps from the hotel, is a glorious spot for tan-topping and sunsets. This is the Atlantic, so expect a refreshing (i.e. chilly) swim!
  • Other sandy stunners, such as Praia de Matosinhos, are within easy reach, and surfing lessons are on offer
  • Hop on a tram or use the hotel’s free shuttle service to central Porto (15 mins). Marvel at the spectacular city views from the top of the 17th-century Clerigos Tower; peruse the modern art at Fundação de Serralves and be wowed by mighty Sé Cathedral
  • Or take a private yacht up the Douro and enjoy an exclusive chef-cooked meal on board
  • Quaff port in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia (we’re fans of the tours at Taylor’s and Graham’s)

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome however the hotel is better suited to grown ups. Be aware that the pool is only open to adults. That said, there are kids menus and cots are available for every room type, although there are no extra beds.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

There’s an interconnecting version of every room type for families – ask for these when booking. Those with little ones are welcome to a cot in whichever room they choose. If you or your offspring are keen bathers, opt for a Manor House Room or suite, the only rooms with (seriously nice) tubs.

Distances:

  • Airport: 15 minutes
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Vila Foz Hotel and Spa is set in the bustling Foz do Douro district of Porto, 15 mins from the city’s historic centre.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Oporto Francisco Sá Carneiro (12km).

From the Airport
Hotel transfers are available, or hail a taxi from outside the airport.

By Train:
Long-distance trains get into Campanhã station (16km). Check out the brilliant https://www.seat61.com/ if you’re thinking of planning a rail adventure.

By Car:
Trams, buses and taxis are so easy to navigate in Porto. Should you require a car though, check out our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Porto Airport 15.0 km OPO

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
7/10
Food
8/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Overall

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Rates for Vila Foz Hotel

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