Six Senses Douro Valley is a haven of pure relaxation and glamorous downtime, combining elegance with sustainable practices that care for its surroundings. The views of the rolling vineyards of the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley from its hillside location are breathtakingly beautiful. Set in a renovated 19th-century manor house it is a place where natural beauty, well being and high-end hospitality come together in perfect harmony and with only a short flight from London and just a 90-minute drive from the charming city of Porto, it is a great all-year round escape from the hectic day-to-day city life.
We all know the saying ‘first impressions count’ and for me, this is especially true when it comes to hotels. The drive up to Six Senses in our own rental car was already an experience, the property is beautifully perched up on a hill overlooking the stunning Douro valley with its winding river and lush greenery. Once we drove down the steep pathway, leading to reception, we received the most friendly greeting by Yoao who took care of our luggage and car after introducing us to Silvia at reception where we enjoyed a drink and refreshing cold towel while being mesmerised by the view.
Silvia showed us around the property with her charming mannerism, while talking us through the many activities that are available in and around the hotel which include canoeing, river cruises, wine tastings as well as complimentary activities from yoga, tree climbing, to stand up paddle tennis – the list was extensive and I could see myself spending a lot more time here without the chance of ever getting bored. A good idea, however, is to inquire about the activities on offer in advance as some courses had already been fully booked.
The outdoor infinity pool is certainly one of the highlights of the property and a wonderful place to just lie and soak in the splendour of it all while sipping on a cocktail from the pool bar which also offers light bites.
Located in Portugal’s celebrated wine region, it is apparent that wine forms an integral part of Six Senses where guests are encouraged to learn more about the local vintages by taking part in daily wine tastings, wine courses as well as outdoor activities that include a port wine hike. Most impressive is the interactive wine library and the Enomatic wine dispenser where guest can help themselves to a glass of vino – the first one complimentary 🙂 We have already tasted some very good wines and sweet port wines in Porto and were continuously impressed with the high quality and superior taste – so much so – that my husband happily invested in a few bottles that he brought back home to the UK.
We stayed in one of the Quinta superior rooms with a large window that overlooked the vineyards & Duoro river – it was nicely decorated in calming natural tones, had a comfy seating area, large table and spacious bathroom that was stocked up with Organic Pharmacy products. A nice touch was the straw hats provided for him & her.
It was beautifully sunny when we arrived, giving us plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor facilities and walk through the well looked after herb garden, situated right behind the infinity pool. The homegrown vegetables and herbs supply the outdoor vegetarian kitchen where we had a dinner reservation, however, unfortunately, the weather changed so we weren’t able to try the food there.
We could have eaten in one of the other restaurants at Six Senses, which we had done the night before, but instead went to Castas e Pratos which in my opinion offered a better price to quality ratio and was only a short drive from the hotel in Peso da Régua. The restaurant features an excellent bar on the ground floor where we started the evening with an aperitive before being led to the main restaurant on the first floor. The food and presentation were excellent and each dish an absolute delight which made us come back for lunch the next day as well.
Where the restaurant at Six Senses excels is breakfast which is well worth getting out of bed for – it boasts piles of fresh fruit, a variety of detox juices, home made jams, healthy small pods of yoghurt parfait and chia seeds, as well as an array of hot food options from the open work station and there is even a dedicated room for ham & cheese that is surrounded by wine bottles. With breakfast being my favourite meal of the day it is needless to say that I was already dreaming of breakfast every night I went to bed.
The indoor bar at Six Senses was well stocked and for the more health-conscious guests, it also offered a self-help dispenser with mint infused water 🙂
Since the weather changed from sunny to overcast & rainy it was great to have lots of indoor activities available as well.
My favourite hideout, however, became the spa area with a lovely indoor pool that was filled with plenty of daylight from the floor to ceiling windows, it also had a generous relaxation area & spacious sauna and I loved the view of the manicured garden from the treatment rooms where I relaxed with a wonderful massage!
When we left Six Senses we were well balanced and rejuvenated, already thinking about when to come back next for a relaxing weekend!
Six Senses Douro Valley, Quinta Vale de Abrão, 5100-758 Samodães,Lamego, Portugal