The Yeatman Vila Nova de Gaia
On a slope south of the Douro river, it sits one of the vent lodges — in the pool that you can practically touch their terracotta roofs. A 15-minute walk, through a cobbled lane, riverside promenade and the Dom Luís bridge, takes you to the beautiful Old Town.
Style & personality
Both storeys are organized on a seven-acre hillside website so that public spaces and bedrooms face front, along with large windows maximise the opinion. Public spaces are on the top floors, with acres of marble, a stunning staircase and walls in lemon, light green or light blue, with white cornicing and columns. Each floor opens into the outside, to terraces, the pool or the croquet lawn. The pub (open 24/7) and lounge are sprinkled with inviting couches, and there is a tasteful library and a business center. The elevators are wallpapered with photos of barrels and wineries; guests can see the basement from 4pm to 6pm (ordered north to south through Portugal’s 11 wine areas), and the corridors are used for exhibitions — we loved one on cork. The spa includes a fitness center, sauna, hammam and indoor pool-with-a-view.
Service & amenities
Warm, efficient and knowledgeable, however patchy at breakfast.
All those 70 spacious bedrooms and 12 suites is subtly themed about a wine companion; decoration in our light-filled exceptional double comprised paraphernalia out of Quinta Vale do Bragão, at the Alto Douro, a couple hours inland. Louvred shutters split the manicured bedroom and marble bath and both were areas to linger, together with pistachio-green and sunflower-yellow walls, double-layered drapes (just one striped gauze, one heavy-duty), elite bedding, a strong shower, with Victorian tiles forming a practical recess for toiletries, a huge bath and magazines and books in English. The corridors display intriguing wine — and history-related pictures. All rooms have a terrace or balcony. Bacchus is the cleverest suite, using a aluminum bath and revolving mattress.
Food & beverage
Breakfast, a hot buffet, also taken from the wood-floored Orangerie, is well worth $17 (#15). Mango, melon and honey were super-ripe; my favorites were a yummy fruit crumble and smoked salmon. From the cozy restaurant (starters/mains from $18/$35/16/#30) we peeled dishes like slow-cooked suckling pig and nectarine sorbet with ginger, each paired with a superb wine (from a sterile white jack into a soalheiro), all which are available at the hotel’s store. The absorbing list includes 13 aperitif vents alone and a total of 1,100 bottles; a “brief”, vibrant magazine-style list is organized by personality (“groundbreakers”, “great values”), not color. Weekly wine dishes are very popular with locals, also, and the resort holds classes and tastings. There is jazz or fado from the pub at evenings, light lunches (sandwiches from $9/#8) and excellent cocktails (from $11/#9.50).
Value for cash
Room-only doubles from #135; under-12s are liberated with a few bundles. Wi-Fi is also included.
Accessibility for guests with disabilities?
Two rooms are installed for wheelchairs, and there are lifts and wide corridors.
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