Six Senses Douro Valley
Wellness-focused, indulgent, countryside retreat
Quinta de Vale Abraão, Samodães 351-254-660-600 sixsenses.com
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At a Glance
Despite its many charms, its location in one of the world’s most special wine regions and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Six Senses Douro Valley has managed to stay decidedly under the radar since it opened nearly eight years ago. The resort’s 19th-century manor house, situated on a hillside above the banks of the Douro River, 75 miles east of Porto, now exudes tradition on the outside and contemporary minimalism on the inside. The 71 well-sized guest rooms and suites, reimagined by Irish designer Clodagh, have sleek lines and muted colors, allowing the sweeping views of the property’s 19 acres—plus the river and the adjacent vineyards—to take center stage. A destination unto itself, thanks to exemplary service as well as appealing spaces for lounging and tasting, it’s an ideal hub for exploring the wineries and small towns of this proud region.
The Standout: A tasting tour of the surrounding quintas
Don’t Miss: A detox, yoga or beauty workshop, including a “make your own body scrub” class or Portuguese tile painting class
- The farm-to-table meals, which bring a healthy approach to the rich flavors of traditional Portuguese cuisine
- The immersive 24,000-square-foot spa with its fabulous treatments and wellness programs
- That the property has its very own “ghost” story
- Appealing spaces for lounging and tasting (there’s a wine library)
- The hotel’s support of a donkey rescue program
Six Senses Douro Valley Review
The Six Senses Douro Valley is the kind of property that travel industry players refer to as a “destination property.” Meaning, this hotel is so fabulous that for most travelers, flying to the locale would be worth it purely to stay at the hotel. The fact is, however, that this Six Senses, which opened in 2015, also happens to be set in one of the most special wine regions of the world, and one that has not been fully discovered by most.
Tucked into the hillside above the banks of the Douro Valley, the salmon-colored 19th-century manor house exudes tradition on the outside and contemporary minimalism in the interior. The 71 well-sized guest rooms by Irish-American designer Clodagh feature recessed lighting, crisp linens, sleek lines and muted colors but also celebrate the region, with cork accents and great views of the property’s 19 acres and surrounding landscape, including the Douro River and adjacent vineyards.
There are multiple dining options throughout the property, including in the casual ambience of an open kitchen, a more formal dining or, during warm months, on the terrace. Drinks—specifically wine and port wine—are encouraged in the two lounges that are outfitted with tufted leather sofas, long, high tables and decorated with fun, contemporary artwork. Most wines as well as meal ingredients are from the area. The destination dining program has staffers set up secluded tables for meals in various remote locations around the property.
Six Senses spa is nearly 24,000-square-feet with 10 treatment rooms, indoor pool, gym, various interesting programs like stress and innovative wellness tests. A favorite highlight, the manicure salon offers wine and cheese while guests get their nails done. Next door, the Alchemy Bar teaches guests how to make their own treatments such as skin scrubs and hair masks.
Perfectly located in the Douro Valley for day trips to wineries and small towns, the Six Senses acts as the best hub in the region. And with exemplary service, gorgeous interiors and a world-class spa and dining program, is no doubt the most phenomenal new property in the Iberian Peninsula.
Who Should Stay
The Six Senses Douro Valley is best for couples and families with older children who can savor the wellness, culinary and wine experiences that the property offers.
— Amelia Osborne Scott