Contemporary design presented among natural splendour
Food & wine | Relaxation
The Douro Valley is perhaps Portugal’s natural world at its most beautiful. Gently rolling hills are terraced into a series of beautiful vineyards and the Douro River snakes lazily through it all. It’s no surprise that the region was classified as a World Heritage site in 2001. And, found in Santa Cruz do Douro, the Douro Palace is around 80km from Porto and 35km from Régua, enjoying both idyllic seclusion and practical accessibility; Arego’s train station is just a few metres away. It’s also sited right on the eponymous river’s northern bank, making arriving by boat a romantic possibility.
Built among historic, terracotta-roofed properties, the Douro Palace is a contemporary architectural thrust into a traditional world. It’s all angular cubed buildings, complete with oversized windows and glass-fronted balconies. The view? Either the beautifully stepped gardens or the famous Douro River. Back inside, designer furnishing, delightful artwork and padded walls continue the contemporary charm while the suites are particularly impressive. Here, sunken, hydro-massage bathtubs adjoin into the bedroom, continuing the hotel’s avant-garde sensibilities.
Given the region’s rich, agricultural heritage, you can expect only the freshest ingredients to be used in the hotel’s Eça Restaurant. For an introduction, opt for a tasting menu to get acquainted with Portugal’s favourite flavours, complemented by international influences predicated on the country’s rich, seafaring past. Of course, with Porto just a short distance away and vineyards on our doorstep, you’ll enjoy an excellent choice of wines. It’s all served up on the banks of the Douro River, with guests having the choice of dining al fresco or in the chic restaurant.
Sited on a gently sloping hilltop, the hotel’s grounds cascade down in grassy terraces – constructed from local stone – to the river below. It’s the setting for a trio of superb bars; there’s the cocktails of Tertúlia Ruby, the poolside tapas of Eira and the simple menus and pool table of São João. As such, you’ll have a range of dining options – from light bites to gourmet dining. For further relaxation, book a treatment at the spa, or simply make use of its jet pool, sauna or hamman.
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