A Belle Époque dame that’s one of the Leading Hotels of the World
Golf | Off the beaten track | Relaxation | Self-drive
This century-old palace is idyllically sited in a tranquil park that hosts everything from an 18-hole golf course to the thermal springs that made Vidago famous. These storied waters are even channelled into delightful spa treatments. To explore, take one of the many trails by bike or by foot to wander the hotel’s Vidago Nature Park, spotting the local wildlife among the Vidago Palace’s 110 acres of botanic grounds. Everything from blooming magnolias to giant exotic trees are represented, dotted with tranquil pavilions. It’s all just an hour from Porto, with the Douro Valley’s river-fed vineyards on your doorstep.
Commissioned by Portugal’s King Carlos I and opened in 1910, the Vidago Palace is presented in glorious Belle Époque fashion. Its red-ochre façade opens up into a world of Beiriz tapestries, welcoming chaise longues and inset mirrors. The rooms are particularly impressive, all wooden floorboards and rich fabrics as generously sized bathrooms feature modern roll-top baths. Most rooms also come with furnished private terraces, pleasantly screened by creeping wisterias as interiors are done out in mosaic flooring and thick, handmade rugs. Suite upgrades add in expansive living spaces, watched over my silk wallpaper motifs.
To suit all this grandeur, the dining is delightfully extravagant. No more is true than in the Grand Ballroom where curtain swags and richly patterned carpets set the tone for veritable feasts that showcase the best of northern Portugal’s traditional cuisine. Breakfast is equally considered, served in the winter garden conservatory where a black-and-white marble floor looks up at exotic plant foliage and velvet banquettes. In turn, despite its 19th-century stone building host, the club house is an altogether more modern proposition with a series of light bites perfect for a post-round snack. However, it’s the pool bar that’s the most relaxed, where a range of hot and cold sandwiches are served alongside cocktails and wines.
The hotel’s regal patron envisioned the palace to rank among Europe’s finest spa getaways – something it continues to this day. Its natural mineral waters – long thought to hold therapeutic properties – are used in a range of delightful treatments while more recognisable therapies include massages, beauty sessions and Chinese medicine. There’s even a children’s spa, complete with outdoor park, playroom and swimming pool – ideally paired with the family accommodation. The Vidago Palace’s other obsession is golf, with a par 72 course meeting the exacting USGA specifications. Of course, in between, you’ll find all the usual amenities – gyms, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Any element of this accommodation can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
Historic hotel from £570 incl. flights
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