Douro Valley, Portugal
Six Senses Douro Valley
Recharging retreat in the ancient Douro Valley
What it is
A Portuguese boutique for the sybarites and oenophiles among us.
What it isn't
A homebase for exploring a vibrant city. Come to stay on the property and venture into neighboring villages.
What we think
Right on the winding Rio Douro, surrounded by ancient terraced vineyards, this restored 19th-century wine estate is Six Senses first property in Europe. The oldest demarcated winemaking region in the world, the Douro Valley is beautifully unspoiled by the traffic of modern travelers. At only 57 rooms, suites and villas, the accommodation count is small enough to make sure every guest’s name is known. Despite being a brand new property, the local staff has already mastered the art of anticipating guests’ needs, being present when needed and disappearing when not. The estate preserves its sense of place while elegantly ascending into modern luxury. The public spaces and rooms are sleekly designed and while modern, they don’t appear to be out of place transplants due to the abundant use of local stone and wood. Emphasis is placed on working with the original architecture instead of just inside it. Guests are welcome to take helicopter tours of neighboring vineyards and during the autumn harvest, they’re invited to participate in the grape stomping festivities. Of course, for those that are more interested in the final product, the climate-controlled walls of the Wine Library & Terrace hold a beautiful collection of bottles that the hotel’s sommeliers happily offer and explain over local tapas, local cheeses and charcuterie. Being a Six Senses property, the estate is home to an incredible spa. In addition to the usual host of options, quite a few of the treatments in the ten rooms weave the bounty of local vineyards into their treatments: scrubs, massages, cleansing and rejuvenating rituals all feature the local grapes.
You're here because
You want to go to a new place; when the standard hillsides get a bit expected, it’s always a good choice to seek out wine and a world-class spa with a brand new vista.
Watching the lazy river roll by from your poolside lounge chair, you look up and see a car coming down the terraced hillside. The white stone road zigzags through the grapevines; in standard European style, the driver zooms by, shaking the vines and sending up a wave of the grapes’ aroma.
Restaurants & Bars
Vale de Abraão Restaurant - Has three different atmospheres: Open Kitchen, Terrace and Dining Room. Open throughout the day and featuring seasonal menus of local and regional dishes. A bountiful breakfast buffet is the perfect way to begin a day of discovery, relaxation and spa sessions. There’s an open cooking station complete with wood-fired oven for bread baking and traditional oven dishes. This is also a location for cooking classes, where guests can learn some of the finer points of preparing Portuguese cuisine.
The Dining Room - The beautiful classic décor of this traditional room creates a warmly intimate atmosphere with a myriad of detail. The cuisine, perfectly combining fresh ingredients and seasonings. Every dish beautifully showcases the local ingredients and flavors in a very global manner. To add some fun to the culinary experience, secret destination dining is a pop-up experience with dinner ables tucked into the woods by the river. The location and the menu are kept secret until the last minute as a delightful surprise.
Wine Library & Terrace - As the heart of the resort, the Wine Library & Terrace features an eclectic collection of local materials and furnishings to create an authentic Douro Valley experience. It is also a pre-dining rendez-vous with a tempting selection of local tapas items and self-service wine tasting ideal for learning, imbibing and celebrating. Browse gifts, art objects and gourmet items from the valley. Meet here with the wine concierge to plan excursions and spa treatments for the day. The room extends onto a covered stone terrace with comfortable armchairs arranged around a fire feature.
Wine Library & Terrace
Biking, bird watching, Kayaking, Canyoning, Rafting (2016), tree climbing.
The estate is on 20 acres that abut the Rio Douro. The property is roughly an hour and a half from Oporto’s international airport and north of the town of Lamego