Vila do Conde, Portugal
Villa C Boutique Hotel
Sleek by the Sea
What it is
A 42-room clean-lined hideaway designed by architect Alexandre Saraiva Dias.
What it isn't
Spare. This version of minimalism is actually interesting (note the under-lit lobby desk, which could well grace the entrance to MoMa).
What we think
You can pick your guest room’s overlook here—be it the surrounding village rooftops or the languidly rolling River Ave—but it doesn’t really matter. The room itself, outfitted in whites, grays and blonde woods—is so pristine and spa-like you won’t spend much time on your veranda. Plus, there are myriad thrills to enjoy in the common areas. For one: a cedar lined pool in the aromatherapy-focused spa; wood-fired A Terra restaurant, helmed by French chef Fernando Marques, where the haul of the day in local fishing villages becomes nothing short of transcendent; and myriad workshops on-site (if you’ve ever wanted to take a group cycling jaunt at sunset, or a painting class after a cocktail, now’s your chance.)
You're here because
The hotel has pre-planned a fount of expeditions, and nothing says vacay like paragliding, canyoning, surfing….the list goes on.
After a day on the beach, you’re sun-parched and nearly sedated. Thankfully, you have a pick-me-up arranged at Villa C’s resplendent spa. As soon as you’re exfoliated with grapes, raspberries and sugar, massaged with grape seed oil and cinnamon, and steeped in a hydro-massage bath with literal wine and honey in lieu of soap, you feel as revived as the constantly churning surf.
15 miles north of Porto, in the quiet riverside resort town of Vila do Conde. Dune sheltered-Praia da Azurara beach is less than a 20 minute walk away; families won’t want to miss Azurara Parque Aventura, where you can try your hand at everything from bungee jumping to free falling in a simulator.