Six Senses Douro Valley
My kind of place: a calm, soothing palette accented by authentic touches. Six Senses Douro Valley is smart enough to realize that the landscape is so stunning, loading the interior up with a vibrant color scheme would be gilding the lily a bit. I mean, check out the scene to the right…
Amazing - every need was catered to, and with such grace and friendliness. The room was HUGE, had a spectacular view, and was blessed with both a tremendous rainshower AND a standalone bathtub in the middle of the room (complete with bath salts!). I could have slept for days.
Outstanding; Six Senses has two year-round food venues, Vale de Abraao (reservations recommended), and Quinta (excellent bar food, just grab a seat and prepare for the best burger of your life) (see photo below for proof). When the weather warms up, Terroir, an outdoor venue, opens for dinner and becomes a highlight of the warm weather experience.
Breakfast is super key for me, and the spread at Six Senses was sensational - local meats and cheeses, a wide variety of pastries, but also multiple juices, smoothies, chia pudding, yogurt concoctions and more. For guests visiting with specific intentions to destress or lose weight, the menu indicates special options that fit within the parameters of those programs.
If I could give the bar higher than 10 out of 10, I would. Daniel and Darcy, two of the bartenders, were incredibly patient with us as we worked our way through the inventive cocktail list and happily played Bartender’s Choice as well. See supra, amazing bar food.
Surprisingly, the spa was the part of Six Senses I liked the least. I wasn’t a great match with my therapist, and the treatment I chose, the “De-Stress” package, ended up making me irritable and cranky. But I’m hard to please when it comes to massages and my friend loved her treatment. The space itself was calm and tranquil, with a gorgeous indoor pool and sauna/hammam area. My only other nit is that there only four loungers in the hydrotherapy area, which were monopolized by a few sleepy post-spa guests.
Uniformly outstanding…every single person we interacted (even the spa therapist I didn’t connect with) was warm and gracious and seemed genuinely delighted to have us there.
Worth Going Out Of Your Way For:
Absolutely. Overall, one of the best hotel experiences I’ve ever had. I cannot wait to go back and experience it all over again…the experience would be magical no matter the season, but I’m particularly keen to see it when the foliage would be different in May or late August/early September, when they harvest.
I arranged our entire Portugal trip around the two nights of availability we found at the Six Senses Douro Valley. Renovated and opened as a Six Senses property in 2015, the hotel has quickly gained a reputation for being a destination in and of itself. At only 65 rooms/suites, it’s frequently booked up, so we were lucky to find a couple of nights that fit our tentative schedule.
The hotel is set into the side of a hill terraced with vineyards. The view from all directions is of vines and the Douro River itself; the property includes a number of trails cleverly wrapped around the hotel that lead to tiny nooks perfect for hiding away for an hour with a book.
While we used the Six Senses as a base for exploring the Douro Valley for a few days, I wished we’d been able to spend more time just enjoying the hotel. I think two nights is the minimum for really taking advantage of everything on offer here, and three to four would be optimal (unless you’re in the mood for a wellness immersion, in which case knock yourself out and book in for a week).
While You’re In The Area:
Definitely arrange a Douro Valley port wine tasting tour - by far the best move I made was to NOT self-drive to visit a few port vineyards, or quintas…the roads are super windy, and having a private driver and guide made the day so much more enjoyable. We visited Quinta do Seixo, part of the large Sandeman port empire, and Quinta da Pacheca, a smaller, family-owned property. Both were lovely, but we enjoyed the personal touches at Quinta da Pacheca, which also operates a boutique hotel and a restaurant, more.
Don’t Take Our Word For It:
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Complimentary buffet breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
$100 USD equivalent resort or hotel credit to be utilized during stay
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability