July 12 2010
July 15 sees the much-anticipated arrival in Porto of The Yeatman (www.the-yeatman-hotel.com; doubles from €185). Set atop a hill overlooking the Doura River (pictured), this purpose-built hotel’s focus will be equally on gastronomy, wines and ports (with a 25,000-bottle cellar and weekly tasting events), and vinotherapy – or rather, Vinothérapie, the grape-seed-based spa programmes offered by Caudalie, whose fifth full-service spa is located here.
Not far away, the once-venerated but faded Vidago Palace (www.vidagopalace.com; doubles from £285), an hour outside Porto, has had new, very good-looking life breathed into it by hotelier Grace Leo-Andrieu (she of The Cotton House on Mustique, The Clarence in Dublin and Bairro Alto in Lisbon). Portuguese starchitect Alvaro Siza Vieira restored the early-20th-century palace and conceived the stunning contemporary extension with its white marble interiors. The 18-hole golf course and 20-treatment-room spa hidden in the palace’s 120-plus cedar- and pine-covered acres, will doubtless be the jewels in the Vidago’s crown.