This is a totally charming country house situated near the Duoro river and about 75 minutes by car from Porto. There are two wings; an older and a newer one. Our rooms were in the newer wing and decorated in a modern style with lots of slate. The rooms were very large and the bathrooms generously sized. Each room has a small, private balcony. It being fig season, there were fresh figs in the room each day along with tap water in bottles next to the bed, and a bottle of white port plus tonic water and a fresh lemon in order to mix our own “porto tonica”. There is a minibar as well as a tea/coffee machine (no milk), and in the closet there is mosquito repellent (both for the skin and the room) and a flashlight, and robes and slippers. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. If you keep the sliding doors closed at night, you won’t hear the roads across the valley. The minibar did make noise but you can always unplug it if it bothers you. For me it was like so-called white noise which I actually liked. I didn’t hear people in the other rooms at all.
The unheated pool and gardens are absolutely lovely. There is a small gym (Matrix cable tower, mats, and cardio machine) in a separate room among the citrus trees, as well as a sauna/Jacuzzi nearby. There is plenty of free, shaded parking below the hotel grounds. We were picked up at the Porto airport by an independent service, which was convenient but expensive, so if you don’t come by car, consider taking the train to Peso da Régua and getting a taxi for the short ride up to the hotel.
Due to the Corona health crisis I had quite a lot of pre-arrival email correspondence with the hotel and all mails were answered promptly. Anna and also all the other receptionists were extremely helpful and kind; they seemed to be truly concerned for their guests’ comfort.
The meals in the hotel are set (with a choice between two main dishes) and include paired wine of which you can basically drink as much as you want; the paired reserva wines do cost extra, however. All of our meals were excellent and the servings were generous. For breakfast we had to fill out a list the night before of what we wanted to eat as there was no buffet due to health regulations, but we could get refills and all of the food was delicious.
A tour of the vinery is included in the room rate; it was hard to understand both because of the noise in the various rooms as well as the guide having to wear a mask, but the personnel was not skimpy in serving the various wines at the end of the tour.
We used the mountain bikes for a trip along the Duoro. This is not necessarily to be recommended as the bikes are only of medium quality, the road to the river is not really rider-friendly, and the river bike path, although lovely, runs out after a few kilometres. The vineyard paths behind the hotel are way too steep to comfortably ride on with the bikes, however they are great for hiking about and afford wonderful scenic views of the valleys.
You can order a picnic lunch (lovingly prepared) either to carry with you yourselves, or have personnel set up on a lovely spot high above the hotel. We took the picnic with on the bikes and there was more than enough food! Consider ordering less if you aren’t big eaters.
At checkout I was asked if there was anything they could improve on; I couldn’t think of a thing. Later it occurred to me that two of us found a few small ants in the bathroom sinks. If this is the only complaint, the hotel must be doing everything else right.
We would definitely return to this hotel and would also like to stay at its sister property down the river, Casa do Rio.