Thanks to the recent acquisition, Six Senses has become a new great addition to the IHG family, and potentially means more and better ways to spending IHG points and enjoying the elite benefits. The integration is still on the way though, and not all Six Senses hotels are IHG participating.
For example, Six Senses Douro Valley which is generally regarded as on the of best resort hotels in Europe, is not part of the loyal program yet although already bookable via IHG channels. There was a glitch when it landed on the booking platform though – point redemption was temporarily made available, and even the top suites could be booked for the same 90,000 points!
Thanks to the glitch, I managed to book two nights in the Vineyard Garden Suite, which is the best room of the hotel. This is gonna be one of the best hotels I’ve ever visited and there’s no need to explain how excited I am!
Departing from Porto, there are semi-frequent trains from Campanha and Sao Bento stations which take around two hours to arrive into Regua station and costs less than €10. From Regua it’s a short taxi ride to the hotel which costs circa €8, and coming back you can book a taxi at reception for a slightly more expensive price.
I don’t drive so this is the only option for me unless I want to take the time consuming cruise route. Driving a car would be faster than the train, however the latter is on a much more scenery route so usually more recommended.
The entrance doesn’t look very tempting from outside.
The lobby feels more “like it” and the viewing balcony here has the best view out of the entire hotel, in my opinion.
Red wine, walnuts and honey water are served while check-in is prepared.
The lobby / reception is actually on the top floor of the hotel (8th). The 6th / 7th floors are offices, and from 5th floor below are guest rooms, suites, restaurants and other facilities.
My Vineyard Garden Suite is located on the 5th floor.
I’m immediately stunned by the amazing vineyard view from the living room. I wish I could own a flat with such a view!
The living room is very welcoming and homey. You may have noticed that it doesn’t feature a TV, however a projector is available.
Let’s have a look at the garden.
For a suite that accommodates only two people, the garden is overwhelmingly big and well-furnished. I guess the idea is when a group of friends come and stay at this hotel, two people could book this suite while the others book the basic rooms, and everyone just spend most of the time here together…
There’s hot-tub in the garden as well. It’s not really a jacuzzi though, so although you could relax here for the best experience you should still take advantage of the spa.
The bedroom on the other hand is much smaller and basic, but also with a view.
A tablet is attached to wall which allows you to view menus, activities and other hotel information, and place in-room dining orders if needed. When checking in you’ll also be given an access code to log in to the Six Senses Mobile App, which allows you to view all the same information plus making requests. You could also view such information before your arrival in the app.
The bathroom is huge, featuring a very advanced intelligent toilet seat.
Dining facilities are all located on the 3rd floor. The first thing you see coming out of the elevator is the Wine Library, which stores hundreds of red wines produced in the Douro Valley.
You are given a chip card at your convenience should you want to taste selected wines.
Wine tasting events are held here daily for a fee.
On the terrace outside, Happy Hour is hosted every Tuesday and Friday evening, where soft drinks, wines and cocktails are offered to hotel guests for free. It’s also a chance to chat with the hotel’s general manager and give feedbacks.
We mentioned earlier that this hotel isn’t yet IHG participating, however they are going far and beyond to offer all Spire Elite members free breakfast, room upgrade, and complimentary 50-minute massages for two.
Breakfast is semi-buffet, as the bread / salad / fruits are the same for everyone and there are a few items you can order, including eggs benedict and waffles.
Presentation is really great, and the food taste good too. I’m especially impressed by the mango, which comes with a very special fragrance and almost just melts in the mouth – tastes more like an ice cream! #
You can also add half-board or full-board to your accommodation, which cost €80 and €120 per person respectively. Since breakfast is already included for Spire Elite members, you can expect a €20 discount on those prices.
Menus are available here. In principle you can choose any items from starters, mains and desserts, one each, and unlimited soft drinks are included. Looking at the prices, you’ll immediately realise that booking a half-board and full-board package is a no-brainer.
I had the ribeye – which would otherwise cost €94 – for the first dinner. It’s pretty good.
If you visit between May and September, summer barbecue is available in the outdoor area which is also included in the half-board / full-board package.
The menus are very reasonably priced to be honest, however if you prefer something light you can also drop by the bar. A sandwich or burger costs around €20.
The Spa & Wellness centre is on the 2nd floor. A bird view of the swimming pool:
Although the hotel is full, I rarely see any people around the swimming pool the few times I pass by. Not that I’m complaining!
After having some massage in the jacuzzi I spent some time in the sauna room too.
As mentioned, Spire Elite members can have a two-person 50-minute relaxing massage for free.
Let’s go out! The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool with a bar next to it. The water is a bit cold in October already so you don’t see many people going in there.
Aside the pool is a garden and mini-farm. The hotel is almost self-sufficient in terms of herb supply.
And then the reputable vineyards from Douro Valley. If you visit in August and September I believe there are grape-picking activities available which sounds very fun.
A tennis court too.
As the hotel is on top of a mountain, there’s enough space for you hike and cycle around too.
The hotel offers plenty of activities too, most of which are free of charge. It ranges from Yoga, Pilates, Kayaking, Hiking, Tree Climbing to Art and Sketch workshops. The schedule is difference every day and shuffles every week.
My stay is amazing and it almost feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you are also considering to visit this hotel, you won’t be disappointed.