Sneak Peek: Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Terraced hills of historic vineyards surround this new riverfront oasis for oenophiles.
Why Go: Visit the resort for the wines and the views. The Six Senses Douro Valley, which opened in July, gives guests engaging experiences, both on and off the property, in the oldest winemaking region in the world. At the Wine Library & Terrace, a comfortable living room surrounded by climate-controlled cases and shelves filled with bottles, sommeliers explain local varieties as they pour tastings. Guests can also helicopter to historic vineyards, including Quinta de Ervamoira and the 250-year-old Qinta Nova. During the September and October harvest, visitors can stomp grapes with the locals. Beyond the wine, the resort boasts a Six Senses destination spa and incredible views of Douro’s famous terraced hills and winding river.
What to Expect: The restored 19th-century wine estate (formerly the Aquapura resort) houses 57 accommodations (from about $350), including rooms, suites, and stand-alone villas. Lots of natural stone and wood furnish the spaces by New York–based Clodagh Design, which consulted a feng shui master for the project. A new wing houses 17 rooms with mostly woodland views. Book a Quinta River room, a suite, or a villa with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the valley. Separate restaurants for all-day dining and fine dining serve guests, plus the Quinta Bar and Lounge and the Wine Library offer tapas (such as cheeses, smoked hams, and local sausages), cocktails, and, of course, vintages from the valley. Throughout the year, visiting practitioners teach courses on health topics such as detoxification and sleeping better, and the spa blends most of its own products using local ingredients from the surrounding fields.
How to Get There: Guests can drive or hire a car to travel the 88 miles from Porto International Airport to the resort. Helicopter arrivals are accommodated by the nearby Porto de Lamego helipad. (sixsenses.com)