A gentle stroll from the picturesque town that gives it its name, Lamego Hotel & Life ticks all the boxes for a laid-back stay near the Douro Valley. The region’s vineyards, viewpoints and verdant riverways, naturally, are within easy reach, but there’s plenty here to keep you idling just a little while longer: loll by the valley-view pool, sample the kitchen’s fabulous fare and sip the hotel’s own wines, lovingly grown in its nearby quinta.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £107.32 (€125), including tax at 6 per cent.
Rates include a buffet breakfast of fresh bread and pastries, pancakes, fresh fruit and juices, yogurt and muesli, eggs, cold cuts and cheeses.
The lobby’s painted mural – sunhats, slithering eels and a rather stern owl – makes a delightfully rural backdrop for selfies.
At the hotel
Gym, foosball and tennis courts, charging station for electric vehicles, kids club, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, air-conditioning, free bottled water, Castelbel toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
Dressed in shades of cream and butterscotch, rooms are pared-down and infused with Zen-like calm. Textured Burel blankets, hand-loomed wall hangings and vintage baskets keeps things tactile and interesting. Ask for a Valley View Suite: they have a prime position on the hotel’s upper floors for gazing out over the Douro’s postcard-perfect landscape.
Take in serene views of the valley from the heated outdoor pool (open June to October), a Mediterranean fancy framed by fragrant pine trees, romantic colonnades and pergola-shaded sunloungers. The heated indoor pool has equally charming views through floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a Nordic bath to linger in. Little Smiths can use the pool daily between 9.30am and 4pm.
Make time for an hour or two in the hotel’s treatment room. Plump for a brightening facial using Madra products, or opt for something pampering – an ayurvedic massage, say, or an aromatherapy treat – harnessing the therapeutic powers of olive oil, lavender or almond blossom.
Bring a tome by José Saramago, Portugal’s literary heavyweight, to thumb by the pool, and leave plenty of space in your luggage for well-packed bottles of the resort’s own wine to take home.
Some Double rooms have been adapted for wheelchair users.
Welcome. A free cot for-under 3s can be added to all rooms on request; families or larger groups should book a suite – each can sleep two adults and two children (aged 16 and under).
Babies and up.
With their separate living area and handy kitchenette, Deluxe Valley View Suites are ideal if you’re travelling with a brood.
Visit the hotel's round-the-clock games room, where little Smiths can play foosball and board games whenever they want.
Under-12s can splash around in the indoor pool and nordic bath between 9.30am and 4pm.
The restaurant has high chairs, and staff will happily reheat baby food or adapt menus for fussy eaters.
Local babysitters can be arranged for €20 an hour; book two hours ahead.
No need to pack
Travel light: the hotel has disposable bibs and changing mats, wipes, diapers, tot-friendly plates and cutlery and baby baths.
Solar panels provide much of the hotels energy, water tanks collect greywater for irrigation, bathroom amenities are organic and glass water bottles have taken over from their plastic counterparts. The restaurant works closely with local suppliers and farmers, there’s a recycling programme in place and the spa was recently remodelled with sustainable materials.
Head out onto the terrace if the weather’s playing ball, whether you prefer a sun-kissed view of the pool or a shaded spot under the parasols.
Casual but impeccable: crisp chinos, leather sandals and airy knits will do the trick.
Light-filled and airy, the restaurant makes the most of local produce: pair perfectly executed Portuguese classics such as rustic head cheese or grilled octopus with head-turning glasses of the quinta’s own bounty.
Kitted out with plump sofas, vintage trunks and a well-stocked bookshelf, the bar is an inviting spot to while away a few postprandial hours. Wines from Lamego Hotel & LIfe’s own quinta are de rigueur and pleasing tastebud-tinglers.
Dinner is served from 7.30pm to 9.30pm; the bar pours local wine and other thirst-quenchers from 11am to midnight.
In Lamego, the hotel overlooks the tranquil town and rolling hills of the distant Douro Valley.
The airport in Porto is the most convenient; allow an hour for the drive. The hotel can arrange private car transfers from €160 one way.
The most convenient station is Régua, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Catch a service from Porto São Bento to Marco de Canaveses, where you can change to a service to Régua.
Bring your own wheels and head to the Douro Valley’s picturesque vistas and vineyards; there’s free indoor and outdoor parking at the hotel as well as on-site charging for electric vehicles.
Worth getting out of bed for
Should Portugal’s moreish pastries ever take their toll, devise your own health-boosting retreat within Lamego Hotel & Life’s pine-fringed grounds. Work up a flush at the gym or on the tennis courts before slinking into the pool for a few refreshing laps and heading to the Nordic bath until any lingering tensions have melted away. There’s plenty more for the active beyond the hotel’s walls: staff can arrange mountain-bikingexcursions on the valley’s winding paths, sedate kayaking jaunts down the Douro River and pulse-raising canyoning adventures on the wild Cabrum River. If you’re of a more sedate disposition, ask about river jaunts aboard a traditional Barco Rabelo boat and leisurely wine tastings in nearby quintas. It’s worth the climb up the narrow, twisting stairs to Lamego castle; walls and a tower may be all that’s left of the medieval keep, but the sweeping views aren’t to be missed.
Tucked under timber frames in a warehouse overlooking the rail tracks, Castas & Pratos – a 20-minute drive away in Peso de Régua – has bags of character. Sample seared sea bass and creamy broccoli before while sipping a glass of Grainha Reserva White. Right on the river, Doc is an elegant spot for a romantic tête-à-tête. Chef Rui Paul makes the most of regional produce and the bounty from the nearby sea.
Dreamy winery Quinta Nova dates back to 1764. Have a snoop around its barrels room and atmospheric cellar, then settle on the flower-framed terrace for tipples, tapas and soul-stirring views.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this cosseting hotel in Lamego and unpacked their rubies and tawnies, a full account of their gourmet break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Lamego Hotel & Life in the Douro Valley…
Make your way up Lamego’s tree-lined driveway to leave any cares on the doorstep. Given an elegant refresh with a hint of Scandi chic, this contemporary stay is perfectly poised for Douro Valley getaways, perched as it is between the pretty town centre and the dips and swells of the valley below. The decor is refined and understated: think trunk-hewn coffee tables, hand-loomed tapestries and tactile blankets, all in airy, tantalising shades of caramel. In the bar and restaurant, floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of pleasing valley views – though the kitchen’s tempting fare, of course, is best enjoyed al fresco on the terrace, with a glass of something fruity or full-bodied from the hotel’s own vineyards. Epicurean streaks can be tempered with more athletic pursuits: play a ball game or two on the courts, stretch limbs out in either of the heated pools, or, if that all sounds a little too strenuous, indulge in a massage or a relaxing spell in the spa suite.