A stone’s throw from the pretty baroque town that lends it its name, Lamego Hotel & Spa is just the thing for charmed getaways in the Douro Valley. You’d be remiss not to sample the region’s hill-tucked wineries and undulating riverways, but this pool-blessed bolthole has more than enough delights to tempt hedonists to stay put. Steam and soak in the spa suite, sigh and snooze in valley-view rooms, and make plenty of time for leisurely sips of wine from the hotel’s own vineyards.
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 vistas of the valley from the heated outdoor pool, 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 sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi to linger in.
Make time for an hour or two in the hotel’s treatment room. Plump for a brightening facial using vine-infused Caudalie 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; an extra beds (€16 a night for 5–11s, €22 for over-12s) can be added to all rooms except the Valley View Suite (only one cot or extra bed can be added per room).
Babies and up.
With their separate living area and handy kitchenette, Deluxe Valley View Suites are ideal if you’re travelling with a brood.
Open from 7.30am to midnight, the free kids’ club has books, board games, painting and drawing materials, a mini kitchen and a ball pool. On sunny days, older children can borrow tricycles or join treasure hunts in the quinta.
Little ones can splash around in the outdoor pool’s shallow area, cleverly separated from the main pool.
The restaurant has high chairs, and staff will happily reheat baby food or adapt menus for fussy eaters.
Local babysitters can be arranged for €9 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, baby baths and pool toys.
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 10.30pm; the bar pours local wine and other thirst-quenchers from 11am to midnight.
In the tranquil outskirts of the town of Lamego, the hotel overlooks the rolling hills of the Douro Valley.
The airport in Porto is the most convenient; allow an hour for the drive. The hotel can arrange private car transfers from €130 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 to explore the Douro Valley’s picturesque vistas and vineyards; there’s free indoor and outdoor parking at the hotel.
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 on the squash and tennis courts, slink into the glorious valley-view pool for a few refreshing laps, then flit from sauna to steam room and hot tub 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, Sus Douro – a 20-minute drive away in Peso da Régua – has bags of character. Sample inventive fare rustled up from fabulous local produce, such as veal in a rich port and cocoa sauce. 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.
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