Six Senses In The Douro Valley
Sun-dappled and amber-hued, Douro Valley – a Portuguese UNESCO World Heritage site – provides the ultimate setting for Six Senses’ first European venture. The now hotel’s terracotta roof and architecture are a charming reminder of the property’s genesis: a 19th-century manor house. Heeding such heritage while injecting a rich dose of all that’s contemporary, New York studio Clodagh Design has made azulejo tiles and granite floors trendy with cork ceilings and modern artwork. Set with floor-to-celling windows, every mod con you could wish for and throws made from local wool, rooms and suites reveal themselves generously.
The spa is standout and will undoubtedly provide the barometer for others of its ilk. Treatment rooms overlook the lazy Douro River, surrendering bodies and souls to sublime serenity.
The organic garden supplies the kitchen; everything that can be harvested is harvested, meaning fresh produce and fine wines come without compromise. Dishes such as peach gazpacho and sweet basil ice-cream best showcase the earthy and authentic fare on offer, and for oenophiles, there’s a Wine Academy in the port wine cellars where sommeliers eagerly await to supply plonk and provincial knowledge, in equal measure. The region’s profile (not that it needed it) has just been raised.