A Gourmet visit to Porto and stay The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa| Porto, Portugal | Two weeks ago, I joined a week trip by Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaruants, to visit all their current properties in Galicia, Spain and all over Portugal. After a lovely stays in Santiago de Compostela at A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa, and crossing to Portugal to Amarante with stay at Casa da Calçadaour journey continued onwards to Porto…  This is my report on the third night. Stay tuned for the rest in upcoming blog posts. After my week in Portugal, I am confident to say I have become an expert in the destination and curated a portfolio of amazing local suppliers. You may see all my photos and videos at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog 

After a lovey but brief visit to Amarante with stay at Casa da Calçadaour journey continued onwards to Porto… Only 45 minutes drive away.

This was my second visit to Porto. Unfortunately this time weather was not on our side, with a hurricane coming our way. We were schedule to be in Porto only for 24 hours, and the only time we were able to spend exploring Porto itself, was a quick drive around our tour guide gave us, upon arrival to Porto after our transfer from Amarante.

The World Heritage city of Porto is one of Europe’s most fascinating but least known travel destinations. Dating back to the 1st century BC when, under Roman rule, the city played an important role on the main trade route between Lisbon and Braga. Situated on the banks of the Douro River where today Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia are located. Porto, the city famous for having 6 bridges, shares this distinction with the neighboring city of Gaia. One of those six bridges, Ponte Dona Maria, was designed by no other than Gustave Eiffel.

From Porto, we crossed to the other side of the Douro River to the district of Gaia, where our hotel for the night was located – The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa. A great classic hotel, providing an authentic and memorable sense of place. The magnificent World Heritage city of Porto is defined by such an iconic property. The Yeatman Hotel.

This was my suite, with private terrace overlooking Porto and the Douro River. As mentioned before, unfortunately weather was not on our side this time around. Timeless elegance and a wealth of authentic detail create a very special atmosphere which evokes the distinctive personality of this ancient city and its historic link to the world of wine. Occupying a commanding hillside position on the south bank of the River Douro, every room at The Yeatman Hotel enjoys breathtaking, panoramic views over the historic centre of Porto.

Since weather was so bad, and given this was not my first time visiting Porto, I decided to spend my day sampling local food & wine, and relaxing at the Spa at The Yeatman over treatments… And so I did. First stop was lunch at Vinum Restaurant & Wine Bar – also in Gaia – with panoramic views over Porto and the Douro Valley.

Followed by a visit to the Spa at The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa. Winner of the ‘Best Hotel Spa – Europe 2013’, the Caudalie Vinothérapie® Spa at The Yeatman is an oasis of serenity and wellbeing. Within the spa area The Yeatman offers a choice of wellbeing and relaxation facilities including a Roman bath, hammam, shower experience and sauna as well as a relaxation area enjoying stunning panoramic views. These have direct access to The Yeatman’s indoor panoramic infinity pool.

Before getting ready for our evening at The Yeatman, we did a quick site inspection of rooms, suites, common areas and of course this unique Concept Master Suite 008 ” Taylor’s Port ” they only suite where you can sleep in a barrel – literally – a king size/four poster barrel bed made out of a spectacular wooden Port vat.

The sun was setting and it was time to head back to my Suite and get ready for our evening at The Yeatman, while hurricane mayhem was taking place outside.

The art at the hotel was reflecting my mood, after three days eating and drinking my way through Santiago de Compostela and Amarante, and a full day in Porto, doing nothing else but eating and drinking…. Oh well, was time to come to the bar to meet the rest of my group, over cocktails before dinner.

Dinner tonight was at 2 Michelin Stars Restaurant at The Yeatman Hotel, in our own private room, by Head Chef Ricardo Costa. Such a lovely evening, while it was pouring outside. Chef Ricardo Costa favours Portuguese gastronomy, in keeping with the Hotel’s philosophy, showcasing the best of what Portugal has to offer, its local products and traditional recipes prepared with contemporary flair and innovative techniques.

Time to head to bed, after yet another exciting but long day transitioning along Portugal. The following day the journey continued on to Lisbon.

The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa interpretation of a Christmas Tree, made out of empty wine bottles. Merry boozy Christmas.

Early rise and shine, to enjoy breakfast with this lovely view, over Porto and Douro River. Our high-speed train to Lisbon was at 9.50AM… and just our luck, weather looked like it was going to have the sun shining that day…

We arrived to Gaia Train Station, only five minutes away from The Yeatman and we were ready to continue our journey.

Three hours high speed train in Business Class ahead, to connect Porto to Lisbon, and onward to our final destination of the day, in Cascais and the Fortalez do Guincho Hotel de Charme. But this is for my next blog post. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

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