Portugal is becoming more and more popular as a travel destination. This is not only because of the beautiful coastline and historic towns but also because of its wine regions. In the picturesque Douro Valley there is a romantic resort of the Six Senses chain, which we visited in late summer and immediately fell in love with the region. In this post I will introduce you to the Six Senses Douro Valley Hotel, give you my honest review and share with you all the details about the resort and what our overall experience was like.
The Six Senses Douro Valley Review
The Six Senses Douro Valley Resort is beautifully situated in the middle of the vineyards on the banks of the Douro River, which the Douro Valley in Portugal owes its name to. Although the wine region is only 1.5 hours from the city of Porto, it has its own microclimate, which is why the Douro Valley is warmer and drier than the coast. Sunny weather can be enjoyed until late autumn and summer usually begins in the spring months.
Due to the very quiet location, the Six Senses Douro Valley can ideally be reached with a private shuttle transfer from Porto, which the resort organizes for its guests. A rental car also offers a suitable solution, especially if you are planning a longer trip through Portugal.
The concept of the Six Senses Douro Valley Resort
Not only the location of the resort but also the architecture of the Six Senses Douro Valley Resort enchants its guests. The main building is an impressive, newly restored 19th-century villa. During the restoration, the original design was retained and the building expanded. The modern extension is almost identical to the style of the main building, with the buildings flowing into one another. When walking through the grounds of the resort, you feel transported back to a bygone era.
The Six Senses Douro Valley isn’t your typical stuffy luxury hotel. All Resorts of the Six Senses Resorts Brand are characterized by the focus on the well-being of the guests and offer a special experience with all senses. Sustainability and good food with local products is an important factor, which can be found in all houses.
We were already enamored after our first stay in a Six Senses Resort – 2019 in Vietnam – and are therefore big fans of the concept.
The outdoor premises
The Six Senses Douro Valley is located in the middle of a spacious area, which consists of a private forest, a garden, an orchard and vines. For this reason, many of the ingredients for the restaurants, especially fruit and herbs, are homegrown. The Resort even offers a Six Senses wine and olive oil.
Even a waterfall, hidden retreats like cabanas, and gorgeous views can be found while strolling through the resort.
The heart of the large outdoor area of the Six Senses Douro Valley Resort is the spacious pool overlooking the surrounding vineyards. On sunny days the pool is the ideal place to relax while resting on the comfortable sun loungers. The pool bar offers both drinks and lunch snacks that can be enjoyed directly on the lounger. A highlight is the little ice cream stand, where you can order homemade ice cream all afternoon free of charge. This little treat is typical of all Six Senses resorts around the world and one of the many “little highlights” that make a stay at Six Senses so special.
Six Senses Spa
As a wellness resort, the spa area of the Six Senses Douro Valley is particularly spacious and extends over several floors. The highlight is without question the large indoor pool with several basins and a 60-minute water circuit. You switch from a warm pool to an ice pool and then into the large pool with several massage jets. Afterwards you turn a few tracks with underwater meditation music. This was an entirely new experience and I have never seen anything similar in any other resort.
Furthermore, the Spa hosts several saunas, including an infrared chamber and a glass-enclosed sauna with a view of the forest.
Sports fans also get their money’s worth in the well-equipped gym. In addition, there is an outdoor sports area on the edge of the forest. Here you can work out on a plateau overlooking the river or take part in yoga classes.
On our last day we treated ourselves to a massage and I absolutely loved it! First of all, I really liked the treatment rooms with large windows. But especially the massage was unique and one of the most relaxing I have ever experienced! The Six Senses therapist found and treated my tense areas precisely. In my opinion a must-do when visiting the Six Senses Douro Valley.
Thanks to the spacious spa, the Six Senses Douro Valley is a wonderful relaxation hotel all year round and always worth a visit – in summer as well as in the colder seasons.
Rooms and Suites
We spent our nights in one of the only two pool villas in the Six Senses Douro Valley Resort. It is located in a separate building with a private garden with terrace and pool. The villa consists of two floors with a large living room and a fully equipped kitchen on the lower floor. A staircase leads up to the bedroom and the bathroom with bath. The villa is the ideal choice for couples who want to enjoy special peace and privacy. The second pool villa even has two bedrooms and is therefore ideal for families or friends.
The Valley Building
The latest expansion of the Six Senses Douro Valley only opened in July 2022. The Valley building features both rooms and suites, all of which have access to a shared garden and gazebo, as well as a heated pool and whirlpool. All rooms are designed for two guests, but here’s the special thing: The building’s suites & rooms can be connected offering a great experience for families and larger groups.
The final room category of the Six Senses Douro Valley Resort that we where able to glimpse in was also the one that I liked best. The Courtyard Suite is located in the resort’s main building – a former 19th-century mansion. What is special about the suite is not only the glass-enclosed bathroom with a view of the vineyards and the free-standing bathtub in the living room, but also the large balcony in the courtyard of the building with a view of the resort grounds.
Breakfast & Restaurants
In the Six Senses Resorts, everything revolves around the senses, and therefore also around taste. In the resort, the culinary focus is on the taste of Portugal – especially of course the Douro Valley. Almost all ingredients come from local suppliers or even from the resort’s own cultivation.
The „Vale de Abraão“ Restaurant
A seasonally changing dinner menu is offered in the resort’s main restaurant. In the open kitchen, you can look directly over the shoulders of the chefs as they prepare your meal. The restaurant itself is very cozy with a large fireplace and is furnished the style and matching of the villa.
Breakfast is also served here. It consists of a small buffet with lots of fresh fruit, local freshly baked pastries and more. In addition you can order from an extensive à la carte menu. The day can start relaxed by enjoying your breakfast on the terrace of the inner courtyard.
In the summer months there is another restaurant in the garden of the Six Senses Douro Valley. It is a BBQ concept that is completely outdoors – including the open kitchen. The menu features a “sharing menu” with local dishes, all of which are served as part of a four course menu. All courses are accompanied by matching wines and a port wine for dessert. It is an unforgettable experience with exceptional great food!
In addition to the Quinta Bar, which serves drinks, snacks and small dishes throughout the day in the main building, a real highlight of the Six Senses Resort is the Wine Library. Due to its unique location in the Douro Valley, wine plays a major role in the resort and the Wine Library is fully dedicated to this theme. Every evening you can take part in a tasting of local wines. A wine sommelier will find the right drop for everyone, selecting from several hundred bottles. And at the automatic wine bar you can order a delicious wine with your room card at the push of a button.
Activities in the Six Senses Douro Valley
The special nature of the Douro Valley offers a lot of opportunities to experience the region outside of the resort.
For all guests, the Six Senses offers free bicycles or e-bikes, which make exploring the hilly landscape particularly enjoyable. Guided tours through the region or to the neighboring small town are being offered with optional tastings in the surrounding port wineries. Some wineries are even within walking distance, eliminating the need to hop on a bike after enjoying a few glasses.
Among the best activities for sports fans is a kayak tour on the Douro River. From the water you see the landscape and vineyards from a completely different perspective. This activity should be on everyone’s must-do list while visiting the Douro Valley.
In addition to the activities outside the resort, there is also plenty on offer within the walls of the Six Senses Douro Valley: starting with tile drawing courses (typical for the region), do-it-yourself projects in the Earth Lab, yoga classes and much more. Everyone is guaranteed to find something fun to do among the selection!
The Six Senses Resorts are part of my hotel collection with A Small World. Which means that booking with us gets you extraordinary benefits like free breakfast, an upgrade, 100 USD stay credit and more! Additionally you will find the best available rate for each hotel. The sign up to my hotel collection is completely free and the best about it: You can use it for any other hotel booking in the future to ALWAYS enjoy the free benefits!
A stay at Six Senses Douro Valley is not just an overnight stay in a hotel, but rather an unforgettable experience for all the senses. The valley is the ideal place to switch off and enjoy, to escape from everyday life and recharge your inner battery. Especially for couples, friends and families with older children, the Six Senses Douro Valley is the perfect place. Ideally, a stay can be combined with two days in Porto in order to combine sightseeing in the port city with subsequent relaxation.
We had a sponsored stay at the Six Senses Douro Valley, which does not influence my opinion and review about the resort.