Owned by the family behind Taylor’s and other port labels, and a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection, the Yeatman has serious credentials. The six-storey hotel spans a hillside among port wine lodges, mirroring the terraced vineyards. A magnificent staircase sweeps upwards to the communal areas, which are tricked out in acres of marble. Corridors display interesting wine-related artwork and historical images.
The Yeatman maximises its location on a slope by cleverly arranging the bedrooms, to all face the front and benefit from the view, which is best enjoyed from the terrace or balcony in each case. Giant windows flood the rooms with light as well, while the décor and paraphernalia in them is wine-themed. Naturally. The Taylor’s Suites have beds carved from enormous port vats but the smartest and most exclusive suite, Bacchus, named after the Roman god of wine, comes with a revolving bed, copper bath and private terrace complete with its own fountain.
Relax in the Caudalie spa, an oasis of serenity with a sauna, indulgent hammam and indoor pool that looks out over a stunning view. Treatments are centred around a unique philosophy of Vinothérapie – the antioxidants you get from drinking red wine work even better when applied straight to your skin – and include merlot scrubs and bathing in grapeseed-infused water inside a giant wine barrel. Signature massages use grape extract to provide a sensation of wellness.
The pool lounge and Dick’s Bar are scattered with inviting sofas – the latter never calls ‘Time’ either which may be just as well when there’s 1,300 bottles on the wine list and more than 80 available by the glass. Tour the hotel’s cellars in the afternoon and take a twirl through Portugal’s 11 wine regions. Then sample the vintages in the bar, narrowing your selection by consulting the custom-published magazine with tasting notes. At weekends sip your carefully chosen red or white while live jazz or fado musicians perform.
During the day dine in the elegant Orangerie, which has a large terrace and magnificent panoramas of Porto and in the evening, grab a table in the Restaurant for an inspired culinary experience and imaginative multi-course tasting menu based around neo-Portuguese cuisine; the kitchen is the only one in Porto to carry two Michelin-stars and specialises in food and wine pairings. Finish the evening with a sublime vintage port. For a romantic table just for two arrange an al fresco meal on your private terrace. Or stage an intimate dinner in a private dining room redolent of a wine cellar.