Travel: Savour the taste of a vintage at The Yeatman in Oporto, Portugal
Rising up and out of the Douro River that divides it, Oporto, Portugal’s second city, is studded with pastel painted cafes and black-roofed port houses by day and shines with a thousand lights and neon landmarks by night. The Yeatman is a five-star luxury wine hotel which is testament to everything that the city was built on, and the traditions that it grew out of...
The journey to The Yeatman isn’t a long one and nowhere near as arduous and begrudged as the one back to the airport.
It offers travellers the chance to catch snapshots of Portugal’s northern territories that are so
far removed from the sometimes spoilt sun, sea and sand of the south.
Make no mistake, though, slivers of the metropolitan world can still be seen but only through a lush green haze of vegetation, the kind you’d only expect to find in a region where wine production is still so prevalent.
The cool yet comfortable climate is surprising too and so distinctly Mediterranean. Even when the winter months are looming you can expect to feel the heat of the afternoon sun and a light, warming breeze.
All of this, though, merely acts as a pleasant distraction, an interlude and charming introduction. As soon as the Dom Luís bridge comes into view, the rapid black river and old Oporto town with it, the city’s spell is cast.
No matter how you spend the first few minutes of your time at The Yeatman, be it in the grand, light-flooded lobby going over your room particulars with the polite and welcoming members of staff or sitting in Dick’s Bar, glass in hand, waiting for someone to take you down to your room, not only will you feel right at home – a boast that not all five-star hotels can claim – but you will spend those minutes with a smile on your face. It’s a smile that can only come from knowing you are somewhere special.
There are the plush and individually designed rooms and suites of course, all beautifully appointed with authentic, traditional Portuguese features and sponsored by the hotel’s partner wineries, but it is what’s going on in all 82 of them, as well as the hotel bars, restaurants, terraces and relaxation areas that you will remember.
Attention to every little detail is what can only come from experienced and impeccable service and you will find endless amounts of both at The Yeatman.
From remembering your favourite wine, suggesting where to sample the best local cuisine and hand-picking which landmarks you must visit during your stay, it’s a personalised welcome.
Even if you don’t fancy exploring all that the ancient city of Oporto has to offer, and there is plenty, use of The Yeatman’s facilities will easily fill your time.
As a wine hotel, The Yeatman is a haven for those who consider themselves wine buffs of a sort. Tours of the hotel’s wine cellars are a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the area’s produce, while weekly wine dinners, held in the intimate vaulted rooms, provide guests with a chance to taste unknown varieties from surrounding vineyards, perfectly paired with food created by the hotel’s award-winning chef.
In the evenings, refreshing cocktails must be had, with a side of live music, in Dick’s Bar. Make yourself comfortable in one of the many gentleman’s club armchairs, or if the evening is warm, venture out to the terrace to sip, savour and watch the waterfront view as it changes like the colours in a kaleidoscope.