Located on the quieter side of Porto, away from the hustle and bustle in the heart of the city, The Yeatman sits on the southern bank of the mouth of the Douro River, nestled among the old Port wine warehouses. Its vantage point means it is blessed with magnificent views of the waters, the spectacular Luís I Bridge, and the city itself.
Why come here?
The entrance to The Yeatman is suitably grand, adorned with marble, serious columns and a huge central staircase. As you would imagine, there is a well-stocked wine shop showcasing wines and fortified wines from across the country.
Step onto the huge panoramic terrace and you’ll be greeted by an incredible, all-encompassing view of Porto and the Douro River, across the hotel’s swimming pool, croquet lawn and the tangle of old buildings below that lead to the world of wine.
The generously sized suites, expertly built into the valley side, offer uninterrupted views – including from the bath (rather fun in the evening through the twinkling lights). The rooms are named after Portuguese winegrowers and are subtly themed around them. They are modern and comfortable, well sized and all have a balcony or terrace. In the Presidential Suite, the wine theme continues with a bed housed in a giant barrel and the Bacchus Suite for, one can only guess, Bacchanalia with its huge copper bath and revolving bed.
The wine theme at The Yeatman doesn’t stop there: the spa is also an oenophile’s dream with treatments like a crushed Cabernet scrub and a barrel bath in a barrel-shaped Jacuzzi.
Eat and drink
Breakfast is an elegant buffet with an unmissable selection of pastries. If you can resist a pastel-de-nata, you’re more willful than most. There’s a good range of options, both hot and cold – the fruit seems to be fantastic in Portugal at any time of year.
Named after Dick Yeatman, a notable and beloved figure in port trade, Dick’s Bar combines tradition and modernity to build an elegant affair. Of course, the drink of the day here is wine and many are offered by the glass. In winter, sit by the fireplace and in summer, head to the sunny terrace. A range of bites and lighter snacks including a selection of Portuguese specialties is also offered.
The gourmet restaurant Yeatman has two Michelin stars, which is worth a visit if you can reserve a table. Sadly, the main restaurant, L’Orangerie, feels a bit like an afterthought, the great room a bit soulless, and the food ambitious but a miss. That said, the wines are spectacular.
It’s more fun to live like a local and cross the river for loads of fun and delicious food and drink that are well worth trying. If that seems a bit far, there are a number of nice places on the beach front, but expect to pay a little more for a little less depending on their location.
What to do
If you can drag yourself away from the hotel, Porto itself has an attractive array of things to see and do and you can spend hours wandering around its historical sites, museums and food outlets. There are a number of fun and modern canned fish shops, but don’t miss Loja das Conservas, a fabulous shop and restaurant focused on all things canned.
Just below The Yeatman is the world of wine; Calling it a museum doesn’t quite do it justice – it’s a temple to all things wine and the culture that surrounds it with exhibits dedicated to everything from cork to drinking vessels through the ages.
The Yeatman, Rua do Choupelo (Santa Marinha), 345, Vila Nova de Gaia, 4400-088. Prices from £225; the-yeatman-hotel.com