The Yeatman Porto review: a luxury hotel for wine lovers
This five-star offers spectacular views of the Douro river
Set on the calmer side of Porto away from the bustle at the heart of the city, The Yeatman lies on the south bank of the mouth of the Douro river nestled amongst the old port wine warehouses. Its vantage point means it’s blessed with magnificent views across the waters, taking in the spectacular Luís I Bridge and the city itself.
Why come here?
The entrance to The Yeatman is suitably grand, bedecked with marble, serious columns and a tremendous central staircase. As you’d imagine, there’s a well-stocked wine shop showcasing wines and fortified wines from across the country.
Head out onto the huge sweeping terrace and you’ll be greeted by an incredible, all encompassing view of Porto and the Douro river, out across the hotel’s pool, the croquet lawn and the tangle of old buildings below which lead to the World of Wine.
The generously sized suites, cleverly built stepped up the side of the valley, give uninterrupted views – including from the bathtub (which is rather fun at night out across the twinkling lights). The rooms are named after Portuguese winemakers and are subtly themed around them. They’re modern and comfortable, well sized and all have a balcony or a terrace. In the presidential suite the wine theme continues with a bed housed inside a giant barrel and the Bacchus suite for, one can only assume, the Bacchanalia with its huge copper bath and revolving bed.
The wine theme at The Yeatman doesn’t stop there: the spa, too, is an oenophile’s dream with treatments like a crushed Cabernet scrub and a Barrel Bath in a cask-shaped Jacuzzi.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is an elegant buffet with a not-to-be-missed selection of pastries. If you can resist a pastel-de-nata then you are more strong willed than most. There’s a good range of options, hot and cold – the fruit seems to be fantastic in Portugal at any time of year.
Dick’s Bar, which is named after Dick Yeatman, a notable and beloved figure in the port trade, melds tradition and modernity to build a slick affair. Of course, the drink du jour here is wine and plenty are on offer by the glass. In winter, sit by the warming fire and in summer head out to the sun-drenched terrace. Also on offer are a range of lighter bites and snacks featuring a selection of Portuguese favourites.
The Yeatman Gastronomic Restaurant has two Michelin stars which is worth a visit if you can bag a table. Sadly the main restaurant, the Orangerie, feels like a bit of an afterthought, the large room a bit soulless and the food aspirational but missing the mark. That said, the wines are spectacular.
It’s more fun to live like a local and head across the river for a host of fun and delicious food and drink choices which are worth the walk. If that’s feeling a little far there are a number of enjoyable places on the waterfront but expect to pay a little more for a little less based on their location.
What to do
If you can drag yourself away from the hotel, Porto itself has an array of attractive things to see and do and you can spend hours strolling around its historic sites, museums and food shops. There are a number of fun and modern tinned fish shops but don’t miss Loja das Conservas, a fabulous shop and restaurant focusing on all things canned.
Just below The Yeatman lies the World of Wine; calling it a museum doesn’t really do it justice – it’s a temple to all things wine and the culture that surrounds it with exhibitions 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