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As far as Western Europe goes, Portugal is a more economical alternative to its neighbors, while still offering dazzling beaches, an Old World capital city, charming countryside, and its famous wine. Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, has had a crop of new hotel openings in 2010, giving us even more reason to buy a Portuguese phrase book and plan a trip for 2011. Read more
Take a bright, crisp décor, add some 20,000 bottles of the best Portuguese wine and fold it into a hotel with stunning views across a wide river to an ancient city on a hill, and there you have The Yeatman. Portugal’s first and only “luxury wine hotel” opened in September in Porto, the little country’s second biggest city that’s most famous, of course, for Port wine. The property so lovingly acknowledges Portuguese history while single-handedly propelling the city’s hospitality scene into the future that it’s entirely appropriate to agree with its website’s assertion that, “a great classic hotel defines a destination, providing an authentic and memorable sense of place,” and that moreover Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage City, is defined by The Yeatman.
The Luxury Built into a hillside overlooking the Douro River in one of Europe’s most scenic wine regions, Aquapura Douro Valley clinched a Smart Luxury Award from the magazine in 2008. It has an outstanding 23,600-square-foot holistic spa, but the revamped 18th-century mansion’s strongest asset may be Almapura, its Mediterranean cuisine restaurant, where diners can choose from more than 200 wines, including some from neighboring vines. Aquapura’s River rooms offer a Zen ambience, while private villas come with plunge pools and vineyard views.
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