Peek Inside the Spectacular New Suites at the Six Senses Douro Valley

Arriving at the Six Senses Douro Valley certainly feels like a grand entrance. Approaching the resort in our rental car, my husband and I spot the pinkish-coloured manor house nestled in the valley below, and as we turn off the main road, we pass vineyards so close we can almost touch them. Once inside the tranquil lobby, to the side of the reception desk we see a small balcony with sweeping views of Portugal’s beautiful Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Six Senses Douro Valley was the Asian wellness brand’s first European resort, but now owned by U.K.-based IHG Hotels and Resorts, Six Senses has been steadily expanding with resorts in Ibiza, Israel’s Negev Desert, and upcoming openings in Rome, London, and Grenada, among others.



Located in northern Portugal, about 90 minutes east of Porto by car, Six Senses Douro Valley encapsulates everything the brand stands for. Occupying a 19th-century quinta (wine estate), the 71-key property feels like a spa retreat where you can just as easily detox or indulge, depending on your mood. The Vale de Abraão restaurant serves traditional Portuguese dishes like cataplana (seafood stew cooked in a spherical pot of the same name) and, for breakfast, pastel de nata, but you can skip the pastries and start your day with an acai bowl and green juice if you prefer.


We stay in one of the new Valley suites in the property’s original wine lodge. Our spacious suite has its own living/dining room with a fireplace and kitchen, a small powder room, and a full bathroom with its own sauna off the master bedroom. Just outside are a communal garden and pool flanked by gazebos perfect for relaxing in when the weather is warm.


There’s so much to do on the property that you could spend your whole stay without getting bored, but the staff can also organize excursions. We visit the nearby Niepoort winery one afternoon before returning to the resort for a wine tasting led by a resort sommelier. We especially enjoy a cooking class that starts with a visit to the Earth Lab, where staff members preserve and pickle fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the estate’s organic garden. When the chefs see how enthusiastic we are about cooking, one of them gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of the full prep kitchen, where the talented team prepares everything, including all the bread baked in-house.


Another highlight is the hands-on lesson at the alchemy bar in the spa, where we use essential oils and other natural ingredients to make a soothing balm to take home. Afterward, we enjoy a massage sauna respectively before meeting up to relax in the indoor pool with its hydro-massage jets and underwater music.

We leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and inspired.