Quinta da Romaneira: After a long drive from Coimbra (we got lost) and driving up and down countless mountain sides and through numerous tiny Portuguese villages, we arrived at Quinta da Romaneira (meaning Farm of Romaneira) ready to explore all the Douro River Valley and the Port Region of Portugal had to offer.
First Impression/Lobby: We pulled into the rugged dirt parking lot unsure of where exactly to go. With no hotel in site and the dirt parking lot, I had some doubts as to what was to come.
Shortly after, a young man appeared and welcomed us to Quinta da Romaneira, directed us where to park and told us he would take us to the “hotel”. He quickly transferred our bags to the waiting 4x4 and we were soon on our way down the mountain.
As we drove down the narrow winding mountain path, the stunning Douro River Valley came into view once again; from every angle, it’s gorgeous. After a short ten minute scenic, and at times a bit nerve racking (the path was quite narrow) drive we arrived at the first of the two houses of Quinta da Romaneira.
Reception: We were met the resident manager of Romaneira and she showed us to our suite. Since we had pre-registered and prepaid (all inclusive – breakfast, lunch and dinner – food, wine and liquor) escorted us directly to our suite and had a chance to unpack and get settle in. It’s amazing how skipping the whole “check-in” process instantly makes you feel welcomed and at home.
The Suite: Our suite, La Maison du Figuier (named for the large Fig tree next to it), was a simple design; dark wood, clean lines, simple yet elegant. It reminded me of the minimalist decors I’ve seen numerous times in Bali, Thailand and Malaysia in the past. However this time there were large windows that let the light pour in and provided gorgeous views from every corner of the suite.
Behind the sliding doors to the sides of the king-sized bed was an over-sized bath with ample closet space, a huge rain shower, two sinks, a deep soaking tub and a private toilet and bidet.
The room, while not the most stunning of the twenty rooms (ten in each house), it was one the largest and with it’s location at the end of building, offered the most privacy, the largest terrace and refreshing breezes.
If I were going just for décor alone, my choice would be the African or the Indonesian rooms.
Room Service: With each meal served in a different location, there really isn’t any reason to eat in your room but we did take advantage of eating breakfast on our terrace. This was as close to “room service” as we got and it was perfection. Looking back, I only wish we would have let them decide where we would have breakfast; I can only imagine what they would have planned!
Housekeeping: Perfect, true five-star service.
Concierge:Romaneira does not have a true “concierge” but worry not, the staff is more then able make your any desire a reality.
Restaurant: Whether it’s a poolside lunch or on the veranda overlooking the Douro River or an umbrella covered picnic along the river Quinta da Romaneira makes sure each and every meal is spectacular.
Whether it was the chicken curry or the melon marinated in port we had at lunch or the scrumptious pastries from their on-site pastry chef and chocolatier to spectacular fish, pasta and lamb dishes from their head chef, direct from France, the meals were amazing. Who cares if they don’t have a “restaurant”, you will be astonished (and gain a kilo or two) with your dining experiences at Romaneira.
Pool/Spa/Activities: The number of activities at Romaneira seemed endless; pools, massages, a Turkish bath, a boat ride on the Douro, wine and port tasting, winery tours and the list goes on.
My favorite had to be the pools, one outside on a cliff overlooking the valley, the other an indoor pool located in the old winery. In all my travels around the world, I have never seen an indoor pool like this - chic, trendy, new age cool.
Overall ImpressionQuinta da Romaneira is simply one of the most amazing “hotels” that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. With the all inclusiveness meals and activities and the exceptional service, you will want for nothing and can simply enjoy. Quinta da Romaneira is Fantastic Bombastic!