A Weekend Away
About a month before writing this post I turned 30. To my surprise, the whole event went by without any presents despite my many attempts at dropping hints to my loved ones. The day came and went with the usual birthday celebrations but no presents. As you can imagine i wasn't best pleased.
I was ready to trade in my friends for new ones when I received a phone call informing to get myself ready for a weekend away. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I had just received a late birthday present and I was heading to Portugal.
Now as a side note I am not great at packing for trips but to my astonishment I managed to pack a bag that a military man would be proud of.
Finally the day came and we made our way to Portugal. We left London which unusually was bathed in beautiful sunshine. This could only be a good omen for a great weekend away in Europe. Our destination was on the Douro River which was an hour's drive from Porto.
This is a quick review of the hotel and the weekend away.
I will break my review down into sections and hopefully this should make it easier to read. I will start first with the pros about this place.
The location is perfect. What really makes this place stand out is the view. We had a mountain view room on the 4th floor but the bonus of the room we were allocated was that it was in a corner so you were able to get a view of both the river and the mountains. Room 32 if anyone is curious but from other reviews i've read the river view rooms are better but i can't comment on that as i wasn't able to see those rooms.
The staff especially the ones at the reception and the housekeeping team were so lovely and helpful. They even extended our checkout time to accommodate a late evening flight. Juan who was a guide in the boat tour was incredibly charming and easy to get on with.
The facilities are great. The pool (both outdoors and indoors) are much smaller than they appear in images. The girls in the spa were lovely too.
The cons i will list are not meant to deter anyone from visiting this wonderful place but merely as a helpful suggestions for the hotel on what they could improve for a 4 star hotel.
Despite its amazing location there isn't much to do in the local area. If you want to do some exploring then renting a car is your only option. We were told there isn't going to be a hiking trail which will come into use from next year so that should make it a treat to be able to walk by the river front.
The boat trip was great to be able to see the river and its surrounding area under the charge of a very knowledgable guide but thats all it is. A 2 hour round trip on the river. Perhaps the hotel might look into providing a service of food and drinks for guest who wish to take something with them on the trip.
The food was a little hit and miss for me. On different evenings, we went to dinner and ordered drinks (orange juice, water and a glass of wine. It took over 10 mins for the drinks to arrive which was surprising considering the restaurant wasn't even half full.
Those things however little they may be go a long way to making your stay in any hotel unforgettable. Thats my small contribution and hopefully someone on their team can see to it that something is done about it
Room Tip: Room 32. A view of both the mountains and the river