Booking this stay
When booking this stay, I opted for the convenience of using the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts platform. Booking through AMEX FHR ensured that I not only secured a stunning vineyard premier room but also unlocked a range of exclusive benefits for our stay:
- A room upgrade upon arrival, when available.
- Daily breakfast for two people, setting the perfect start to your day.
- Guaranteed 4pm late check-out, allowing for extra relaxation.
- Experience the convenience of a noon check-in, when available.
- Stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi throughout your stay.
- Enhance your experience with a $100 property credit.
Conveniently located just over an hour away from Porto Airport or downtown Porto, reaching Six Senses is a breeze. We arranged transfers through the hotel, offering a hassle-free journey for 250 euros one way. Despite the expense, it was more cost-effective than renting a car. The hotel’s Mercedes sedan transfer from the Intercontinental Porto was a luxe touch, complete with cold water and tasty Six Senses branded snacks. The scenic drive along a winding highway through the picturesque Portuguese wine country added to the overall charm of the journey.
Arrival and check-in
Upon arrival around 10am, the bustling front desk indicated the hotel’s near full occupancy during our stay. While waiting for check-in, we were treated to a welcome drink and refreshing cold towels.
A friendly front desk associate handled our check-in process, informing us that our room was not yet ready due to the previous guests’ late check-out. However, this presented the perfect opportunity to take a property tour and relax in the tranquil spa until our room became available. We returned to the front desk to ask about our room around 1:15 pm. To our surprise, we were informed of a complimentary upgrade to a Vineyard Rooftop Terrace Suite, a 5 category upgrade from the room I initially booked. Nice!
Vineyard Rooftop Terrace Suite
The suite exceeded our expectations, with a spacious and light-filled layout. A separate living room with comfortable sofas, a large TV, and a dining area provided the perfect casual space for relaxing.
The bedroom featured a king-size bed, another large TV, and a window showcasing breathtaking views of the vineyard.
The bathroom, complete with a dual-vanity sink and a spacious walk-in shower equipped with luxurious in-house bath products, exuded elegance.
The highlight was the private outdoor area, which featured a dining table, a cozy sofa, a hot tub, and a shaded lounge—a peaceful section of our suite that we used every day.
My only complaints about the room are that there weren’t enough vineyard-facing windows and it would have been nicer if the terrace and hot tub also faced the vineyards.
Six Senses has restored and expanded this former private mansion, creating a unique and captivating property. However, the layout felt slightly disjointed, with steps and stairs scattered throughout, contributing to a somewhat maze-like experience. While this may not be a concern for everyone, it is worth noting for those seeking a more accessible or stair-free vacation. For instance, accessing the pool required descending to the 3rd floor, passing through the main restaurant amidst diners, and descending an additional four flights of stairs. Even visiting the pool’s restroom meant going down another flight of stairs. I found this aspect took away from a more effortless, relaxing experience.
Food and beverage
Six Senses embraces its wellness-focused ethos in its culinary offerings, catering to health-conscious guests. However, I found the menus leaning towards niche and health-centric options. There were many unique dishes like savory kimchi waffles, coffee infused with lion’s mane mushroom, and cold walnut soup. While I appreciate healthy eating, I personally struggled to find dishes that aligned with my preferences during our several-day stay, which left me somewhat disappointed.
After breakfast each morning, the team would set up complimentary coffee, tea and cakes on a table table near the main restaurant. I loved that and it was perfect for snacks in between meals since I was jet-lagged and still getting used to to the time change. Plus the cakes were really yummy!
Service at the hotel did not meet the standards I had hope for at this level of a resort. The staff, while friendly, appeared relatively young, inexperienced, and slow. One evening at the bar, service was noticeably slow, resulting in a neighboring table having to leave without their drink order, despite notifying the waiter of their approaching off-property dinner reservation. Similarly, poolside service fell short of my expectations. At this caliber of hotel, it should be baseline for pool staff to proactively offer water and menus upon arrival, yet water was self-serve, and we had to request a menu. Additionally, the call button assigned to each lounger failed to function during both of our poolside lounging days.
As this was my first Six Senses property, my overall experience left me disappointed. While the brand’s wellness focus is admirable, I felt that wellness-related offerings were primarily available at an additional cost rather than being seamlessly integrated into the experience. As a self-proclaimed foodie and health-conscious individual, I struggled to fully appreciate the menu offerings throughout my stay. Despite these setbacks, the stunning views and luxurious accommodations ensured some memorable moments during my time at the Six Senses Douro Valley.