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Vidago Palace Chaves, Portugal - spp007

A hidden palace and a spa fit for a king in Northern Portugal

Hidden away among the tall trees of the surrounding parkland near Portugal's northern border you will find everything you ever dreamed of. Discover luxury and modernity in a period setting that offers a refuge of peace and well-being. Recognised decades ago as a thermal destination par excellence, at the Vidago Palace Hotel, you will find the most advanced health treatments and relaxation techniques, an international standard golf course and gastronomy that's a real feast!

Originally commissioned King Carlos 1, who wanted a luxury spa resort that would stand alongside Europes finest, the hotel first opened its doors in 1910. It became known as one of the most luxurious hotels on the Iberian Peninsula and the fame of the Vidago Palace Hotel would remain intact for several decades. The hotel closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010, one hundred years after its first inauguration. A substantial investment and massive amounts of work enabled this historic location to achieve new life of comfort and luxury, without sacrificing its Belle Époque architectural heritage and identity.

At the Vidago Palace Hotel, each of the 70 bedrooms is large yet cosy, enhanced by features like beautiful beiriz tapestries and hand-painted silk wallpaper, which lines the walls of the 70 rooms and suites, echoing the park outside thanks to the flower and cherry blossom motifs. With unsurpassable comfort, every element leads us back to an atmosphere when elegance and sophistication were of the essence. The bedrooms are, spacious, bright and luxurious with every room enjoying views of the park which surrounds the hotel like a protective cloak.

Dining options include four restaurants and bars, which provide different culinary delights and atmospheres to suit even the most discerning guest. The gourmet restaurant, Salão Nobre, is in what once was the largest ballroom in Europe. It presents a modern twist on traditional Portuguese fare using local products including chestnuts, mushrooms and game from the woods surrounding the property. The chef's table for 12 guests in the wine cellar is perfect for a more intimate celebration. Bathed by the light of day due to its large glass skylight, the Winter Garden Room provides a quiet area for breakfast and lunch and is perfect for those who wish to stay quietly reading the daily newspapers. Other lounges including the Four Seasons Room, has a setting which fosters good conversation and French windows which open out to the terrace for sunny afternoons. Other options include the clubhouse and pool bar and spa cuisine can be created for each area.

The minimalist spa, a new creation by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alvaro Siza Vieira, it has an all-white interior of meticulously aligned marble and contrasts beautifully with the Belle Epoque hotel. Cool and white, it has 20 treatment rooms for relaxation and indulgence, five of which are dedicated to thermal water therapies of which Vidago is famous for. The mineral water of Vidago is recognized for its curative properties and is used in treatments and health programmes which have been developed under the guidance of a highly specialized medical team. The chemical composition of Vidago's waters differs slightly from one source to another. Generations ago, doctors would prescribe a specific spring from which to drink. They would encourage their patients to do the "water walk", taking their daily dose as they strolled the paths of the park from one pavilion to the next and you can do the same today. In association with Clarins and Aromatherapy Associates, the Vidago Palace Spa provides a wide range of beauty treatments for the face, body and mind along with state of the art facilities including an steam and saunas, relaxation areas, vitality pool and a fully equipped gym.

Vidago Palace is approximately an hour from Porto and 15 minutes from the town of Chaves and if you can bear to leave the hotel, the area offers no shortage of activities. The magnificent wine region of Alto Douro, a world heritage site, is about an hour away and different tours can be organized including a boat trip down the river Douro or a helicopter ride across the valley. Other visits of interest include a tour of the local spa town Chaves, a tour of the beautiful baroque Matthew's Palace or learn how the local olive oil is made.

70 Bedrooms, Sleeps 140

4 restaurants
4 bars
Library with multimedia equipment
18-hole golf course designed by Cameron & Powell
Spa including hydrotherapy and thermal treatments
Gym
2 swimming pools (one indoor 15m pool and one outdoor 25m pool)
Kids' pool
24/7 room service
Dry cleaning and pressing