Vidago Palace

Vidago Palace

*****

Tucked away in a spa town near Portugal’s northern border, the salmon pink Vidago Palace hotel in Tràs-os-Montes – ‘beyond the mountains’ – has an English country manor sensibility and grande-dame style but undeniably Iberian views. In addition to the opulent main building (opened as a royal palace in 1910) with its glittering ballroom-turned-restaurant, the star attractions are lush 18-hole golf course and the sleek, white-marble spa, where you can take the local spring waters in style.

Highlights:

  • Spectacular spa

  • Golf course and tennis courts

  • Opulent style

Smith extra

Home-made jam or a pack of local teas

In the know

Also need to know:

The 18-hole, par-72 golf course in the grounds was originally built in 1936, but has more recently been transformed in line with USGA specs. The star attraction at the gleaming spa is the water: book a three-, seven- or 14-day programme of water therapy if you’re interested in traditional treatments.

Packing tips:

The town of Vidago is known for its natural springs, so leave room in your case to take home a few bottles of the local spring water, said to have healing properties (you’ll find some in your minibar.)

Dress code:

Old-fashioned glamour is the way to go – imagine the grand guests waltzing through the ballroom when the palace first opened in 1910, and be inspired.

Mr and Mrs Smith reviews

Led Zeppelin famously said they knew a lady who, given half a chance, could actually buy a stairway to heaven. I would now like to formally propose that the grand steps leading up to the entrance of the Vidago Palace in Northern Portugal are added to the whole stairs/heaven canon, because the Vidago Palace is, frankly, heaven in a hotel.

As we approach its vast pink façade for the first time, we can see a uniformed man gliding down said steps to greet us. He is still descending when we pull up in our car, which either means he was moving in slow motion or there are hundreds of steps. Either

Accommodation details

Address:

Parque de Vidago, Apartado 16, Vidago, Chaves, 5425-307
Vidago
Portugal

General facilities

  • Golf
  • Valet parking
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
  • Aerobics instruction
  • Concierge desk
  • Exercise gym
  • Internet services
  • Tennis court
  • Room service
  • Lounges/bars
  • On-Site parking
  • Onsite laundry
  • Restaurant

Dining information

Restaurant:

In the Salão Nobre Dining Room, the hotel’s vast and gilded one-time ballroom, Portuguese chef Josu Sedanu-Martin (who previously delighted London diners at Quaglino’s and the Ivy) serves up a gourmet take on local favourites, such as octopus carpaccio and quail eggs. Meals are also served in the Winter Garden, the hotel’s bright conservatory, and at the laid-back Poolside Bar.

Top table:

Grab a table near the piano to best hear the live music; or, head out on to the terrace.

Last orders:

Breakfast is served in the Winter Garden 7am–10am every weekday and 7am–11am on weekends.

Room service:

Order snacks and drinks to your room any time you like.

Hotel bar:

Sip your tipple of choice in the dark, masculine Smoke Room – think dark wood and darker leather – or the bright Four Seasons Room, with its walls covered in pale silk. Try one of the signature cocktails: the Palace Velvet is a chocoholic’s fantasy, and the Ruby Vidago is a creative concoction involving rose port and crème de menthe.

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