six senses resort douro valley portugal

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All images: Six Senses

A look at the wellness retreat in the middle of Portugal’s famous wine region

14 March 2024

A rejuvenating blend of sunshine, spa services and excursions await at Six Senses Douro Valley.

Situated in the midst of the rolling hills of Portugal’s historic Douro Valley, this Six Senses location is elegantly designed to work in harmony with all of nature’s elements to create a holistic, restorative experience for its guests. And while a wellness retreat in the middle of one of the world’s most famous wine regions might sound like a recipe for disaster, it’s also precisely why it works. 

There’s a serious focus on well-being and health here, but this elegantly restored 19th-century manor house offers so many other innovative activities and experiences that rooms are quickly booked up by couples and families who want to enjoy a holiday together while still being able to plan each day according to individual desires.

A 14m outdoor pool complements the spa’s indoor one

The resort’s 71 rooms and suites are large and airy, with vast floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on to the estate, and each is equipped with all the latest tech while staying true to the innately peaceful and relaxing Six Senses aesthetic. Hidden in the manor house gardens there are one- and two-bedroom villas, each with their own private pool, and a renovated wine lodge offers nine all-new Valley Rooms and Suites that can be inter-connected for larger group stays. 

Children are also well catered for, with activities for little adventurers including tree climbing, cycling and water skiing, and for the more mindfully inclined youngster, there are kids’ yoga, art and cooking classes to keep them occupied while their parents soak in the spa.

And soak in the spa you will: located on the second floor of the main house, this serene space has been designed with the elements in mind, blending water, stone and wood with a sense of traditional Portuguese visuals.

All the classics are on offer here, from deep tissue and detox massages to manicures, pedicures and facials, but it’s the more unusual treatments that will have you hooked: the Warming Schist Vinotherapy takes all the elements of Portugal’s wine country for a full-body exfoliation using grapeseed pearls and port, followed by a massage using warm schist stones. 

Six Senses signature treatments such as sound massages with Tibetan Bowls are all on offer too, plus a raft of new offerings such as cryotherapy and colour therapy and a full range of smart tech therapies – think Sleep Upgrades, Wellness Screenings and Biohacking, each designed to rejuvenate your body to release its full potential. 

The experience doesn’t end there either; after sweating it out in the steam rooms and infrared saunas and cooling off in the vitality pool, guests can create their own massage and aromatherapy oils to take home with them at the Alchemy Bar. The first in the Six Senses group, this imaginative and quirky setting is the perfect place to learn more about your favourite scents.

Dogs can enjoy the spa services too

Equally, you may want to try a workshop hosted by one of the many visiting guest healers and practitioners – recently they’ve included New Moon after dark meditations, breathwork and Ayurvedic practices. And if your four-legged friend wants a detox too, Six Senses have canines covered with a paw massage, luxury “face-to-tail spaw” offerings and a nutritionist-prepared menu for dogs to ensure they’re back to full health in no time.

Finally, when you’re feeling fully rejuvenated and ready to venture out, there are endless ways to explore the region. There are sunset river cruises along the famed Douro, mountain bike tours and local wine and port tastings where guests can experience every aspect of what the Douro Valley has to offer.

First published in the February 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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