Exclusive guide to the best holiday destinations in Norte independent reviews from award-winning travel writers

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Vintage House Hotel

Vintage House Hotel, a beautiful, Quinta-style mansion was once the country retreat of the Croft family. Sitting there, on a bend of the legendary Douro river surrounded by those terraced hillsides, I swear to myself there may be no finer place on Earth.

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Hotel Infante Sagres

City centre hotels tend to come in two varieties; either bland international brands or faded dames from times gone by reinvigorated into trendy boutique properties. Fortunately, Hotel Infante Sagres in Porto’s centre is the latter. Not just reinvigorated but positively reincarnated into something even better than it was in its heyday.

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The Yeatman Hotel

Standing proudly above the Douro river on the Vila Nova de Gaia side of Porto, The 5 star Yeatman Hotel has become a Porto landmark in a very short space of time.

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Chef Rui Paula at The Vidago Palace

Chef Rui Paula is something of a legend in Portugal and the Douro River region in particular. A self taught culinary master, his passion for inventive recipes using locally sourced ingredients has brought him fame and fortune, not least because of a clutch of successful restaurants in Porto.

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Vidago Palace Golf Course

Standing on the 17th tee of Vidago Palace Golf Course I had no indication of quite what I was in for. It had been quite a round up to that point; negotiating most of the cunningly placed creeks, coping with Augusta like slopes on the giant greens, and one wayward fairway wood aside, keeping to most of the fairways.

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Vidago Palace Hotel

The Vidago Palace Hotel is an epic experience for anyone keen to find a five star luxury retreat away from the usual tourist hot spots of Portugal. The spectacular golf and spa offerings are top drawer, the Rui Paula inspired cuisine is delicious and the service is exactly what you would expect from a hotel within The Leading Hotels of the World portfolio. Above all though, for me it’s the palace building itself which binds it all together beautifully, it speaks to me of the glitz and glamour of a bygone era, brought magnificently up to date. King Carlos may have missed out but his legacy lives on. Just an hour or so from Porto, a very special place indeed.

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