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The Yeatman luxury hotel opens in Douro

The Yeatman, the luxury wine-spa hotel created by The Fladgate Partnership – owners of Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft Port houses – celebrates its inauguration on Sunday.

The Yeatman is set on 2.8ha above the historic Port lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia, and each of the 82 rooms overlooks the Douro River and the UNESCO World Heritage city of Oporto.

Portugal’s president, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, will join a host of other dignitaries at the gala opening and be the first to occupy the vast presidential suite, which includes a revolving bed.

Celebrating the country’s wine heritage, the outdoor infinity pool, overlooking the city, is shaped like a decanter, and each of the rooms, including 12 suites, is sponsored by a wine partner who can personalise its decoration.

Other wine features include the world’s largest cork and ‘educational corridors’ that detail the country’s wine regions and the history of the cork-making process.

The Yeatman will also feature a 10-room wine spa – Portugal’s first – based on the original Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa at Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux.

The 25,000-bottle wine cellar stocks the world’s largest range of Portuguese table wines and Ports. Winemaker dinners are held each Thursday and a cookery and wine school is planned for the future.

Wine director Beatriz Machado has created three lists for hotel’s bar and restaurant: an affordable selection that changes weekly and kept in enomatic machines, a seasonal selection to pair with chef Ricardo Costa’s cuisine, and a library selection.

Machado will take diners on a tour of the cellar, help them choose wines for their meal and prepare bottles ahead of service. Wines range from E26 or E7 by the glass.

Adrian Bridge, the CEO of The Yeatman and The Fladgate Partnership, said the project, which began in 2006, was part of the regeneration of Vila Nova de Gaia. He said as Port companies consolidated, leaving warehouses empty, it freed up space in the city for more culture, tourism and gastronomy initiatives.

The hotel aims to ease its environmental impact by using solar panels and reverse osmosis water purification and by harvesting rainwater. There are also plans for a butterfly greenhouse.

Written by Tina Gellie

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