Situated on the northern coast of Portugal, Porto is a popular tourist destination for couples and friend groups; filled with sidewalk cafes, wine bars and tasting rooms, and fine dining restaurants. However, if you are visiting Porto on a romantic getaway or girls’ trip, you may prefer to stay a little out of the fray at a boutique hotel that offers style, exceptional service, excellent food, and space to relax. Let me clue you in on where to stay in Porto at a property that delivers on luxury and location.
I recently stayed at Vila Foz Hotel & Spa on a girl’s trip to Portugal as we were all just blown away by this property. (Note: our stay was complimentary as part of a media trip, all opinions are my own.) This trip was the first time we got to see each other since the world shut down, and it was the perfect kick off to an amazing trip.
Where to Stay in Porto: Vila Foz Hotel & Spa
I can’t say enough about the client service at Vila Foz. When so many hotels are struggling to find adequate staffing, it seemed like every time you needed something, there was a helpful staff member there to help you out. From greeting you at the car upon arrival, to the helpful bartender in the lounge, to the spa staff, and the obsequious servers.
This high-touch service sets Vila Foz apart from other boutique luxury hotels and made for an exceptional stay and excellent start to our trip.
Vila Foz Hotel & Spa is located in the Foz neighborhood of Porto, situated about 10-20 minutes from the city center (depending on if you are driving or taking a tram.) Located right across the street from the coast in a quiet and charming neighborhood, Vila Foz is a perfect spot for unwinding after busy days climbing the hills and exploring the side streets of Porto.
Walkers, runners, and bikers will love the easy access to the coastal path that follows the ocean for a few miles in each direction. In warmer months, nearby beaches are within easy walking distance for swimming or surfing.
You can walk the nearby tree-lined streets to enjoy local cafes, bakeries, and boutiques, or settle in to watch a brilliant sunset at some of the beach cafes that offers stunning views of the rocky coastline. On Sunday mornings you can even explore the nearby open air market in the park.
Accommodations at Vila Foz
Vila Foz Hotel & Spa is made up of a historic Manor House, which is connected to a newer, more modern building via an underground corridor. Altogether, there are 68 rooms and suites in Vila Foz Hotel & Spa. As you may expect, the Manor House features soaring ceilings and elegant decor.
The rooms in the newer building are sleek and modern, but comfortable. Most rooms feature balconies overlooking the lawn and with views of the ocean. For families, there are a smaller number of adjoining rooms in the modern building.
I stayed in the modern building in a double room, which featured a double bed that had been reconfigured to two twin beds (although cozily close together.) The room had all the modern amenities that you would want from lighted closets, coffee maker, complimentary water, and upscale bath amenities.
The bathroom featured a large walk in shower and large vanity. The only downside was the bathroom lighting, which was a little dark, and the glass wall between the shower and the bedroom. Luckily there were louvered blinds that could close off the shower for privacy.
Dining at Vila Foz
If you are a fan of a luxury hotel breakfast, you will want to book a stay at Vila Foz Hotel & Spa pronto! The European breakfast buffet features hot and cold entrees, as well as a la carte omelettes and other specialties. One of the most luxuriant options on the breakfast buffet is the generous display of oysters and champagne!
You will also find meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, delicious baked goods, fruit jams, and local honeycomb. You will certainly want to make time in your morning to enjoy a relaxing breakfast. Don’t worry, you will be walking it off throughout the day.
The Vila Foz Bar is also a perfect spot for either a Five O’clock Tea Ceremony or a house cocktail in the cozy lounge or out on the patio to watch the sunset.
The Vila Foz Restaurant offers fine dining under the creative hand of Chef Arnaldo Azevedo. Foodies can enjoy experiences such as the Kitchen Seat, where the Chef will prepare a private meal to your liking and explain the stories behind each of the dishes. You can also enjoy a trip to the fish market with the chef, a chef’s tasting menu, an urban picnic, or even a guided wine tasting experience.
Flor de Lis, located on the lower floor, serves breakfast and a slightly more casual dinner menu, also under the supervision of Chef Azevedo.
Spa at Vila Foz
I’ve found that one of the best ways to beat jet lag is with a relaxing spa service so on our arrival day in Porto, I scheduled a facial at the Vila Foz spa. The spa features a small locker room, but there is plenty of room to relax at the indoor pool. The pool area is equipped with comfortably-padded lounge chairs (so comfy that I fell right to sleep while waiting for my treatment.)
Before my treatment I was also able to indulge in the steam room and hot sauna to release those jet lag impurities. I nodded off again during my 90-minute custom facial treatment, which included a relaxing scalp massage. After my treatment I was rested enough to enjoy a delicious meal at the Flor de Lis Restaurant (I can’t recommend the black pork highly enough — and I don’t usually eat pork.)
An afternoon at the spa was a perfect addition to our girls’ trip and set us up for a busy trip exploring Portugal.
The Vila Foz Hotel & Spa is truly a refuge of wellness and luxury on the outskirts of bustling Porto. It is an ideal retreat for couples or friends looking to explore the city being surrounded by tourists. This is one of many hotels that were arranged for our trip by EPIC Travel, a boutique travel agency focusing on Portugal and Morocco, who arranges custom itineraries for adventurous travelers.
I’m thankful that they helped us find these charming and unique properties throughout Portugal. I’d always rather stay at a place with character and excellent service than just another cookie-cutter hotel. What about you?
If you want to plan your own trip to Portugal, be sure to let EPIC Travel know that you read about it on YourTimetoFly and you will receive a special VIP Welcome Gift on your trip as a thank you!