The very first thing you notice when you walk into the The Yeatman is not the statue of Bacchus that dominates the lobby but rather, it’s what Bacchus faces that takes your breath away. The view that stretches in front of you of the entire hillside of the city of Oporto is amazing any time of day or night.
The Yeatman is perched on a hillside on the Gaia side of the river. Oporto is divided into two by the river, with the Gaia side being where all the port lodges are located, the grapes are grown in the Douro Valley but the wine is aged in the long buildings of Gaia. It’s also where one finds The Yeatman overlooking the red tiled roofs of the lodges.
The Yeatman came about to fill the need for a luxury hotel in the city of Oporto. During my visit, I had a chance to chat with Adrian Bridges, CEO of the hotel, and he told me he wanted to create a luxury hotel that was worthy of the city of Oporto and the history of port. Adrian was involved in all aspects of the hotel, from the colour of the curtains to the mattress maker. Adrian and his wife personally slept on all 6 potential mattresses for the hotel before finally plumping for the eventual winner.
Among the amenities are a luxury spa where you can while away the day amongst vine influenced decor. I loved the staircase which encircled the interior of a giant wooden vat. After my massage, I relaxed on an enclosed sundeck with of course, that panoramic view of Oporto.
The hotel’s theme is wine and the Wine Director, Beatriz Machado, is all about wine experiences. She personally chose and tasted all of the wines on the wine list, sourcing what she feels are stellar examples of Portuguese wine making. Although Portugal is famous for it’s Port, the dry wines that are being produced are spectacular. The hotel hosts a wine dinner every Thursday, featuring a Portuguese wine and wine maker. The dinners have proven to be so popular that there are now a number of imitators in the city. I asked Beatriz to give me a short overview of what she hopes the guests take away from her wine dinners
The wine dinner I attended was hosted by the winemaker of Dona Berta, Hernani Verdelho. Chatting with Hernani, he told me he believes that ribagato is the next big white grape to come from Portugal. His reserva branco from old vines 2010 was served at dinner at it was a stonker of white wine, well structured and textured. A great food wine.
My stay at the Yeatman was all too short but if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and relax in a wine themed environment where people not only enjoy and appreciate wine but also want to make sure you do the same, then book a flight to Oporto and check into The Yeatman, you’ll love it and the beauty of Oporto at your feet.