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“Remote but Delightful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vidago Palace Hotel

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Vidago Palace Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Parque de Vidago | Apartado 16, Vidago 5425-307 , Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vidago
San Francisco
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Remote but Delightful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this hotel while driving in the London to Lisbon Rally. A delightfully eccentric palace, set in a golf course, complete with several follies, we liked it so much we stayed an extra day. I would go back if I could figure out where it is because the road connections were superb. Portugal has wide open freeways because their tolls are far too expensive for Portuguese, although nominal compared to France.
The rooms are very pleasant and the service impeccable. The food was excellent. The only sound at night was the occasional dog.
Wonderful place for a rest. Wherever it is.

Room Tip: ask for a room in the front. in the back there are too many deliveries.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, UK
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Ever since this hotel was on the Conde Nast Hotlist I have been looking at the website of this hotel and dreaming to stay there. The glowing 5 star reviews made me all the more keen, but finally when I had the opportunity I have to say I am disappointed. I will start with the positives...

Positives
The rooms - we stayed in a privilege room - very nice, good size and pretty decor. Love the fixtures and fitting and bed comfortable. Beautifully don't bathroom and big windows. Free wifi and bottled water in minibar a huge plus. Can't in any way fault the rooms. Good value for price (if judging on room only as we paid less than 200 euros a night).

Breakfast - delicious pastries and gorgeous setting. Fresh squeezed juices and great buffet of food. Love the decor of room - gets it right.

Mixed

Concierge - they are very friendly and will book whatever place you tell them. However when asked for advice they are not particularly helpful - for example when I asked them what the best driving route was in the douro valley they looked at me with a blank face. Didn't know anything about a fantastic place we went for dinner in porto called cafeina. Also never heard of historico by papaboa for lunch in guinmaraes which many publications have written on (including the New York Times). Have no real suggestions of what cities in area are worth seeing and which are not.

Location- I guess from website I was expecting a gorgeous long drive in with manicured lawns and beautiful floral gardens to go walking around. This doesn't really exist, hotel is close to road and although fairly pretty nothing gorgeous. Hotel is in middle of nowhere with no great places for dinner around and town is very poor and rather depressed. No cute shops or fun things in walking distance. You are really remote. (See comments about dinner for one reason this is a problem).

Negatives

The spa - as my husband commented this is a crime that someone built something so ugly next to such an impressive palace. It is dark, low ceilings, few windows and 1970s minimalist yet built in 2010? Indoor pool is hideous, outdoor pool marginally better, and hallways depressing. Gym equipment new but room is depressing and far too hot (needs air conditioning cranked up). I wanted to go to gym but was too depressing to walk into area so skipped.

The dinner - an unmitigated disaster. Food was so dated and served in a room that was like a ballroom but with only 4 tables taken so was cavernous and void of atmosphere. It would be nice for a wedding or conference but you need at least 100 people in there for any sort of buzz. My husband had the fois gras and veal which were both terrible and I am a vegetarian so had the asparagus risotto which was hard and very un-tasty. The chocolate fondant for dessert is excellent. They need a smaller more intimate room for size of hotel with a menu that resembles 2013 and not dinner at your grandmothers in 1985.

Hallways to rooms - the red carpet does not match and is ugly. Makes hallways look dark and dated.

I am sorry to give this hotel such a poor review. The one thing I can't judge it for is its golf course and maybe if you were a big golfer this would change the experience (though I saw the golf course and as a non-golfer I did not think it looked like anything special (no dramatic scenery etc)). Hotel looks as if its half done up (rooms and breakfast rooms) and then they didn't have budget to complete (hallways, bar area and dinner area). I thought it was going to be a very special place and it really fell short of expectations.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pau, France
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

We spent 3 nights here on their out of season 3 nights for 2 offer which is an excellent deal. Along with most of the other reviews the building is outstanding. Clearly years ago Vidago was a place to go and been seen. There is an old, unused railway stn nearby. Several other elegant hotels all boarded up awaiting the money for restoration, but none as impressive. The golf course is beautifully kept and at 27euros midweek when we were there - very good value. It could be busy if the hotel was full of golf groups but actually for us it was v quiet.

Points are bathrooms excellent but beware superior rooms are very small. The first night we had lovely view but the large furniture in the room meant you could hardly negoiate round the bed. it was impossible to use the desk and get by so we changed to a deluxe room. These are all rear facing. Much better size but park view is nicer. There is some variation in size within category. The wifi in the second room stopped working and despite staff arrving to check it still didn't work on our departure.

Other point is when we arrived we were directed to the carpark and carried our bags from there which was hardly impressive, reception was horrified- gatehouse got phoned and made aware of their mistake, so make sure the gate house know you are checking in and drive up to the hotel- you will need to move the car once bags are unloaded.

Restaurant- There is a pianist but only on Fri and Sat nights. We tried the tasting menu, some dishes were very nice but others extremely odd- too many flavours or weird combinations- my partner really didn;t enjoy it at all. There is a big wine list and not all is expensive- we tried very reasonable local wine at around 20euros a bottle.

Breakfast room is lovely. Service varied depending on who served your table- one morning we had difficulty getting juice, coffee etc. Other mornings with different servers was much better.

Spa area is great.

There is a local restaurant check out TA only 5-8 mins walk away and absolutely excellent value

Room Tip: Go for a bigger room as superior are small unless you are on a budget or travelling alone
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto, Portugal
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

This is an historical imposing art-nouveau hotel beautifully restored with a new spa designed by Siza Vieira. The location is wonderful, settled in a lovely and relaxing park, somewhere you can have a rest and breathe pure air. The staff is very nice and professional, the spa is very good and the restaurant serves delicious contemporary portuguese cuisine!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Just a two hour, £200 flight, an hour by car and you're in the beautiful environment that is the Vidago Palace. The otehr 5 star reviews say most things but to reiterate..this is a beautifully restored Palace built in 1910 and very much in the art deco style. Amazing dining hall with a grand, Edwardian dinner party feel. Take your black tie and you won't be out of place but it is not at all stuffy.

Rooms are good if a little small but with quite spectacular bathrooms. All have terrific views to the front.

Staff are very attentive and a great concierge will guide you to a wonderful day out in the Douro Valley. (Lunch at Quinta Nova is an absolute must!).

Go for a weekend or a week or more but do go, Vidago Palace is great!

Room Tip: Front, South facing for beautiful views. Double doors and Juliette balcony to make the room feel mor...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macau
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

This old relic of old glory was beautifully restored and returned to its former beauty.
The building, set in the middle of a park, is imposing but so elegant, reminiscing of our 19th century romantic novels...
The interior kept the old layout, and the first thing you see is the stair case. I did feel inclined to walk up and down, fantasizing doing so but with the ruffles of those long silk lace dresses.... The mezzanine above the restaurant showcases the beautiful silverware of those days, besides providing net access, working desks if needed, and elegant corners to sit down and read.
The room (ours was a standard) is again elegant, and functional, with all the necessary amenities, plus, you get bottled water for free! After all, this is a hotel built to accommodate those seeking water therapy treatment, still (and more actively) working.
The dining room is another little gem, but although I heard the food is about average, you have wonderful choices outside too. The breakfast is very good, elegantly set, as everything else.
Then, the spa.
There is an thermal water outside pool, at 38 degrees temperature, with jets and bubbles! Inside, the hammam, sauna, ice bath, the lap pool... Wonderful! They also provide in-site the local water treatments (this water, if drunk, is good for the digestive system; if used on the outside, it is good for skin and bone/joint problems), in 7 and 15-day packages.
Of course, for golf lovers it's another treasure: the golf course is said to be one of the best and I would't doubt it.
Definitely would love to go back!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia, Bulgaria
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
381 helpful votes 381 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We stayed for 3 days in Vidago Palace hotel, for a conference I was attending . Vidago Palace is absolutely superb. Located In enormous land property, near fantastic golf course and magnificent spa, staying in this hotels feels like what was supposed to be the feel of a Royalty !

This place was recently completely reopened after many, many of millions of investment and this place is now a magnificent place. The hotel was refurbished following respecting the original design of the 1000 year old building and have added all the luxury of modern world including LCD flat screen TV’s FREE WI-FI HIGH SPEED INTERNET. The lobby itself is breathtaking with the double wooden staircase (see photos). The hotel is spotlessly clean. The personnel is young, very helpful and friendly.

The conference facilities were outstanding, it is probably the best I’ve ever seen from USA, Europe and Asia.

We were upgraded to Junior suite and this had one of the best king bed EVER. The sleep quality in Vidago is fantastic as you are in the middle of the hotel gardens and is like their own forest, everything is so quiet, so ZEN !

The breakfast buffet included in rate was very good, many high quality options. No complains for the food whatsoever. The lunches and the dinner in the hotel were perfect as well.

If you are looking for a place to relax Vidago is perfect, beautiful large park to walk around, astonishing and gorgeous Spa (Spa by Clarins ). The Spa have two swimming pools, one inside for swimming with very pleasant hot water. The other one of like a relax jacuzzy pool and is outside in the garden with hot 37-38 degrees hot water. The 3rd summer pool was still not open (opens only in May) Also in the SPA there is sauna and completely covered in white marble hammam.

The hotel has their own wine cellar and the wines produced in the area are fantastic. We enjoyed the wine tastings.

OVERALL
I would highly recommend the Vidago Palace. Honestly I have not found a single thing that we did not like in this place. Great place for work and relax at the same time. The palace is worth the trip !

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vidago Palace Hotel

Address: Parque de Vidago | Apartado 16, Vidago 5425-307 , Portugal
Location: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Vila Real District > Vidago
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vidago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vidago Palace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Long-revered as a spa retreat among Europe's elite - who came to benefit from the famed mineral waters of Vidago - Vidago Palace is a legend reborn.First opened in 1910, Vidago Palace was created to provide its discerning clientele with rooms and facilities fit for a king. One hundred years later, after extensive restoration and renovations, the newly decorated Vidago Palace invites today’s traveller to be captivated by its Belle Epoque charm, championship golf course, state-of-the-art spa and 5 star hotel services.Surrounded by natural beauty, Vidago Palace is an outstanding luxury hotel in Portugal, the prefect venue for weddings and events and a proud member of Leading Hotels of the World.Among the most famous historic luxury hotels in Portugal, Vidago Palace is magnificent yet inviting, combining the grandeur of a palace with the warmth of a country home.Surrounded by mountains and 250 acres of mature woods and parkland, Vidago Palace enjoys a tranquil setting – perfect for a relaxing and restorative stay. The pure country air and lush grounds, artfully dotted with ornate mineral-water pavilions, provide visitors with a welcome tonic to the trials of modern life.Inside, the grand staircase, high ceilings, large reception rooms and sweeping views lend themselves to Vidago Palace’s magical atmosphere.A showcase for traditional craftsmanship, Vidago Palace is resplendent with hand-loomed rugs, elaborate tiling and hand-painted wall-coverings – all designed to respect and enhance the building’s illustrious past.The interior architects Jose Pedro Lopes Vieira and Diogo Rosa Là, in collaboration with renowned architect Alvaro Siza Vieira and with the support of the Palace’s owners, UNICER, worked diligently to recapture and surpass Vidago Palace’s splendour. ... more   less 
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