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“Great place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aquapura Douro Valley

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Aquapura Douro Valley
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Quinta de Vale Abraao, Samodaes 5100, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Samodaes
Lisbon, Portugal
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Been there twice with my wife, both times during winter. We loved the design and the mix old mansion/fantastic surroundings/interior modern design.
The inside design is clearly on the dark side but it perfectly worked for us as there is a sexy side to some form of gloomy atmosphere. You have large empty corridors with minimalist design furniture and somehow the feeling that you are nearly alone in a gigantic house. We loved it but people with more sophisticated social needs might find it too cold.
On the room: lightning system could be easier and a teinted glass door rather than a clear one could have been used to separate the toilets but all the rest is obsolutely perfect in my opinion(river view room) and I stayed in many luxury places.
On the spa: best ever. Very spacious and design, two different steam bath (traditional and herbal), sauna with a view (!), great indoor pool. I won't give a strong opinion on the treatments as only did a normal massage (good).
On the service: perfect. smiling people, always ready to help, discreet but efficient.
On the service I have to say that although I can't really comment things that I didn't witness, when I read reviews complaining about the service because the employees wouldn't remember by heart guests' names or rooms numbers, it makes me laugh. If that's your idea of luxury and good service then do like the arabian royal families: book the entire hotel, send a 300 pages instructions manual to the staff prior to arrival and pay a million euros bill...
The only negative that I will point out is the overpriced food and drinks. Quality is not in cause but expensive instead of very expensive would seem more adequate in a country like Portugal.
All in all I love this hotel and I'll be back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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321 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Porto, Portugal
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

As a non-portuguese living in Portugal every year I make a big effort to visit new places. In the Douro valley I have visited all the "nice" hotels and definately Aquapura is the best. The nice surprise was the erstaurant, I know all the best restaurants in the region, such as Castas&Pratos, DOC, Douro Inn, and Vintaga House and have never heard anything special about the restaurant in Aquapura. I was not having high expectations and the surprise was very good. For portuguese standarts it´s a very nice and international menu, everything we had was great. The drinks by the pool and all the rest was 5* as well.
The service failed once or twice but we wrere in the peek season and hotel was full. We enjoyed the detail of having our car washed though we didn´t request...
For all the hotels in the North of Portugal this one is far the best, stunnig landscape, relaxation and great quality.
Of course it´s expensive but a well spent money!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

The only thing the Aquapura had in common with other 5-star luxury accommodations was the large price tag.

Aside from having what appeared to be a glory-hole drilled into the bathroom wall, which a diligent maintenance person carefully patched with black duct tape, all three bathrooms in the villa shared the remarkable feature of broken toilet paper holders. Even more impressive was that each bathroom had 2 holders per bathroom.

The entrance to the villas had a cozy Cell Block H feel to them. There was glassware distributed about and random tools left sitting from some job that was clearly no longer on the agenda.

I'm not sure if our villa was previously a dog grooming shop, but there are few other reasons to explain the extensive scratch marks in the bathtub as there was no shower in the bathroom that joined the second upstairs room. Obtaining warm water from the taps required precision, as there was a mere millimeter of adjustment between cold and scalding.

All-in-all, the villa needed thorough repairs and cleaning. Unidentified stains were found on numerous surfaces, including the couch and curtains. Cobb webbs had taken over many areas of the 2 level unit. The private pools were either filthy, falling apart, or both. One of my Friends literally opted to swim in the river rather than the pool.

Room service? You want a bucket of ice? 10 Euros! If you can even get a hold of them - after an hour of trying to call through during non-peak time, I eventually had to DRIVE up to reception (the villas are far and inconveniently located along a dicey, narrow gravel road). They had the nerve to try and charge me to deliver it to the room when I was already there.

Maybe the rooms located in the main hotel area are worth trying out, but if I was in the area again I'd book somewhere else. I thought Ashton Kutcher was going to pop out of a closet to tell us we'd all been Punk'd. They really need to update the photos on their website to show how dilapidated the gin joint is. Lots of photos to share.

Room Tip: Don't choose one. If you're keen to see the Aquapura Vineyard, just pop by for a drink. If y...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

we have been staying four nights at aquapura. hotel modernity - common spaces, room, spa - is well in contrast with the surrounding area: the mix is interesting but it much depends on personal taste. i found it too dark but noone can say it is not stylish!
we had a river room with a stunning view on the douro and vineyards: room is extremely spacious although you need some time to understand light switchers and taps functioning. again, wall colours is a bit dark to my taste although classy. there are three phones in rhe room, which is way too much and no ihpone connections to plug your device and play your own music - something now common almost everywhere.
the spa is huge and indoor pool has a stunning view on the river. hammam and similar facilities are very relaxing. negative point... the music! the same cd is played endlessy..
Spa treatments are, according to a severe reviewer like my wife, top level!
service and food are five stars, with a special mention to personnel, always helpful and never pushy.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

I was a bit disappointed by the Aquapura. For a hotel which is not particularly large, it felt very impersonal and the service was not very friendly. As to location, there are other more beautiful settings further into the Douro valley. As to the rooms, it drove us mad trying to work out how to use the lights/taps/blinds etc, which were not in the least bit intuitive. It was also very odd having the loo behind a glass panel, with no privacy at all. The restaurant was a bit hit and miss but we did have some really excellent wines. The spa treatments and therapists are first rate. It would be a decent place to relax, although the number of small children around the pool all day and in the restaurant, even late into the evening, made this surprisingly difficult.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

We visited Aqua Pura three years ago and vowed to return. We have just returned from our second trip, it was even better than the first. The location of the hotel is perfect, nestling in the vineyards overlooking the Douro river. The staff are the best, whether they are on the front desk, in the bar, restaurant, spa or the valets who wash your car when you (reluctantly) leave. They are so helpful and nothing is too much trouble. We had a room with a large private terrace overlooking the river. This is definitely the place to be, it was so quiet and there was nothing like opening the door in the morning to see the mist on the river, and the sun rising over the vineyards. Breakfast on the terrace each morning was a pleasure, a really good selection of hot food, meats, cheeses and fruit. The food in the restaurant, on the same terrace in the evening, was also excellent with a great selection of local wines. The only problem with the hotel is trying to leave. What with the grounds, the restaurant and the indoor spa (massive pool, treatments, steam room, sauna, laconium and water beds) which was always pretty much deserted it was all too easy to spend a whole day in the hotel. But when you do leave, get the reception to book a tour of a nearby vineyard or go to nearby Regua with the excellent port wine museum or Lamego with its beautiful church. Aqua Pura is perfect in every way, we will definitely be back for a third visit, and hopefully very soon.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Like all of the other reviewers, i was blown away by the setting. Set in the middle of a wine vineyard with breathtaking views up the Douro Valley. The pool area and the grounds were very nice and well kept. We spent several days here, visiting the spa, lounging by the pool, enjoying the setting. Yet I felt that the hotel was not as nice as it could, or should have been. It is a design-hotel, but the engineers might have gone too far in several places. The hallways are depressingly dark for such a sunny location. And the light switches in the room are beyond complex, to the point where they have to give guests a laminated guide on how to turn on and off the bathroom light. Another major annoyance was the wifi internet: The signal was very weak in several places (including our room), and it would never allow you to remain connected if your phone/computer went to sleep-mode... It would require that you re-enter a complex username and passcode each time -- this is something the hotel IT enginners "should" have sorted out long ago. The biggest disappointment however was the restaurant. For such a beautiful setting, and in a country where the cuisine is amazing, the food was quite below-average. The "signature" club sandwich for €18 was simply 3 pieces of toast with a scoop of mayo-bacon spread in the middle, and a few chips on the side. The dinners were not much better, and were lacking any distinct flavour or uniqueness. I returned one of my appetizers as it was simply tasteless, and this was followed by an equally mediocre main course. The wait staff brought the wrong bottle of wine, and then disappeared for 45 min afterwards. Given, i am a bit of a foodie, but If the hotel markets itself as an SLH, i would expect that they had long-ago looked into the weakness in the kitchen. As a result, i do not think i would go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aquapura Douro Valley

Address: Quinta de Vale Abraao, Samodaes 5100, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Viseu District > Samodaes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Samodaes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Aquapura Douro Valley 5*
Number of rooms: 71
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Aquapura Douro Valley Hotel Samodaes
Aquapura Douro Valley Lamego
Aquapura Douro Valley Portugal/Samodaes

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