The Lodge – Wine & Business Hotel

Located in one of the most historic areas of Porto, or rather, Vila Nova de Gaia is the timeless The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel. With the exclusive touch of Nini Andrade Silva, in every corner of the hotel, the soul of the Douro is clearly visible, as well as the designer’s signature, with its curved lines, tones, and materials.

Its location in the noble and centuries-old Port wine cellars adds history to its modern charm, with every detail resonating with the wine culture, thus paying homage to the identity of the Douro wine region.

First Impression
Inaugurated in 2020, The Lodge originates from ancient Port wine cellars. The architectural authenticity of the building has been carefully preserved in its structure, maintaining the spirit and soul of the Douro and the city.

Upon entering the hotel, we are greeted by a contemporary and modern design that leaves us with an impression of boldness, yet it is simultaneously discreet. Earthy tones of the Douro landscape and the blues of the river dominate the hotel’s interior.

The Lodge was our first choice for a getaway after the birth of our daughter, Maria Francisca, and the experience couldn’t have been better.

Since we live close to the hotel, we took the opportunity to have a peaceful day, meaning our 4-month-old ‘wild one’ stayed with her grandmother, with the understanding that we would pick her up in the evening and bring her to the hotel for her first experience away from home! The hotel was informed of this detail and had everything prepared for her upon our arrival.

We were welcomed by a friendly reception team who promptly took care of our check-in and directed us to the rapid COVID-19 test (yes, in the summer of 2021, the virus was still a concern). With the assistance of a smiling team member who informed us how things were returning to normal in the hospitality industry, we took the test. We returned to the reception to meet the charismatic Niklas – Marketing & Sales Director – who told us and showed us some of The Lodge’s history.

The Lodge offers a total of 119 rooms spread across 7 floors, providing a variety of room types: Signature Suite, Suite, Junior Suite, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, and Terrace Deluxe Room. We stayed in a Deluxe Room whose modern design and warm colors conveyed a sense of comfort and elegance.

The privileged views of the Douro River and the city of Porto added charm to our stay and made the moment memorable.

In Francisca’s crib, we found a welcoming gesture in the form of Occitane baby products. Also waiting for us were sweets, fruit, and wine – the right way to welcome guests (although strangely, the wine was from the Dão)!

At The Lodge, no detail is left to chance, from the comfort of the bed to the tapestry reflecting in the various mirrors, creating a sense of brightness in every corner. The view and the city’s light reward every inch of the room, culminating in the comfort of the armchair that allows for a leisurely moment.

The hotel features two distinct dining spaces: The Lodge Bar and its flagship, the Dona Maria restaurant. The Lodge Bar stands out as a central space in the hotel, showcasing luxury and sophistication in its decor and an extensive selection of wines and spirits. It’s the ideal choice for a relaxing evening, from contemporary cocktails to classics. Here, you can also indulge in a complete and flavorful Afternoon Tea.

This space pays tribute to the ‘Dona Marias,’ the skilled cooks who made their mark in Portuguese gastronomy history! The goal is to revive the best traditional recipes from Porto and the country’s Northern region.

Dona Maria boasts a marvelous ceiling adorned with giant vine leaves and a sinuous wine cellar that envelops the entire space. Marble, velvet, and wood come together seamlessly, extending the dining area to an inviting terrace with magnificent views of Porto.

Here, we had the opportunity to dine in a calm environment, perfect for the tender age of our little one, who still managed to take a beauty nap, providing both beauty and rejuvenation for her and tranquility for us! We shared some delicious croquettes, ‘Xerém’ with clams, and a modernized version of chicken soup before indulging in an impeccable codfish dish and a boneless ‘chanfana.’ Everything was spot on, without any highs or lows that would linger in our memory.

Next to the hotel’s pool, guests can enjoy various drinks and snacks throughout the day.

Speaking of the pool – it is set in a space that resembles a true oasis amidst the city’s hustle and bustle! With heated water, comfortable sun loungers, and secluded sofas, it provided the perfect backdrop for our afternoon while we savored a fine Portuguese sparkling wine.

Next to the pool, there’s also a small gym for those who, unlike us, enjoy keeping up with their workouts during vacations.

However, the hotel does not have a spa. Still, for those who want to enjoy a moment of relaxation, there is always the option to request an In-Room Spa, whether for massage, beauty services, or even hairstyling.

For wine enthusiasts, The Lodge offers Wine Tastings and Experiences accompanied by traditional Portuguese gastronomic delights. The hotel even has a Wine Academy led by a team of sommeliers, offering beginner training courses.

One of the most enjoyable activities that can be arranged is a magnificent boat or yacht trip on the Douro River, organized by the hotel’s team.

In addition to this, there is a multitude of activities outside the hotel but expertly managed by the unit – such as exploring the city or even the wine regions of the country, visiting one of the hotel’s partner estates and even staying there, and participating in the grape harvest if it’s the season for it.

The breathtaking views over the Douro River

For those traveling on business, The Lodge is also a hotel to consider, as it is a Business Hotel, offering several rooms with varying capacities that can be used for corporate and social events.

Breakfast in the room

It is known that human resources in the tourism and gastronomy sectors can be scarce, and training opportunities are limited or not up to the desired standard. However, our experience at The Lodge was a pleasant surprise.

A young, dynamic, attentive, and amiable team. The constant attention and care for Francisca ultimately won me over.

A stay to be repeated whenever we want to escape the hustle and bustle of life without going too far!

See you soon, The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel!

The Lodge – Wine & Business Hotel
Rooms from 175€ 
Rua de Serpa Pinto 60, 4400-307 Vila Nova de Gaia

Portuguese Version

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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