My bucket list is full of places I want to visit and Portugal was one of them. Therefore, you can imagine how happy I was to get a chance to experience this country. There is no better place for that than Monverde Wine Experience Hotel in Amarante.
Beautiful hotel Monverde surrounded by vineyard
This little hotel with 38 rooms (the number will grow soon) is located about an hour from the Porto airport. The best way to get there is by car. Our plan was to rent a car but since my friend (and also the driver) does not own a credit card, we were not able to use this option. Therefore, we chose option n. 2 – Uber and we paid 50 Euros which I think was very reasonable. The roads are quite narrow so if you believe you don’t have the best driving skills, it is safer to call Uber or taxi. After 60 minutes on the road, you arrive to a complete paradise. After checking in, you are taken to your room. Ours was couple of hundreds of meters away from the building and we were taken there by a little car. You can choose from Classic, Prestige, Charming and Vineyard Experience rooms and we went for the Charming one. If I could, I would stay there forever. The room is made from wood, has one double bed, bath with view over the winery and a bathroom. Let me tell you, the view is everything. Waking up every morning while looking at the vineyard, is priceless.
Wine Experience Spa
Want to switch off and make the most out of your holiday? Hotel Monverde is just for you! Not only you will be surrounded by beautiful nature but you can also enjoy their spa. The entrance to the spa is in price of your stay, you will only pay extra for massages and additional treatments (which are heavenly). Just a small tip. You have to wear a swimming cap if you want to swim in one of their pools so if you own one, bring it with you. If you are like me and you dont have this piece at home, you can purchase one at the reception for 3 Euros (they are actually pretty stylish). After changing to your swimsuit, you can enjoy the inside and outside pool, sauna and steam room. The opening hours are from 10 to 8 so you can relax as much as you want.
Try Portuguese dishes
After all that hard work, you will definitely be hungry. Breakfast is included and the hotel restaurant also offers lunches and dinners. As a foodie, I had to try their tasting menu with 4 courses. It was absolutely delicious, I had a chance to try marinated sardine, sea bass with butter emulsion, braised black angus with rosemary purée and lemon and mint gelatine with mango chutney (I am getting hungry again). If you want the full experience, you should also go for their wine tasting (careful, you might get drunk). We had four wines to taste and even though I am no expert in wines (I can only say if wine is red or white), I learnt so much. The staff is super friendly and they will answer any questions about the hotel, wine and Portugal in general. Cannot wait to come back, especially in August when the harvest takes place and you have a chance to go through the wine making process.