Why We Love This Hotel
Commissioned by King Carlos I and opened in 1910, the luxurious former palace in Vidago sits in a 250-acre park with magnolia and century-old sequoia trees, caves, a lake and four mineral springs. The nearest major town, Chaves, is a 20-minute drive away -- its medieval streets tumble down to the Támega River and there are two 17th-century fortresses.
The hotel's "opulent" interiors "fit perfectly with the fairytale feel of Vidago", says The Daily Telegraph, while Condé Nast Traveller lists its 18-hole golf course as one of the top five in Europe. It has 96% Excellent or Very Good reviews on TripAdvisor and holds a 2017 Travellers' Choice award**. Luxurious touches include the grand staircase, mosaic floors, gilded ceilings, hand-painted silk wallpaper and Venetian chandeliers.
The white marble-clad spa was awarded Best International Spa 2016. The area's mineral-rich thermal waters are used in the treatments (additional charges apply). There are two swimming pools, a Turkish bath, a sauna and a gym. Food is another highlight -- this deal includes daily dinner in the Grand Ballroom, where the menu was designed by Portugal's "MasterChef" judge Rui Paula. A breakfast buffet of local specialities is served in the marble-floored Winter Garden.