Constantly Improving on Perfection
Porta do Sol has a lot going for it, but not the least of which is its amenable and extremely welcoming staff. This is the start to your stay at the hotel you will never want to leave. With ample room in all quarters of its structure, the hotel offers more than just accommodation and spa facilities. It offers warmth, tranquility, spectacular views, luxury living, and of course great dining experiences.
The hotel may have opened 30 years ago, but it’s only been within the last decade that real changes have been made to the property. And in a good way. Constantly improving and making sure their guests feel at ease, they have indoor and outdoor pools to mention just a couple of the perks the hotel has on property. As the general manager puts it,
“We enjoy improving the hotel on a regular basis, because we enjoy taking care of our guests.” A candid and sincere statement that the terribly warm and generous manager humbly states about the amazing establishment.
Because of the new ownership, the hotel not only boasts 133 rooms, but also a fitness area, a spa, a lobby bar, a buffet breakfast, and restaurant for their guests who would like to dine at the hotel in the evenings. And these are just a few special reasons people flock to the hotel each year.
Breakfast runs until 10:45 in the morning, which is comfortable for any tired traveler wanting to sleep in on their vacation. The hotel also offers local artists’ work on display in the lobby area, so that if you’re interested in purchasing something – you can.
Pools and Spa
And getting back to those pools mentioned earlier, they’re quite incredible. With a tropical vibe outside, you can lounge on one of their many sunbeds, surrounded by planted palm trees. All the while, you may gaze out at God’s glorious creation of mountainous hills full of pine trees. This might be just as good if not better, than their indoor pool area which offers beds inside the water! Genius. Absolutely genius. And comfortable, I might add.
The water is always heated, whether you’re inside or out, which makes for a very nice experience in cooler weather if you want to remain under the sun. Hungry? Thirsty? Not to worry. The lobby bar offers poolside snacks which can be brought directly to you while you sunbathe outside. I recommend the Piña Colada and their turkey wrap.
Their spa is also something not to be left unexperienced while staying at “do Sol”. If you have to do anything, get a hot stone massage. It was incredible. But if you’re more interested in a relaxing massage, I can testify to the fact that they’re both phenomenally good, and this will be one reason to protest and not leave the hotel once it’s time to check out. The massage therapists are some of the best in Europe, not to mention kind, polite, knowledgeable and warm – even to the touch!
And if you want some therapeutic household scents to take with you, don’t forget to pick some up at the spa before you leave like I did. The line they sell is truly incredible. Including the signature scent they have throughout the hotel. It’s unique, distinct and very pleasant.
Dine by the River
Dining at Hotel Porta do Sol is also an enjoyable experience. Whether it’s their buffet breakfast in the morning complete with eggs, pastries, hams, cheeses, fresh-squeezed orange juice and more, or their dinners in the evening, you’re in for a real treat. The staff is happy to explain any and all dishes that the hotel proudly offers, including traditional and more gourmet selections. Wines and spirits are also on offer, but most especially you won’t want to miss out on their fantastic desserts. All of this can be enjoyed while gazing out at the spectacular view of the Minho River and Spain which is right across the water.
My Porta to the Sun
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. My experience at Hotel Porta do Sol. Yes, it was amazing. No, I didn’t want to leave. Yes, I actually cried after my last massage, because I didn’t want to go. Yes, I contemplated barricading myself in my room and making staff drag me out by my hair. But, no. I didn’t do that.
Instead, I thanked everyone there for making my stay so enjoyable, memorable and unbelievably relaxing.
This is the word that you will not be able to shake from your mind while staying at Hotel Porta do Sol. Simply relaxing. Your wish is their command. Anything you need, want or can think of, they will do, or at least try their hardest to make it happen.
From the massages in their spa, to room service, drinks in the lobby bar, snacks by the pool, dinner at their elegant restaurant, or organized shuttle transfer to/from the airport – you won’t be in need of anything while staying here. They’ve taken care of it all.
To see more photos of Hotel Porta do Sol, make sure to click here
Caminha and Spain
Understandably, you’ll never want to leave the hotel. But in case you do decide to take a little walk, or a little ferry ride, both are worth a go. At just 20 minutes on foot you can reach the very center of Caminha, where you can find shops, souvenirs, and of course the ferry which will take you across the river to Spain. In 5 minutes you’ll be in another time zone and hearing another language. Just don’t get lost trying to walk to the town of A Guarda like I did.
Availability and Transfers
Although the hotel may seem a bit out of the way considering it’s a good 4 hour drive from Lisbon, they are constantly booked up solid. When coming to Caminha, this is hands down the hotel where you should stay, but definitely make sure to book well in advance as you will want to get the best room at their steal rates.
A fun tip for those traveling to this part of the country might like to know that Caminha is one of the stops along the Camino de Santiago. For the hiking lovers out there who are venturing to explore the challenging and very well-known trek around western Europe, make sure to make Hotel Porta do Sol your resting place for the night. And make it two while you’re at it. Trust me, you’re not going to want to leave.
If all of this weren’t enough, the hotel also offers transfer services courtesy of Andrade Express Turismo. The company was kind enough to not only pick me up at the airport late at night and drive me an hour to ‘Porta’, but then also drive me to Porto three days later.
The drivers, one of which included the owner himself, go to great efforts to make their guests feel comfortable, relaxed and happy while traveling with them. A warm and welcoming company, you can learn more about them here: www.andradeexpressturismo.com
With all of these services and more, why wouldn’t you want an experience as luxurious as staying at the Hotel Porta do Sol?
When you do book your stay at Hotel Porta do Sol, just make sure to tell them Lisa sent you!