Our recent weekend escape to the North of Portugal was a cultural cocktail of exploring castles, wandering around small villages, getting lost in winding cobbled streets, photographing abandoned buildings and stopping for plenty of coffee along the way. It’s safe to say we made the most of our weekend in Vila Nova de Cerveira, and we left feeling like we had experienced a generous slice of the area.
But after the hours of walking, map navigating and mini adventures of each day, one of the best things about the trip was coming back to our heavenly hotel. Here’s our review of Hotel Minho…
We left from Porto early in the morning heading North and we stopped in Caminha for a morning coffee and to explore the city center. It was a nice stop on the way to Cerveira and we got to try some local delicacies. We got back to the road and arrived to the Cerveira around lunch time.
Hotel Minho was pretty easy to spot. Its just walking distance from the road between Cerveira and Valença but far enough so you don’t listen to the noise from the few cars passing by. The Hotel design stands out from any other in the area and is a testimony of modern art.
As we entered the main door of the Hotel we received a wonderful welcome from the reception staff, who checked us in and explained all the facilities within the hotel perfectly as our luggage was taken up to our room.
Our room was situated on the second floor and had a beautiful balcony where we could relax and enjoy a bottle of wine looking over the swimming pool and the nature that surrounds the Hotel facilities. We had a lovely welcome plate of fruits and all the necessary information so we could select the Spa service we wanted since that was the main goal of our visit for the weekend. There were fluffy robes, slippers, luxury toiletries, a beautiful rain shower and the Wi-Fi was great what made it easy for us to get some quick work done in the afternoon.
THE BREAKFAST EXPERIENCE
Breakfasts are one of our favorite meals so we got up early in the morning to make take our time to enjoy the buffet breakfast with no rush. The breakfast area was located on the first floor with a good diversity of fruit and pastry. We couldn’t resist to notice that most products were locals or traditional Portuguese and we felt that was a nice touch.
There were few tables on the outside area with a great view over the swimming pool but since it was a bit chilly we decided to take a set in the inner part. After a good amount of croissants with compote we moved to the fruit section and a nice warm coffee before we head to the swimming pool for a morning swim.
After wondering around the Hotel it’s not hard to understand why they were awarded with an A’ Design Award. It feels like it all comes together in a perfect mix of modern and conceptual with a touch of countryside. My personal favorite was the waiting room / lounge with comfortable couches and great decoration.
THE SPA EXPERIENCE
An unexpected and really special part of the hotel is the Spa oasis that is hidden away on the ground floor. Here we found a modern wellness complex complete with spa treatment rooms, a nice indoor pool, sauna and massage room. We went for a couple experience for one hour and it was like heaven. We were so relaxed after it that it was hard to understand if I was awake or dreaming. After one hour of a aromatic massage you move to an outdoor area where a refreshing tea is served and we got to stay there for around 20 minutes enjoying the Nature views and the absolute feeling of relaxation .
Hotel Minho is everything we could ever hope for from a European countryside hotel; boutique in style, characterful and luxurious. It is stylish yet unpretentious and the staff are professional, friendly and incredibly helpful. The Nature around makes this place a beautiful escape from the routine in the city and that Spa experience is the ultimate cherry on the top of the cake!