Perfection summarizes que Yeatman experience. Staff, accommodations, restaurant, the breathtaking view of Porto. The unique sunset views. The panoramic pool. One of the best Hotels I have stayed at in every sense. Was fortunate to be upgraded to a larger suite and the weather was oddly (but wonderfully) warm, day and night. The gardens below the pool level where our suite was located were quite inviting, it felt like you had a private villa and your own private garden. A non alcoholic cocktail was offered to all guests during the afternoon, delivered to your towel. The pistachio ice cream is a must try and the francesinha was so so good (and I have had many, trust me). Lunch and Dinner were memorable, it is so rare to find an excellent Hotel with an amazing restaurant (and I didn't even try the gourmet one). In short, if in the area, do not hesitate to book.
A Short But Excellent Second Stay
In November, we were back to Portugal, and again to Porto. We arrived at The Yeatman, in Vila Nova de Gaia, a bit early for our room, but that was how it went on our first visit - the flight from EWR just arrives too early to check in, but we knew what to do - head to Dick’s Bar, and have wine.
Once more, our trip had been cut short by work, but we were still able to wedge this in, between meetings, and needed a break.
On the first trip, we had chosen The Yeatman, partially because of their affiliation with Relais & Château properties. This time, it was because it is a great property, convenient, luxurious and with gracious and helpful staff.
The Yeatman is a wonderful hotel, that sits high atop the hills of Vila Nova de Gaia, and overlooking the Douro River and its valley, rather far below. From the front entrance, it is a fairly low structure, but because of the hill, it is much larger, and even more impressive. It’s eight stories high, and because of the hill, is built in a “stair-step” pattern, so it has quite a few elevators and staircases. Though it’s fairly new, it looks sort of like the Port Houses, which make Vila Nova de Gaia and Oporto famous. The interior spaces are as attractive, and grand, as are the rear exteriors.
For this return trip, we had booked the lovely Artist Suite (#706), and found it to be as beautiful and comfortable, as on the previous visit.
The Artist Suite has a spacious livingroom, with the bedroom off to the right (from the entry), with a luxurious bath around the corner. There is a small wet bar, off of the livingroom, which is convenient.
As nice as the suite is, probably the best aspect is the grand patio, accessed from both the livingroom and the bedroom, with a sweeping view of Vila Nova de Gaia below, the Douro River, even farther below, and then Porto, across the river, with the Ponte de Dom Luis bridge framing our view - just outstanding. That patio had a lawn area, and then the concrete patio, with furniture. It was again, spectacular.
One must invest time to explore the rather expansive property, as there is artwork, well-worth viewing, museum areas, and just gorgeous architecture everywhere. Though we knew many places to look, we found new ones, plus ran out of time to revisit some of our favorites. Probably the most impressive architectural aspects of The Yeatman, is the grand lobby, with a multi-level staircase, below a large cupola, with a skylight, creating an atrium. There are mezzanine levels, overlooking that, and depending on the time of day, the look, while always grand, changes. We probably spent a few hours, exploring that, and from different levels. One feature, that we had not noticed on our first visit was the Kids’ Club, with activities for younger family members. While there are beautiful staircases all around The Yeatman, there are also many elevators, so all levels are fully accessible.
While the entrance exterior is attractive, it does not even begin to give a clue, as to what the interior spaces, and the rear elevation hold - not even a clue.
One aspect, that caught my attention, and during both stays, was how immaculately clean everything is - from the pool areas, to the common areas, to the restaurants and bars, and then our suite. The Yeatman has excellent housekeeping.
Also, plan on spending time in the wine shop, just off of the lobby - besides a great selection of wines, they have many other items, that just beg to be taken home, or gifted to friends.
On this very short trip, we mainly dined on-property at Dick’s Bar, The Orangerie and The Yeatman Gastronomic Restaurant. We did do a wine tasting in the Yeatman cellar, and got to only one Port house, Taylor-Fladgate & Yeatman, just down the hill. We also did a wine tasting with one of the Sommeliers on-property, in the lovely wine cellar, and this is an activity that I highly recommend. Each of our wine tastings were excellent, and a great introduction to the wines of Portugal, primarily, but a novice would feel right at home with the tastings, and find it enjoyable.
A short, but very glorious visit, and we hope to return, but with much more time to spend - work keeps getting in the way.
We stayed at The Yeatman for one night, the last night of our honeymoon trip to Porto.
We had booked the Premium Programme with a €80 SPA voucher as well as VIP amenities in the room on arrival. Absolutely worth it - it provided excellent value compared to the non-premium programme rate.
- The property itself is rather impressive, with very nice surroundings and landscaping, reminding me of grand countryside estates. Stunning views.
- Great room size (Superior Deluxe Panoramic Room) with brilliant views and a big terrace, providing direct access to the pool area.
- Top quality slippers in the room.
- The (newly started) hostess at Dick's Bar & Bistro was very friendly and professional. Take good care of her!
- Dick's Bar & Bistro in itself was also a nice, cozy place for a drink or casual dinner, especially when seated in the "lounge" area with views over the terrace and city. There was a jazz singer and guitarist playing. Great atmosphere.
- Great SPA technicians
- Good room service menu with fair pricing, especially compared to Torel Avantgarde where we stayed prior to The Yeatman.
- Pre-arrival communication with the Reception was a bit hit-and-miss. They obviously didn't take the time to properly read my e-mail, before sending a standardized reply that didn't address any of my 4 actual topics.
- Doormen and other staff member around the reception area never greeted us when walking past. Didn't feel very warm or welcoming. Maybe the use of face masks was a challenge - difficult to see a friendly smile and so on.
- Room decor is starting to feel quite dated, will soon need updating if they want to stay on top of the game.
- A waiter in Dick's Bar & Bistro spilled a fairly big amount of sparkling wine in my lap. His reaction was "oh sorry" and then he walked away. Didn't offer to get a napkin. Didn't offer to have my pants cleaned. Didn't offer anything at all.
- The big terrace in our room was a bit empty. It had a small table and two small chairs. There was LOTS of empty space - where was the lounge furniture, the cozy lighting and the plants?
We had to leave very early the following day, so unfortunately didn't get the opportunity to try out breakfast.
Would we come back? Yes, we're keen to explore more of what The Yeatman has to offer and would absolutely return for another, slightly longer stay.
Three color cortains are more suitable for a Cinderella suite in Disney than for a luxury hotel of the XXI century! Just a way of expressing that while still the best location and the most wonderful swimming pool in Porto are not enough if you want to be a luxury hotel.
The hotel is lovely and the views are stunning, but some of the staff seemed poorly trained and managed. When we first arrived we were astounded when a waitress busied herself clearing tables for fifteen and ignored us until we had no option but to ask for service. Then another woman approached us to demand to know how we had entered the terrace without her knowledge. We did not fly in. She had clearly left her post unattended and we simply walked in. Such was this welcome that we chose not to eat in the hotel again for the next three days when we lunched at the pool bar. This was so very different. The waitress was pleasant and welcoming.
The food generally was not exciting and tended to be the fare offered by international hotels everywhere. The breakfasts were not great. A dish of bananas, pancakes, soft fruit and maple syrup was served minus the last two ingredients. The orange juice was served in tiny amounts which required several trips for replenishments.
In many respects the rooms well appointed but there was no drawer space, few hangers, a turndown service was only available on request and although there was a huge balcony only chairs rather than sunbeds were provided.
This really was a mixed experience overall. Some of the staff bordered on being rude, the head doorman being another one. Others were absolutely charming, for example, the front desk and room service staff. I think what lets the hotel down most is the lack of a welcoming culture amongst the staff. This is a pity as it could be a really great hotel.