If Portugal was not on your summer holiday list this year, there's a mighty big chance that it will be after you check out this stunner of a villa overlooking the (unfairly overlooked) Douro river. Our bags are packed and we are ready to go!
The Villa Spa Douro is a four-bedroom villa located in San Lourenço do Douro, which is itself around 36 km from Porto. A wonderful example of understated luxury, the villa says classy without rubbing it in your face. With an outdoor pool, a spa, a sauna and a wellness centre, the space ensures that you have all the trappings of a luxury hotel, while ensuring the vibe is that of a modern, tastefully decorated private home.
With no other properties close by that could mar its views, and large glass windows and doors throughout the space, the villa also has ample sunlight that will have you propping your legs up on the hammock in no time at all. To add to the communal feel of the space is a large outdoor dining area and a warm, cosy living room. Earthy shades and textures that blur the lines between outside and inside are the norm here.
The owner Bruna has clearly gone to pains to ensure that the villa imparts a welcoming, homely feel; there are beautiful kilim rugs casually strewn around and balconies that could just as well belong in the holiday home of a rich relative. Check out the images below, and we dare you to not be inspired!
Set on an elevated platform, with green vistas as far as the eye can see, the Villa Spa Douro is situated immediately adjacent to the Douro river—so close that its sounds lull you to a place of serenity. The stone-and-brick facade ensures that the property does not seem obtrusive, and in fact blends in seamlessly.
Also overlooking the river is an infinity pool where you can sip on a summer cooler or lie back on a lounge chair and get your tan on. By the way, if you want your home to look this good in pictures, we'd suggest you check out these talented guys.
One of the first things that will strike you about Villa Spa Douro, and this is made especially clear when you step inside, is the amount of sunshine that blankets the place. The bright, airy space has no columns or beams that would potentially be constrictive, and in fact has oodles of breathing room, one of the marks of a quality luxury place.
The decor in the room, though seemingly subtle, is actually an interesting mix of textures, colours and patterns that do not jar in the least. So you have a plush brown velvet chaise lounge and wicker armchairs that are perfectly offset by a bright orange carpet! The end result is a comfortable area that is tastefully decorated.
The bedrooms at Villa Spa Douro might as well be spun right out of your dreams—they are gorgeously whimsical and have an exquisite Zen quality to them. Look at those dreamy drapes!
Each private room is done up in a slightly different style, and each comes with a private bathroom attached. Did we mention that every room also comes with its own private balcony that overlooks the river? Keeping with the overall colour palette, the rooms are also largely done up in hues of creams and browns. The furniture is kept minimal but has elements of both a beachside resort and an Asian spa.
Small bathrooms are often a difficult design task, but here the architects have taken the challenge head on, creating a storage-friendly yet luxurious bathroom space that you could practically live in. A floating sink cabinet and a large mirror give the impression of a larger space. The storage is smartly camouflaged in corners and under the sink. The dark wood panelling on the floors and walls further add to the calm and aesthetic vibe of the bathroom.
A great bathroom is one where you can retreat to after a long day and shower away your weariness; the bathrooms at Villa Spa Douro thankfully do just that.
There's something about keeping the interiors as fluid as possible (while retaining the functionality) that is intensely pleasing to the eye. No sharp corners or fixed walls to limit the appearance of an open space or make it less user-friendly.
At the Villa Spa Doura, the indoor dining area and the open kitchen come together to form a single zone that is suitably large but seems intimate enough as well. The in-built appliances and the two-tone colour palette in combination with contemporary furniture create a refined look. Like the rest of the property, there is plenty of natural light streaming in through what are practically two glass walls.
If you want to drool over more properties in alluring locations, a must-see is An emerald oasis in Mexico.