Insider's Guide to Spas
Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at the Yeatman Hotel


Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa

Rima Suqi

There is no such thing as a bad room at The Yeatman Hotel. It is perched on a hill across the Douro river from the heart of Oporto, and all rooms have terraces facing the northwest Portuguese city, known as the center of port production. It seems appropriate, then, that the spa here would somehow tie into this local elixir, and to that end, the owners ultimately tapped Caudalie Vinotherapie, and the company’s expert “Vinotherapists” to run the show.

The spa is about 21,500 square feet, with some of the best-designed treatment rooms I’ve ever seen. Mine had a drop ceiling with perforations in it, so if you have your eyes open during a treatment you have a starry night sort of view. There was also (for lack of a better word) a diorama-like wall with a beautiful piece of driftwood set on a bed of perfect white stones.

The locker room is unusual in that, in addition to the expected locker set-ups, it has three private lockers, which are like small bathrooms with everything except a toilet—rainhead shower, sink with elegant fixture, robe, and a plethora of Caudalie products to play with. Guests who book the private lockers are given card key, similar to a hotel key, to access them, and can leave all belongings here while having a treatment.

I must also note the outdoor pool shaped like a decanter—not part of the spa, but visually interesting and a humorous design moment.

If not partaking in a traditional yet wine-centric treatment (with sometimes humorous names like Pulp Friction massage, Premier Cru facial or eye treatment, and Crushed Cabernet Scrub), guests may still opt for the Roman baths, hammam, sauna, experiential showers, and a room with heated stone loungers. There is also a relaxation room affording those (I sound redundant, sorry) lovely views of Oporto, as well as an indoor infinity pool and a fairly large (by hotel standards) fitness center. I must also note the outdoor pool shaped like a decanter—not part of the spa, but visually interesting and a humorous design moment.

Those who only have time for one treatment should probably opt for the Barrel Bath experience, as it takes place in the private Barrel Bath room, with panoramic views of the Douro and Oporto beyond. They’ve infused the bubbly water with a conditioning grape extract, so you get the benefit of antioxidants while you soak, as well as a scalp massage, followed by a neck/shoulder pressure point massage.

Rima Suqi

Rima Suqi

An avid world traveler raised in an international home, Rima has explored and covered emerging destinations in the Middle East and Africa, far-flung luxury resorts in French Polynesia, as well as those closer to home, and the burgeoning arts scene in Marfa, Texas. Rima has traveled to over 30 countries, writing about the trends and tastemakers for leading travel and lifestyle publications, and subjected herself to innumerable spa treatments — sometimes under very odd circumstances — all in the name of journalism. A weekly contributor to The New York Times Home section, Rima held the envious position of Best Bets Editor at New York Magazine for six years, and is regularly published in national magazines including T Magazine/The New York Times, Departures, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and American Way. Her last book American Fashion: Designers at Home (Assouline) in partnership with CFDA, sold out three printings.