I found this hotel when I was searching for accommodation near the Douro Valley. When I investigated a bit further, it turns out this hotel is affiliated with Relais and Chateaux, a French small luxury hotel chain, but independently owned and operated.
The main building was built in the 16th century and more recently, a spa and winery was built on the property. The hotel only has around 30 rooms, but it also has an event facility for weddings, etc. near the pool area.
If you have anything larger than a compact rental car, getting into the hotel’s driveway can be a bit of a challenge as there is a narrow arch you have to navigate. I just about made it through when we arrived, but I had the hotel staff move my car through the arch when we left.
The staff was very welcoming when we arrived around 2:30pm after driving from Lisbon via Talasnal. We we offered seats and a cold drink as we checked in and also confirmed our reservation for the following evening at the Michelin-starred restaurant on site, Largo do Paco. I’ll have a full review of that dining experience in a separate post.
We were shown to our room on the third floor. Based on the floor plan, it looked like we had the largest room on that floor. I had booked a deluxe room through Capital One travel (to use my $300 travel credit on my Capital One Venture X card).
Our room had a king-sized bed (two twin beds pushed together actually), desk, sitting area, separate closet area and a bathroom with a tub/shower combo and separate bidet.
The only downside of the room was a severe lack of power outlets. There were European outlets near the sitting area, but none near the bed. Luckily, we always bring adapters, although I suspect the hotel had them available to borrow if needed.
There was also a small balcony with a great view of the town’s iconic river, church and bridge.
We explored the town a bit that afternoon and had some sangria and a snack at Estoril, a local restaurant.
I then took a walk on the local river trail that stretched about four miles along and across the Tamega River.
For dinner, we went to a local place called Lusitana. My wife got tripe and I got the cod (again). Neither of us were too thrilled with our dinner as I recall, but as usual, the local wine was both cheap and good.
Breakfast at the Casa da Calcada was fantastic. There is a huge buffet (considering the small number of rooms) plus made to order eggs available. Espresso-based drinks can be ordered from the waitstaff. Interestingly, the breakfast is served in the Michelin-starred restaurant’s dining room.
On our anniversary, we had a full day tour of the Douro Valley that I will discuss in detail in a separate post. After our tour, I explored the hotel a bit and took some pictures of the pool area and vineyard.
The staff at the hotel were all very friendly and helpful without being overbearing. I found out from our tour guide that the hotel is about to undergo a significant renovation starting early in 2023. Existing rooms will be modernized, and some additional rooms will be built. So, if you want to book the Casa da Calcada in its current form, do so before the end of the year. Otherwise, it may lose a bit of its charm, although I’m sure they will keep most of the character intact.
We were glad we stayed here rather than Regua or Pinhao or a winery hotel in the Douro Valley. We still got to explore that area on our tour and we got to experience the quaint charm of Amarante as well. In addition, we used a $300 Capital One credit to offset much of the cost.
Up next: our Douro Valley tour.
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