On a vine-covered hillside in the Upper Douro, in the far north of Portugal, is the six-room Casa do Rio hotel. Designed by Francisco Vieira de Campos of Porto based architects Menos é Mais, the property is part of the Quinta do Vallado winery, a long established player in the region.
The vineyard practices organic viticulture and the design of the hotel reflects the ecological considerations of its owners. Suspended between two supporting pillars, the wooden building – which hovers above the land smartly avoiding a line of seasonal running water – was pre-fabricated off site. ‘Our work is all about context, it’s always the site that leads the design,’ says Vieira de Campos.
Tranquillity reigns supreme at Casa do Rio. Guests can relax in the infinity pool that overlooks the river, enjoy wine tastings, help with the harvest or take a simple boat ride. There is no formal restaurant on site but an in-house chef prepares meals using local ingredients, including vegetables from the hotel garden.