Owners of the Quinta da Pacheca vineyard in Portugal have launched a new accommodation option where guests can stay overnight in a giant wine barrel, complete with private bathrooms, fluffy beds and air-conditioning.
If you've ever tasted Douro wine, you'll know how smooth and well-structured it is. The grapes for this wine are grown on the rolling hills of the Douro River valley, east of Porto. It's one of the most picturesque regions of Portugal and is ripe for a weekend of wine-tastings, romance and scenic landscapes. It's here where you'll find the Quinta da Pacheca estate, not too far from Peso da Régua - the pretty main town of the wine-producing region.
It's a winery with vines and olive groves that date back to the 16th century, run by Paulo Pereira and Maria do Céu Gonçalves. The property owners recently added the 270-square-foot barrel rooms as an added luxury for guests looking for a unique accommodation experience. Situated on nearly 140 acres, the wine barrel guest rooms have a private terrace where guests can sit among the centuries-old vines. Inside, each barrel-style room is equipped with a plush double bed, a walk-in shower, a skylight (for watching the stars), Wi-Fi and air-conditioning.
If you'd rather a more traditional accommodation experience, the estate's 18th century manor has been converted into a hotel with 15 guest rooms (and more on the way). Each room comes with a four-poster bed and is designed with a combination of traditional and modern features, including L’Occitane toiletries.
The region is famous for its cuisine and Douro specialities (such as sardines in citrus and slow-cooked pork cheek) can be found in the estate's restaurant which offers floor-to-ceiling glass windows with views onto the Douro River and the neighbouring vineyards. Guests can also partake in a range of activities including wine-tasting, wine and food pairings, cooking classes, picnics, bottling and labelling, grape-harvesting and traditional stepping on grapes. The estate also provides bikes to ride through the vineyards and boat trips can be organised on the Douro River.
Double rooms in the hotel start from €90 (£76/$102), while the wine barrel rooms start from approximately €255 (£219/$289). To book a stay, visit here.