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At a glance

  • You'll love

    Golf and tennis

    Opulent décor

    Spectacular spa

  • Kids will love

    Fun activities

    Family-friendly pools


  • Don’t expect

    To walk into town

    A crèche

    A hip bar scene


For a family holiday in Portugal that doesn’t disappoint the grown-ups, the gilded Vidago Palace hotel has the ideal mix of sleek spa, fine dining and sprawling grounds great for running around. The salmon-pink palace, built in 1910 as a royal retreat, serves up a host of children’s activities as well as plenty of stunning belle époque style.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Vidago Palace with us:

Home-made jam or a pack of local teas

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Vidago Palace

Non-refundable rate


‘'Nothing is haphazard or by chance – every service or detail is the best it can be.'’

Elizabeth Kilgarriff


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Vidago Palace - Vidago - Portugal

Need To Know


70, including 10 suites.


12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from £215.70 (€250), including tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include buffet or à la carte breakfast. Children Under-10s stay free in extra beds or baby cots in their parents’ rooms.

At the hotel

Golf course, tennis courts, restaurant, bar, spa, gym, yoga, concierge, library, DVD library, free WiFi throughout.

In your room

Flatscreen TV, DVD player, CD player, radio, free WiFi, bathrobes, Saboaria Portugueza toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Room 109 – a junior suite – has exceptional views of the lake as well as the hotel’s entrance. The soothing mint-green walls make soaking in the roll-top bath a particularly relaxing experience, and the balcony gets the morning sun. If you’re a larger family or have older children, rooms 7 and 8 are interconnecting and occupy a pleasantly quiet spot with a ground-floor terrace.


Dive into one of the hotel’s three swimming pools. The main outdoor pool is surrounded by chic white leather loungers and oversize beanbags, ideal for lounging as you watch older children practice their lengths, or there’s also a small fenced-off pool for younger children. The indoor pool is open to children each morning.


The star attraction at the gleaming spa is the water: book a three-, seven- or 14-day programme of traditional water therapy if you’re interested in old-school treatments.


All the hotel’s public areas are easily accessible with a pram or pushchair.

Book ahead

The spa is the star attraction, so make sure to book before arrival if there’s a particular treatment you’re dying to try.

Food and drink

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Vidago Palace - Vidago - Portugal


In the Salão Nobre Dining Room, the hotel’s vast and gilded one-time ballroom, Portuguese chef Josu Sedanu-Martin (who previously delighted London diners at Quaglino’s and the Ivy) serves up a gourmet take on local favourites, such as octopus carpaccio and quail eggs. Meals are also served in the Winter Garden, the hotel’s bright conservatory, and at the laid-back Poolside Bar.

Family fare

Children are welcome in the restaurants at any time of day, and there are highchairs, colouring books and a children’s menu. The less formal Winter Garden might be less daunting for parents of younger children than the grand Salão Nobre Dining Room.

Hotel Bar

Sip your drink of choice in the dark, masculine Smoke Room – think dark wood and darker leather – or the bright Four Seasons Room, with its walls covered in pale silk. Try one of the signature cocktails: the Palace Velvet is a chocoholic’s fantasy, and the Ruby Vidago is a creative concoction involving rose port and crème de menthe. Children are allowed in and the staff can whip up a mocktail, but both bars are quite grown-up spots from the evening onwards.

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the Winter Garden 7am–10am every weekday and 7am–11am on weekends. Lunch is served 1pm–3pm and dinner 7.30pm–10.30pm.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    In the Winter Garden, sit by the window for a view of the great gardens, or for an adults-only dinner while the little ones are with a babysitter, opt for a secluded corner table. In the Salão Nobre Dining Room, every seat’s spectacular.

  • Room service

    Order snacks and drinks to your room any time you like, day or night.


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Vidago Palace - Vidago - Portugal

Parent approved

‘'Nothing is haphazard or by chance – every service or detail is the best it can be.'’

Elizabeth Kilgarriff

Kids Club

The small room that serves as the kids club in bad weather doesn’t get much use — activities more often take place outside. There's a regularly changing programme of activities for smaller Smiths, including nature walks with an Attenborough-inspired naturalist bent, face painting, creative art classes, magic tricks, music sessions, jewellery making workshops, balloon modeling, puppetry and cookery.


Babysitters are available on request; prices vary. Make sure to book in advance.

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Cot beds • Cot bedlinen • Toys

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Cot beds • Cot bedlinen • Toys • Crayons/pens • Craft materials • Colouring books

For older children

• Toys • Crayons/pens • Craft materials • Colouring books • Craft supplies • Trampoline


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Vidago Palace - Vidago - Portugal

Things to do

While the adults are having a hit on the tennis courts, conquering the golf course, tasting the spring waters in the spa, splashing in the pools or lounging in Vidago Palace’s meditation room, smaller Smiths can often be found out in the grounds on supervised nature walks or doing fun craft activities.

Hotel activities

Head out into the 2,800 hectares of grounds: you could spend days strolling around the lake, finding the four fountains or just smelling the roses, magnolia and jasmine. For a more active time, hit the tennis courts (equipment can be rented, and the dress code specifies sports kit) or bounce on the trampoline. For quieter day, visit the hotel’s library and borrow a book.

Local Guide

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Vidago Palace - Vidago - Portugal
Smith tip

Pay a visit to the Enoteca Douro Museum in Favaios (

Don't miss…

Discover the Unesco-protected town and castle of Guimarães, considered the Cidade Berço – 'cradle city' – of the Portuguese nation.

Northern Portugal has plenty to explore, so once you’ve exhausted yourself on the hotel’s tennis courts, conquered the golf course, tasted the spring waters and lounged in Vidago Palace’s meditation room, it’s time to head out and discover the natural beauty and fascinating culture of the region. Ask the concierge to arrange some day trips for you: wine tasting in the nearby Douro Valley is a must if you fancy leaving the little ones with staff doing crafts or exploring the grounds.

History buffs and landscape lovers, head to the Parque Arqueológico de Tresminas and explore the site of one of the Roman Empire's largest gold mines, as well as getting some impressive countryside views (

Enjoy delicious Portuguese traditional dishes cooked by passionate staff at Quinta dos Carvalhos in Vidago; try to sit by the window and soak up the landscape. Children are likely to particularly enjoy the incredible cakes and pastries on offer (Margonça, Vila de Cucujães, 3720-389 Oliveira de Azemeis; +351 (0)276 907 241; Casa de Souto-Velho is a family-run restaurant on Praia do Vidago in Chaves that's worth booking ahead for. Osvaldo greets you on arrival, while his wife Eufrásia and son, Chef Mauro, take charge in the kitchen, serving dishes made from home-grown ingredients with locally produced wine. The familial atmosphere extends from the kitchen to the dining room: all ages are warmly welcomed the team (Souto Velho, 5425-013 Chaves; +351 (0)276 999 250;


+ Enlarge
Vidago Palace
Parque de Vidago, Apartado 16, Vidago, Chaves, 5425-307
Hotel setting

Portuguese spa town

Getting There

Vidago Palace is in Tràs-os-Montes, just north of the Douro Valley near Portugal’s northern border with Spain.


Touch down at Francisco de Sà Carneiro Airport – often just called Porto Airport ( – about an hour and a half from Vidago Palace. Ryanair ( flies to Porto from London Stansted and Liverpool airport. TAP ( flies from London Heathrow.


Vidago is about 90 minutes' drive from Porto along the A7, and five hours from Lisbon. A car will be handy for exploring the towns and villages along Portugal’s northern border. There’s free parking at the hotel.


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Vidago Palace - Vidago - Portugal

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Vidago Palace – has been selected and approved by parents.

Smith & Family

As you drive up the long, sweeping promenade, you wonder how this interior can ever match this grandeur. But once inside, you realise that this is a hotel that has been restored with great love, attention and no expense spared. Attention to detail is key: constantly refreshed (free) bottles of water in the bedroom, a top-notch laundry service (smallest child’s hot chocolate removed from favourite white jeans without a trace!), easy-to-organise childcare and restaurant-style room service. Nothing is haphazard or by chance – every service or detail is the best it can be.

On first sight of the impressive pink façade, our seven-year-old exclaimed in a voice of hushed wonder that it was ‘just like the Disney Hotel!’ Actually, although pink, it’s nothing like the Disney Hotel and our littlest one, having witnessed the size of their bedroom (which they never quite believed they had all to themselves), did come to the conclusion that it was, in fact, ‘more posher’ with ‘better breakfast’. This is something of an understatement, as the food is fabulous, the hotel is beautiful and if you’re looking for somewhere to go for a grown-up, luxurious treat where the kids are welcome (and can have fun too), then the Vidago Palace offers something for the whole family.

It was a holiday of firsts for our eldest daughter: the first time she rode a bicycle solo without stabilisers; the first time she swam a length on her own. For our littlest one, it was the first time she’d seen a toast machine and her fascination with putting bread in and then watching toast magically appear on the other side never seemed to diminish.

Get a babysitter and head to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail or two and then go through to the very grown-up ballroom and indulge in the taster menu. Book another evening à deux to taste the local wine and sample tapas in the hotel’s own cellar. And do try and spend some time in the adults-only outside Jacuzzi – its waters are supposed to hold healing powers – well, it is very relaxing.

Anonymously reviewed by Elizabeth Kilgarriff, BBC Television

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith & Family hotel, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what real-life family guests had to say about Vidago Palace in the Guestbook below.


Stayed on

We loved

Everything about this hotel was exceptional. Absolutely stunning location, service and food.

Rating: 10/10 stars