Best hotels in Porto
If you know you're vino from your Champers, you'll feel right at home at The Yeatman. This five-star establishment is an ambassador for Portuguese wines, has its own wine cellar and is partnered up with nearing 100 wine producers. Situated in the hills of Vila Nova de Gaia, the views from the rooms, the exquisite open-air pool, the restaurant and bar are incredible. It's also less than a ten-minute walk to the closest train station and just over a mile to Porto Cathedral.
Students from Porto’s hospitality school take charge in this hotel and restaurant, which has a cool creative edge in keeping with its former function as an arts college. Check out the grades of former students on the report cards lining the walls, and there are 150+ paintings and sculptures scattered throughout the building. The dining room in particular doubles as an art exhibition, with a vibrant selection of paintings on the bright blue walls. Arty!
The five-star Porto Palácio boasts elegant rooms, marble bathrooms and a splendid spa. It’s geared towards business types, but if you’re a fan of getting your zen on in a mood-lit underground pool with steam, spray and bubble jets galore, you might just fancy it too. It’s located in Porto’s corporate district of Boavista, meaning it’s a little removed from the city centre for sightseeing (around three kilometres from the main square), but the Casa da Música concert hall and metro stop are just a ten-minute walk away. You’ll also find the indoor food market Mercado Bom Sucesso nearby (if you plan a sneaky picnic in your room, you rebel).
If you fancy feeling like a prince or princess on your trip to Porto, book yourself into an eighteenth-century palace. The Palácio do Freixo’s baroque architecture is stunning (not to mention super-Insta-worthy) and it overlooks the Douro with stellar river views. Inside, sky-high frescoed ceilings and gilt detailing steal the show, while the Nasoni Bar and Palatium Restaurant offer regional drink and food. Front-facing rooms have views over the river, as do the hotel’s outdoor terrace, infinity pool and jetty, which is lined with sun loungers. There’s a spa, a heated indoor pool, a steam room, gym and sauna. Unless you’re up for a 45-minute walk along the river to the historical centre you’ll need to catch the hotel’s free shuttle bus, which departs every 30 minutes.
If you want swank and style on your trip to Porto, you can’t go wrong with the InterContinental. The former monastery and palace is conveniently positioned at the end of Porto’s main square, Praça da Liberdade. Step out the door and you’ll see Porto’s iconic Clérigos Tower on your left, then nip around the corner to your right and run straight into the equally iconic São Bento Train Station. As well as having a top location, the hotel has five-star class with an opulent foyer adorned with marble and Swarovski chandeliers. There’s also a swish shopping arcade inside should you care to casually pick up a new Rolex. The elegance continues in the rooms upstairs, where you’ll find heavy curtains, studded ottomans and silky bedspreads. Take a relaxing bath in the marble bathroom before choosing from eight types of pillows at bedtime, and be sure to book a massage or facial in the hotel spa. You’re worth it.
If you like your accommodation with a side of quirkiness, the Teatro is right up your alley. The hotel is located inside Porto’s former Baquet Theatre and has been fitted out with a thespian theme. The entrance is like stepping into a box office. Heavy curtains block the outside world and room cards are handed out under dim lighting from a circular reception area decorated with film rolls. As you stroll the dark corridors you’ll pass racks of costumes illuminated by theatre spotlights, which eventually lead to the stylish Bar Plateia, where black-and-white films are projected on a loop. Très cool.
Flores Village provides hotel facilities, apartment convenience and the personalised service of a guesthouse. It’s located on one of the city’s liveliest streets, Rua das Flores, which is lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. If you don’t want to venture out, the hotel’s own wine and tapas bar, Pateo das Flores, serves quality food in a chic enclosed courtyard.
This heritage-listed building has been lovingly converted from professor Carolina Michaelis's home into a guesthouse with heaps of Portuguese character. Casa Carolina’s eight rooms vary in size, with some offering bathtubs and/or a balcony, and the top floor suite is fitted out with a fully equipped kitchen. One of the highlights of this place is the breakfast, which goes beyond your usual continental spread with thoughtful extras like balls of avocado, plus fresh ginger and mint to make tea. When dinnertime rolls around you have plenty of food options on the doorstep, which happens to be the pedestrianised shopping street, Rua de Cedofeita.
This hotel is located in one of Europe’s oldest printing and stationery shops, Araujo & Sobrinho (hence the A.S.), which opened in 1829 (hence the 1829) and the store still operates in the hotel foyer as a fifth-generation business. In honour of this, a print theme runs throughout the hotel, with old typewriters, historic photos and wooden printer cabinets. There are red carpets running down the elegant staircases, and some of the romantic rooms have freestanding bathtubs (we recommend bringing your lover not your business partner. Unless they’re the same person).
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