“Stylish seafront haven of self-catering apartments for 2-5, just a tram ride from Porto's vibrant historic centre”
There are 5 One-Bedroom Apartments, all beautifully and creatively decorated with sea or city views. There are some standard features (pristine white walls, state-of-the-art light fittings, grey Carrara marble and stainless steel bathrooms by Porto architect Adalberto Dias), but each has its particular character. The works by Portuguese artists on the walls (notes provided) for instance, as well as the layout and the views. Our favourite were the Sea View apartments - you can watch the Atlantic waves from your dining table, and you get air con - but the City Views are slightly cheaper.
Prices shown are for 2, but each apartment sleeps up to 5 in various combinations of kingsize, queensize and single beds - see Rates for full details. All have 1 bedroom, on a mezzanine floor or in an ingenious boxed-in bedroom. Shut the doors during the day and you’d think the space was just a cupboard, but throw them open at night to let air in while you sleep. The second double bed, should you require it, rolls in and out of a wall in the living room. If there are only 2 of you, it is hidden by a sofa. We thought this was a design masterpiece, and also liked the swing-door style of the bathrooms.
All apartments have a living area and kitchen for self-catering. Gadgetry includes satellite TV, an iPod dock and free WiFi. Spoiling toiletries in the shower bathrooms are by Claus Porto, an old Porto company that uses 100% vegetal ingredients to make soaps, shampoos and so on, all in beautiful packaging. If you like them, you can buy more in town.
Breakfast is delivered to your door at the time you request (between 9-10am). Inside your basket you’ll find everything from freshly squeezed orange juice to fresh bread and pastries with homemade jams, plus cheese, ham, little bottles of milk and cereals. There’s great coffee, too, which you make in your espresso machine.
The apartment kitchens are compact but cleverly designed, some concealed behind concertina-style doors. You'll find a hob, an oven, useful cooking equipment, a fridge and a dishwasher, and all the basics are provided (oil, salt, pepper, washing-up liquid etc). As a thank you for booking through i-escape, you'll also receive a welcome basket of tea, coffee, fruit, flowers and a delicious cake. There are grocery stores nearby for everything else. We loved the selection of deliberately mismatched antique plates and teacups.
For restaurants you’re spoiled for choice; Miguel will advise according to your budget and tastes. Our local favourite was Cepa Peixe, a chic eatery across the street from the apartments which specialises in fresh fish. If you want something cheap and totally traditional (including tripe, for which Porto is famous!) head for A Capoeira. Or for seafront chic and fusion food try Shis, on Ourigo beach nearby - sit on the terrace if it’s sunny.
Downtown there’s a wide selection of restaurants to suit all pockets. The place to go if money is no object is DOP, a swanky eatery inside the Palacio das Artes building in Ribeira, whose chefs give a modern twist to traditional Portuguese fare. For something more modest try Rogerio do Redondo, or for low budget and as traditional as it gets (with plenty of roasts and the ubiquitous salt cod), head for the ever-popular O Buraco.
Families are welcome and will appreciate the independence of staying in an apartment. Extra beds/baby cots can be added to all apartments; toys, highchairs and babysitting can be provided on request (small charge).
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available