“A great-value design hotel in a dynamic, arty quarter of Porto, with eclectic décor, inspired food and a serene feel”
The 7 rooms are large and airy, with a sprinkling of period features - perhaps an elegant black fireplace, a tiled nook or an arched doorway. But what really sets them apart is the sleek mid-century furniture, much of it by iconic designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé and Hans Wegner. It’s offset beautifully by contemporary lighting, pale wooden floors and colourful throws handmade by Patrícia, who teaches crochet and quilting in her spare time.
Size and bed type vary, but most rooms have clawfoot tubs with overhead showers, and all have a few little luxuries (Castelbel Porto toiletries, robes and slippers, a welcome bottle of wine). Those to the rear of the main house come with garden-facing balconies; we were lucky enough to stay in one of these - the Queen Deluxe Garden, which sits under a tangle of top-floor rafters - and loved lingering in the evening sunshine with an aperitif. Down below, the Garden Pavilion waits on the lawn. Added since our visit, this is a more modern creation which we look forward to seeing for ourselves soon.
Back in the house, the rooms at the front overlook the street, but it’s not particularly busy. Note that Club (the smallest room) and City Heritage (set in the former drawing room, with a delicate plasterwork ceiling) have no wall enclosing their ensuites; instead, the bath and loo are hidden behind tall travel trunks that double as shelving.
Delicious dishes flow from the small kitchen into the relaxed dining room, starting with breakfast - a lazy brunch-style affair served until 12.30. Sit back with a coffee and choose from a selection of tempting options - homemade granola and yoghurt, eggs done numerous ways, honey-glazed croissants with seasonal jam. On Sundays, it’s opened up to outside guests for a ‘Special Brunch’, which might include pancakes, chorizo frittatas and sticky tartines.
In the evening, 3-course dinners are available with advance notice, and we’d recommend eating in at least once during your stay. Our meal started with port and red-berry cocktails on the sofa, before we moved to a candlelit table for the main event: grilled tiger prawns with fennel and nuts, bacalhau rolled in spices, and a gooey chocolate fondant with mint-infused strawberries - all lip-smackingly good and paired with excellent Portuguese wines.
You can also help yourself to a tipple from the honesty bar, order an afternoon treat from a menu of home-baked cakes and scones, or make a brew from the vast selection of teas (Patrícia is something of a tea aficionado). And when it comes to eating out, Porto has all manner of restaurants to choose from; staff know all the best places, so just ask.
This is more of a place for romantics, but kids of all ages will find a real welcome, too.
Babies (0-1 years)
The Grand Deluxe Garden I room and Garden Pavilion can each take an extra bed, and baby cots for children under 2 are available in all rooms.
English-speaking babysitters can be arranged on request.
High chairs are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A kids' menu is available.