Rosa Et Al Townhouse

Porto, Douro & Minho, Portugal Book from Book from £88 per night

A great-value design hotel in a dynamic, arty quarter of Porto, with eclectic décor, inspired food and a serene feel
Porto has a warm, creative buzz and in its hippest neighbourhood, close to the gallery-studded Rua de Miguel Bombarda, is the warm, creative Rosa Et Al Townhouse. Hidden behind the most unassuming of doorways, this elegant old building has been imaginatively restored by brother-and-sister team Emanuel and Patrícia, and from the moment you enter it feels more like home than hotel. Rotating modern art adorns the walls and a sense of wellbeing pervades throughout, from the bright lobby showcasing homemade gourmet products at the front to the herb-scented garden to the rear.

It's well suited to a weekend break, and staff will anticipate your every need: booking taxis, suggesting restaurants, and sharing insider tips on their favourite haunts. A spiral staircase topped by a magnificent glass dome sweeps up to 6 light-filled bedrooms, all with a funky blend of vintage 60s furniture, Portuguese linens and clawfoot tubs, and many with balconies that catch the sun. A seventh bedroom waits in the Garden Pavillion. As for the food - much of it organic, some of it home-grown - it’s a delicious surprise from lazy brunch to informal dinner. We loved it as much as the vibrant city in which it sits, and we can’t wait to return.

Highs

  • An impeccable renovation of a traditional townhouse, with original architecture alongside contemporary design
  • An intimate, laid-back atmosphere, with an enchanting city garden and in-room massages to help you unwind
  • Spacious, well-priced rooms with covetable pieces by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames and Hans Wegner
  • Lots of tasty treats: 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-course dinners, brunch-style breakfasts, home-baked cakes, cookery workshops
  • Set in the trendiest part of town, where restaurants and boutiques abound, and just a 15-minute stroll from the historic riverfront

Lows

  • The Club room has no fitted division between the bed and bathroom (not ideal for those who like their privacy)
  • The building isn't obviously marked, making it delightfully discreet but a bit tricky to spot
  • Not particularly suited to families, although most rooms can take an extra bed and a baby cot
  • Service at breakfast can be a little slow (another excuse to sit back and take things easy!)
  • No lift so it’s a bit of a clamber up to rooms on the upper floors, but staff will assist with luggage

Best time to go

Generally, we'd recommend coming in March, April or May before it gets too hot and the tourists descend. September is great if you’re interested in seeing the grape harvest in the nearby Douro Valley, and October often brings late summer sun. You may wish to time your trip to coincide with one of Porto’s many festivals, the most famous of which is the colourful Festa de São João in June - a big street party with music and fireworks.

Our top tips

Don’t miss the Portuguese Centre for Photography, housed in a former prison (complete with original barred windows!) just a short walk from the hotel. It has some excellent exhibitions of contemporary work, as well as an interesting collection of vintage cameras. The top floor provides sweeping views over Porto's rooftops, too.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Foodie
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7
  • Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 24 Dec 2018 - 25 Dec 2018
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

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) has no wall enclosing its ensuite; instead, the bath and loo are hidden behind tall travel trunks that double as shelving.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • TV on request
  • WiFi

Eating

Delicious dishes flow from the small kitchen into the relaxed dining room, starting with breakfast - a lazy brunch-style affair served until 12.00. 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 Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays it’s opened up to outside guests for a ‘Special Brunch’, which might include pancakes, chorizo frittatas and sticky tartines, among other international and regional brunch classics.

In the evening, 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: Ribeira

Activities

  • The local area brims with boho boutiques and arty temptations. If shopper’s shoulder strikes, treat yourself to an in-room massage on your return
  • Stroll down to the UNESCO-listed Old Town, Ribeira, and get pleasantly lost among its vertiginous streets and sun-dappled squares
  • Cross the river along the soaring Ponte Dom Luís and sample the wares in the port lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia; almost all offer tours and tastings
  • Explore the charmingly dilapidated Mercado do Bolhão, which has barely changed since 1914. You'll find dangling pigs’ hooves, goose-neck barnacles, seasonal fruit and live roosters
  • Marvel at the spiralling staircases and curved panelling inside Lello, one of the world’s most ornate bookshops, which sits in the sedate university quarter
  • Board the rickety old tram and clatter out to the beach at Foz do Douro, where you can sip cocktails and watch the sun sink into the Atlantic
  • Visit Porto’s bold, contemporary icons, including Alvaro Siza Vieira's Museu de Arte Contemporânea (whose gardens are worth the visit alone), and the edgy Casa da Música by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas
  • Sign up for one of the hotel’s informal cookery workshops, or ask staff about tailored art, architecture and food tours

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Live music
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is more of a place for romantics, but kids of all ages will find a real welcome, too.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

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.

Babysitting:

English-speaking babysitters can be arranged on request.

Baby equipment:

High chairs are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

A kids' menu is available.

Distances:

  • Airport: 17km
  • Shops: 0.1km
  • Hospital: 2km
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 11 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

We loved our stay at Rosa et Al. From the moment we walked in the door, the staff went out of their way to make us feel at home. They were always incredibly warm and helpful offering lots of great tips on Porto. The rooms were large and comfortable and the food at breakfast healthy and delicious. Our only criticism is that we stayed in a room above the street which was at times noisy. Ask for a room overlooking the garden.

10/10,

Perfect location downtown Porto. Lots of sights in walking distance.

8/10,

Lovely place, lovely people.

10/10,

We had a fantastic stay at Rosa Et Al. The townhouse feels more like a sophisticated yet relaxed 'home' than a hotel, with wonderful, spacious, airy rooms (we were a group of three and had two rooms, one with a beautiful terrace overlooking the garden and the other facing the street but with an even more spacious feel and an attractive bathroom), a gorgeous suntrap garden and excellent food and full drinks service. The staff gave such personal, informed yet unobtrusive service that we felt relaxed, catered for and welcome throughout but were left to our own devices as much as a self catered property would afford us. The location was also excellent; a short walk to the old town and river but also very close to some much more independent and local-feel restaurants and bars.
Rosa Et Al is a stylish, relaxed, immaculately presented and creatively thought out boutique guest house/hotel. We would highly recommend Rosa Et Al and Porto generally and hope to return ourselves as soon as possible. The service and information from i-escape was also once again faultless too.

10/10,

Friendly staff (especially when we arrived at 11pm), good breakfasts, stylish room, but a little let down by a very slow draining bath (no one likes a paddling pool when they’re showering!) and intermittent wifi. Ww would stay again.
Taylors was great for lunch – go to a port lodge slightly up the hill in order to avoid the crowds.
Rosa et al is walkable from Lupa metro station – though better to get a taxi from the airport if you get in late at night.

9/10,

Loved the fabulous bed and bed linen, the bathrobes and the toiletries. The architecture is elegant, the interior are immaculately renovated, and the staff are delightful. We enjoyed our meal a lot, although we were the only diners (not the hotel’s fault!).
Explore the charmingly dilapidated Mercado do Bolhão, which has barely changed since 1914. You'll find dangling pigs’ hooves, goose-neck barnacles, seasonal fruit and live roosters. Yes it is dilapidated but no longer charming - expect more tourist souvenirs than ethnic produce!
Igreja de S Francisco (“the golden church") on the other hand has a breathtaking, gold-painted baroque interior. Cafe Moustache, nearby, is recommended for coffee, pastries, smoothies and fresh open sandwiches.
The bathroom in our City Queen Deluxe was more a case of style over substance. Glazed French doors are curtain-less so lacking privacy. There was nowhere to put toothbrushes/ brushes/ make up/ soap (soap kept falling on floor), and the lighting was weirdly dim (impossible to apply lippy! difficult to shave!). Bedroom lighting also dim. The “enchanting” garden felt a bit sterile, with designer grass we at first thought was plastic!

8/10,

Excellent place to stay, loved the interiors, the location and the friendly staff.

9/10,

From the very moment you arrive it is like being a part of the Rosa family! The staff could not have been sweeter, more welcoming or more thoughtful during our stay. We had a wonderful, spacious room looking over the garden. My only gripe was that there were 3 bulbs that had gone in our room. Otherwise everything was spot on - a lovely bottle of cava we had requested to celebrate my mum's birthday, complimentary port and biccies. The dinner on Saturday was fabulous and mum was suprised with a delicious birthday cake! A truely fantastic place to stay in Porto with character and charm and fantastic food. Breakfast will set you up for the whole day.

10/10,

The staff were friendly and very helpful giving us great recommendations for restaurants.The room was gorgeous , only marred by the lack of places in the bathroom to put toiletries. The breakfasts portions were a bit insubstantial but overall Rosa et Al has a lovely ambience.

9/10,

A very relaxed, quiet and comfortable city hotel. A good distance to city, great service, great team.

10/10,

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Rates for Rosa Et Al Townhouse