Porto, also known as Oporto in English, is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas in Southwestern Europe. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal.
The first hotel we stayed in was Infante Sagres (5*). The hotel looks amazing, it was build in 1945 by Rogério de Azevedo and inside it feels like time came to a complete stop. Everything looks stylish and retro. Breakfast is served in a large ballroom with amazing chandeliers and very high ceilings. The well-appointed rooms and suites at Infante Sagres offer the perfect urban retreat in Porto, combining original antiques, a superb collection of modern works of art, and custom-designed furniture.
Another cool fact is that the hotel has been picked as place to stay by the Dalai Lama, Norwegian an Dutch Royals, Bob Dylan, John Malkovich and more recently in 2010 the band U2. It’s close to one of the main nightlife areas in Porto and the on the first night we stayed there (a Saturday) the streets where full of people and there was a small concert going on.
Our room was facing the courtyard so we didn’t hear any noise coming from the street. The hotel is well located for Metro, buses and trams. On arrival, the staff were welcoming and helpful (the glass of port on arrival is a nice touch, too). The staff member that checked us in was a young girl working there as an intern and she did such an amazing job showing us where everything is in Porto. Even though she struggled with some of her sentences in English she wouldn’t give up and immediately gained our respect. Unseen service if you live in Belgium for sure!
Our (standard) room was spacious and comfortable; some of the bathroom fittings were a bit tired, but everything worked. The beds were very comfortable, and after an excellent night’s sleep the breakfast was excellent. The elegant public spaces are generous, with plenty of space to meet up or hang out.
The only negative aspect is the airco. It seemed to be added after renovating the Hotel and while it does it’s job, it’s not very subtile. It lets the room temperature go up to let’s say 26°C and then starts cooling it down to 23 making quite some noise. It doesn’t really maintain a stable temperature. They have a free and very stable WIFI connection; using Skype for example was no problem at all!
Because we where stranded in Porto and we booked this hotel last minute we couldn’t stay here all week we had to switch hotels after three nights. We moved to Eurostars Das Artes (4*), about 1000 meters from the Infante Sagres. We took a junior suite which was very large and had a nice balcony. When checking in staff was very helpful but the competence of the staff changed a lot over our stay. Sometimes you might walk to the reception facing a person who’s English is very limited while (mostly during the day) staff is very helpful and responsive.
The bar in Eurostars Das Artes is a bit disappointing too. When we asked for a Mojito (on the menu) we where told he couldn’t make it because he didn’t have fresh mint… I tried a Sangria and then the bartender replied it would take an hour to make it… Ok, in the end I made him pick and he made something using some local ingredients. Luckily it was pretty good.
We also ordered a bottle of vino verde which they put in our room. So far so good but it’s a shame the bottle was still there after three days even when I told the reception someone could take it away. At the time of our stay there WIFI was unstable and the last three days it completely failed to work on several floors. I told the reception… Nothing happened. I understand that most people don’t need WIFI on their holiday but when you’re a blogger/journalist it’s just necessary. In this hotel the airco worked just fine.
They had a nice food selection for breakfast and the hotel is located pretty central. If you are willing to walk 2km max in all directions you can visit every important landmark from this hotel. I’d say that because of the airco I slept better in Eurostars das Artes.
Infante Sagres had a price tag of 130 EUR/night and Eurostars was about 90 EUR/night, both with breakfast included. They are both very nice hotels. If we hadn’t experienced problems with the WIFI and some silly stuff at the bar I’d pick Eurostars over Infante Sagres but because of their amazing service and the fact that staying inside Infante Sagres is like being in a movie I have to give the Foodbashers stamp of approval to Infant Sagres!
Sleep inside a 50's movie studio!Book your room
Praça D. Filipa de Lencastre 62,
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