For a relatively small city Porto has a great choice of accommodation ranging from hip boutiques to luxury international hotels. A recent influx has seen a number of new hotels opening or in final stages of development. Porto makes good use of its large array of (un)used buildings, like the historic Café A Brasileira building (now a Pestana), a former fish market (now a Vincci), a city palace (now an InterContinental), an Art Deco cinema (now a Moov) and another revamped (modernist) market – now the Hotel da Música near Rem Koolhaas’ stunning Casa da Música.
Porto also welcomes ‘back’ its Grande Dame, the Hotel Infante Sagres which originally opened in 1951. The new owner, The Fladgate Partnership owns some of the most well-know port brands like Taylor’s, Croft, Fonseca and Krohn plus two other luxury hotels, the Michelin-starred The Yeatman amongst the port houses of Vila Nova da Gaia and Hotel Vintage House in Pinhão, upstream on the Douro River where the grapes come from.
The Hotel Infante Sagres’ renovation concluded last month and brings back its classic glamour, yet with a contemporary feel (including a new café restaurant/bar and courtyard swimming pool). Preserved details include the wrought iron staircase set against stained-glass windows and public rooms celebrating turn-of-the-century opulence, with crystal chandeliers, wood panelling and antique chairs.
Guest rooms offer a more pared-back take on luxury with white bedspreads, artwork by contemporary Portuguese artists and features that draw on Porto’s Moorish history. The Suite Royal is designed as a 19th-century manor and has a huge four-poster bed.
Breakfast can be enjoyed in the grand dining room, while the all-day Vogue Café serves (light) meals and cocktails. There is a refined, Cambodian-themed spa with wellness treatments, a courtyard, a sun terrace and a rooftop swimming pool.
• 85 rooms (22-35m2) & suites (36-93m2)
• Hotel opened: 1951
• Architecture: Rogério de Azevedo
• Interior Design: Paulo Lobo
• Bathroom amenities: Claus, Porto