Planning your next getaway or city break? Porto is the hotspot to visit right now, thanks to its beautiful river, history and, of course, great wine!
There’s still a real sense of the undiscovered in this lovely little historic Portugese city. It also boasts a thriving food scene, the hip bars of the Baixa district and Portugal’s most important contemporary art centre, the Serralves. Need more convincing? Here are 9 reasons to visit the city that’s fast becoming a must-visit destination.
With flights from London Gatwick to Porto 12 times a week from just £121 with TAP Portugal, it’s never been so easy to take a short break – but where to stay? Whether you’re looking for ultimate luxury or a trendy city break, Porto has it all. Check out our top hotel picks to check in in style…
Pestana Palacio do Freixo
Want to know what it feels like to live like a Queen? We’re almost certain you can’t get more realistic than the stunning Pestana Palacio do Freixo, which is a palace from the eighteenth century. That’s one way to make your friends feel envious!
The stunning accommodation belongs to the Leading Hotels of The World, and it shows: antiques on loan from local museums add an authentic edge you struggle to find in most modern hotels, and the romantic setting on the river Duoro gives the most incredibly serene view, no filter necessary.
But don’t be fooled into thinking the classic luxury theme equals old-fashioned; the hotel has plenty of modern touches to keep you in the lap of luxury. Head to the spa for a treatment, or enjoy a tipple in the beautiful bar with opulent finishing touches. The outdoor infinity pool is the perfect place to chill out. Splash out on a river view room for incredible views – you won’t regret it.
Rates at Pestana Palácio do Freixo start from €228 (approx. £198) Find out more at Pestana.com.
Pestana Vintage Porto
If your style is trendy and quirky, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this hotel in the heart of Porto.
On the waterfront of the Duoro river, a group of of buildings dating back to the sixteenth century have been transformed into the Pestana. And as traditional and quaint as the outside may look, the interior decor is more reminiscent of trendy bars in the heart of the city. As a result, the hotel is a brilliant mixture of contemporary and traditional, and there’s a real sense of excitement in spending the night here – even if you don’t stroll into the vibrant centre of Porto for a wine or two!
Foodies will be in heaven at the hotel’s restaurant, RIB Beef & Wine. The fact that the restaurant, which opened less than a year ago, is frequented by the locals and is already establishing itself as one of the best dining experiences in Porto is enough to convince you to boo a table, but OH – the food! The menu has a mouth-watering selection of meat cuts from exclusive supplies, and the cocktails are to die for, if you can tear yourself away from the Port. Cheers to that!
If you’ve always thought themed hotels sound a bit naff, we’ve found the chicest way to swallow those preconceptions – with a glass of crisp vinho verde at The Yeatman!
Built into the hills gazing over Porto’s world-heritage listed centre, this luxurious wine-themed hotel houses one of the world’s largest collections of Portugese wine and plenty of glamorous spaces to sip your way through the list. From the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant, relaxed terrace with dramatic views across the Douro River or reclining in style by the decanter-shaped infinity pool. Or, take a glass to your airy, elegant room – every one has a private front-facing balcony so there’s not a duff view in the house.
The Caudalie Vinotherapy Spa continues the gourmand theme as do weekly ‘wine dinners’ hosted by local experts and a knockout breakfast with artisan meats, cheeses and even a glass of fizz if the mood takes you.
A short stroll through the pretty garden leads out to the upmarket Vila Nova de Gaia neighbourhood and it’s famous port lodges, including Taylor’s where you can join a tour and tasting session for 12€. Continue your amble along the waterfront and over the Dom Luis bridge to Porto’s beautiful old town where you’ll find historic buildings covered in decorative ‘Azulejo’ tiles, winding lanes lined with tabernas selling fresh seafood tapas and shady squares in which to enjoy a ‘pastel de nata’ custard tart or another glass of local vinho.
Double Executive Room at The Yeatman start from 185€ per room per night.
TAP Portugal flies from London Gatwick to Porto 12 times a week, prices start at £121 return including all taxes and surcharges. For further information, visit www.flytap.com or call 0345 601 0932.