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Porto Suites is managed by Patricia, the owner.
118 - 238/night
Suitable for 2-3 people

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Viajante Club Suite - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal
— Emanuel: “We try to establish from the beginning through an exchange what our guests’ aims are for their holiday in Porto. From that point onwards, we offer a totally tailor-made experience.”
Interview By:

— What was your inspiration to start a small hotel?

Emanuel: “Part of our inspiration was our passion for traveling. Patricia and I have been travellers since we were young. We started travelling with our parents to these large resorts in the ’80s and then to smaller boutique hotels as we got older, and we noticed that that was the kind of service we enjoyed the most. For us, the idea was always to receive guests just as we were receiving friends in our own house.”
Viajante Club Suite - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal
— Viajante Club Suite

— Compared to a standard hotel, what makes Porto Suites so special?

Emanuel: “The first thing is that we are not very visible from the outside, we look just like a traditional townhouse in Porto. Porto Suites is in a very different niche, based on exclusive tailor-made services ranging from a luxurious in-room spa to private city tours. Above all, it is very relaxed and offers a feeling of being at home. It’s not like you’re staying in a hotel.

We try to establish from the beginning through an exchange what our guests’ aims are for their holiday in Porto. From that point onwards, we offer a totally tailor-made experience. It all depends on the guests’ wishes. Not all establish this prior email-based exchange, but most do. It’s interesting to discover what certain guests want to discover on their holidays prior to their arrival or during their stay when we have time to share with them some thoughts on the best ways to enjoy the townhouse, the neighbourhood and finally the city of Porto and the wider region of northern Portugal.”
Landing and library - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal
— Landing and library

— What was the history of the building before it became a small hotel?

Emanuel: “The building is located between the old and the newer part of the city. It’s a 19th century wooden structure townhouse in a traditional narrow lot. It served as storage and office for the Portuguese publisher ‘Civilização’ until the mid ’90s, then it was derelict for almost 15 years. But more than a hundred years of history — the building was already mentioned in early 1800’s city plans — hides many stories still to be discovered among older neighbours and the unofficial history of the city of Porto.

The building was really run-down before we turned it into a small boutique hotel. Water was getting inside, so part of the wood was not in a good state. We renovated it to stabilise the structure, got rid of everything that wasn’t original to the building and brought back the traditional elements, and finally added a mix of contemporary furnishings and objects, which brought it back to life.”
 - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal

— Tell us a little about the suites at the hotel please. Do you have a favourite?

Emanuel: “There’s a favourite among the press and the critics who visit us. That suite is the ‘Viajante’ (the Portuguese word for ‘traveller’), which is a lofty and charming third-floor attic space overlooking the Porto roofscape from a combined bedroom and bathroom. It looks as if it could be from the beginning of last century in Paris or the mid-’20s in New York.

The remaining hotel rooms are suites with separate bathrooms that offer all the amenities, and large bedrooms and living spaces. Three of them are toward the back overlooking the long garden with balconies from which you can watch the sunsets. We tried to take in the character of each room and furnish it accordingly.”
Dining area - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal
— Dining area

— What are some of the other facilities you offer to your holiday guests?

Emanuel: “We have a gourmet food store in the common area, and a very relaxed restaurant in the area that connects to the garden.

We serve brunch from morning until mid-afternoon, five o’clock tea until sunset and afterwards 3, 6, 9 or 12 course tasting dinners. Advanced reservation for dinner experiences is mandatory, as we do not have an à la carte menu. Guests and locals give us their food restrictions or their dietary requirements and our chef creates a tailor-made gastronomic voyage that spans from traditional, especially northern Portuguese cuisine, to fusions with colonial and wider international tastes, in skilfully prepared dishes. It is honest seasonal food, gathered from lovely local suppliers and producers.

We also have an in-room spa service with a dedicated therapist for massages and spa treatments. Besides that we also organise small exclusive corporate and family parties and even weddings. It really just depends on what our guests desire and imagine.”
Hotel garden - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal
— Hotel garden

— What has been the most rewarding experience to you personally running a small luxury hotel?

Emanuel: “We haven’t approached the press, but word of mouth made the press aware of us across the globe, from articles in Monocle to reviews in the New York Times. It’s proof that we’re on the right track.

The comments have been widespread from the architecture to the services we offer. The best experience is when guests leave little presents behind and want to remain in contact with us. The relationships we build with some guests is really rewarding.”
 - Porto Suites, in Porto, Portugal
 
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