— What was your inspiration to start a small hotel?
— Viajante Club Suite
— Compared to a standard hotel, what makes Porto Suites so special?
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
— What was the history of the building before it became a small hotel?
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.”
— Tell us a little about the suites at the hotel please. Do you have a favourite?
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
— What are some of the other facilities you offer to your holiday guests?
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
— What has been the most rewarding experience to you personally running a small luxury hotel?
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.”