Booking this stay
I booked this stay on the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts platform and used Membership Rewards points to cover the one-night stay in their base room called a king classic. As a reminder, booking through FHR gives you these great benefits:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily breakfast for two
- Guaranteed 4pm late check out
- Noon check-in, when available
- Complimentary WIFI
- Experience credit: Complimentary lunch or dinner for two people per room
The hotel is centrally located in Porto and about a 25 minute drive away from Porto Airport. We arranged for a car to pick us up through the hotel and the driver was waiting for us as we exited baggage claim. The driver was friendly and drove us to the hotel in a sleek Mercedes sedan. Unfortunately, there is massive construction directly in front of and around the hotel because the city is adding a metro line right there. The construction was directly outside the front door of the hotel so there was a makeshift walk way to get from where the car dropped us off to the hotel entrance. Hotel bellmen had a makeshift station to help with luggage and directing guests.
We were only staying for one night, so it didn’t detract from our experience too much but I would not recommend picking this hotel as your launching pad for exploring Porto while the construction is taking place.
Check-in was quick and they recognized we booked through American Express but didn’t upgrade us until asked about upgrade availability. It felt a little thoughtless given how we booked and my husband has the second highest status with IHG, Intercontinental’s loyalty group. We were then upgraded to King Classic Historical Center View.
King Classic Historical Center View Room
We were assigned room 408 and as soon you open the door there is a full flight of stairs, which I found odd. Once you’re up the stairs, the room had a king-bed, small sofa and oval dining table, large TV, mini-bar and window over looking the city. Down a short and skinny hallway was the dual-vanity bathroom, separated toilet room and walk-in shower.
The room had a very small footprint and felt cramped. We actually struggled to find space where we could both open our suitcases at the same time. And are vehemently against putting them on the bed. That’s gross!
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the bath products are from Byredo, which is one of my favorite brands. They smelled fantastic.
Food & beverage
Since we booked through American Express, our stay included a complimentary meal and daily breakfast. Since we were only in town for one night, we decided our complimentary meal would be dinner. That night the hotel was hosting an outdoor BBQ on a terrace that overlooked a quaint courtyard. They had a variety of appetizers on a buffet and then you could ask the chef to grill up the meats you wanted. It also came with sangria and beer. The food was ok but I really enjoyed the outdoor ambiance and warm summer night.
Breakfast is served in the main restaurant where is there a buffet as well as a small menu of items you could order a la carte. The food was flavorless and borderline inedible- ordering simple eggs didn’t even turn out well. The pastries were hard and the coffee was awful. If it wasn’t free, I would have asked for a refund. I pulled the “American card” and went to get Starbucks after.
The hotel itself was nice, although it probably hasn’t changed in a decade or two. The entrance floor features the check-in area, a bar/lounge and the main restaurant. The floor below that houses an extremely dated and small gym. The higher floors held the rooms, some of which have been renovated.
Given the construction right outside the front door of this hotel, I would not pick this hotel if you’re looking for a relaxing home base for a few days while exploring Porto. I also was disappointed in the quality of the food and felt the service was standard for the type and size of hotel. We considered some really cute, smaller properties in Porto and I think we would have been happier at one of those hotel.