Grande Hotel Do Porto
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Diogo picked us up at 10am and took us to Belem, a suburb of Lisbon on the coast. Had a very interesting morning and because I am a bit behind with my blog will rely mainly on photos. Weather still hot. Had lunch at a little restaurant on the water then went looking for the bakery which has the best Portuguese tarts (in Portugal I guess) After much searching we couldn't find it so guess we ...
Been so many times, but just continues to get better and better every time….no surprise it keeps winning tourism awards.
Take a step back in time and walk the cobblestone streets of this beautiful city. Let’s not forget the food!! Francesinhas, Bifana’s, Sardines, Frango and of course Natas (Portuguese tarts).
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TravelPod Member ReviewsGrande Hotel Do Porto
Stepping back in time into the elegance of a bygone era!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Grande Hotel Do Porto
Very Small Rooms
The Grande Hotel Porto is well located on a pedestrian street, right where the action is, on a main street (Santa Catherina) surrounded by nice buildings, cafes, stores and boutiques. The beautiful Majestic Cafe (one block from the hotel) is not to be missed. Shopping in Porto is interesting and cheaper than any other cities we visited in Portugal, south of Porto.
This hotel is old and charming and it has been restored. The rooms are clean, but incredibly small - there is hardly enough room to walk around and if you happen to have two suitcases, you have one too many. The bathroom is also small, but very clean. We were shocked when we looked outside our room window to see this old, creepy, unused building (and backyard) immediately facing us.
We stayed 2 nights at this hotel and we were travelling with a group from Canada (Rêvatours). Our first dinner was nice (salmon steak) but as our dinners were set in advance, some people complained they didn't like fish, but were offered no alternatives. On our second night, we ate pork which was overcooked and difficult to cut (probably leftovers, as it appeared on the table d'hôte menu for other customers the night before). Breakfast buffet was very good. Service all around is friendly and courteous.
Perfect for a short break
The hotel is very centrally located and compares well to other 3 stars I've stayed in. It was clean and had all the facilities we needed. We were on the third floor and didn't have any problem with the size of the room, (see other reviews), although had we been staying longer than 3 nights we would have struggled to have enough space to store our clothes - only 3 very shallow drawers and 5 coat-hangers in total for a double room, even though the wardrobe itself was massive.
Breakfast was fine, lovely fresh rolls, plus a rather limited buffet, and we didn't eat in the restaurant so I can't really comment - with so many great restaurants down by the river I'm not sure why you would choose to eat in a hotel dining room.
The big plus was the beds - literally the most comfortable (but firm, not squishy), I have ever slept in. After all that walking around it was just what we needed. I would recommend it.
Pay a little more and get a real 3-star hotel
The hotel's best feature is its location, which is really just about 10 or 15 minutes away from the old, historic neighborhood of Riberia. The hotel itself is jut a few minutes walk from the railway station and is in the heart of the shopping district, which means it's pretty deserted after the shops close. The room itself is VERY small and dated. The bathroom is modern but very small as well - you can't really wash your face in the small sink without hitting the bidet (which was a pleasant amenity, given how small the entire room and bathroom is). I stayed there alone, so the space was not a huge issue but I was really surprised at how dated the furniture was. The towels and the sheets were sub-par, considering how "grand" this hotel is supposed to be. The hallways are very wide and spacious - should they decide to remodel this nice old building, they ought to take a good 4 feet from the halls and add them into the rooms! I was on the 3rd floor, so got some light from my small window but I suspect the lower floors' rooms are dark.
The dining room is nice in a dated (not historically so) way. Breakfast was better than expected - eggs, ham, cheese, some fruit, juice, coffee and breads with jams and butter. But the dining room is dreary and the the furnishings tired. Walk around the street to the BEAUTIFUL Majestic Cafe and spend the 3 EUROS for the coffee and a snack. Or go to the three other pastry shops on the same street, and enjoy a ham sandes and cafe for 1.5 EUROS.
I paid a very reasonable $80/nt through ratestogo, so I cannot really complain, though the small size and dated furnishings were a surprise. I like historic hotels, but this one is just a bit more dated than historic, if you know what I mean. For another $30 a night, you can stay a true 3-star hotel. The Grand Hotel is a 2-star establishment at the very best, more like an old Holiday Inn you'd find on some outskirts of Las Vegas....
Let down by room size
Wish I'd read these reviews before we went - I would have realised there were bigger rooms to be had. We had to take it in turns to edge round the bed if we wanted to move round the room It is a long time since we have had such a tiny hotel room.Also did not like the fact that there was a waterproof mattress protector on the bed - made it very hot.
The bathroom, although small had obviously been quite recently refurbished though, and the room redecorated at the same time. View from window was of the back of delapidated buildings.
Large ornate dining room, rather depressing bar, comfortable lounge, pleasant & helpful staff. Carpet on ground floor hallway in need of a clean, but apart from that the hotel was clean, and in a convenient location (unless you have a car - because in a pedestrian area). It is near the train station, and about 20 minutes walk down to the river, where there are plenty of restaurants. There is a funicular to help with the walk back up the hill from there!
Excellent for kids
We have just returned from a three night stay with two children aged 6 mths and 5 yrs. Our "room" actually comprised two large bedrooms complete with safe , mini bar etc, an adequately sized bathroom and a small entrance hall. The impressive restaurant and extremely pleasant bar and seating area were far more palatial than the unassuming street front of the hotel would suggest.
The overriding memory however will be of the friendly and efficient staff who were fantastic with the children and contributed hugely to what was a very enjoyable trip.
I would have no hesitation in recemmending this hotel for a great central location, excellent value and above all brilliant staff , especially for those travelling with kids
Nice Common Areas But Tiny Rooms
This was the hotel we stayed at upon arriving in Portugal. The Hotel is extremely well located - perhaps too well located! We had just rented a car (I hadn't driven a manual in years) and had trouble getting to the hotel because it was actually in a pedestrianized area and they need have someone go outside to remove some posts to let you in. It was relatively cool and heating was needed, which may explain why they gave us such a tiny room. The common areas are indeed lovely, but we were overall unimpressed with our living arrangment. The food was fine, the staff mostly quite helpful, but looking back on our trip and the pousadas and palaces we stayed in that week, I have to say that this hotel was probably the least impressive. Nothing wrong with it mind you - if you do stay, just make sure they are going to give you one of their bigger rooms!
Grande indeed...good location
We have stayed at the hotel for 2 nights during St Valentine (13 Feb to 15 Feb). We were impressed by the level of friendliness and helpfulness from the staff.
Room wise good size, spacious (we had our nine months old baby crawling around) clean, nice layout and big bathrooms. We had to change rooms on first day due to problems with key lock. We were moved to an even bigger room.
Location wise, excellent just in the heart of one of the main shopping street. As the street is pedestrianzed, hardly any noise from the outside
We had dinner on first night good menu but we did not have breakfast in the hotel as we found loads of cafes nearby that offer a variety of pastries and croissants so you end up paying about €4 for 2 people including coffee.
Overall it was a good value for money and I would recommend it to my friends.
A winner - Excusse Part 2
30th Nov. 2004 - The Grande Hotel Do Porto is everything that you would want or expect from a 3 star Hotel in Portugal... plus a whole lot more !!
Situated in an excellent position on the Rua Santa Catarina (one of the main high streets in Porto) the Grande offers a friendly and warm atmosphere. The entrance is slightly hidden and to be honest very modest. However, once you step off the High Street and into the Grande there's a touch of class to be offered from behind that slightly faded exterior.
The rooms are a good size, very clean and equipped with all mod.cons (except an iron !!). The bathroom is again comfortable and well stocked with goodies (as is the mini bar which we didn't get charged for... always a plus !!)
My memory of breakfast is somewhat grey ?? I do remember returning to the hotel at approx. 08:00 from what was a very good night out and headed straight into the restaurant. Of course the breakfast was amazing... however anything resembling food at that point in time was always going to get top marks. Honestly though from what I can remember breakfast was standard issue (continental, cooked, fresh fruit etc.) but very pleasant.
Overall excellent value for money, clean, welcoming, in a great position and all the cab drivers know it !! Not a luxury 5 star don't get me wrong but a very good 3 star that your more than happy to be in.
It's where I sleep, stupid!
I was really looking forward to my stay at the Grande, having selected it for a potential long stay next summer. The hotel has an air of old time grandeur with cosy snugs and armchairs. However, I was quickly disappointed when I reached my room. Having been assured it was a double room (even though I was travelling alone) I found it both spartan and cramped. Smaller details like a malfunctioning heater, a safe with no lock and a t.v. with no controls (couldn't turn the sound down and didn't want to disturb the neighbours) took the shine of my trip.The location is fine, particularly with the bustle leading up to Xmas preparations though there are a shortage of nearby restaurants remaining open in the evening. Breakfast was fine, with a range of cooked meats, cheeses, fruit and yoghurts taken in a splendid dining room. The hotel is clean and the staff were friendly and efficient. And yet that bedroom prevents me from returning in summer.
Shame about the breakfast!
I stayed at the Grande Hotel in the beautiful city of Porto this summer (2003) and its situation is perfect, right in the busy shopping district and almost opposite the fabulous art nouveau Majestic cafe which is most convenient as the breakfast included in the hotel fee is rather non discript..Stale bread, bad coffee, you get the picture. The hotel lobby has a touch of grandeur with marble columns, reproduction antiques and crystal chandeliers.The staff are friendly and there is a porter service to take heavy or difficult baggage to your room.The rooms have been recently refurbished in a simple but comfortable style with tv and mini bar and the bath has all mod cons expected of a three star hotel.All in all a good quality hotel, nice building, good location just shame about the breakfast!