Porto’s Ideal Location for Historic 5-Star Luxury
The Hotel Infante Sagres
Porto, situated on the right bank at the mouth of the River Douro, is Portugal’s second largest city (after Lisbon). Many of the ships of the great Portuguese voyages of the 15th century were built in the shipyards here. The city has also given its name to the world-famous port wine. In 1678 Porto’s fine wine was first exported to a foreign country, Great Britain. Since then, during the first half of the 18th century, many British wine merchants became established in Porto and their names endure to this day.
The very name “Portugal” is a combination of the names of two settlements that occupy both sides of the Douro, Portus and Cale. What was once the duchy of Portucale eventually became independent when Afonso Henriques in 1143 was proclaimed first king of Portugal. Later, when the Moors were expelled, the center of gravity shifted to Lisbon and Porto was relegated to a lesser status.
Porto is often referred to as Cidade das Pontes (City of the Bridges) because of its six bridges, the first, a pontoon bridge, was built in 1806. It also has been nicknamed Cidade Invicta (Invincible City) and Capital do Norte (Capital of the North).
Located in the heart of Porto’s historical district, the five-star Hotel Infante Sagres is a unique hotel built in 1945, reflecting Porto’s move toward modernism in the design by architect Rogério dos Santos Azevedo (1898-1983). Its charm, elegance and attentive service make it one of the most sophisticated hotels in Portugal. Classical European style blended with chic contemporary flair results in a relaxing, luxurious experience that will remain long in the memory of every guest.
We checked in at the Reception Desk of the hotel and were cordially offered a glass of the city’s famous port wine. We took the cozy elevator up to our fourth floor room that featured a view of the hotel courtyard where tables and chairs allowed guests to enjoy the outdoor air and lovely views. Inside our room were neo-baroque and custom-made furnishings. An antique chandelier and modern works of art were found throughout the room. A well-appointed bathroom with a lovely shower area enhanced our stay. The room offers a combination safe for securing valuables, satellite flat-screen TV, free wi-fi, air conditioning, central heating, hair dryer and direct dialing phones. Of the 70 rooms in the hotel, 32 are labeled Classic and 24 are considered Superior. Additionally, there are six Deluxe rooms, three Junior Suites, two Full Suites, one Executive Suite and two Presidential Suites.
The meeting rooms of Infante Sagres, seating up to 120 guests, are perfect for all types of occasions, from business conferences to social events. Offering a nostalgic environment of historic charm, the hotel conference rooms boast rich furnishings, impressive chandeliers and original artworks. The oriental atmosphere of the Angkor Wat Spa Room offers exceptionally restorative spa experiences. Here one may escape the stress of city life and be pampered with a soothing massage or facial treatment.
The hotel is located just steps away from the city’s UNESCO World Heritage area. In the square lying just outside the door of the hotel are many interesting places to visit. The Alma Viva shop (for vintage toys), the Sical Café, an old barber shop, bars like Praça, Fé and 22, a smoothies shop, and the Farggi ice cream store, are all nearby. Unesco’s World Heritage site is within walking distance, just 500 meters away. The Praça da Liberdade (plaza) shopping area is just east of the hotel a few minutes walk from the hotel. The Douro River lies within 30 minutes walking distance from the hotel where the medieval town descends to the river with its tight, twisting streets leading to Renaissance squares and Baroque monuments. Just across the Ponte de D. Luis I bridge, about a 40-minute walk away, are the historic Port Wine Cellars of Gaia Here you can sample original barrel-and-bottle-aged Port wine at one of the many riverfront cellars for a true taste of this regional favorite. One can find sandy beaches approximately 10 kilometers away and the Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport is located 20 kilometers away. Guests may park at the public covered garage for €15 per day.
The hotel’s Book Restaurant, located just around the corner from the hotel entrance, offers a nice list of Douro and Port wines that can be enjoyed in the bar area. The restaurant offers a fine selection of contemporary dishes focusing on fresh and local ingredients. (Please see our review of this restaurant in an accompanying article on this website.)
An impressive number of dignitaries and famous persons have lodged here. Among them are the Dalai Lama, the Queen of the Netherlands, Princess Anne and Prince Edward of England, the Kings of Norway, and entertainers such as Bob Dylan, John Malkovich, and Catherine Deneuve.
Hotel Infante Sagres is a beacon of Portuguese hospitality. More than just its great location and historic architecture, Infante Sagres is a perfect urban retreat, offering a place where traditional and contemporary expressions of taste combine to create a uniquely cosmopolitan destination hotel. A member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it’s easy to see why many individuals consider this hotel a required place to stay when visiting Porto.
Hotel Infante Sagres
Praça D. Filipa de Lencastre 62
4050-259 Porto | PORTUGAL
Tel. (+351) 223 398 500
Fax (+351) 223 398 599