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Teatro Hotel Porto Portugal

Teatro Hotel Porto

Teatro Hotel Porto

On the site where the Baquet Theatre once stood at the heart of Porto culture a new theatrical experience awaits visitors to this historic Portuguese city. We stepped through the doors for a night at the Teatro Hotel….

Understated is a word you might well use to describe the dark glass facade of the Teatro Hotel, so much so we walk right past it first time.  It’s conveniently situated in the centre of Porto, just around the corner from the famously tiled São Bento railway station, on the site of the former Teatro Baquet theatre which burned down in 1888 – probably why I’m expecting a more ornate building.  Redirected from the cafe across the street we espy the Teatro’s logo, suggestive of a parting stage curtain offering the promise of a great performance, and step between  verse etched doors into the foyer.  Indeed we could be arriving for the evening performance; natural light is filtered out and a decor of dark wood, draped curtains, furnishings in bronze and gold give the feeling of a stylish old theatre transported into contemporary style. We check in at the box office where the  ladies are dressed  for the occasion in taupe, satin dresses.

Teatro Hotel, Porto - Foyer and Bar Lounge

Teatro Hotel, Porto – Foyer and Bar Lounge

With tickets in hand we’re shown backstage, to our room.  It’s a slightly mysterious world of curtained corridors, the Teatro Hotel’ s signature carpet – difficult to describe but theatrical in effect – leads the way, lights are low.   We’re on the third floor in a spacious Tribute room looking down on the inner courtyard. The decor is the work of Portuguese designer Nini Andrade Silva,  known for her minimilistic style.  She’s also the hand behind The Vine in Madeira, and the Fontana in Lisbon, both Design Hotel members like the Teatro, and the Aquapura  Douro. Having recently stayed at the Aquapura we recognize her signature in the style of the room: mirror backed twin beds, side by side, three big wonderfully luxurious pillows descending in size apiece, the glass partitioned en-suite, a long clutter free desk.  In contrast to the contemporary look there’s a low velvet upholstered chair only lacking a carelessly discarded costume.  And particularly to my liking a stretch of open hanging space and shelving – a swish of the curtain and all travel debris is hidden.

Teatro Hotel, Porto - Tribute Room

Teatro Hotel, Porto – Tribute Room

There are 74 rooms in all ranging from Gallery rooms to suites. We get to peep in on an Audience room, a Junior Suite and the Suite on the top floor.  There are decadent in-room baths to soak in after the show, a plush chaise lounge straight from a dressing room that I want to take home,  and in the suite with its own balcony view over the roof tops of Porto  a stage costume is part of the decor.

Teatro Hotel, Porto - Audience Room and Suites

Teatro Hotel, Porto – Audience Room and Suites

Back in the foyer I’m waiting for the photographer, an aria from Madam Butterfly floats across from the elegant Platiea Bar where the opera is showing on a big flat screen. I’m being entertained by a rail of theatrical garbs, a magnet for those of us who like dressing up, feeling the fabrics and debating the styles.  My fancy’s the bright blue jacket with black scroll work.

Having prior plans we’re not eating at the Teatro’ s restaurant, though the menu of Portuguese and Mediterranean inspired dishes does look tempting and reasonably priced.  Ian reminds me that we are offered a complimentary glass of  port at the bar, surely the proper way to bring down the curtain on a day in the city of port wine.

So what of the morning reviews?  As I anticipated the combination of a good thick matress and  fine, white cotton sheets made for a good night’s sleep.  There was a spell of loud music from somewhere late on, it didn’t bother us but might if you were a light sleeper and it was a regular thing.  The shower was the best of our trip, stylish, spacious, powerful and hot; the golden hand basin on the other hand while looking good and adding a touch of glamour, practically was  suited to more delicate washers than us.  And the glass walled toilet -  well I can see this might not be for everyone.   Otherwise we relished having a lap top sized safe and applauded the free wi-fi with decent connection.

Teatro Hotel, Porto -  Restaurant Palco

Teatro Hotel, Porto – Restaurant Palco

Breakfast in the Palco Restaurant adjoining the courtyard was good -the buffet laid out on long wooden tables looks (and is) wholesome and sophisticated.  I couldn’t resist sampling another creamy pastel de nata  pastry, reasoning I was going to get a fair bit of exercise sightseeing up and down steep streets in Porto.   It wasn’t apparent but you can order eggs at no extra charge and they’ll appear borne out of the curtained wings by a waiter.  Looking around at our fellow guests they looked comfortable and relaxed -  I’d say we were an appreciative audience.

P.S. On the all important question of what to wear – think rich fabric, understated with a hint of drama. The elegant lady at breakfast wearing slender high heeled shoes and bow fronted, tailored black dress was my star.

Teatro Hotel, Porto - Stage Images

Our stay was provided courtesy of the Teatro Hotel

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