Once overlooked for its showier sister Lisbon, the vibrant Portuguese metropolis of Porto is fast becoming one of Europe’s hottest city break destinations. With a thriving arts scene, countless eateries and a picture-perfect setting on the hilly banks of the Douro river, there is plenty to appeal to everyone. Lose yourself amongst the winding streets, populated with pretty azulejo tile buildings (and many a bar serving port).
SLEEP Porto’s scenic riverside is a popular spot for stylish hotels. In a restored 18th-century palace a couple of miles outside the city centre, Pestana Palácio do Freixo (pestana.com/en/hotel/freixo-palace; rooms from €219) has relaxing gardens, two pools, a waterfront promenade and sun-filled terraces. Away from the baroque communal areas are elegantly understated rooms — a Superior or Suite ensures sight of the Douro river.
For a loftier view, The Yeatman (the-yeatman-hotel.com; rooms from €185) is perched on a hill amongst the famous port wine lodges. This airy, beautifully designed hotel is themed around the grape and includes tastings, seminars and wine dinners, as well as merlot wraps and wine-extract barrel bath immersions at the award-winning Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa.
For an exclusive feel, Rosa et Al Townhouse (rosaetal.com; suites
from €118) on trendy Rua do Rosário has just seven airy veranda suites. Wooden flooring, soft lighting, minimal furniture, in-room spa treatments and New Age therapies make it easy to find Zen in the city. Food and drink can be ordered to suit. On-site art exhibitions, cooking classes and retreat experiences add something a little different to your stay.