Image: Bartolomeu wine bistro at Torel 1884.
Porto, the country’s second-largest city (after Lisbon, the capital), is one of the oldest settlements in Europe – the historic buildings at its centre have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Famous for its bridges and port (as in fortified wine), the city is located at the point where the Douro River meets the Atlantic Ocean, meaning there’s no shortage of waterfront restaurants, hotels and parks. Boutique hotel group, Torel, understand how special the area is, and have just opened their second property in the city’s heart: Torel 1884 (their first Porto venture, nearby Torel Avantgarde, won a suite of awards in 2017 and 2018, including Best Hotel Creativity and Ingenuity in Europe).
Image: the honesty bar in one of Torel 1884’s common areas.
Torel 1884 is a renovated 19th-century palace with 12 rooms, the stunning Bartolomeu wine bistro, and charming common areas for reading, relaxing and helping yourself to the honesty bar (pictured above). During the renovation, care was taken to preserve historic details of palace wherever possible; original stone and doors help retain the building’s soul.
Themed around the Portuguese era of discovery, each floor honours a different continent. The ground floor is Africa, including the bistro, with its exotic paintings of bird-of-paradise flowers – a southern African native species.
Image: the bathroom of the Exotic Bird room features exuberant wallpaper.
The first floor honours the Americas; each room is individually named to reflect this continent. The suite titled Exotic Birds (pictured above) features extravagant avian wallpaper, while the Tobacco room (pictured below) is emerald green and reminiscent of plantation fields.
Image: the verdant Tobacco room.
An elegant Asian theme arrives on the second floor. There is a classical blue and white palette in the Porcelain room, while soft green colours in the Tea suite evoke images of a peaceful hillside plantation. The room named Spices is appropriately earthy and piquant.
Image: the Tea suite in shades of green.
Image: the vanity in the bathroom of the Tea suite.
Image: the blue and white Porcelain room.
Image: the Spice room features warm colours.
Torel 1884 is a sophisticated tribute to Portuguese history and the riches discovered on seafaring expeditions – all within the chic hub of the waterfront city of Porto.