Three of us gals were traveling together. When we arrived at the Santo Thyrso, our reserved room had one bed. Two of us had planned to share, and we asked if a cot would be possible. They were not sure they could make it happen for the first night since we had forgotten to request it, but they did make it happen. More than that, when we returned to the hotel room for the second night, they had transformed our room into 3 twin beds. Wow! What service... Marta and Felix (and one other woman, whose name I did not catch) were friendly and helpful.
The hotel, as with the Hotel Cidnay, is quite a hike from the train station (a solid 20 minutes minimum, partially uphill). But, it is pretty much a direct route from the train station to the hotel. There are no standing taxis at the train station, so you must call one--if the station cafe is open! But the Santo Thyrso is located adjacent to the main taxi stand for town, so it is easy to hop a cab anywhere you'd like to go from the hote (speaking French really helps--the taxi drivers all seemed to speak Portuguese and French, not English)l. And the hotel is happy to arrange early morning taxis to the airport (35ish Euros) if you need one.
The hotel is simple, but clean, comfortable, and modern, with plenty of light. The bathrooms are updated and sparkling clean. And the room we were in was HUGE by European standards. The free wifi was a real bonus!
Breakfast was filling, but a bit redundant. Same thing every morning (I had four breakfasts there); not even a variation on the cheese or jams. The main pastry did change, though, and both kinds they served were good. The coffee was terrible (cappucino machine), but the tea was great (never had linden tea before)! The long hours of the breakfast pretty much ensured you could always get a meal in the morning.
The town of Santo Tirso is on the Guimaraes (Red) line from Porto. About a 40 minute ride and 2.35 Euros (or 2.85 Euros if you don't already have a refillable ticket card) from the Sao Bento station in Porto. To refill the card at the machines, put it on the slot to the left with the two little 'ears' to hold the card up to the concentric circle figure on the slot (if that makes any sense). There was nothing telling you to do that, it was just pure guesswork! Hopefully that'll save you some time and frustration.
The town itself is lovely, and worth a few hours of exploring and having a coffee at one of the cafes. Felix made suggestions of places I could visit while I was wandering about town. But note that most stores are closed on Saturday afternoons!
Others in our conference stayed at the Hotel Cidnay. The hotel appeared to be more posh than ours, with better views in many (but not all) of the rooms (according to our colleagues). But the Cidnay restaurant was very overpriced and unpalatable (14.40 Euro bill for a very salty plate of pasta soaked in soy sauce and served with blocks of tofu). The restaurant next to the Santo Thyrso hotel (Restaurant Tirsense?) was a much better option. The food was not fantastic, but very reasonably priced and good enough--they even had a whole vegetarian section (a rarity, I found). I got a bottle of water, mushroom risotto (a bit salty and the rice was more firm than I prefer), and a glass of port for 15Euros--a very affordable dinner in a nice atmosphere and with an incredibly helpful waitress who tried to help us interpret the menu which was all in Portuguese.
Be sure to check out the third floor terazzo on the roof. Lovely views, relaxing atmosphere. Great place to bring up a glass of wine and watch the sunset. The front desk staff was so incredibly accommodating to us, we kept getting back from our conference incredibly late at night, and they were always happy to get us a pot of tea and some biscuits. They were more than wonderful to us!
All in all, I would not hesitate to stay at the Santo Thyrso again. It is a relatively new hotel, and I hope they are able to keep it in good condition and continue to give the great service they offer now.