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“Lovely break”

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Pestana Palacio do Freixo
Ranked #4 of 108 Hotels in Porto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2011

We spent a lovely five days at this splendid hotel. The main hotel building is outstanding - elegant, beautiful and a blast of the past. The service was very good/excellent with all the staff friendly and helpful. The bedrooms in a separate building are well appointed. We loved our third floor river room.The pools are very clean and welcoming. We had asked for a quiet room.... only to find that the first night was disturbed by an all night party - put on by the hotel to celebrate its second birthday. Not a good start from our point of view as we were in need of rest and relaxation. But the following nights were quiet. As the hotel is on the outskirts of Porto clients would be advised to hire a car or be prepared for taxi transfers. A memorable stay.

Room Tip: Riverside rooms are best
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RayandChristine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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804 - 810 of 1,842 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2011

Romance, history, elegance at an amazing price! The end of a three day Pousada tour ended in the newly opened Palacio do Frexio in Porto. This beautiful hotel will transport you to another time, allow you to relax in luxury and is a great base for exploring the port houses in Gaia. Highly recommended as are all the Pousadas in Portugal!

Room Tip: any room facing the river is ideal
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Diane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2011

Before our trip to Lisboa we passed by 2 nights in Porto. Porto is a great city for a weekend trip. Comparing to Lisbon, we prefered the Lisbon area, since you are quite fast through all sightseeing points in Porto, but we liked the river area and all the very nice portwine cellars.
I would recommend to rent a car in Porto and to go outside of the city to see the surrounding and the wine areas. thats quite amazing. We stayed in the Palacio do Freixo, its a very impressive palace. We were really amazed from the architecture outside and inside. Our room was very nice, from our feeling a bit overpriced, but all in all it was an excellent stay. The room was clean, well furnished, we missed a bit the individual touch of the room. But the main area and the bar of the Hotel are really charming. In the night the illumination is very romantic, you have a nice view to Porto and the river. We recommend to stay in the upper floor, from there you have the best view.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank daniboy01_2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2011

The Palacio is a fantastic experience in a great city. Its location out of town means you need a car, or use taxis which turn up in about 5 minutes and quickly take you the 4 km to town.
The hotel has the best of both worlds in terms of classic Portuguese style and modern sophistication. The restaurant, bars and lounges are located in the beautifully restored Palacio.
The charming restoration combined with sensitive interior decoration makes breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night tipple a sophisticated and relaxed pleasure. Mirrors, sofas and luxurious walls and ceilings dripping with architectural and painted detail make this Posada a stand out.
The hotel rooms are located in a connected building that is a restored old grain store. The lift lobbies are large and display antiques under chic and moody lighting. The restoration highlights the original stone walls and iron work to great effect. The rooms are modern and spacious with slick bathroom fixtures, a nice couch and desk. The lighting is well planned and atmospheric. A good sized wardrobe and safe complete the practical needs.
The location on the Duoro river is the highlight of the Palacio. The original Palacio has a formal terraced garden looking out onto the river with a view of the bridges of Porto downstream. The modern rooms have a good sized infinity edged pool looking out over the river. A nice pool side bar with comfortable pool loungers around a grassed area and spectacular chimney complete the pool area. One of the restoration highlights is an old jetty, presumably once used for grain loading onto river boats, is turned into a jetty with a collection of sofas and chairs under a canopy hanging out over the river.
It was a pleasure to lounge poolside and occasionally peek over the wall to see locals fishing and kids leaping into the river from the high stone walls.
The hotel staff were all young and enthusiastic, their command of English was very good. We did note that the management tended to under staff the various areas including the reception, restaurant and bar area. This meant that at times, waits for service was uncomfortably long for a five star place of this grandeur. It was however obvious that the staff were working at maximal capacity with grace and efficiency.
The downsides of the hotel? Well the beds were a touch uncomfortable due to perhaps the less than top-notch mattresses. The real gripe you will have is the wifi internet access. While the wifi routers around the hotel are strong and form a good network, prepare to pay through the nose for access. You pay 7 Euro for 3 days per device. Yes, that means that you need a separate purchase for your phone, ipad laptop etc, if you are net addicted !
Overall this is a great hotel in a great city.

Room Tip: Ask for an '06 room - they are on the corner with views of the river and bridges
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank DiboTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Just returned from a lovely short break in Porto. There is lots to see and do in the city. The hotel is beautiful, with wonderful renovations in the main building. Pool and outside areas also very nice & indoor pool is a good size. Staff attentive, friendly & helpful. Our room, a superior one, was on the corner and had good views from the large windows, of the river & pool. The interior communal areas in the accommodation building are a bit dark, but ok once you get used to it. I read one review, which said it was a 25 minute walk into town, but we found it took 45 minutes, but was worth it for the pools. It is along by the river and flat, but the road is quite busy. Taxis were only 5 to 6 euros. You can also walk along the river in the opposite direction, which is very pleasant.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room on 3rd or 4th floor
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank misorganised
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2011

This hotel is about 3K outside the main Porto area with no visual appeal from the rear of the hotel so make sure you book a superior room with river view. The lounges, bar and restaurant are in a former palace, with the guest bedrooms, indoor pool, spa and gym in the adjoining former mill. Shame the accommodation wasn't in the old palace but we still liked the room very much. Our 4th floor room was huge and comfortable with great views up and down the river.  Once you get over the colour scheme in the accommodation areas (coffee and mustard) you realise that it does work well!! There are beautiful grounds which set this hotel apart from the ones in town with all the extra space, and quiet at night!  Indoor pool with small sauna and steam bath very clean, lovely outdoor (infinity) pool well maintained with plenty of sun loungers, (but an odd pool towel rationing system not expected from a 5 star hotel.) Pool bar serves daytime drinks and snacks, good value. Staff all pleasant and very helpful.  Our deal included buffet breakfast- excellent, choices of hot dishes all well cooked, or cold buffet, all beautifully presented.  We also ate in the restaurant 2 out of 5 evenings, between the 4 of us we tried most options on menu, all very good, don't miss the dessert buffet!!  Very reasonable restaurant and bar prices. The centre of Porto is easily accessible by cab (5 mins approx 5-6 euros) or you can walk riverside pavement around 40mins into town. Porto is a joy, so many places to see, too many to mention all here - check out the guidebooks.  Especially loved the cloisters and Treasury inside the Cathedral.  Also don't miss a visit to the Lello bookshop and the cafe Majestic. We did the Grahams port tour which was excellent value, there are so many others to choose from. Another good day out was to take tram no 1 from Infante in centre of town, up to the sea coast and walked along the promenade from Foz almost as far as Matsohinhos, then took the bus back to the Sao Bento rail station (check out the inside of the station - stunning!) in the centre of town. Overall this was a magical holiday and I would recommend this hotel and Porto to everyone. Can give other recommendations if anyone's interested.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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6  Thank Traveller1701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MartaCruz, E-commerce Management at Pestana Palacio do Freixo, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for taking the time to post such a descriptive and helpful review to anyone considering to visit Porto.
We have carefully read your opinions on the Pousada and appreciate the nice comments on the Pousada and on the staff performance.
Your feedback on the pool towel rationing has been taken into consideration and we will take the necessary measures to improve.
Did you know the São Bento railway station was considered one of the 16 most beautiful stations in the world by Travel+Leisure Magazine?
Thank you also for recommending Pousada do Porto has one of the best places to stay while visiting this city.
We hope to welcome you again in Pousadas de Portugal,
Kind Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

We chose the Palacio because of excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, and certainly our first impression was that we had made the right choice. However we soon realised that it is more of a conference hotel than a holiday hotel. The superior room with a great view of the Douro was quite small and had no special character to associate it with the history of the buildings - similar to any other functional hotel. The staff were pleasant bur rather "cool" with no real interest in making our stay special (except for one night receptionist who did give some advice about local restaurants). In summary, a hotel with style but little substance.

I

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tom_Traveller_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MartaCruz, E-commerce Management at Pestana Palacio do Freixo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2011

Dear Guest,
We are very sorry that your stay at Pousada do Porto hasn’t met your expectation and we truly apologize for that.
All the feedback of our guests is taken into consideration and we thank you for informing us of your opinion on the lack of ambiance.
We believe the Pousada is indeed a modern hotel but with historical and relaxing atmosphere, appealing to many different occasions.
It is a standard in all Pousadas to provide professional and attentive service and we are disappointed you haven’t felt that.
Moreover, we will inform the members of the staff of your evaluation to make sure no other guest feels the same.
We hope we will have the opportunity to provide you a special stay in Pousadas de Portugal,
Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pestana Palacio do Freixo

Address: Estrada Nacional 108, 206 | Campanha, Porto 4300-316, Portugal (Formerly Pousada do Porto - Freixo Palace Hotel)
Region: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Porto District > Porto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Porto
#2 Romantic Hotel in Porto
#3 Spa Hotel in Porto
#4 Business Hotel in Porto
#4 Luxury Hotel in Porto
Price Range: £133 - £457 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Palacio do Freixo 5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the most unique and vibrant city of Portugal, discover the palace of the eighteenth century that, for a few days, will be your haven. Pestana Palácio do Freixo belongs to the Leading Hotels of the World and offers a unique and absolutely memorable experience, wrapped in classic luxury and filled with contemporary comfort. Located on the river that gives life to the best wine in the world, Pestana Palácio do Freixo rises serene, between French-style gardens and granite stonework, in a contrasting and balanced dialogue that welcomes you with care and attention. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palacio Do Freixo Hotel Porto

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