This hotel is located near the river in the Old Town. The location is convenient for sightseeing along the river, for walking to the port wine cellars in Villa Nova de Gaia, and for exploring the medieval center. The shopping and market areas of the city are a 15 minute, steep, uphill climb from this hotel. Although we chose to walk up the hill, taxis were always waiting right outside the front door if the hill climbing proved too difficult. This historic building is beautifully renovated in an area where there are many old and empty buildings just waiting for renewal. Front desk service was adequate but not particularly friendly or helpful. We found restaurant reviews on Trip Advisor to be more helpful than suggestions from the staff at the front desk, although they did make a few bookings for us when we asked. Housekeeping service was unreliable. One day we arrived back at our room at 4 PM to find the housekeepers just getting around to cleaning it and the bathroom floor soaking wet. We stayed 4 nights and bathroom toiletries were not refreshed. On the last day I had to go hunting for soap. Although the bed was nicely made every day I don't think the sheets were changed, at least not on a daily basis. Generally though, the room was clean and well equipped and the bed reasonably comfortable. We were in a junior suit (304) and the sitting area and the views from the large windows on three sides of the room were lovely. There was an unpleasant smell in the room every time we walked in. We wondered if this was due to the rainy weather and the sewer system in the old town. On the plus side, the AC was extremely effective and it was very nice to be able to control the temperature of the room so effectively. We've stayed in many 4 star hotels in Europe where the room could not be cooled, particularly in November or at night when they seem to turn the AC off so we really appreciated this! Breakfast was adequate but not remarkable and some of the pastries did not seem fresh. To sum up, this hotel has its positive points (location, AC, newly renovated building) but could be better.
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