The Infante de (sic) Sagres is in a fine-looking building from 1950, a good year for Portuguese architecture. On the inside, however, in a fit of madness, the hotel let a decorator loose on its characterful neo-baronial lobby with aggressively trendy (and dated) colours and fabrics. The 60-year-old wood panelling is covered in white paint, as are the elaborately carved armchairs, recovered in white plastic. Only the remarkable surround to the fireplace was spared. The coffered ceiling is painted black. The effect has to be seen to be believed. It will cost a fortune to restore.
Upstairs, the room we had was not large or especially luxurious, but it was clean and quiet though it faced the Praça. The closet (with a safe) was fine but the room lacks furniture to put folded clothes in. The beds were very comfortable and we slept well. The bathroom has a period feel to it but had a good bathtub (you need a degree in engineering to figure how to switch the water flow from the tap to the shower) and nice fluffy towels. We got the television to display cyrillic script but little else.
In a really outdated approach to hotel amenities, the hotel charges for Internet access. The desk staff told us a café across the street had free wi-fi so we went there and checked our email. The concierge was quite helpful and pleasant in other ways, perhaps because one of us speaks Portuguese.
The central location of the hotel allowed us to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of old Porto as well as the commercial heart of the city around Rua Santa Catarina. Just around the corner is a stop on the new and extensive tram system (somewhat misleadingly called a metro).
The buffet breakfast (included) was excellent. It's much as one finds in many European hotels but just that much better. If you drink tea, ask for a teapot since the tea poured by the waitress is not hot.
We got a good room rate by calling and asking for their best price. Despite some criticisms, we recommend this hotel for the location, clean and quiet comfort, and good breakfast.
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- Also Known As:
- Infante Sagres Hotel
- Infante Sagres Porto