Porto is one of those places you can’t help but fall in love with. If you’ve already had a chance to spend a few days here, I know you know what I’m talking about. If not, the fact that Porto was elected best European destination in 2012, 2014 and now again for 2017 should be enough to make you wanna pack your bags and book that flight.
This September, it was our second visit to this colorful Portuguese city. The easy to use and fast metro line that connects the airport to the old town assured that within roughly half an hour after our plane landed, we were already in the lobby of Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira.
Spreading across several recently renovated, historic buildings Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira is situated right between the Bolsa Palace (the old stock exchange, now a must-visit museum) and the Duoro River.
Needless to say, we were incredibly happy to have a hub within a stone’s throw away from all the attractions, colorful buildings, riverside restaurants, shops and even the São Bento Train Station.
Upon our arrival, the common areas caught our attention right away. Colorful wooden faces carved by a local artist stand out against the white walls. It’s an interesting detail that exudes a relaxing and serene atmosphere.
Before we knew it, we were drawn in by all the nooks and crannies as the hotel’s labyrinthine nature, with several elevators and arches spreading across five or so buildings.
However, the location and the charming rooms are the hotel’s greatest assets. After a swift and efficient check-in, we went up to our elegant room. A bag of cookies and two small bottles of Port wine were waiting for us on the bed. What a delicious way to start our Porto city break, right? I always love it when a hotel goes the extra mile to make their guests feel welcome right from the very beginning.
The elegant room was spacious, with a big, comfortable Portuguese bed, a small living area, and two flat-screen TVs.
Now I have to say that our love affair with the Portuguese beds started over a decade ago when we first set foot in this beautiful country. And since then, they kind of became the standard of comfort for us.
After walking up and down the hilly streets of Porto the whole day, a good night’s sleep was essential and our bed at Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira certainly did not disappoint. I can honestly say that we woke up with a smile every single day, rested and ready for new adventures.
In spite of our room facing a busy street (with side views of the Bolsa Palace), in between the half meter thick stone walls and the good quality modern windows, our room was surprisingly quiet.
The bathroom was spacious and elegant, with natural light coming through a large window facing the room. I always love these quirky and practical details, proof of the endless human imagination. I loved, loved, loved the rain shower as well as the toiletries provided.
The buffet breakfast was rich and varied, with tons of pastries, delicious bread buns, fruits, cold cuts, omelets, and sausages.
Always changing, never boring, the breakfast spread even included the delicious pasteis de nata (custard tarts), so famous throughout Portugal. Although our trip included a few days in Lisbon as well, we were quite happy to start devouring the little custard tarts as early into our trip as Porto.
The hotel also boasts two restaurants (including a tapas bar), a gym and a gin bar (being refurbished as we visited). The high-speed internet was a God sent, since we took lots of photos that needed to be uploaded to the cloud daily.
All in all, we had an amazing experience staying at Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira and would return any day of the week. The friendly and helpful staff, the beautiful, tidy room, the hearty breakfast and the absolutely unbeatable location, made this hotel the ideal hub for exploring Porto, tasting the highly acclaimed Port wine and indulging in life’s simple pleasures.