For decades this was the default option for downtown luxury in Porto, built in 1951 as the domain of cigar chomping, port swilling stalwarts of the wine trade and barons of northern Portugal's textile and furniture trade. Guests have included Bob Dylan, the Dali Lama and the British royalty. It still comes loaded with old-world elegance: wrought iron balconies, plush oriental carpets, stained-glass windows, genuine antique furnishing. Rooms are comfortable with heavy drapes, vintage prints, marble-sheathed bathrooms. Yet of late, the old place was starting to look a little tired. New owners (the same company that owns the Yeatman) have started renovating the place, so hopefully it will be restored to its former glory.


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