A fair proportion of our clients tell us that they are looking for a base to hold an event in Porto with the following characteristics:
-central with easy access on foot to the city centre
-a good number of rooms but an intimate feel to the hotel
-a variety of meeting room options
-near the river
-decent sized rooms
-heated outdoor pool
There is one outstanding option for an event in Porto that has all these characteristics, which is The Lodge. Nestled among the Port wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia (on the south side of the river Douro), this is truly one of the hotel gems of Porto. It was originally built by one of Portugal’s most famous self-made millionaires, Mário Ferreira – his vision was a hotel which celebrated the wine traditions of Porto and the river Douro itself and he commissioned a unique decor and set of sculptures that are certainly unusual and also bring a smile to your face. For example there is a central staircase that is made from the staves of an enormous dismembered wine vat – weird but strangely seductive…..
The lobby really sets the mood for the hotel – some of the walls are covered with bark from the cork oak and the furniture is an ecelctice mix of eccentric sofas and statement arm chairs. There is a handsome bar in the corner and they have somehow managed to generate that intimate and welcoming feel that boutique hotels aspire to. There are also a number of tables outside that are a pleasant place to sit for a chat or informal meeting.
They have the first floor devoted to meeting rooms (access via the dismembered wine vat) – there are four decent sized meeting rooms with capacity from 80 to 280 people in theatre style. The rooms themselves are fine without having any of the eccentric and endearing touches you find in the lobby – they are practical and well-appointed rooms with a good sized foyer that is completely private from the rest of the hotel where coffee breaks or lunches can be served. Then on the third floor, next to the restaurant (see below) there are two of the most impressive meeting rooms in Porto – they are board room in style with a large table in the middle overhung by a dramtic sculpture. The smaller seats 20 and the larger seats 30. They are truly stunning rooms, fit for an important showdown meeting or celebratory dinner.
The jewel in the crown of The Lodge has to be the “Dona Maria” restaurant – it has a relaxed feel to it with views over the river to Porto with the option to eat on the outside terrace and there is a feel of casual luxury to it. The food is simply exceptional – based around traditional Portuguese dishes (and in particular seafood), but with a touch of originality to every dish. It really is worth visiting The Lodge just for lunch.
The rooms of the hotel manage to generate that feeling of relaxed luxury (in particular the suites, which are some of the most desirable in Porto) and given the boutique feel of the hotel, it is gratifying to know that there are 119 rooms, meaning that a reasonable sized event can be run from the hotel (and there are spillover hotels within walking distance should they be required).
So there you have it – this is one of the few hotels in central Porto that can give you that intimate feel to an event, but with the very best facilities and we are always very happy to recommend it for events in Porto for our clients.