4.8 Overall
Pros
  • Central location
  • Beautiful classic design
  • Spacious rooms
  • Club Experience
  • Cons
  • No swimming pool
  • No club lounge
  • Location
    Rooms
    Service
    Facilities
    Value

    Location

    The five-star hotel lies in the heart of Porto’s historic centre, overlooking Praça da Liberdade, the city’s main square. Estação de São Bento, the beautiful train station with its colourful tile pictorials, is around the corner. The iconic Clérigos Tower is less than a five-minute walk away and there are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops nearby. In addition, the Douro River, the river walk and Ponte Luís I bridge is a 10-15 min walk. A taxi from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) takes 20-30 min depending on traffic, while it takes about 40 min with the metro to the São Bento metro station, which is right next to the hotel.

     

    Hotel

    The neoclassical design of the renovated eighteenth-century palace is beautiful and definitely gives a good first impression. The 105-room hotel feels rather intimate and exudes character with its large crystal chandeliers, marble floor, decorative mouldings and velvet armchairs. I tend to prefer the luxury boutique feeling of InterContinental Porto over say the more business-oriented InterContinental Lisbon.

    • Exterior of the InterContinental Porto - Palacio das Cardosas. Picture taking across the street at the Praça da Liberdade.

    Rooms

    InterContinental Porto has two regular room levels and four types of suites as you can see from the table below. We were upgraded from a King Executive to a Duplex Suite. The opinions of the Duplex Suite differs greatly on FlyerTalk; some consider them to be poorly arranged and lack style, while others like the high ceilings and the overall feel of the Duplex Suite. We fall in the latter group. I am a fan of duplex suites in general. In addition, all rooms that have two bathrooms with showers that make it possible to get ready at the same time as the girlfriend always sit well with me.

    Room TypeSize sqm
    King Deluxe24
    King/Twin Executive32
    Duplex Suite50-60
    Junior Suite with View37
    One Bedroom Suite46
    Executive Duplex Suite91-100
    Our Room

    The Duplex felt very spacious and had a simple yet elegant decor. The king bed was of traditional InterContinental standard, meaning very comfortable. There was plenty of wardrobe space; one downstairs under the stairs and another larger one, somewhat strangely, in the upstairs bathroom. There were two smart TVs, one in the living room and one in-front of the bed, both with a good selection of international channels.

    One of few negative aspects with the duplex was that there were no sockets by the desk (why do so many hotels miss this!?). The small outdoor area was also a bit strange, I can’t see a scenario where I would like to sit out there and stare into a wall. For people prioritising a better view, you are better going with an Executive room or Junior Suite with a view towards Praça da Liberdade. The living room area of the Duplex literally overlooks a wall, although we had a good view towards the cathedral from the bedroom.

    Bathroom

    The Duplex Suite has two beautiful marble bathrooms; one downstairs with a shower and one upstairs with a shower and bath combo. Instead of the traditional Agraria toiletries, there were the more premium, and in my opinion nicer, Anne Semonin Paris toiletries.

    • Entrance into the Duplex Suite. Stairs leading up to the bedroom with the living room area off to he left.

    Service

    Check in was a breeze. The porters promptly asked for assistance with our luggage the moment we stepped through the door (although we declined as we only had small carry-on’s). The concierge team was very attentive and thanked us for being Platinum Ambassador members. After giving us most of the relevant information the concierge guided us to the elevators, which is always a nice touch. Overall, I can see why InterContinental Porto is ranked number one out of over 100 hotels in Porto on TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, the concierge forgot to mention that we had the option of adding the Club InterContinental Experience. Since we never tried it before and it appear to offer good value, we would have most likely tried it out if we known about it.

    InterContinental Ambassador benefits included an upgrade from a King Executive to an Duplex Suite, a welcome box with locally-produced chocolate and two drink vouchers (which we were happy to use in the charming Cardosas Bar).

    Facilities

    The breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant area adjacent to the lobby. The room has lots of natural light making it a great place to wake up. It is a really beautiful breakfast room. Naturally, the buffet has a wide choice of cold cuts, pastries, bread and more. A few warm dishes are at the buffet, but pretty much anything you require can be ordered on demand. We also managed to try out room service when we ordered a club sandwich after a late night arrival. Service was fast and the club sandwich was of its normal high standard. The bar area, Cardosas Bar, is very cosy and as an Ambassador member it was a nice place to sit and have a complimentary drink.

    InterContinental Porto have a decent-sized-24-hour gym with three treadmills, two stationary bikes, a multi-purpose weight machine and some free weights. There is also a wellness centre where a range of massages, facial treatments and waxing services are offered, albeit we did not try anything whilst we were there. A one-hour massage cost €80. The main downside in terms of facilities is that there is no swimming pool.

    Club Lounge

    There is no club lounge at the hotel, instead you have the option of getting the ‘Club InterContinental Experience‘ package. This package is aimed at hotels without a dedicated club lounge. The experience package is currently being used in Amsterdam, Porto and Marseille. You can read more about it here. According to FlyerTalk, the Club InterContinental Experience at InterContinental Porto costs €75/day for a maximum of two adults during weekdays and €85/day during weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). InterContinental Ambassador members get a 20% discount, while it is complimentary for Royal Ambassadors.

    • Bar
    • Fitness centre
    • Spa
    • Sauna
    • Room service
    • Restaurant
    • Laundry
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Cardosas Bar at night. We enjoyed two glasses of complimentary wine here as an Ambassador member.

     

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