Porto Bay Flores: A Luxury Palace Hotel In The Heart Of Porto ♦ Have you thought about sleeping in a palace with more than 500 years? The Porto Bay Flores is the most recent fice star hotel in Porto and is located in a 16th-century palace. In the back is a baroque chapel by architect Nicolau Nasoni, author of the Clérigos Tower and the Museum of Mercy. It is at number 27 of this street that we can find the new address of the PortoBay group, after having acquired the Hotel Teatro in Sá da Bandeira in December. What more can we ask? Simple luxury and the possibility to feel like a king. Keep reading to understand why Secrets From Portugal chose this amazing hotel in the Invicta.
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The new five-star PortoBay Flores hotel has 66 rooms, spa, indoor pool, gym, restaurant, bar with terrace to the street and a garden patio. The large wooden doors, the large windows surmounted by triangular pediments, the wrought-iron balconies and the stone masonry to which the sixteenth-century crests were attached, elements that mark an era and announce the presence of Portugal’s history from space, stand out.
The hotel harmoniously joins the old and the contemporary, with 55 rooms in a new building built from scratch and 11 in an old palace. This is the Casa dos Maias or Palacio dos Ferrazes since the urban bourgeoisie of the city chose this street for their residences, manor houses whose old design has been kept until today. “Ferrazes Bravo, by the Ferraz family consortium with the nobleman Manuel Bravo, owned the house until the 19th century, when it was acquired by Domingos de Oliveira Maia.
The wide entrance staircase also has two side flights and a central flight, on a handrail where six columns are raised to the upper rooms. It is here, in the reclaimed halls of the Maia family, that you will find the hotel restaurant and a meeting room full of natural light, both overlooking the houses that extend to the Douro. Between the new wing and the mansion, a rear patio is paved with granite slabs, home to “one of the secrets of Porto”, a small baroque chapel from the mid-18th century by Italian artist Nicolau Nasoni, author of emblematic works in the city such as the Clérigos Tower or the Misericórdia Church, neighboring this hotel. The works lasted about two and a half years and the interior decoration was done by Catarina Cabral, who combined the building’s classic with modern design pieces.
At the entrance of the hotel, Bar dos Maias, a name that honours the last family to live in the building, offers a choice of cocktails and light meals, in a space with direct access to Rua das Flores. Spacious balconies and two-meter-wide beds, so are most rooms at PortoBay Flores. Classic, superior-top floor, suites and duplex suites are the typologies available, and the 11 rooms distributed by the palace are, of course, the most classic, although with contemporary notes on furniture and lighting.
The Bristô Flores restaurant is open to non-guests for lunch and dinner and occupies the noble halls on the first floor. In the kitchen, chef Nuno Miguel combines Portuguese flavours with touches of haute cuisine, in a concept that favours simplicity. The menu ranges from vegetarian options, fish, protected meat to national cheeses or sausages. The dishes have no more than three or four ingredients and include the fish and seafood pasta, the roasted octopus with lemon and thyme, the piglet belly or the grilled DOP meat.
As there is no hotel without a spa, PortoBay Flores’ relaxation area connects to the naturally heated indoor pool, where you can also find a sauna, hammam and gym. Mandalay Spa consists of three treatment rooms specializing in Southeast Asian therapies and treatments based on Indian and Thai medicine. Coconut-based body scrubs, cellulite-based lotus oil or detoxifying Himalayan salt are just some of the miracle ingredients.