Casa Camelia is a historic manor house overlooking the iconic Douro River.
This beautifully preserved 18th century building takes its name from Porto’s honorary, alternative epithet: the ‘Cidades das Camelias’ or City of Camelias. Spring sees the city transformed by nature as the camelias bloom, and the terraced gardens of the Parque das Virtudes which border the casa are particularly beautiful at this time of year.
Drawn to Porto from his native Switzerland by both the camelias and the sweeping views across the Douro River, owner Raffael Kneubuhler took on a major, year-long renovation of the house and its gardens in 2020. His aim was to preserve the building’s original, intricate 18th century detailing whilst introducing a touch of 21st century comfort and luxury.
We think he’s excelled at both – the nine guest rooms feel grand and yet cosy, each with its own unique layout and exquisite cityscape mural, courtesy of renowned local artist Marta Vilarinho de Freitas. Outside, the secluded garden and river view terrace is the ideal spot for breakfast, or for an evening glass of wine as the famous port houses of Vila Nova da Gaia light up the southern banks of the Douro.
A short walk along the Rua Nova da Alfandega brings you to the city’s Cais da Ribeira district, home to the celebrated Ponte Luis II Bridge and many of Porto’s best riverfront restaurants. Away from the river, the Se do Porto, the Livraria Lello bookshop and the Museu do Vinho are all close by.