With its unmistakable sky-blue azulejo façade, the Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel stands as one of the city’s most-distinctive landmarks.

As its name implies, the original building opened its doors in 1829 – not as hotel, but as an Armazem de Papel: a paper merchant to the porthouse owners based in and around the Cais da Ribeira district of the city. Owner Manuel Francisco de Araujo was quick to expand, offering high-calibre stationary as the Papelaria A.S. (Araujo & Sobrinho: Araujo & Nephew).

Fast-forward to 2015, and an extensive renovation has breathed new life into this iconic building, creating a forty-one-room boutique hotel and bistro overlooking the bustling Largo de Sao Domingos. Using the original layout of the building as a guide, each room has its own unique character: city view rooms are our favourites, as their Juliet balconies open out onto the emblematic Rua das Flores. Double-glazed windows and solid, full-height wooden shutters keep the sounds of the city out when needs be. As you’d expect from a heritage building, rooms are cosy and compact – rooms are ensuite, but some do come with a freestanding rolltop bathtub in their bedroom areas, which we appreciate isn’t to everyone’s tastes. If you’d prefer a ‘traditional’ ensuite, just let us know.

Araujo & Sobrinho’s heritage is celebrated and preserved across the four floors of the hotel, whilst natural cedar floors, vintage tiles, and soft shades of olive and grey help create a comfortable and cosy atmosphere. On the ground floor, the former glass-fronted art studio is also reborn as the Galeria do Largo Restaurante – where breakfast is served, but it’s also an excellent option for a light lunch or a relaxing dinner, and its small terrace is the perfect spot for people-watching over a chilled Porto Tonico.

As a base to explore Porto, the Mercado Ferreira Borges, the Palacio da Bolsa and Sao Bento train station are close by, and the Ponte Luis I bridge is a short, five-minute walk away.


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