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Hotel Highlights

  • Theatrical black and gold interiors
  • Centre-stage setting, close to Porto’s theatres, bars and clubs
  • Perfect Portuguese cuisine, and an impressive port catalogue

Overview

Drama defines a theatre-rich patch of Porto, where Hotel Teatro shows its affiliation for the stage with bright spotlights and costume cabinets. A lavish use of black and gold along with a see-and-be-seen restaurant make it a beloved local diva.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hotel Teatro with us:

A bottle of port and some chocolates

Facilities

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Hotel Teatro - Porto - Portugal

Need To Know

Rooms

74, including seven suites.

Check–out

Midday, but flexible at half a day’s cost. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $178.38 (€133), excluding tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates include tax and buffet breakfast.

Also

Guests dining at the hotel’s restaurant are treated to a sparkling aperitif, 10 per cent off the bill, and a glass of port in the bar.

At the hotel

Gym, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms, flatscreen TV, minibar and Damana bath products. In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged.

Our favourite rooms

Stage a dress rehearsal on the enormous terrace of Suite 601, in the shadows of the Teatro Rivoli over the road; as well as a roll-top bath in the bedroom and his and hers sinks, there’s a costume in a cabinet, ready to inspire your performance. Or plump for an Audience Room, which have the luxury of a bedroom-based bath tub, separate shower, stately chaise longue and views of the courtyard.

Packing tips

Elegant eveningwear for theatre nights, and a Portuguese phrasebook to try and make sense of them.

Also

One of the Tribune rooms is accessible by lift and has an adapted bathroom for disabled guests.

Children

Cribs are free, but it’s not possible for extra beds to be added to rooms. Babysitting can be arranged with a day’s notice, and the restaurant has a dedicated kids’ menu.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Teatro - Porto - Portugal

Hotel Restaurant

Palco is named after the stage, and it looks like one, too. Dark and dramatic, with bright spotlights shining on the stars of the show: curved wooden ceilings, sleek old-school chairs and a load of theatregoers on the wall watching your dining performance (they're the wallpaper). Classic Portuguese cuisine is served, so be sure to try the codfish with cornbread or John Dory slow-cooked in champagne.

Hotel Bar

Settle in to the stalls at Plateia, monikered in honour of theatre seats (in Portuguese), with a glass of well-picked port and some authentic Fado rhythms.

Last orders

During the week, breakfast is served from 7am until 10am; at weekends, it’s 7.30am until 10.30am. Lunch is on offer from 12.30pm until 3pm, and dinner is between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.

Room service

Snacks and drinks can be brought to your room from 7am until midnight.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Costume drama: opulent golds, reds and blacks.

Top table

For prime views, sit overlooking the courtyard; for somewhere shady and romantic, head for the back of the room.

Local Guide

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Hotel Teatro - Porto - Portugal
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Pop along to one of the many theatres in the area for a performance in Portuguese; try Teatro Rivoli (+351 22 339 2200). Further afield, take a trip out to the Douro Valley’s port vineyards, then head back to the city’s many cellars to sample some more.

Local restaurants

At Dom Tonho Ribeira on Cais da Ribeira (+351 22 200 4307; www.dtonho.com), Iberian classics such as cod casserole and pork tenderloin with clams come with a view of the Douro river and a historic 16th-century setting. Hidden at the back of the city’s stock exchange, O Commerical on Rua Ferreira Borges (+351 22 332 2019; www.ocommercial.com) has more romantic river views and offers an elegant, but not over-priced, experience. For something a bit more contemporary, try Foz Velha on Esplanada do Castelo (+351 22 615 4178; www.fozvelha.com), and its innovative dishes such as curried shrimp with ice-cream.

Local bars

Down the road from the hotel, there are lots of bars and clubs lining the Galerias de Paris; we like the cocktails at Twins Baixa (+351 22 616 5000; www.twins.pt).

Local cafés

Head to Café Majestic on Rua Santa Catarina (+351 22 332 1272; www.cafemajestic.com) to try the rabanadas – a Portuguese take on French toast that’s popular at Christmas.

+ Enlarge
Arty theatre district

Hotel Teatro

84 Rua Sá da Bandeira, Porto, 4000-427

Hotel Teatro is in the centre of Porto, not far from the river, and between the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal and Jardins de Nova Sintra…

Planes

Porto is the nearest airport, 15 kilometres away. Tap Portugal (www.flytap.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) fly direct from London Gatwick. Tap Portugal also has routes from across Europe, South America and the USA. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) sets off from London Stansted.

Trains

From São Bento station, 200 metres from the hotel, trains go all over the country, including to Lisbon, Braga and Coimbra; for details, see www.cp.pt. The nearest metro stations are Bolhão and São Bento. From the airport, take line E in the direction of Estádio do Dragão.

Automobiles

The hotel is in the city centre, so parking will set you back €10 a day. Drive south from the airport, using the A4 and E01.

Reviews

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Hotel Teatro - Porto - Portugal

Anonymous review

by Benji Wilson , Square-eyed scribbler

The mere mention of a ‘themed’ hotel should be enough to make even the most travel-hardened Smith hotfoot it to the sanctuary of the nearest Four Seasons. Visions of custodial sentences in Disneyland are hard to erase (‘No, I would not like a Donald Duck nightlight turned on in my Mouse House’). Well, full disclosure: Hotel Teatro in Porto has a theme, and as the name su…
Read more

Hotel Teatro

Anonymous review by Benji Wilson, Square-eyed scribbler

The mere mention of a ‘themed’ hotel should be enough to make even the most travel-hardened Smith hotfoot it to the sanctuary of the nearest Four Seasons. Visions of custodial sentences in Disneyland are hard to erase (‘No, I would not like a Donald Duck nightlight turned on in my Mouse House’).

Well, full disclosure: Hotel Teatro in Porto has a theme, and as the name suggests, the theme is theatre. All the world’s a stage and we are merely players, carrying hand luggage and under-100ml liquids. On this basis Mrs Smith and I approached Teatro with trepidation, imagining we would be met at the door by a Portuguese Brian Blessed in a puffy shirt, followed by dinner served in three acts.

We needn’t have worried. Truth be told, the drama thing is a bit of a red herring – more of a dress code than a straitjacket – borne of the fact that Teatro is situated smack bang in Porto city centre, in theatreland. The references extend as far as the colour palette and some of the decor. The tones are all burnt ochre and oxidised metal, with, and floor-length heavy curtains throughout. By ‘theatre’ they mean mid-century Hollywood glamour, not jazz hands, masks and musicals: the walls of the restaurant are covered with a huge black-and-white mural of a cinema audience staring back at you; there are costume racks by the lifts and the carpets are patterned with silhouettes of old-school arc lights.

Too much? Nope, just about right. Because the big, overarching theme is offset by deft little touches like your own notebook to write down ‘O Que Es Mais Gostei’ (What I Liked Most) for highlights of your stay, and stage lights that come on as you shuffle past. Nothing about Teatro is overblown: yes, there’s a grand, statement bathroom but it’s statement is ‘nice bathroom’ rather than ‘if you dare try the wetroom in three minutes the sink area will look like a challenge from Celebrity Wipeout’. It all means that whatever you think of the Teatro’s style, you can’t doubt its substance.

Considering the hotel’s surrounds, it all makes sense; Porto in summer is why-did-I-bother-with-the-raincoat hot. So the autumnal lighting and tinted glass surfaces are actually welcome relief from 30 degree-plus temperatures outside. Mrs S, I should add, wasn’t entirely in agreement, saying the perpetual dusk meant it was hard to do her make-up. I pointed out that if the lighting was low it meant less need for cosmetics in the first place. We argued the toss over a complimentary glass of port in the bar.

Did I mention port? Whereas in Britain the viscous plummy stuff conjures up images of gout-ridden old duffers dozing in St James clubs, in Porto it’s the very lifeblood of the city. At night the far bank of the Douro is illuminated with the names of the age-old wineries – Graham’s, Croft, Sandeman – splashed on the rooftops like the titles of the week’s big new movies. The next morning we headed over to Gaia, on the South bank, where the port houses reside. The restaurants (we ate at Taylor’s) serve some of the best food in the city.

Not the best, though – a recommendation from Teatro’s wonderfully efficient concierge plus a hearty nod from a couple of taxi drivers took us to O Paparico that evening, which is about 10 minutes drive from the centre. As most of Porto is walkable a cab ride is a black mark, but for your trouble you’ll get exquisite, homely, Portuguese cuisine.

Now, a note: without sounding a complete culinary philistine, they do a thing here where a selection of small dishes are put on your table when you arrive. We presumed this was the starter equivalent of the dessert trolley – a beauty parade with one eventual winner. So with our absence of Portuguese the morsels sat and sat, until the waiter suggested maybe, what with this being a restaurant, we might like to eat something. He gracefully smothered our embarrassment with drink recommendations with every course, and seemed blithely unconcerned by how many glasses we had of each.

If you’ve been doing the maths (free port, more port, bottomless wine tab and did I mention that nice glass of after-dinner port?), you’ll understand my appreciation of one particular detail the next morning: a proper espresso machine in our room. ‘Proper’ meaning coffee that doesn’t taste like it’s been pipetted from a puddle on a garage forecourt. It gave us just the energy required to make it down to a no-limits buffet breakfast. Only fly in our ointment? Those tables in the courtyard that look like enticing sun-spots are just that – but they are also an enticing smoke-spot to those with a weakness for tobacco.

But this is the only flaw, and of course it’s not one to the puffers out there. Consulting my little Teatro notebook I noted that I only wrote down one other potential gripe: a lot of card-swiping was required. Entry to the room, the hotel and the lifts all demand a flash of plastic. And anyway, this micro-grumble was soon crossed out. The theatrical vibe started to take effect: I found myself swiping away with increasingly elaborate gestures, like a Shakespearean hero dismissing an idle courtier; or maybe Clint Eastwood, lightning-quick on the draw. And my leading lady, Mrs Smith? She just started taking the other lift.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Hotel Teatro from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the views from the little gym at the top of the hotel and the location.

Don’t expect

The hotel was so dark it was hard to see what was on offer for breakfast!

Rating: 6/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Wonderful room. Brilliant staff throughout the hotel but especially the lovely Silvia Santos at reception. Good breakfasts. Good dining facilities. Central location. Brilliant hotel all round.

Don’t expect

Better lighting in bedrooms.

Rating: 10/10 stars