Tucked away off of a charming cobblestone street in the heart of bustling downtown Porto, Portugal is one of the city’s most exciting and intriguing new hotels. Just as its name implies, the five-star Torel Avantgarde is a hidden gem that welcomes guests with a feast for the senses where art takes center stage at every touchpoint.
Indeed, no stone is left unturned starting with sculptures by Portuguese artist Paulo Neves that greet guests in the lobby to the 49 rooms and suites that are each named after an important historical figure who has made a mark across fine art, design, literature, architecture, and science.
Whether you choose to stay in a room named after artistic greats, such as Francis Bacon, Coco Chanel, Salvador Dalí, Zaha Hadid, or Charlie Chaplin, the design and decoration of each space is meant to reflect the personality and vision of the namesake artist. Opened in 2017, the award-winning Torel Avantgarde boutique hotel is inspired by the elegant “avantgarde” of 1930s/40s Portugal, where rooms and suites come in ten different category types.
Guests can always look forward to spacious and well-appointed rooms that have quite literally the most comfortable beds and are all stocked with complimentary toiletries by Portuguese brand Castelbel, while the most luxurious suites offer balconies with prime views of the sparkling Douro River that zigzags through the city before spilling out into the Atlantic Ocean.
For instance, take the new Executive Royal Frida Kahlo room, the crown jewel of Torel Avantgarde, which features a seductive private bathtub and its own exclusive balcony with breathtaking river and city views. Next door, the Diego Rivera room, named after Kahlo’s eternal companion, transports guests into a world of creativity that revisits Rivera’s classic mural art.
Unwind with a complimentary welcome beverage or rendezvous for a nightcap at the Sala das Flores (flower room) that is sumptuously decorated with a romantic wall of red and pink roses that blend into a ceiling of delicate hanging wisteria.
The hotel’s Digby restaurant serves up authentic Portuguese cuisine, such as beef tenderloin, Iberian pork, and codfish, as well as veggie options like mushroom risotto and beetroot tagliatelle, in a warm space outfitted in Portuguese cork and woodworking with incredible river views. In the morning, the restaurant is reconfigured to serve a buffet-style breakfast that will fuel you for a day full of exploring the best of Porto.
Other hotel amenities include a beautiful outdoor pool facing the river; a fully-equipped gym with private personal training, yoga, and pilates sessions available upon request; and the Calla Wellness & Spa where guests can relax with a fresh mani-pedi, indulge in a bespoke therapeutic massage or a nourishing foot treatment after a day of sight seeing; and more classic therapies and treatments, all administered with organic and natural products.
With most of Porto’s main attractions in walking distance and the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport nearby, you won’t miss a beat of city life having Torel Avantgarde as your base.
To book your stay, or for more information, visit www.torelavantgarde.com.
Industrial Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city following its capital, Lisbon. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site with foundations that date back to Roman times, Porto’s historical city center is renowned for its stunning architecture; not to mention its world-famous port wine that’s produced in the neighboring Douro Valley, also known as Portugal’s wine country.
Hotel images courtesy Torel Avantgarde with photography by Luís Ferraz