Christian Stan, at 6 Sep. 19, in Boutique Hotels, Heaven on earth, News

PortoBay Flores has launched in Porto, Portugal. Built from a 500-year-old small palace, the façade keeps the large wooden doors, the large windows surmounted by triangular pediments, wrought iron balconies and stonework emblazoned with a 16th-century coat of arms; Samuel Torres de Carvalho, the hotel’s architect, sought out to protect the origins of the building while also contemporizing it.

At PortoBay Floerens the old stables have been transformed into the hotel entrance. The floor and staircase have been revived and the original granite slabs remain. The hotel is adorned with other odes to the past including tiles, windows, original stone decorative motifs and an old kitchen oven that connects the mansion building to the hotel’s new wing.

Accommodations include 55 rooms in the new building and 11 in the old mansion. Seven room types are available for different experiences, offering beds (most over six-feet wide), and all the PortoBay amenities. Large windows and balconies available on the upper floors offer views of restored houses, including Porto Cathedral, which extends down to the Douro River.

The Bistrô Flores restaurant is introducing the concept of bistronomy, which fuses the authenticity of a bistro with touches of haute cuisine, quality produce, Portuguese flavours and simplified service. The cuisine is guided by Chef Nuno Miguel.

At the entrance of the hotel, the Bar dos Maias offers drinks and light meals throughout the day. It has a terrace and direct access to Rua das Flores. The name honors the Maia family, the last to inhabit this mansion.

Amenities at The Mandalay Spa at the PortoBay Flores Hotel include three treatment rooms, sauna, hammam and a gym. The relaxation area connects to the heated indoor pool with its natural light. Therapies originate from Southeast Asia and are based on Indian and Thai medicine.

A large courtyard paved with granite slabs contains a small baroque chapel dating back to the mid-18th century. Located between the new wing and the small palace, the space was designed by Italian artist Nicolau Nasoni, responsible for several Porto landmarks, including the Clérigos Tower and the Misericórdia Church, right next to the PortoBay Flores hotel.

In other PortoBay Hotels & Resorts news, travelers embarking on a Sagres Vacations Culinary Tour of Portugal with Chef George Mendes in two weeks will be staying at PortoBay Liberdade hotel. The program allows participants to experience the cuisine of Portugal, dine at Michelin-star restaurants and sample some European wine with a celebrity chef.

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