After staying at a backpacker hostel, a country retreat, a boutique hotel and a five-star resort, our last night in Portugal was at the charming Design Palacio Flats in downtown Porto. We arrived to a warm welcome from Paolo, the security guard, who immediately made us feel at home. The building is a piece of art in itself, it’s from the 13th century but has been renovated into 19 fully-equipped apartments with modern decor and comfy furnishings.

The room

Our two-storey apartment was on the first floor and looked over the garden on one side and the road on the other, with a couple of small balconies on each side. We didn’t use the kitchen but it was everything you’d need if you were cooking at home, the dining and living area was spacious with loads of windows letting in huge amounts of natural light, and there was a single toilet and basin downstairs too. Upstairs was the gigantic bedroom with a large double bed plus a fold out single bed, and an amazing bathroom with two basins and a spa bath.

The location

The location has got to be one of the best things about these apartments, it’s only a quick walk from the colourful Ribeira district and it offers easy access to the Sao Bento station if you prefer to┬átake the train. Porto is definitely walkable though, and the Design Palacio Flats are in an ideal spot for getting around the city. There’s secure car parks available out the back of the apartment, and there’s restaurants, shops and bars within a 10 minute walk.

The food

Breakfast is served in a small dining room just next to the front door of the main building, and it was a real treat! It was kind of tapas-style, you could choose from breakfast basics (cereal, pastries, cheese, deli meats or fruit) or snack on some prepared dishes like bruschetta, salads or quiche. Delish, and a great way to fill up on food so you don’t have to stop to refuel too early in the day.

The verdict

Design Palacio Flats were exactly what you want for a city break – somewhere in a great location, a good amount of space, open with natural lighting, fully-equipped kitchen and homely vibes. With the kitchen meaning you could save money on food, it would be perfect for a longer stay. I’m sure I’ll head back to Porto at some stage in the near future and would love to stay here again.
Thanks to Design Palacio Flats for hosting us for the night. As always, all opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience.

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