I have never been to Portugal in my life before so this was an experience in the making. Cliphotel is located on the south east of Vila Nova de Gaia right next to a tram station. It is also on the tourist bus routes.
When we arrived we were met with a great welcome from the receptionist who spoke excellent Enlgish and made us feel at home, not least with a couple of glasses of white port while we waited for our room to be ready. They also offer free juice, water and tea and indeed even some fruit if you are feeling a tad peckish during your stay.
The room was typical of a three star hotel - functional and with the facilities one would expect. Not palatial but perfectly adequate. The air conditioning was amongst the best we have had in hotels during the hot weather and the room was already cool when we arrived.
The receptionist recommended that we try the Carpa Restaurant which is just up the road. We did during the evening and unfortunately it was not what it was cracked up to be. Please see my review on that site and be VERY careful if you decide to go there. The review is self explanatory.
We also were sold two tickets for the red tourist bus. Unfortunately we sat at the bus stop in sweltering heat for 50 minutes and it never came. We gave up and in fairness the hotel refunded our money. As I sat there trying to cool down, the bus passed the hotel! Evidently they were not running the 30 minute schedule we had been informed of. There is also a yellow bus which describes itself as the official tourist bus. You tell me! This did at least pass us by as we waited for the opposition which never showed.
Now good news indeed - in the notice board of things to do was a notice saying that we could get a discounted meal at El Cortes Ingles which is just across the road. This was a spratt to catch a mackerel as it turned out. The discount voucher gives you €0.96 off the menu of the day in the cafetaria on the sixth floor - a pretty basic meal at €5.99. However, we were tempted by the tapas menu, sat at the bar and had an excellent lunch for €21.30 a head including wine. I recommend sitting at the bar rather than at a table. Actually this meal was a high point; the waitress spoke excellent English and looked after us very well - no surprises and we left feeling well pleased with a lovely lunch. I have attempted to write a report of this but at the moment this site is not recognised by Tripadvisor and therefore I have not been able to complete this addition to my experiences of the area. Hopefully this will change. However, do not be put off by the "cafe" in the superstore - it is actually excellent and was full of customers. That says more than I can say. If you are staying at Cliphotel - give this a whirl - it is local food as the locals like it. Do not confuse the other various restaurants in this superstore with this cafeteria at the top.
The TV in the bedroom was not very good - seemed to have a problem with the picture which was rather "dark", notwithstanidng our attempts to adjust it - but it worked and there were some international channels available.
The bathroom was rather dated and the lavatory seat would not stay up on its own unless you wrestled with it first and found "just the right position". My partner says the same applies to the shower curtain. Not sure most people would have the time and patience and in any case I thought it could fall at any moment.
Breakfast at the Cliphotel. This takes place in a fairly small dining room on the second floor. The breafast is pretty standard and was quite well presented - no bacon and eggs I am afraid which is something I thought they might provide given the evident efforts to cater for the long term relationship with the English. Putting that aside the breakfast was fine and I left feeling replete. No other meals were available in this location.
Did you know that Portugal and England have never been at war during over a thousand years of history? No wonder Port wine is such an important export for them and import for us! It perhaps explains this very long international friendship
Hotel car parking - take care here even if you book a package inclusive of half price parking. You still need to reserve your place in the car park as these places are limited. As it happens it worked out but it might have been a problem.
Cliphotel was what it sold itself to be and was very good value for money, even if the advice from the receptionist was unfortunately not maintained by the commercial undertakings she recommended.
Woiuld I stay there again? Yes.