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“Charming mini-mansion, but no AC”

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Castelo de Santa Catarina
Ranked #13 of 168 Porto B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 6, 2010

My husband and I stayed here in Porto for one night on May 31. We had excellent driving directions and found the hotel easily. It was a nice warm day in Porto and the grounds of this castle were shaded and charming. It was more of a historical house or mansion, than a castle. The hotel is set off the street just a bit and up a little hill. There was plenty of parking for guests. We were charmed by the room and its character. Our room was located in the main house. The bathroom was covered in beautiful azulejos and it was large and bright, if a bit dingy. There was a TV but the bed was a bit uncomfortable and there was no AC. By the time we went to bed, it had become so hot and muggy in our room. There was a large window we opened, but no screen, and the flies are abundant in Portugal!! I overheard someone else complaining of this same thing to the front desk. So it was hard to fall asleep in this room, if we had been staying there more than one night, I would have asked if there was a newer room (in the annex) that had AC. Great location and beautiful, but I just couldn't handle the heat or flies.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Amstaffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 5, 2010

We stayed here for two nights in one of the garden rooms. The hotel and our garden room in particular was a nice value. The room was clean and spacious. The free parking was nice and they also put on a very good inclusive breakfast in the upstairs of the castle. Our only issue with room was the entry doors to the room and bathroom were low - if you are more than 6 feet tall, watch out for head bumps!

While we liked the hotel and would recommend it, we do not recommend staying in Porto. We were really disappointed. Not only is the area around the hotel rundown but the entire Center City of Porto is very touristy and seedy and the sites are marginal. We skipped visiting Porto on Day 2 and spent the day instead exploring the Duoro Valley and it was great. You need a car but the views, quaint villages and wine tastings were top notch. We had a great gourmet lunch at Solar da Rede, which is an 18th Century Manor House Hotel between Peso da Regua and Mesao Frio. If we had to do it all over again, we would have skipped visiting Porto all together and stayed at Solar da Rede or another hotel in the Duoro Valley.

Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Rojuko99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2010

We stayed here for 5 nights as it was recommended in the Lonely Planet as a quirky place to stay. The location wasn't great, Porto is a very hilly city and this place was quite a walk up Rua Santa Catarina into a rather run down area.

We worked out you could take the metro to the next station up and walk back down to the hotel (5 mins) but it was quite a way away from the river front. We walked back to the hotel one night from the river and it took about 50 mins. (we are both young and fit)

We stayed in one of the rooms in the main castle. It was quite small but the bed was v comfy and the bathroom with traditional tiles great. Powerful shower and good standard of cleaning.

The breakfast room was a treat. Breakfast buffet good, nice selection and well maintained by efficient staff.

On the down side, we didn't find the hotel reception staff particualrly friendly, and there wasn't any info provided about what to do/see etc in Porto. They were also doing building works in the garden so didn't feel we could just sit and relax there in the day.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank muftysludge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2010

I was really excited about our two-night stay here, but as we approached the hotel through a fairly run-down and sketchy neighborhood, I was a little skeptical about it. However as soon as you park your car and go up through the gates, you're in a different world -- there is a castle! With its own chapel! Both of which are covered in blue tiles, with a beautiful garden and huge grounds surrounding it.

The inside of the castle is old but fun, decorated in period antiques. We asked for a garden room though, since they were cheaper and people on TA had said they were more modern. I'm not sure which ones they had, but our room was pretty disappointing, very dated, dark, and cramped, with two twin beds instead of the one double bed I'd specifically requested. (The Pope was in town, so they were full.) The bathroom was tiny and the shower very strange.

The hotel is also relatively far from the center of town, so we had to drive to dinner when we didn't feel like walking for 15 minutes to get anywhere.

Nonetheless, the outside was so much fun that it made it all worth it. They also put on a great breakfast in the upstairs of the castle, so we got to see a little bit of that part of the hotel too. Glad we stayed here, but would think twice about going back.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank zedque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2010

This place was noted in Fodor's and Michellin so I thought it was a safe bet. Wrong! It was in a very run down area and walking outside the gate was downright scary. The bathroom was so dark, dated and poorly arranged, it made for difficult grooming. Couldn't wait to check out after one night! I felt like I was in an old B grade horror movie.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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Thank mrsrTampa_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2010

This hotel is perfectly postioned in the middle of Porto on the main shopping street, Rua Santa Catarina. Although, once you step through the gates and enter the hotel grounds you could be in another place as it has amazing lush green gardens and the ornate main hotel building and its beautiful tiles typical of this area, which make this the perfect place to stay. We felt immediately relaxed. We stayed in one of the garden rooms which meant we didnt have to go into the main hotel. The rooms were cool and of a good size with a TV and air con. They were very clean and nicely decorated and I had a nice big bathroom. I had a REALLY good nites sleep as was so quiet! Breakfast was continental but a good variety of local pastries or cheese and meat or you could have a hot breakfast for a few more euros. When you fist come for breakfast you will marvel in the opulence of the breakfast room and adjoining living room. We found all staff very helpful and friendly. We walked into town most nights and then took a taxi back for approx. 5-6 euros. I would highly recommend this hotel. I would recommend you try crofts port lodge over the river as they have an outside area you can enjoy the sunshine. Taylors do a great meal in the evening. We had amazing meal at Abadia (try and get the attention of the manager and get him to write your name down otherwise you end up waiting for ages for a table) this was a VERY popular retaurant on sat night! We also enjoyed dinner at Don Tonho, sat outside over looking the river. Also take a drive to Vila de Conde up the coast, great beach! NB when driving to this hotel it took us hours as one way streets were not marked on our map! You need to access Santa Catarina from the bottom.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Melissa-Bournemouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2010

we stayed at the Castelo in mid-March with my fiance, my mum and my brother.
First, I have to say that we didn't hear any building site noises, so it must have been finished by then.
Second, this place is really charming, lovely garden, amazing breakfast room.
we had a room on the 2nd floor, 55 euros, which hada lovely "azulejos" bathroom. I have to say though that it is an old building and it is showing - the room although really nice needs TLC, so does the bathroom, and we could hear the neighbours's water running.
However, my mum stayed in the garden rooms, as she didn't want to climb too many stairs, and those rooms were very modern, yet still had an old feel to them, which was very nice. If I went back, I might stay in one of those, especially as a single cost 35 euros! and that's including breakfast!!
We walked almost everywhere, it takes roughly 20mn by foot, or 10mn in the tram, or 5 mn by taxi to reach the old part.
And the hotel receptionist even got a us free tasting at Graham's !
highly recommended

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Entente-cordiale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castelo de Santa Catarina

Address: Rua de Santa Catarina 1347, Porto 4000-457, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Porto District > Porto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 168 B&Bs / Inns in Porto
Price Range: $75 - $122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Castelo de Santa Catarina 3*
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Castelo De Santa Catarina Hotel Porto
Castelo De Santa Catarina Porto
Castelo Santa Catarina

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