Visitors to the historic city center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will soon have a new luxury crash pad. Slated to open this summer (with a soft opening date of June 15, 2011), the InterContinental Porto-Palácio das Cardosas will be the first hotel in Portugal for InterContinental. In fact, the palace hotel will be the first international luxury hotel in Porto’s old town, and a lot of hopes are being pinned on the hotel as “an important catalyst for the development of the region and a beacon for tourism…for the entire north of Portugal.”
The hotel occupies a 200-year old palace that was the monastery of Lóios in a former life, belonging to the Portuguese Elois monks, or "secular canons of St. John the Evangelist." In a state of disrepair at the end of the 18th century, the monastery was restored and later purchased by a wealthy bourgeois family, the Cordosas, under the condition that they finish the renovation work on the façade. When it debuts this summer, the hotel will feature 105 guest rooms, meeting facilities, a fitness and wellness center, a Portuguese fine dining restaurant, a café with an outdoor terrace, and a bar where we hope an ample selection of port (from Porto!) will be on the menu.