Portugal is soaring in popularity as a tourist destination. Beyond the Algarve (long appreciated by visitors for its sunny beaches and climes), the country is witnessing a room boom as more travelers seek out authentic experiences in the vineyard-cloaked countryside of the Douro Valley and culture-rich cities. In Lisbon and Porto, we’re seeing a number of exciting new hotels, distinguished by cool design and warm hospitality. One to keep on your radar: Torel Avantgarde, a five-star boutique hotel opening in Porto in September 2017.
Situated in the Restauraçao area next to the Instituto de Vinho Verde, the hotel is housed in a building which dates from the Estado-Novo period, so the design aesthetic is inspired by the 1940s. To create the space, the Torel Avantgarde commissioned Portuguese artists Jorge Curval, Frederico Draw, Daniel Eime and Paulo Neves—all hailing from Porto. To quote the official website: “Like avant-garde artists, we wanted to create something completely new.” The idea is for visitors to be completely immersed in art. What’s more, the hotel will organize a rotation of temporary art exhibitions.
Each of the 47 guest rooms (including 20 suites) is named in honor of famous avant-garde icons like Francis Bacon, Charles and Ray Eames, Amadeu Souza-Cardoso and Alberto Giacometti. The décor reflects the personality of the room's namesake artist. Note that 37 rooms overlook the Douro river.
The Digby restaurant, overseen by the Casa da Comida catering company, is billed as a destination restaurant serving top-notch Portuguese cuisine. There will also be an outdoor pool, a fitness room, landscaped terraces with pretty views of the river, and a spa with two treatment rooms and a hammam.