The Jewish Chronicle - - Life/travel -

A poem from one of his­tory’s great ro­man­tics — Por­tuguese poet, play­wright and novelist Almeida Gar­rett — is printed all over the en­trance of the Teatro Ho­tel.

Given that my Por­tuguese is not re­motely up to trans­la­tion, I so­licit the help of a staff mem­ber, who ex­plains sim­ply that it is about “love”, a per­fect mo­tif for this dis­tinc­tive es­tab­lish­ment lo­cated at the heart of Porto’s shop­ping area and close to many of its cul­tural at­trac­tions.

Hav­ing said that, there is some­thing of the Mar­mite fac­tor about the ho­tel, which stands on the site of a for­mer theatre. Dis­plays of cos­tumes from past pro­duc­tions, spot­lights in the res­tau­rant and dimly-lit cen­tral ar­eas and cor­ri­dors may not be to ev­ery­one’s taste.

And on a re­lated point, an em­bar­rass­ing con­fes­sion.

Hav­ing alighted from the lift at my al­lot­ted floor in semi-dark­ness, I com­pletely missed the turn-off to my room and had to re­turn to re­cep­tion, where a staff mem­ber took pity on the idiot English­man and pro­vided a per­sonal es­cort. I be­lat­edly dis­cov­ered that move­ment trig­gers off light­ing to and from your accommodation.

Once set­tled, how­ever, I felt re­ally at home in the mod­ern and comfy L-shaped be­d­room dec­o­rated in gold and dark brown hues. Ev­ery­thing one would ex­pect was there, but in a style heart­en­ingly re­moved from the stan­dard ho­tel room of­fer­ing. Back on il­lu­mi­na­tion, two big pos­i­tives: you can con­trol the light­ing from the com­fort of your bed and ap­pli­ances re­main work­ing for a time af­ter re­mov­ing the key card from its electricity-gen­er­at­ing slot. Ideal for the dash back to the room for the cru­cial item you have for­got­ten. A showreel un­der the seat­ing in re­cep­tion is among other the­atri­cal flour­ishes dot­ted around the build­ing. There is also a cosy bar area, where I took up the of­fer to stay­ing guests of a com­pli­men­tary glass of port. The break­fast buf­fet was de­cently var­ied. The theme el­e­ment does oc­ca­sion­ally run to ex­tremes — um­brel­las in the rooms are for “rain sce­nar­ios” and cour­ses on the din­ner menu are “sin­gle acts”. But I would gladly re­turn for an en­core.

BARRY TOBER­MAN Share your hol­i­day snaps and images with other readers. This could be quirky, funny, at­mo­spheric or sim­ply a view you love. Send to: sliv­ingston@thejc.com

SHAUN Liv­ingston from Shored­itch, was snapped brav­ing the mon­s­son when he vis­ited Tam Coc, Viet­nam last Au­gust. Shaun said: “We were hik­ing up a moun­tain in treach­er­ous weather, and had bought um­brel­las from our ho­tel for about 20p. Some coped bet­ter in the cir­cum­stances than oth­ers.

The­atri­cal flour­ishes in the bed­rooms

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