We were exhausted from a red-eye flight with a tight connection, and wary after our luggage failed to show up at the Porto Airport. But as we were driven into the city by tour driver, we were eager to step foot in the Intercontinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas – our first hotel on our Adventures by Disney Portugal trip (and the first of four hotels in Portgual we’d be visiting). As the name indicates, it’s located in the former Palacio das Cardosas, an 18th-century palace.
The Intercontinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas is a gorgeous, luxurious, historic 5-star hotel located in the storied, city-center of Portugal. There is construction for a new metro line going on outside the hotel, so our driver led us to the smaller entrance in front of the building. The construction didn’t interrupt our stay, but it definitely was visible from the outside of the hotel.
Planning a trip and wondering where to stay in Porto? We loved our stay at the Intercontinental Porto and would definitely return to the same hotel for a future visit. Of all of the hotels in Europe I’ve visited with my family, this was my favorite city hotel.
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Review of the InterContinental Porto – Palacio Das Cardosas
Location of the Intercontinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas
The Intercontinental Porto is located right in the center of Porto, at the end of the Avenida dos Aliados. This central street is home to city hall, the giant blue Porto sign (an Instagram icon), and the historic Imperial McDonalds. The hotel is also across the street from the famed São Bento Station train station.
During our trip to Porto, we were thrilled with this location. We could easily walk to many restaurants, shops, and other points of interest, including Rua Santa Catarina, a mostly-pedestrian street with restaurants, shops, and a mall. With our lost luggage situation, it was nice to easily walk to some shops to purchase backup clothes and other essentials.
Although the hotel is in the middle of the action, we didn’t notice any noise in our hotel room. It really was the perfect spot to stay for our trip.
Restaurants at the Intercontinental Porto
After arriving at the hotel, we were hungry and needed some coffee. Although there are many restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the hotel, we were too tired to spend much time exploring. The hotel restaurant, called Astoria Restaurant, was the perfect place for us to reenergize with some food and caffeine while waiting for our rooms to be ready.
Astoria offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. It was a beautiful day, so we opted to sit outside. They had both a regular a la carte menu and a reasonably-priced Prix fix menu.
We loved everything about the lunch, including the atmosphere and setting. It’s a lovely restaurant and the outdoor area is in a quaint courtyard.
As part of our room booking, we also had an included breakfast each morning at the Astoria Restaurant. Of all of our hotels in Portugal, I felt that the Intercontinental Porto had the best breakfast. It was filled will pastries, cold options like cheese and meats, and hot foods like scrambled eggs and bacon. There was also a small menu with things like waffles and pancakes that could be ordered on an a la carte basis (and were included in the breakfast).
The hotel offers several other venues, including an outdoor bar on the weekends, and the Cardosas Bar Lounge located off the lobby.
Amenities at the Intercontinental Porto
With such a central location in the city, you probably won’t be spending too much time at the hotel. However, when you do want to spend time there, there are some nice amenities offered.
Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel, which is great if you aren’t planning to use your cellular service. Of all the hotels we visited in Portugal, the WiFi seemed to be strongest at the Intercontinental.
Valet parking is available if you have a car. You probably won’t need it too much unless you are traveling beyond the city center. Those streets can be very narrow, with limited parking, so it’s best to avoid driving if you can.
The Intercontinental Porto offers spa services, as well as a fitness center.
Rooms at the Intercontinental Porto
I absolutely loved the two rooms we had at the Intercontinental. While they retained some semblance of their historic origins, they also have nice modern touches. Like many hotels in Europe, regular rooms don’t accommodate four. So, for our family, we had two connecting rooms – one with a king bed and one with two single beds.
There are several different room options to choose from. Standard rooms have a view of either the Courtyard of Cardosas, the Estacao de Sao Bento, or the Clergios Tower. Our rooms had beautiful views of the courtyard.
Room amenities include a safe, coffee maker, bottled waters, towel warmer, mini bar, lots of USB outlets, televisions, and very comfortable beds. Turndown service is offered.
A step up from the standard room is the executive room. Those rooms have views of either the Clergios Tower, Liberdade Square, or the Sao Bento Train Station.
Suites are also offered. These range from junior suites to two-story duplexes. Although we didn’t spend much time in the rooms, we found our rooms to be spacious and comfortable – especially the gorgeous marble bathrooms.
Service at the Intercontinental Porto
We experienced the great service at the Intercontinental immediately after we arrived. Because our luggage was lost, the concierge assisted our Adventures by Disney guide in communicating with the airline. It was especially helpful because of the language barrier.
The staff was also helpful throughout our stay. We didn’t have any specific issues that we needed assistance with, thankfully. But we were impressed with the service at breakfast, and with bell services.
If you are planning to stay in Porto, the Intercontinental Hotel is a luxurious, centrally-located option perfect for a family vacation. Read more reviews here.