Concierge.com's insider take:
The five-story Grande Hotel do Porto sits on store-lined Rua Santa Catarina in the city's central shopping district. Operating as a hotel since 1880, this 94-room property isn't short on character, with a fancy Victorian facade, elaborate chandeliers, high ceilings, and marble columns. An ongoing face-lift (to be fully completed by spring 2011) is preserving the hotel's historic features while modernizing its amenities one floor at a time. You can choose from three room types: Classics, on the first-floor, have faux period touches and marble bathrooms; standard rooms, on the other floors, have a more contemporary look, with minimal chocolate-and-white decor. The two suites, on the first floor, showcase original period furniture. A light-filled restaurant serves a combination of Portuguese and international dishes, and an overhauled salon-style bar is a great spot for afternoon tea after a shopping spree.—Anja Mutić
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