Hotel Review – Sheraton Hotel & Spa, Porto, Portugal

by in Europe, Features, Places, Portugal, Stay.

Image (c) Sheraton Porto

First a little background and a disclosure. I stayed at the Sheraton Porto a couple of weeks ago while attending the Travel Bloggers Unite conference at the hotel. Delegates were offered a discount on the standard room rate but I checked the regular rates here (see more on this later in the review) and at competing hotels before deciding that this was the best and clearly the most convenient option. Otherwise no preferential treatment was given and the hotel staff were unaware that the property would be reviewed. So that’s how I ended up staying four nights at the Sheraton Hotel & Spa.

You’re getting into this five-star lifestyle on your travels, aren’t you?

Well, if I can go five why go four? I still have my budget limit, of course, and this place was another of those great value hotels. In fact, it’s probably the best bang for the buck I’ve experienced since Warsaw (a review of which is on the way).

Did you get a good rate because it’s miles from the centre?

Not at all. I did get a reduction because the conference was held at the hotel but the rates online are not that much higher, as I’ll explain later. The location is out of the centre but an easy and cheap taxi ride from downtown. On the plus side it’s very quiet and there are some good restaurants nearby if you feel like having a wander.

Well I certainly like the sound of Porto, so let’s here whether this is the place I should stay when I go there…

Image (c) Sheraton Porto

Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa, Rua Tenente Valadim 146, 4100-476 Porto, Portugal +351 (22) 040 4000

Website: http://www.sheratonporto.com/en

Email: [email protected]

When?

Early September 2012.

Vital stats:

Five stars. Opened 2004, 266 rooms over 12 floors.

Location, location, location?

Image (c) Sheraton Porto

The Sheraton is located in an upmarket residential area in the western part of Porto. It’s 15km from the airport and about 4km from the old city centre waterfront area. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars within walking distance and there is a taxi rank right outside the property.

What about parking?

If you’re driving here you’ll have another reason to appreciate it’s location a little way from the centre. On-street parking is free but there’s also a garage option for an extra charge.

Why choose this place?

You can get five star luxury and facilities for the price of a far more basic hotel in many other European cities. The location is quiet, it’s easily reached from both the city centre and the airport and there are extensive spa facilities if that floats your boat. There’s also a fitness room and a decent-sized pool.

Room

Image (c) Sheraton Porto

There are two different types of room (Deluxe and Club) as well as three kinds of suite. The rooms are basically the same but paying for Club gets you access to further facilities – primarily the Club Lounge with complimentary food and drinks and other services. The Deluxe room that I was given was large (32 m2) and well-designed and included the following features: LCD TV, CD player, air conditioning and climate control, blackout drapes/curtains, wired and wireless internet access, direct-dial phone, minibar, bathrobes, hair dryer, bathroom phone, bathroom scale, iron/ironing board, clock radio, desk, in-room safe (laptop compatible) and cable television. The huge double bed was very comfortable.

Carpets?

Yes. It still seems that carpets=luxury even if I beg to differ. Anyway the carpets here were perfectly clean but as you know I would have much preferred wooden floors.

Bathroom

The bathroom was very large, containing a bath and separate shower cubicle that – believe it or not – did not leak water onto the floor! Well done Sheraton Porto for cracking that code that seems to have eluded most other hotels. The hotel provides toiletries in single use size (not the best for the environment) and a hair dryer. The toilet was also separate and included a bidet and rather oddly a telephone in case you felt like keeping in touch while on the throne, presumably. Bathroom scales were also provided which some will dislike (hey, we’re on holiday here!) but many will find useful I guess. The blinds on the glass wall between the bathroom and bedroom can be closed using one of the switches on the wall to provide privacy. Just don’t do what several of my fellow delegates did and pull the alarm cord thinking this will close them. It is marked as an alarm so you shouldn’t really make this mistake…oh and you can use another knob to pipe the sound from the TV into the bathroom which is a nice touch but didn’t work for me as my room was the mirror image of the one pictured so the TV was behind me. Still, you could use the music channels of course.

Free internet I hope?

No, and this was one of only two complaints I had. We had it included in our rate but other guests have to pay. I assume this is standard practice in Portugal but someone has to lead the way and make it free…

Bar and restaurant?

Yes – there is a downstairs bar with a pleasant outdoor seating area. There is also an excellent restaurant next to the lobby which doubles as the breakfast room.

Pool, sauna?

Image (c) Sheraton Porto

Yes, they have a pool, fitness room and full spa facilities in the hotel. Unfortunately they charge you EUR 10 to use the pool, which may mean that it is less crowded but is a little cheeky and very unusual. On the plus side the pool was a reasonable size for a hotel. I did not have time to try out the facilities but am assured they were very good.

The breakfast was included, right?

It was for us, but normally you have to pay an extra EUR 22. This is hardly unusual and if you want to skip it there are plenty of places to eat in town. Having said that the breakfast here was superb with a wide range of food on offer, and I think it would be worth splashing out on at least once if staying here as it will keep you going for most of the day.

Service

Service was exceptionally good and highly efficient. I was stupid enough to leave a couple of shirts in the wardrobe and they wasted no time in sending them on to me after I contacted the front desk. If service is the main difference between four and five star hotels then the extra star is well justified here.

Any points/miles to earn?

Yes, it’s a Starwood hotel so join up for the Starwood Preferred Guest if you’re not a member as this is one of the best hotel loyalty schemes out there, especially if you visit the USA regularly.

Can they look after your bags after you check out?

Yes, they will be happy to do so.

Green or mean?

The information provided emphasizes a green profile but was rather brief. I will update this section if I get more details from the hotel.

The Damage

As I was attending a conference held at the hotel we had a discounted rate and they threw in breakfast and internet. The hotel website quoted rates starting at a very reasonable EUR 99 for the same Deluxe room without the latter in September/October. High season rates are obviously higher.

 

The verdict please your honour...

The Good

Superb service, excellent facilities, large room and great bed. Nice pool (though it should be free) and outdoor area.

The Bad

As always, we believe that internet should be free for hotel guests and breakfast could be included too. Having said that, this is not the norm in Portugal so the Sheraton is simply playing the same game as the competition. Charging for the pool was also out of order. The location is a little way from the centre but no more than a EUR 6-7  taxi ride.

The Ugly

Nothing to report here.

Closing comments:

The Sheraton Porto has to be one of the best value five-star hotels I’ve stayed at. Service was superb from start to finish, the room was spotless, stylish and contained everything I could have needed. It was a shame I missed out on the spa, pool and fitness facilities but from what I heard from others who were luckier they were top quality too. The outdoor area was very pleasant too and the restaurant served excellent food. I can’t really find anything genuinely negative to say about my experience here and would wholeheartedly recommend the Sheraton to all visiting this wonderful city in Portugal.

Final score: 6/6

Please note: The author travelled as a regular tourist (albeit as a conference delegate) – no mention was made of the fact that a review would be written and the establishment was not informed of the author’s intentions. This is a vital part of our aim to provide impartial and comprehensive advice.

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3 Responses to “Hotel Review – Sheraton Hotel & Spa, Porto, Portugal”

  1. Mabel TorresSeptember 23, 2012 at 15:06 #

    The Hotel Sheraton is quite classy and luxurious from the outside to the rooms and the Sauna really gorgeous in pictures. Nice experience you have here. I hope I can have the same experience as yours when I got there. Surely you like to go back here again.

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