Porto has long been on our list of places to visit in Europe and we’d heard amazing things about the city that has been known to have inspired J K Rowling to write Harry Potter. It’s so easy to see why – with it’s winding side streets full of character (we kid you not, the drive to the guesthouse involved driving straight through a huge family feud in the middle of the street), coupled with beautiful architecture and the sound of seagulls ever present in the air – it seems like the perfect hideaway for a writer or artist (or anyone really) to forget about the rest of the world.
After feeling uninspired by the chain hotel offering in Porto, we dug around and found a gem of a guesthouse by the name of Miss’Opo, conveniently located right in the heart of Central Porto. We’d already heard great things about the Miss’Opo restaurant on the ground floor, so we were really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the guesthouse had to offer. The guest house is actually a project designed by architect Gustavo Guimarães which had been “born from the desire to transport the joy of intimacy to a more comprehensive life project, one of a public nature” – this personal nature really comes across as you explore the space. The project consists of 6 apartments, a restaurant, a foyer/gallery area and multipurpose spaces and it’s been designed to feel as if they were all rooms in a single house. The design is particularly beautiful in it’s simplicity, with raw industrial themes running throughout. We especially loved the concrete floors, walls and ceilings in the foyer which provided great texture and depth to the area, we could see why this would be a great space for exhibitions and other social functions which Miss’Opo run regularly!
Still reeling from driving through what seemed to be the shady back streets of Porto (the driver took a wrong turn), we were relieved to finally arrive at the Guesthouse, and were warmly greeted by front of house member, Marta, who was more than happy to help us check in and tell us about the best places to visit – regardless of the late time of arrival. After the usual back and forth about breakfast and wifi passwords, we were given a small tour of our wonderful room and we couldn’t wait to explore all of it’s features. The room itself had a simplistic design, with again a heavy focus on open space and wide ranging textures.
Although we saw the concrete theme carry on into the bedrooms, the rooms still felt warm and inviting. We were really interested in the abstract clothing rail in the corner and even more so by the simplistic wooden bed frame that worked so well with the rest of the room. The bed came with interesting pockets of side storage which were filled with lots of great magazines and books that were right up our street. Marta showed us the neat and tidy Japanese style kitchen which was hidden seamlessly by way of a folding wooden door. Here we had all the basic amenities such as a fridge (with lots of treats for breakfast like jam, cheese, milk etc.) a sink, coffee machine, toaster and crockery. We were also told that we’d get a breakfast basket delivered to our door each day filled with fresh bread and pastries – a perfect hassle free way to eat breakfast in the morning!
We woke up feeling refreshed after a great night’s sleep to some beautiful sunlight pouring through the balcony windows. The balcony itself served some great views of the colourful streets below as well as transporting the sounds of the shop and restaurants owners getting ready for the day. We rustled up a pot of freshly ground coffee (Seriously – Portuguese coffee is some of the best we’ve ever tried) and opened up our basket of fresh pastries and bread – seriously the closest description to the perfect morning we could get.
We chilled out for what seemed to be a few hours before we went out into the city to explore, mainly because the room itself felt so homely and natural. The non-claustrophobic use of space really allows guests to feel comfortable in their surroundings and that’s what we loved so much. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and really felt that the intention behind the Miss’Opo project embodied the spirit of Porto so well. We’d definitely recommend any interior design addict or enthusiast to give Miss’Opo a try. As well as that, from greeting us at the door on our first night, to the little notes left by Marta in our breakfast baskets, the service received at the guesthouse was impeccable – matching up to the impressive level of thought that has gone into the design. We honestly couldn’t rave about it any more, if you’re in Porto – you have to visit Miss’Opo.
You can book Miss’Opo directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – let them know that Patches&Flash sent you!
Follow us on instagram @patchesandflash to see more of our Porto adventure and keep an eye out for our Lisbon and Porto travel guides coming soon!