What is(are) your name(s)?
Carmen Rodriguez and Joao Fonseca
For how long have you been running a B&B?
Please share something about the history of your present bed and breakfast.
What are the unique characteristics of your B&B?
We always wanted to open a place that we would enjoy as guests so it was easy for us in that sense. The house is very small so unfortunately, we cannot offer swimming pools, etc. We pride ourselves in being very close to our guests in the sense that we take very good care of them and their needs. We enjoy when they walk in the door and just wait for us to take care of everything, from restaurants to sites to see, concerts, museums, etc. When they walk in and they feel at home, we are happy ! Even if the house is in the middle of a very lively area, Ribeira, we decided to close our doors everyday at 1 a.m. in order for our guests to enjoy a good night sleep. We create a safe and calm environment and I think our guests appreciate it.
Based on your guests' opinions, what feature of your B&B has made their stay special?
Our guests have been wonderful and have written wonderful things about us on various sites on the web, especially Tripadvisor. You can see their comments in their own words. I think they do enjoy the service, the cleanliness and the attention given in order for them to have the best stay possible.
Please describe in short your bed and breakfast and its general services and amenities.
Our house is very small, it is part of a very ancient waterfront row of narrow tall houses. Half the rooms overlook the magnificent River Douro, the emblematic Dom Luis Bridge and the Port Wine Lodges across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia. The other half overlook Fonte Taurina Street, one of Porto's oldest streets, first references in 1196.
How many rooms are offered at your B&B and what is its maximum capacity?
We have 8 rooms for a double occupancy. One room, room 401, is the only one that is big enough to put a little sofa bed for a small child.
What kinds of rooms do you offer?
We offer 8 rooms, all decorated differently. The atmosphere remains calm in every room, as you can see in the pictures. The walls are pale, the beds are very comfortable and guests have all enjoyed the linens. Every room is shown on our website so the guests have a good idea of the decoration and space available.
Please describe the in-room facilities for each type of room in your B&B.
Which room is your personal favorite?
I definitely prefer the rooms overlooking the river because the view is simply magnificent and very calming. The river changes constantly in the different light. At night, the Monastery by the bridge is lit and it makes for a spectacular view.
What do the room rates include?
Our price ranges from 130 to 180 euros per night. Price depends on the season and the chosen room. The rooms overlooking the river range from 135 to 180 euros and the rooms overlooking the street range from 130 to 165 euros per night. Price includes all taxes and breakfast. There is a welcoming glass of Port. Wi-Fi is free and we are insured for everything and every guest.
Do you offer any special packages?
We do offer specials during low season and holidays, and it is reflected in the price per night.
What may guests expect from a typical breakfast at your property?
Guests have all enjoyed our breakfast and we are very proud of offering local, fresh and healthy products. Fruits are our main dish and there is always a variety of at least 7 or 8 different fruits. Fresh coffee or tea, fresh 100% orange juice (really !), fresh bread delivered to our home every morning, yogurt, cereals, cold cuts, cheeses.
When and where is breakfast served?
Our cozy breakfast room sits 6 people so we do have a schedule to be reserved the night before (8h00, 8h45 and 9h30). This way, every guest can enjoy breakfast without waiting.
Are dietary needs accommodated?
When guests have special dietary needs or allergies, we ask them to notify us in advance so we can accomodate them when they arrive. That is a question we ask for on our reservation form so we are well prepared when they arrive.
Do you serve other meals?
We do serve a Port glass to all guests arriving along with some snacks. Tea and coffee are always available of course. We do not serve other meals. Since we are surrounded with very good restaurants, there is no need really.
Are there cooking facilities, which guests may use?
Unfortunately not, the house is very small.
Is your bed and breakfast suitable for children?
Our house being very small, we only have one room that can accommodate a small child since I can put a little sofa bed in it. It is room 401. Even though I love children, I don't think the house is suitable because they do not have much space to have fun really. As for tiny babies, we are not equipped unfortunately.
Do you accept pets?
I am sorry but we don't.
What is your smoking policy?
Our house is entirely non-smoking. You can smoke outside the house at any time.
Is there a parking facility on premises or nearby?
There is an underground parking facility right up the street in the Square, a couple of minutes away.
Is your B&B suitable for disabled guests?
We have an brailled elevator but unfortunately do not offer more concrete facilities.
What safety precautions are provided at your B&B?
We are very well equipped and all our systems have alarms (elevator). Smoke and fire alarm on every floor and every room. Our front door is always closed so you need to ring to get in.
What is your check-in/check-out policy?
Check-in is between 3 p.m. and midnight. When guest arrive before, we welcome them to come by to drop their suitcases and come back later. Check-out is at noon.
Are there a minimum number of nights for staying at your B&B?
During high season, our waterfront rooms are kept for a 2-night minimum stay.
How can guests check availability and make a reservation?
Email is the best way, but guests can also phone. All is very well explained on our website, cancellation policy, reservation, etc.
What is you cancellation policy?
50% of total stay is the required deposit to book a room. Full refund if cancellation is made at least 10 days prior to date of arrival. If cancelled between 5 to 10 days prior to arrival date, only 50% of the deposit is refunded. If cancelled less than 5 days before arrival date, the deposit is not refunded. Should the cancelled room be reserved by another guest, we will contact you for full refund after the date of your scheduled departure. For very long stays or if you book many rooms, special policy applies and the deposit is not refunded one month prior to arrival date. But if the rooms are booked by other guests, every room booked is refunded.
What types of payment do you accept?
Cash, Visa, Master Card, Maestro, Diners.
Is there a special etiquette that guests should know about and comply with?
Just bring your good mood and big smile!
Please tell us what things guests might enjoy visiting, seeing, doing, etc. in your area.
We are in the heart of historical Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There would be too many things to list here but when guests arrive, we go through the map of the city with them and show them all the important monuments to visit. We want to make sure they don't miss the good stuff !
Where is your B&B located and how it may be reached?
You may find all these instructions detailed on our website under "contacts".
What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast?
Our guesthouse is basically like a little boutique hotel. Guests have their own room with private bathrooms and their entrance is private and accessible by a corridor, without any need to pass by public spaces. Our breakfast room has individual tables that sit 2 so couples can enjoy their intimacy and engage in conversation with other guests only if they want to. We make sure guest have their own space and do not impose on them. Nevertheless, we are always here to make sure they are comfortable and well taken care of.
Is there something more that you want to share about your property?
We would like to mention that, even though we only opened in 2009, we have already been mentioned in wonderful magazines and travel books such as Travel and Leisure, Karen Brown, Rick Steves, Lonely Planet (choice of the author), l'Express Magazine. We received a Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor. We have worked very hard to make our home what it is and we are very grateful to our guests that have made our reputation possible..with a little bit of work on our part too!