Porto Luxury Guide: A Charming City on the Rise
Recently, our luxury jetsetter Claire traveled to the charming city of Porto, Portugal. These are the experiences, hotels, restaurants, and adventures Project Kaif handcrafted just for her.
Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Destination
On this trip, Claire wanted to visit somewhere that felt quintessentially European, yet relatively off-the-beaten-track. She craved cobblestone streets, cozy wine cellars and romantic architecture, paired with the authenticity and casual trendiness of an up-and-coming city.
Claire mentioned that she had always wanted to visit Portugal, but after indulging in Shanghai’s countless urban wonders, she didn’t feel Lisbon’s cosmopolitan atmosphere was the right fit. She was ready to slow down, and swap out rooftop cocktails and dance clubs for quiet bistros and leisurely morning strolls.
Additionally, Claire wanted to further explore her passions of art, wine, and gastronomy on this trip.
With this in mind, Project Kaif selected Porto, Portugal as Claire’s dream destination.
Nestled against a hillside with the shimmering Douro River lapping at its shores, Porto is a city on the rise.
Romantic medieval architecture merges with cutting-edge modern designs, and artists breathe life into the city streets with public murals. And tucked beneath its sleepy appearance and Old Worm charms, Porto takes an innovative approach to art, wine, and gastronomy.
Step 2: Where to Sleep, Eat, Drink, and Play
Stay: The Yeatman
Perched on a hill with spectacular views of the city and the Douro River, The Yeatman is a luxury wine hotel that celebrates the spirit of Porto, Portugal, and Portuguese wines.
The Yeatman has established long-lasting partnerships with many of Portugal’s finest wine producers, who regularly host wine dinners and tastings on the property. The hotel’s wine cellars also contain an impressive collection of some of Portugal's finest varieties.
Every guest room features a stunning panoramic view and private terrace, where Claire loved sipping coffee in the mornings. She also frequented the hotel’s Caudalie Vinothérapie® Spa, which makes use of exclusive skincare therapies using extracts from the vine.
Eat: Pedro Lemos
Michelin star chef Pedro Lemos opened the doors to his namesake restaurant in 2009. Since then, he’s been serving up traditional Portuguese flavors inspired by the legacy of his grandmothers - one who sold fresh seafood at a market in Matosinhos, and the other who worked the fields in Bragança.
His cuisine combines the best of both land and sea, paying careful attention to seasonal ingredients, traditional flavors, and modern techniques. Menu offerings range from suckling pig to seabass, from roasted lamb to octopus, and from chilled watermelon soup to bourbon vanilla sponge and cream.
Do: Deep Dive into Art, Wine, & Gastronomy
It wouldn’t be a proper visit to Porto without a tasting at a traditional Port wine cellar! We arranged for Claire to meet with a local sommelier for a private tasting, and a lesson in detecting and savoring the subtle nuances of each vintage Port.
There are many Port wineries to choose from in Porto, but certain wine cellars bring the tasting experience to the next level. Calém cellars, for instance, offers a Port wine tasting paired with a Fado (traditional Portuguese “soul” music) concert.
Other wineries also focus on Vinho Verde - a light, fresh, slightly sparkling wine - rather than Port.
To help Claire explore her other passions, we also booked a guided street photography tour and a hands-on cooking class, where she learned to prepare traditional Portuguese cuisine.
Other highlights of Claire’s trip included visits to:
Alianca Underground Museum & Winery: A unique underground space featuring a maze of tunnels, which stores fine brandies and sparkling wines, as well as an extensive collection of Portuguese artwork and geological treasures.
Centro Português de Fotografia: A renovated 18th century former jail which showcases temporary photography exhibits.
Armazém: A converted warehouse that now houses an art gallery, boutique shops, and a cafe-bar with outdoor seating.
Step 3: Booking the Right Travel Arrangements
Claire’s adventures in gastronomy and wine didn’t stop there; we also booked her a seat on the famed and exclusive Presidential Train. This gourmet luxury train transports guests across the scenic Douro wine region as they enjoy Michelin star cuisine and fine Portuguese wine.
The Presidential Train conveniently departs from São Bento station in Porto, often cited as the most beautiful train station in Europe. Elegantly restored in 2010, the train has transported presidents, kings, popes, and other elite for more than a century.
Want to book your own luxury journey to Porto or elsewhere around the globe? Contact Project Kaif today to start planning your dream adventure!