Duas Portas (meaning “two doors”) Townhouse is a family affair. On arrival you will be greeted by the lovely Luísa Souto de Moura, an architect, who is the owner of the guesthouse. It was Luísa’s mother, also named Luísa (Penha), who was the architect for this project. Luísa’s aunt Francisca is the one who bakes the delicious cakes and serves guests their breakfast each morning. And her father, Eduardo Souto de Moura, while not involved in this project, is a 2011 Pritzker Prize Laureate and the architect behind the incredible Sao Lourenco do Barrocal in Alentejo.
The feeling here at Duas Portas is one of warmth and true “portuense” (people of Porto) hospitality. What was once a 19th century Porto townhouse is now an eight-bedroom guesthouse. It is a simple but refined space, with a renovation that honours the history of the building while adding modernity and functionality at the same time.
WORDS Georgia Hopkins
The design is paired-back and simple, with a nod toward a Scandinavian aesthetic. The color palette is white and natural wood. The floors are painted in the most luscious dark green gloss. Simple, thoughtful design touches are scattered throughout – artwork by local artists adorn the walls; a little bronze tray us filled with tiny dried flowers in a vintage vase on each room’s dresser; and bed linen and bathroom towels are embroidered with the simple yet considered Duas Portas logo and have been sourced from textile factories in the north of Portugal.
Of the “two doors”, one currently opens into the eight-room guesthouse. Half of the rooms have views looking over the Duoro River, while the other half have views over a lush garden out the back. The second door – next door – will soon open on to a new farm-to-table restaurant. It is a cosy, welcoming space.