An Extremely Art-Slathered Stay in Porto

A Study In Rooftop Views, Turkish Baths and Francis Bacon

By Eric Twardzik ·

"I'm sleeping in Frida Kahlo tonight."

We're guessing you don't have the opportunity to say that very much.

So here's a stunning place in Portugal where that phrase makes total sense to everyone.

Okay, probably the only place on earth where that phrase makes sense to anyone.

Enter Torel Avantgarde, a fairly trippy boutique hotel with a degree in art history, now open in Porto and looking quite like this slideshow, only more 3D.

This is what happens when you turn over a considerable design budget to a quartet of Portuguese artists and let them have at it: a stunning lobby filled with hypnotic, swirling woods and sculpted birds supporting 47 distinct rooms named after—and inspired by—such creative figures as Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon and Coco Chanel.

Which isn’t to say that you're staying at some boring museum or anything. You’ve also got well-positioned garden terraces with views of the Douro River and the neighboring city of Gaia. Hi, Gaia. And a spa featuring Turkish baths, massage rooms and an outdoor pool.

After a long day spent between the terrace, the swimming situation and the abstract portrait of Oscar Wilde in your room, you will need to eat. At which point you'll dine on sea bass ceviche and piglet confit at the in-house restaurant named after Sir Kenelm Digby, a British diplomat widely credited with inventing the modern wine bottle in the 17th-century.

It probably helped with the diplomacy.

Eric Twardzik

Eric Twardzik is often misidentified as a Dane. Embroidered pants and green Chartreuse are the two things that get him out of bed every morning.

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