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ROSA ET Al Townhouse
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Reviews (179)
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All reviewsgarden pavilionservice was super friendlygreat brunchclawfoot tuban in room massagestylish boutique hotelshower curtaincomplimentary bottle of portrooms are spacioushouse is beautifulpoor lightingsmall gardena lovely place to staygreat recommendationstop floorbreakfast was delicioussmall bottle
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Reviewed 3 October 2017

This is a very cute and stylish boutique hotel, and it's clear that the owners have tried very hard to anticipate every amenity down to the smallest detail. The rooms are spacious. There's a complimentary bottle of port and cookies delivered to the room each night under a little glass dome. We thoroughly enjoyed our six-course dinner with four mid-level wines and exceptional service at 80 euros per person, and it was great to just be able to waddle upstairs after a large, satisfying meal. The rear garden is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine in late afternoon after a full day of sightseeing. Most of the staff tries to be helpful and friendly. So I give this place a very good rating for trying hard on executing the good stuff and working to make guests comfortable.

But there are real shortcomings that you should be aware of. The bathroom was a deal-breaker for me. It's an ergonomic nightmare and a personal injury attorney's dream. There is too-dim lighting, both here and in the bedroom. The clawfoot tub was positioned so it was difficult to grab onto anything in the event of a slip or fall. If you did fall, you could be impaled on the long, sharp filler pipe. The shower curtain didn't close all the way. There was a bath caddy for shampoo and other amenities, but it wouldn't fit across the tub if the shower curtain was closed. We made a makeshift caddy by moving the wastebasket closer to the tub and putting the amenities on that. But if you swiveled around and crouched to reach the shampoo, you might have found that long filler pipe probing your private parts. There was no dish at the sink for the hand soap. We have stayed in luxury hotels around the world and this is one of the extremely rare times where I dreaded taking a shower in the morning.

Other shortcomings? There's no elevator. You park your car down the street in a small garage for an additional 20 euros a day. The hotel's sign is tiny and practically invisible, so it's easy to drive right by. If the loading zones are full on the one-way, single-lane street, you won't be able to stop your car and unload bags. We found the staff less-than-reliable in making restaurant reservations and their knowledge of local attractions slightly underwhelming. If you take a front room, be prepared for noise from garbage trucks or car alarms during the night. There was a device in our room that gave off an annoying red light during the night, and while a staff member assured us this was a normal safety device and our question was unfounded, we saw it nowhere else in Portugal. Finally, we sensed a bit of a defensive attitude, with a feeling that if the guest had a complaint, it was the guest who was deficient. You'll see this reflected in the hotel's responses to some other reviews (i.e., the nonsense that the bathroom is configured to adhere to some sort of architectural integrity), and I suspect you will also see this attitude emerge once again in the hotel's response to my critique here.

Because this is an independent effort by two energetic entrepreneurs, I couldn't, in good conscience, give it just three stars. Much of what is good is very good. But just be aware of the shortcomings. If you can handle those, then give this hotel a try.

Room Tip: Pick a rear room to avoid nighttime noise.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Longislander1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatSousa, Proprietário at ROSA ET Al Townhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2017

Dear Guest

Thank you for your excellent review. We really do our best to please our guest and create a memorable stay.
As awckard as this may seem, the bathtubes are really a architectural option. Since the beginning, there were no curtais, our goal was to create a bathtub experience that many of us long for but never have time or energy to do it, so why not when you are in a hotel as a tourist with no time to count and with someone else to clean up the mess that it can happen on a long soaking bath. But as the guests required we changed it and we add curtains but it is not a perfect shower because it was made for bath, we are working on that and we hope that one day we have guests that are enjoy the bathtub as we dream about..meanwhile we add a room that has 3 power showers, 2 in the room and one in the private outdoor patio. So next time ask for the room with the showers if this is your preference. :-)
The simplicity and exclusivity we aimed when we designed this concept are indeed an option on the outdoors sign, there is no sign indeed only a discreet sign saying ROSA ET AL in a white big door, and we are not aiming to change it. The purpose is not becoming overwhelmed with curious people but receive our guest as a friend in our townhouse.
We are in a city and the rooms facing the street are indeed facing a street with cars and trucks and buses and people that unfortunately we can't control in terms of noise. But the light in the rooms can be sorted out and can be corrected if the guest request us upon their stay. We like dimmed and low level light, but we also understand that are different needs and we have extra lamps to add when they are asked.
In terms of staff, i am very sorry that you haven't been lucky to meet your expectations in terms of recommendations and concierge services. Myself will give extra attention to the newest staff members that can be in the beginning of their career with us and not at all yet fully comfortable in delivering the best service of Rosa et al, with recommendations that are approved from my personal experience of places unique to locals and the best in town.
The attitude in our responses are not aiming to be defensive but above all to explain our aims and goals and to express and to inform all our guests that all can be sorted out when the guest in the house, because after your experience coming online can cause damages that could be easily sorted out when you were staying withs us, creating a memorable experience with faults that were immediately corrected or explained and not this feeling of not meeting the expectations.
We are not a perfect place, but as you clearly explained we deliver a good service, a good night sleep, a wonderful breakfast and a memorable dinner, we have a lovely garden and a very excellent in room spa service and we deliver every morning our energy for the best experience a guest can have in our townhouse, Because of your words we thank you for recognition of our effort and we hope that in your next stay with us we have been uplifted and sorted our shortcomings.

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Reviewed 17 September 2017

Beautifully restored old building, with stylish modern design. The rooms, garden, and restaurant are beautiful. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Breakfasts are great! Our only gripe was that the toilet was part of the room, which was not comfortable for us at all (we had to agree on some "private time" for each of us in the room :). We were only there for one night so it was no big deal, but had we stayed longer I would have preferred a room with a separate toilet. Aside from that we looooved this hotel, and would definitely stay here again if we ever return to Porto.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms have the toilet in the middle of the room. If this matters, ask about other rooms that have a closed off toilet.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank BeeFlyerCairo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claudia H, Gerente de relações com clientes at ROSA ET Al Townhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2017

Hello!
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and your feedback with us.
Your praising words regarding ROSA ET AL Townhouse are very motivating and encouraging for the entire team.
We are delighted to know that our fresh and homemade breakfast was one of the highlights of your stay with us. It also makes us very happy to read your wonderful words about our knowledgeable team.
It was a pleasure having you as a guest. We truly hope to welcome you back again in the future at ROSA ET AL Townhouse.
Kind regards,
Claudia

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Reviewed 25 August 2017 via mobile

The space and the rooms is gorgeous. The garden pavilion is one of the nicest rooms we stayed in. Even with the Techno music from the neighbors, the charm is infectious.

We took a cooking class--and wish we had not. It's expensive and wine or cocktails isn't served until the end. The co-owner who gave the class was charming and admitted she's an amateur cook, but the food we prepared was very basic and actually pretty bad. Frozen tasteless fish and a couple things put in a blender. We are standing up--when there was a beautiful garden with tables and chairs right there.

Everything in the room is for sale. The coffee "on us!" is old and instant. We stayed at other places that offered fresh cappuccino the room. And let us us bags and umbrellas without purchasing them. And that did not charge twice the price for coffee and wine.

It's sad that this place was once one of the groundbreakers in the area and really ushered in a new wave in boutique hotel experience and has since lost its mojo.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Alejandro_red
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claudia H, Gestor de Relações com o Cliente at ROSA ET Al Townhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Dear Alec,

First of all, thank you for your comments. For us, this is an opportunity to understand better our clients and their experiences with us at the townhouse, allowing to scrutiny both sides’ expectations and procedures but also a way to improve our own mission.

ROSA ET AL Townhouse was founded with a simple mission of pleasing our most exquisite guest, providing guests with a good night sleep, a memorable breakfast and the best recommendations in town. As per your review and comments, we can understand that we are in the right track: “The garden pavilion is one of the nicest rooms we stayed in”; and, “there was a beautiful garden”, quoting your own words.

We can also understand from your review that the lower grade and negative comments were given based on your additional experiences at the townhouse and, unfortunately, those comments do not correspond to the reality you experienced, thus, they are not true at all.

Starting with you comments on the cooking class, let us clarify that a cooking class is a sharing and hands-on class in the kitchen of the townhouse given by the one of the co-owners of the house, both self-taught chefs, something that is clearly presented to the guest since the start. Above all, it is a moment to cook with the guests and share with them our interpretation of traditional Portuguese cuisine, reinvented by us.

The evening you attended the class, there were other guests, including international professional chefs attending the class and all of them enjoyed the experience as a whole.

We understand that we have not met your personal expectations and that you have disliked the food prepared in the cooking class but it seems quite unfair to transform these personal view or taste into a review that simply destroys the event as a whole, especially when using quite strong negative comments which are quite different from the ones used in the evening, not at all matching our face to face conversation during and after the cooking class.

As I recall, you were quite interested and engaged with the story of the co-owners and the townhouse as a whole, very curious about our recommendations even for the next days of your trip through Portugal to celebrate your honeymoon; and, we were definitely quite flattered to know that you decided your trip based on the urge to visit and stay with us at ROSA ET AL Townhouse.

Our staff presented to you a cooking class given by one of the co-owners of the townhouse and that was what we delivered. The fact that I am not a trained chef does not make me unprofessional or a bad cook and does not make my food, using your own words: “very basic and actually pretty bad”. If the food was as you described how could we have such good reviews on the dinners and brunches, breakfasts or cooking classes given at the townhouse? It is a cooking class, it is not a dinner. Nevertheless, upon your arrival to the kitchen, you were greeted with a board of cured meat, cheese, nuts, lupins, olives, bread and olive oil, water and juice. During the cooking class, you learned step by step on how to prepare by yourself the following recipes: gazpacho, a cold soup traditional in the Iberian Peninsula; salted cod fish in a crust of sesame seeds and roasted rosemary potatoes, one of the main traditional dishes in Portugal; poached pears in lapsang souchong tea and the most exquisite Portuguese sponge cake, Pão-de-ló original from Ovar, a small city to the south of Porto.

It almost sounds outrageous that you consider this menu ‘basic’, ‘bad’, ‘tasteless’ and ‘frozen’, which, to say the least, shows a lack of understanding of food. Not to mention the tone of the reference, using your own words, ‘admitted she’s an amateur chef’, as something bad or negative per se, which shows a lack of understanding of every other renowned chef personal history in the world.

The wine is only served when you eat, and yes, you eat standing, as a proper chef, in the kitchen, as I did with you and all the guests. When tasting the food prepared, you were offered with 3 different Portuguese wines – white, rose and red – and the bottles opened were available to all the guests to take to their rooms with no extra cost. Something that you took advantage of as you actually took one of the bottles to your room with no extra charge. Maybe you were still hungry after the class. Nevertheless, you ate twice the main dish and you repeated the desert also, which is not bad for such ‘bad food’.

It is indeed a pity that during our face-to-face conversation you were not able to express this discontent, it would have been easier then to change your memorable experience or at least release you from such bad experience. As per our cooking classes, I am personally quite happy with the class I gave to you, your guest and to the other two other couples – including professional chefs, let me stress this simple fact – who, at least, did not change their face-to-face comments and, in the following morning, they still complimented me on the previous night experience and the amazing time they had. Actually, the other guests gathered after the cooking class in the garden, until quite late in the night, enjoying their time and the townhouse.

Following on with your additional comments on charges, can we imply from your arguments that we should not have charged your additional consumptions of wine, coffees and so on? In the room and throughout the townhouse, everything is for sale, every bit of ROSA ET AL Townhouse is possible to take home; if you like the umbrellas or tote bags we have them in the room for your use while staying with us and we have them for you to take home also, the same with the linens, the lamps, the furniture and so on. This practice should not be seen as negative, we are a fair and transparent business that clearly presents what is complimentary and what it is not, like any other hospitality business. In your room, you have a complimentary free bottle of Fonseca Port Wine and a kettle with an array of different tea bags, coffees, cappuccinos and so on; thus we do not understand your comments at all and we simply can not understand why are you offended with the fact that we have charged every specialty coffee or different teas you ordered as room service.

As a professional writer, you should know better than me how to use and apply the correct words and expressions in a review, especially when the ones you used in our face-to-face conversation do not match at all the ones written above to review our townhouse experience.

When you declare that we ‘lost our mojo’, you are actually implying that you experienced it before, that you know what it was all about, accompanied its rise and decline in order to be able to talk so surely that we lost it. You have not, and you do not know what the mojo was and still is about. So, we believe you are referring to something that you actually do not have a proper knowledge on, and that what you refer to in your review is simply a construct of your creative and illusionary mind, a personal expectation that does not reflect the reality everyone else praises about.

Either way, once again, thank you for giving us the opportunity with this review to clarify better to you what ROSA ET AL Townhouse is all about and how we do differentiate our hotel and our services form the conventional hospitality products. We wish you all the best for your future career and marriage, and hope that your honeymoon in Portugal was filled with much better memories for your future life.

Thank you.

Kind Regards,
Patrícia de Sousa

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Reviewed 19 August 2017

We only visited for brunch, in the garden - it was delicious and super casual, and there were great sunshades to shield us from the midday sun. The house conversion looked exquisite and somewhere I would love to stay, Such small, central hotels rarely have restaurants so this is a big plus.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank English_girl_Paris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claudia H, Gerente de relações públicas at ROSA ET Al Townhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2017

Hello!
Thank you for describing your experience at ROSA ET AL Townhouse in such a positive way.
We are very glad that you have spent such a great time with us at the Townhouse and in Porto.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you back again very soon at ROSA ET AL Townhouse.
Kind regards,
Cláudia

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Reviewed 4 August 2017 via mobile

Just spent two nights here and this is the review I'm most conflicted on. I chose this over the Yeatman, where I originally booked, because some high maintenance people suggested it and it was half the price. The pro's first - the townhouse is gorgeous and extremely clean. It's in a cute area of town - far enough removed from all the main tourist attractions but close enough to walk there. Breakfast, which was incredible, was included and more food than I could eat. And everyone that works there is incredibly nice. Also our room was very large and the decorations throughout the place were really beautiful. The con's - biggest is the tubs that really are only meant to be tubs. I flooded the entire bathroom the first time I showered, even with the curtain closed. And there is no where for soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, combs if you properly close the curtain. Where do they expect people to put these things? And the curtain doesn't even close all the way. The second time we showered we constantly had to stop the water so we didn't flood it. In addition the lights in the room are very cool but give very little light. It's quite hard to put on makeup, your contacts, etc. And we found the place to be loud. If they added a carpet runner to the stairs, area rugs and also fixed the large gap under the doors, this could be alleviated. Finally when we asked about visiting the famous bookstore, we were told, yes to see it. We were not told that if we bought an online ticket for 5 euro we'd walk right in versus getting it there for 4 euro and waiting up to an hour. When we said we wanted to go to Ferreira to taste port, no one mentioned they closed for two hours at lunch. These are basic things that they should know and advise. Overall - I think I would have picked this place again due to the cost and some of the pro's. But after more than 2 nights the shower and darkness would really annoy me. This is probably a 3.5 rating really.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank globalcitizen77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claudia H, Gerente de relações com clientes at ROSA ET Al Townhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2017

Hello!
Thank you for taking the time to write this review and for preference for our Townhouse in Porto.
We are delighted to read that our fresh and homemade breakfast was one of the highlights of your stay with us.
The comfort of our guests is of major importance to us and we want our guests to truly feel at home. The Townhouse concept determined our suites design. We designed it to be a contemplative relaxing experience, so we add bathtubs. Unfortunately guest still travel with urgency and we add to add curtains to meet the expectation of most “stressed” guest. It is just citrons to wrap around the bathtub to allow a safe shower without destroying our wonderful wood floors. If there were problems in using the curtains we would be pleased to explain you and show you how to slide the curtains around the bathtub. Our concept design is to preserve the architectural heritage and allow our guest to have an experience more than a practical stay.
We have a highly professional and knowledgeable team that made sure your stay in Porto was memorable. All of them made you feel comfortable and welcome, they made the bookings you requested, they answered your questions and chat with you about what to do and see in the city. If you needed some extra information or had some doubts, after deciding your daily plan, regarding places and schedules, you could just had asked any of them and they would be pleased to help you.
Looking forward to see you back soon with us. We can assure that next time you visit us we will do our best efforts to make your stay unforgettable.
Thank you in advance.
Best regards,
Cláudia

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