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Reviews (181)
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All reviewsgarden pavilionwhite doorservice was super friendlygreat brunchclawfoot tuban in room massagestylish boutique hotelshower curtaincomplimentary bottle of porthouse is beautifulsmall gardena lovely place to staygreat recommendationsrooms are spacioustop floorbreakfast was delicioussmall bottle
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Reviewed 8 November 2017

I'd like to start with a couple of caveats.

Firstly, the staff who are on duty at the Townhouse are absolutely lovely. There is nothing that is too much trouble for them; they are kind, helpful, hardworking, engaging and charming. I'd like to make it quite clear that my gripes are 100% with the owners, and not one tiny bit with the staff.

Secondly, I tried very hard to meet up with the owners. We were there three days and requested a meeting from soon after we arrived, but they were never available. That is their choice, of course, but I gave them the opportunity.

I have travelled extensively all over the world and I am not a great complainer - I only get riled when customers are treated as if they are an inconvenience to the running of the establishment, as is the case at Rosaetal.

I think that the underlying problem with this place is that the owners have a "concept" of how their customers should be, and should want to be, and if the customer does not fit in with the concept it is the customer's fault. If the owners want to express their artistic concepts, that's fine, go for it. I am in the arts business myself and wholly support artistic expression, but please, do it in an artistic space, not using innocent travellers as guinea pigs in your experiment.

The first, and biggest, problem lies in the bathroom. The owners' original concept was that their guests should want a luxurious bath rather than a shower. Clearly at some time in the past, they have jerry rigged a shower and shower curtain around the bath. But the result is really dangerous. The curtain falls all over the bottom of the bath (see photo), the bottom of the bath is curved and slippery (the little anti-slip strips are useless), you have to manoeuvre around to close the curtains and, above all, there is nothing to hold on to or, more particularly, to grab, if you start to slip. Someone will get injured soon, and the owners will be fully liable.

The second issue is also related to the bathroom. It is separated from the bedroom by two or three (depending on the room) large glass doors. That means that if you are there as a couple and one of you wants to use the toilet in the night, the choice is to do so in the dark or to fully light the bedroom.

The floors creak terribly. That both means that you cannot creep around at night without waking your partner and that you are awoken by the people above you when they move, also making you conscious of the annoyance that you must be to those below.

The arrangement of light switches is bizarre in the extreme. We were there three days and even then still mystified by which switches control which lights. We never found out how to turn off the lights in the cupboards.

There is no desk at which you can sit and work. There is no mirror in the bedroom. That there is no TV didn’t bother us at all, but others might be disappointed.

I wonder if the owners have ever tried sleeping with the supplied bolsters? Your head sinks down and the sides fold up, rather like a nun's wimple, or horse blinkers. Guests should note that there is an ordinary pillow hidden in a lower drawer you can use.

Anyway, let's finally step out of the bathroom and bedroom into breakfast. We did notice that Portuguese hotels generally start breakfast very late, 8.00 or 8.30, but Rosaetal take this to extremes by starting at 9.00. That means that the morning is lost to you. For example, the walking tour of the old city starts downtown at 10.00. That is not possible to combine with breakfast at 9.00. Also, because it starts so late, everyone from all the rooms arrives at the same time.

To cope with this influx there is only one front of house staff member, who has to make all the drinks, take all the orders, ferry back and forth from the kitchen, clear the tables etc. On our first morning, that meant that we did not get a cup of tea until 9.45, having been there since 9.00. I want to reemphasise my first paragraph above. That is absolutely no criticism of the young lady doing the serving. She was moving as fast as humanly possible. It is just not possible for one person to do all that for seven couples all arriving at the same time, especially with the kitchen on a different floor.

The breakfast menu is "conceptual" and very hard to understand. Once it has been explained (more time out of the poor girl's impossible schedule, it probably takes a three minute explanation, which means 20 minutes of explanation alone across seven tables) the breakfast is mostly really excellent, I do recommend the scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese.

But we had a real problem on pricing. Firstly, I have to say that having breakfast included is not much of a financial benefit. It is barely less than à la carte anyway. But our problem was with the owners’ attitude to allowing us to change. We had agreed to pay the €15 per head in advance, but when we saw how late breakfast was, and how slow to deliver because the owners skimp on staffing, we decided that we’d prefer to pop across to the perfectly acceptable café opposite on the next two mornings. The owners point blank refused to change the booking to remove the €120 that breakfast was going to cost across four of us over the following two days. They firstly tried to argue that it was bookings.com policy, but then they admitted that was their own policy, and it was unshakeable.

Again, the on-site staff came to the rescue and offered to produce breakfast earlier, which defused the situation, but the second hand conversation with the owners about this was what finally drove me down from maybe a 3* rating to 1*.

My view is that if you spend almost every minute you are in a hotel thinking “this is going to look pretty bad on TripAdvisor” you can be pretty sure that you are in the wrong place.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank TimothyNathan38
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 12 November 2017

Thank you for your wonderful and extensive review. I hope that your review in combination with all reviews from our 5 year in the market will help clarify our concept and our project.
It is always a pleasure to have a review on how good we delivery our service, staff assistance, excellent breakfast and a good night sleep. We are happy with our mission accomplished. We the owners are not the stars of the project, the project is the house and the people that deliver the service and the people that is our guest, they are the ones making the experience, not the trip advisor and not the practicalities or artistic features. Once again thank you for the sharing your own experience and comments. We hope that your colleague it's fully recovered and that all the help that our staff and our acquaintances in the hospital gave, made his stay in the hospital and his coming back to his home town safe.

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Reviewed 30 October 2017

Whatever you do, don't let them talk you into staying at the Loft.

When I contacted Rosa Et Al Townhouse about a stay with them, they informed me they were fully booked but had a Loft aparttment across town. I had already been turned away from three hotels, so I accepted, but had a feeling it would be a mistake. My hunch was correct. In contrast to the Townhouse's adorable location, on a street full of cute shops and cafés, the loft was a good 20 minutes' walk away, on a loud street full of garages and ugly office buildings, where tour buses idled until late into the night. The building itself was an ugly modern building as well, thank god with elevators, although one of them didn't work.

The loft itself, although sleek-looking in pictures, was incredibly impractical and illogical for two friends staying together. Even a couple would have had trouble because of the ridiculous design, in which one big sliding door was used for both bedroom and bathroom (impossible just to use it for the bathroom, which meant keeping the bedroom half enclosed except for a tiny space to squeeze through, and the bathroom half exposed at all times - sliding the door back and forth at night would have woken one of us up). The window blind fell down our first night, and when it was repaired, the repairman left a mess of chipped paint on the floor.

Worst of all, however, was the fact that we were charged €25/night extra for an extra bed to be "put in". In fact, no bed was put in, but rather the sofa that was already in the apartment (and can clearly beseen in pictures) was converted into a pull-out bed with sheets etc. put on it. I would have accepted the absurd charges (€75 extra to basically make up an extra bed? Remember there is no housekeeping at the Loft so this was something they did ONCE that I could have done myself upon arrival), but in fact this bed was so uncomfortable I couldn't sleep in it. It had no cushioning at all and the bed springs dug into my back, so I ended up sharing the one small bed in the bedroom with my friend to get any sleep at all.

When I went over to the main Townhouse to tell them about this, I was first told "no one else has complained" and then told they would not refund me the amount since I had already paid for it. I do not need to be second-guessed if i tell a hotel a bed is uncomfortable - so what if no one else has complained? What's more, if it had been a one-time fee I might have understood their reasoning, but they clearly said it was "an extra fee of €25 per night". Wouldn't it then follow that if I only use it for one night, I should only pay €25 and not €75?

This is why it makes the most sense to pay upon checkout, so that hotels cannot stiff you for ridiculous fees. It is also why I won't stay at either the Loft or the Townhouse if I ever come back to Porto.

Room Tip: Don't choose the Loft.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank giuliapines
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 15 November 2017

Dear Giulia,
First of all, thank you for your comments. For us, this is obviously the best opportunity to understand better our guests and their experiences while staying with us, allowing to scrutiny both sides’ expectations and procedures but also a way to improve our own mission.
We understand that we have not met your personal expectations and that your experience at the Loft was not how you had expected either. However, in our opinion it seems quite unfair to transform your point of view into a review that describes incorrectly the whole Loft experience that we strive to offer to your guests.
As it is stated in the confirmation e-mail that you have received, our Loft Apartment is located Off-Site the Townhouse premises. Therefore, it is a completely different experience than staying at the Townhouse – where, by the way, we are always more than happy to welcome the guests that stay at the Loft to come and enjoy all the Townhouse services, as you’ve done when you came to try our famous and well-known breakfast.
When staying at the Loft Apartment what we aim to offer to our guests is a chance to experiment a completely Portuguese experience with all the “must-see’s” very close by. As if you had your own vacation apartment right in the center of Porto, rather than a “hotel” experience. It is located within 5 minutes walking distance from two of the most central metro and train stations, São Bento and Bolhão; as well as supermarkets, some highly recommended typical Portuguese restaurants, and some of the most iconic places and monuments of the city, such as Aliados (where the City Hall is located), Clérigos Tour, Lello Bookstore, Santa Catarina (Shopping), Bolhão, the Funicular that takes you right next to the Port Wine Cellars, and of course Majestic Café, one of the oldest cafés in town with some of the best custard tarts (Pastéis de Nata). Basically, everything that is worth seeing while staying in Porto is nearby, within a walking distance not longer than 10 minutes. As mentioned above, a complete local experience, next to the places where Portuguese people have their breakfast to start their day, or buy their amazingly fresh vegetables to cook at home, or take their metro or train to go to/back from work and so on.
As you have been informed prior to your arrival, our policy requires us to charge an extra night as a deposit in case of any damages at the Loft, which have been refunded to you even though the blind had fallen off the window, and we had to have a carpenter called in in order to fix it. We have not charged you anything for this as a gesture, even though we had been told by the carpenter that the blind visibly seemed to have been forced off the window. We have also confirmed with the rest of the team and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any record of a request from you for our Housekeeping to service the apartment. As you can imagine we had happily have sent someone to clean the chipped paint on the floor, should you had requested it. We do offer this service, as stated on the website, “Daily Housekeeping (on request)”
In regards to the extra bed charge, we are sorry that it was not up to your expectations either, and that you had to share the King size bed (180X200cm) – as opposed to a “one small bed” as you mentioned - with your friend after all. This is a charge that had been previously stated within the confirmation e-mail that you had received from us, so there wasn’t any “surprises” upon check-out. We are very sorry to hear that you did not have a comfortable sleep, even though the extra bed is brand new, but unfortunately in any hotel that we request an extra bed, guests already expect it to be different than sleeping in a regular bed, no matter how new the bed/couch is.
Once again Giulia, we are sorry that you were expecting a different experience. We really aim for our guests to have a full Portuguese experience while staying at the Loft, one of the reasons why we have specifically chosen its location. It is however indeed our great pleasure to welcome all of our guests, including the ones staying at the apartment, to come and visit us at the Townhouse for other unique experiences – as you have – including our Breakfast, our famous Brunch during the weekends, or a nice afternoon tea within the peacefulness of our private garden; our amazing In-Room Spa treatments (that you also experienced at the apartment), Workshops and unique Tasting Surprise Dinners. For us at ROSA ET AL Townhouse we try to make anything possible for our guests and consider every single request.
We would definitely be more than happy to have the chance to receive you again at ROSA ET AL, this time within the Townhouse building where we have rooms with two Twin beds available, for you to have an extended experience to complement the Breakfast and In-Room Massages that, as we recall you mentioning, were very much enjoyable.
Best regards,
Catarina

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2017 via mobile

Would love to stay here again. Great welcome information on arrival about Porto from the hosts including going the extra mile by phoning Taylor’s and booking a restaurant for us. Our room (5) was gorgeous and had a small bottle of complementary port which was a lovely touch. We decided to add breakfast at €15 each which was delicious and worth the price. A great location too. It felt like an absolute privilege to stay in such a beautifully designed room. Thank you to the staff for all of your wonderful hospitality. We hope to return again one day to this beautiful townhouse and city, when we would love to take advantage of the spa services and food tastings.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank OxfordBecky
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 14 November 2017

Dear Becky,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and your feedback with us.
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 are happy to read that you felt comfortable in our suite. We want our guests to truly feel at home.
Your wonderful words about our knowledgeable team are very inspiring for us.
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,
Cláudia

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Reviewed 25 October 2017

Absolutely the best place we stayed in Porto! It's in a great location, with a short walk to the centre of Porto, and some good restaurants and gallery spaces right around the hotel.

We stayed in the Garden Pavilion, which is a beautiful space and really well designed. It also has a lovely little private patio which is great in the evenings. The bed was super comfy and everything was incredibly clean. One thing to be aware of is that due to an older plumbing system, it takes a while for the water to run hot - it wasn't an issue as they warned us about it on check-in, but it's the sort of quirk that might frustrate you if you're more used to "polished" corporate hotels.

Everyone at the hotel was so friendly and couldn't help enough - someone sat down with us at check-in and annotated a map for us with loads of recommendations which was such a nice start to the trip. They even lent us a power adaptor because we hadn't been able to buy one that day.

Room Tip: The Garden Pavilion is well worth the price
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tash W
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 27 October 2017

Dear Tash,
Your praising words regarding ROSA ET AL Townhouse are very motivating and encouraging for the entire team.
The comfort of our guests is of major importance to us and we are happy to read that you felt comfortable in our suite. We want our guests to truly feel at home. Our Garden Pavilion is indeed a very special and unique suite.
Your wonderful words about our knowledgeable team are very inspiring for us. It is great that they made sure you visited the best museums, booked the perfect table on the tastiest restaurants and sent you shopping on the coolest places during your stay in Porto.
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 13 October 2017

So nice to stay in different kind of hotel. Personal service with a big genuine smile from all the staff.
Delicious breakfast and a peaceful rear garden away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We were on the top floor which was a bit of a trek up by foot ( no lift) but the room at the top was airy spacious and well furnished, and there was a lovely library to peruse on the landing. Crisp white linen and aside from a squeaky floorboard in the WC area we couldn’t have asked for more.

Room Tip: If you are unfit ask for a ground floor or first floor room.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank John R
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 18 October 2017

Thank you John. What a wonderful greeting, we are indeed a different kind of hotel, not perfect but for sure memorable in a good way. All the best and looking forward to have you or your friends with us again.

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