MONUMENTAL PALACE HOTEL designed by OITOEMPONTO
Located in the historic building “Almeida e Cunha”, known as “Pension Monumental”, the new MONUMENTAL PALACE HOTEL occupies a strategic position in the center of Porto: the famous Avenida dos Aliados in front of the town hall. The building built in 1923 by the Italian architect Michelangelo Soà has been rehabilitated to become the most luxurious palace of the city of Porto. It is obviously to the famous studio OITOEMPONTO, based in Porto, that were entrusted the interior architecture and the decoration of the rooms as well as of all the spaces of reception and restoration.
«The neoclassical style of the building as its anchor in the history of the city of Porto make this project «monumental» because it requires to reinterpret the glorious past of Porto in a contemporary writing, as well as in volumes, style and the uses» specify Artur Miranda and Jacques Bec, the founders of OITOEMPONTO.
The concept of the Hotel Monumental Porto is to make it the hotel of the great travelers since the 20s. A place which evokes the glorious Porto of the 30s until our days … A romanticized interpretation of a place which sheltered to its inauguration a large café with an orchestra in residence, some of whose decorations were updated during the renovation and which would have continued to be the luxury hotel of the economic capital of Portugal.
Since the 1920s, the city has been living to the rhythm of its cafés and the Avenida dos Aliados has brought together the jewels of this corporation to make it the nerve center of Porto. For decades these cafes have become very important in Porto, first becoming an economic capital and then a student city whose youngsters, who had no heating at home, spent a good part of the day in these cafes to study and discuss while staying warm. Furthermore, it’s also where people dance because each café has its own orchestra to attract, entertain and keep customer’s loyalty.
After the Second World War, the building also hosts a first class pension with various dining rooms before being converted into an office building and then occupied by a car dealer on the ground floor before collapsing and falling into for ten years, until it was bought to become the reference hotel in Porto.
During the construction, a miracle occurred when one of the destroyed walls unveiled the old billiard room intact with original decorations, marble details, plasterwork and moldings, noble wooden banisters and many ornamental details who will actively participate in the future decor project. The facade being neoclassical, the OITOEMPONTO duo chose to make a hotel that respects its history and style. A decorative bias that allows to integrate in these same neo 30 settings all the luxury of modernity.
Completely redesigned, the transformation of the building into a grand luxury hotel has required redefining all volumes to create a central gourmet restaurant, coupled with a breakfast room upstairs while unfolds the cafe skillfully transformed into a brasserie.
The luxury of the details and ornaments that run through each space helps to bring this reinvention to life. From the library, the TV room and the spa that seems to have been added in the 70s, restaurants can still host an orchestra and help maintain this legend of Porto’s great music cafes.
Who better than the duo Oitoemponto to want to contribute to restore Porto’s hospitality and give back all its letters of nobility to this historical building and to make the city of Porto shine. Them who travel the world in the best conditions, always come back with the same pleasure in their fief, have doubled their intelligence and ability to make Monumental Porto the hotel of reference of their city by succeeding a very daring exercise of style, a successful work of re-enchantment with the panache and ease that characterize them.
Everything was then put in place in the hotel that evolves in its time and represents today a modern hotel in a space rich of history. Everything has been specially designed for this hotel, every detail, furniture, decorative accessories … A challenge succeeded by the brilliant duo OITOEMPONTO. Exceptions that confirm the rule; only two illustrious signatures have been slipped into the reception: a re-edition of a spectacular chandelier by André Arbus and benches by the iconic Josef Hoffmann.
“To be modern is to live with one’s past.” – Artur Miranda
There are a total of 63 rooms and 13 suites in several colorful themes. The more you are on the ground floor the more the tone is clear since they are less luminous areas. The higher you go, the more colors take on denser and more flamboyant tones. There are several different typologies. The rooms are all different, including different ceiling heights such as the mezzanine suites.
In each room is a very important volumetry that gives a certain dimension to the comfort of the trip. There are claustras that punctuate the volumes, the walls are structured and animated by white moldings. A special attention has been paid to the carpets all designed with prints and daring coloramas.
The place is full of little stories behind the various existing details such as the enameled room numbers echoing the numbers of the streets.
The particularity of the spa is embodied by the pool adorned with ceramics and its wall of water that visually reverses gravity in a hypnotic fountain that seems to have been designed in the 70s to accompany the comfort of guests since that time!
MONUMENTAL PALACE HOTEL PORTO*****
Avenida dos Aliados, 151 – Porto
Photo Crédits: Francisco Almeida Dias