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The Spirit of Portugal's Ancient Spice and Material Trade Imbues a New Stay

From silk to paprika, Torel 1884 finds inspiration from distant cultures.

Every room references a spice, commodity, or material such as tobacco, seen here.


Location: Porto, Portugal

Designers: Architect Miguel Nogueira and Nano Design

On Offer: Along the riverfront area of Ribeira, a restored 19th-century palace and adjacent apartment annex are the vessels for this conceptual debut from Torel Boutiques, one of Portugal’s most creative hotel collectives. The interior design celebrates the distant cultures, spices, and materials seafaring Portuguese merchants encountered during sourcing trips to Africa, Asia, and the Americas centuries ago, from banana-leaf wallpaper to raffia carpets to bamboo wardrobes.

Standout features: The 12 idiosyncratic rooms and 11 apartments are awash in details evoking themes such as coffee, silk, and paprika; custom artwork by Jorge Curval and João Pedro Rodrigues line the walls; and the Bartolomeu bistro stocks wine vintages from the country’s small producers and serves them with Portuguese sausages and house-made Pâté de Campagne.  

The hotel occupies the retrofitted bones of a 19th-century mansion.
Communal spaces at Torel 1884.
Colorful tiles line the bathroom in the Chá room.
The Pássaros Exóticos room.
The Bartolomeu wine bar.
The pared-down color palette of the Cana de Açúcar room. (RIGHT) The Tapeçarias room.
Looking downstairs from the skylight.

(Photos by Luis Ferraz)

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