Casa do Guindais — Porto, Portugal
This 18th century self-catering guest house has belonged to owners Francisca Pestana da Silva and Álvaro Aguiar’s family for over six generations. To restore and reinvigorate the property and its five suits, they enlisted local Porto designer Sofia Marques de Aguiar and Cuban architect Ernesto Jimenes. The award-winning team successfully married the very old with the modern. Ancient granite stone walls, wooden rafters and restored Pau Santo wood commode chairs are juxtaposed with pinewood floors, large sliding soundproof windows and modern steel staircases. There are also all the requisite modern touches, such as mini bars, walk-in rain showers, king-size beds, fully equipped kitchenettes, coffee makers and patio gardens. Every detail of the interior design and decor of Casa dos Guindais has been carefully considered - from the bathroom fixtures right down to the stylish door handles - with pitch-perfect results. Located in the very heart of Porto’s historic centre, perched above the Ribeira riverside district, the house has wonderful views over the river and is close to the ’Guindais’ funicular cable car that takes you down to the river Douro’s Eiffel bridge.