The Reconstruction

18 May 2012, Friday . About Hostel

It all started with an idea of two people, however husband and wife, whose project of common life were long stroke, Marta and João Saavedra became reality. The passion for travel, worldwide, by different cultures and different experiences which allow interaction associated with passion by the Douro, Oporto Wine, led this couple to embrace this adventure.

More than training, more than experience, what is really important is the passion with which we embrace each project, what is our motto.

We visited several houses, hoping to find the ideal House. Many of them were inhabited others were habited for very elderly people, and many without conditions of habitability. The House that we chose was where we find a harmony that gripped us. Although also extremely degraded (from 1937), featured a perfect combination between the several floors and the garden, terraces, completely abandoned and taken by wild vegetation, but where we see a huge potential.

We have one of the best hotels in the North and in the country, right behind us, The Yetman Hotel. It should be noted that their leaders allowed us to carried all the material for the works just true is owns gardens, which was an extremely precious help, what provide that the works was carried out in a way more quickly.

The maturation of the idea to its implementation were just a few days, and a few conversations with Mario Oliveira, who would later be the site manager and largely responsible for the transformation of the Hostel, in proximally 5 months. The project was delivered to the architect Marcílio Henriques, young architect, which proved to be quite important with some innovated ideas. And the cycle closed with AMIGAIA, in the person of Dr. Alice Teixeira, Dr. Fernando Almeida and Mr. Fernando Barbosa, who through the GAIAFINICIA program, have contributed to this project happen.

The building, with more than 80 years, was fully recovered and refurbished. All interior walls have disappeared and have given way to new ones, with the creation of a common balcony, with the goal of allowing all rooms have natural light and ventilation. Have skylights in the aisles and work with the same goal, to make the environment more bright and natural as possible. We created a new space on the ground floor, formerly a store/grocery store, where you can see the common area, which includes a fully equipped kitchen, a laundry room available for washing and drying the clothes of the day-to-day, a living room and a reception, with the goal of becoming a space more welcoming and familiar, where who is in immediate reception can meet the needs of guests. Were built 4 new toilets, one on each floor, 3 of which are common and one makes part of the suite. This one, initially designed to be a storage space with a closet, finished as a WC, integrating the deluxe room, the Douro Suite.

Every room has been assigned a name, associated with monuments and festivities that join the two cities, as the name implies – GaiaPortoHostel. So, on the first floor, we have the double room, Serra do Pilar, and the Ponte D. Luís Mixed Dormitory, two monuments that you can sight of the roof garden of the Hostel, and that are, for its particular features, unique in the Douro and in the country. On the second floor, we have the Douro Suite, in honor of the Douro River, one of the world's most beautiful rivers, with a history of intimacy with port wine and ending very close to the Hostel in Foz do Douro, and we have the S. João Dormitory, in honor of the traditional party most popular of the two cities, Gaia and Porto, where the people joined in the streets, to celebrate its Patron Saint, St. John(S. João), and to express his contentment through hammered because "on St. John, nobody takes it badly."

We have to speak of the reconstruction and refurbishment of another space, which is one of the Hostel's gains and where this remodeling was probably deeper, the roof garden. We have found a yard, completely abandoned, filled with wild vegetation, with small annexes in decaying wood, falling. This yard was left just a persimmon tree and a camellia tree, which were rehabilitated. All stairways have been remodeled; all walls were redone and refurnished. We innovated with flowerbeds, formerly non-existent, and that gave shelter to the corner of cactus (passion of one of the owners), some of them offered by family members (grandparents with 94 and 96 years, Mercês and Joaquim). We created another corner, with aromatic plants, very useful for cooked and infusions. This yard was now a real garden, the entire lawn, and an open window to the cities of OPorto and Gaia, from where you can see several emblematic monuments of these cities, as Clérigos (Cathedral), the Sé of Oporto (Cathedral) and D. Luís Bridge, the Serra do Pilar Monastery, the new Cable car of Gaia. It is also a space of deep relaxation and well-being in the middle of the city, where you can watch a musical show daily and free of charge, offered by dozens of seagulls which have their habitat along the Douro River.

Words for what! It have been several months of renovations and reconstructions, but reached the end, we just want to open the doors and get you in the best way, providing a familiar, cozy environment and having just one propose, make the GaiaPortoHostel a symbol of our region at an international level.

We are waiting for you!

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