The casatelier in the middle of Porto’s backstreets is a special place. For here, not only do floral patterns entwine themselves on the exterior façade of the narrow townhouse, but a subtly composed work of art also blossoms for the guests inside. Alongside the artist and hostess María Ulecias and her dog Oliva, the love of detail lives here above all. Together with all visitors who want to be inspired in the small guesthouse. Whether for the drawing and ceramics courses in María’s nearby studio or for any other time out.
This traditional home in the charming artists’ quarter of Bonfim had been destroyed by a fire. María bought it, renovated it with great sensitivity and brought it back to life with a mix of collected art, vintage design and ceramic art pieces she created herself. From the floral façade to the handmade fixtures in the bathrooms and individual lampshades, to the creative tile work found throughout the house. Partly in blue mosaics, partly naturally influenced by the wild plants of the surroundings.
On the first floor, visitors have a double room with en-suite bathroom at their disposal, and on the second floor there is an open-plan studio flat with bathroom and small kitchen. Here you will find everything you need, carefully selected and lovingly arranged. Curated collectors’ items and special heirlooms, such as the old wardrobe that was already used by Mara’s grandparents in Madrid. If you prefer company, you can also share the kitchen and living room on the ground floor. Or enjoy breakfast on the small, quiet terrace. After all, both rooms are also offered as B&Bs. The fact that María likes to share is tangible everywhere here. From the large library with all the exquisite books to the invitation to feel at home for the duration of your visit to the casatelier. A house that makes you happy from head to toe.
What to do
The best way to start exploring Porto is with a stroll through the winding streets of the old town Ribeira, best views of the city like the river Douro: From the Jardim do Morro park by the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge, a visit to the Capela das Almas and the Sao Bento railway station with its artfully tiled walls, a ride on the historic tram, hidden cafés and restaurants with culinary specialities, tea and port wine are waiting everywhere, an excursion to the Douro Valley or to Aveiro and Nazaré and, of course, a ceramics workshop in María's studio.
Why we like this house
A creative masterpiece that is made up of all its small, fine details.
This house is great for
Max. four people in two double rooms, but the house can also be rented as a whole.
The Spanish ceramic artist and warm hostess María Ulecia has lived in Portugal for a long time, where she creates special wall pieces but also individual pieces for shops, architects and designers. Among many other hotel projects, she is also jointly responsible for the impressive flair of the Baixa House in Lisbon. The casatelier.porto was intended to be a place where her two passions could be combined - art as well as sharing. The studio where María designs, draws and makes her works is not far from the guesthouse and also offers courses to all visitors.
|Region||PT – Portugal, Porto|
|Scenery||In the up-and-coming, creative Bonfim district: centrally located but firmly in the hands of the locals|
|Number of guests||Max. 4 (one double room, one studio)|
|Architect||Patricia Rocha Leite Arquitectura, Porto, (PT) María Ulecia (Innendesign), Porto (PT)|
|Specials||Small dogs are welcome.|
|Architecture||Old & new|
|Criteria||1-2 (house/apartment), 1-4 (house/apartment), Apartments combinable, Rooms for 1-2 (hotel), Art, Lake/river, Pet-friendly, Urban, Workation, No car needed|
The calendar displays the current availability of the accommodation. Days with a dark grey background are not available, while days in light grey or white are available for bookings.
What a place! As soon as we saw the façade of the building in late-March, clad in María’s handmade tiles with their flowing foliage, we knew it was going to be magical visit. And it was—an enchanting home, with so much to delight and inspire (books, catalogues, artwork, ceramics). We stayed five nights in the apartment on the top floor, a very generous and comfortable space filled with light, a perfect retreat after long days of exploring the city and the Atlantic coast. María is the perfect host — warm and attentive, never intrusive. She knows the city very well — its galleries and museums, gardens and parks, cafés and restaurants. The house itself is easy walking distance to the centre of the Porto, and beyond. We look forward to a return visit next spring!
Stayed here in June. What a beautiful home and Maria is a wonderful host, nothing was too much trouble. The house is finished with so many unique and tasteful details, design classics and original artworks including much of Maria’s own beautiful work. It is central with small and large supermarkets nearby and within easy walking distance of the town centre. I can’t think of a better way to experience Porto.