Inauguration of the Grande Hotel do Porto
Property of Daniel Martins de Moura Guimarães, a wealthy Porto native, recently arrived from Brazil. Moura Guimarães commissioned the architectural design of the hotel from the architect José Geraldo da Silva Sardinha.
The building with a Victorian façade included the most modern features in terms of comfort, convenience and luxury. The French mirrors, the golden rosettes and the marble columns are proof of this opulence.
The hotel had 40 rooms, five suites, (one of them the royal suite) and other spaces: Reading Room, Music Room , Games Room and Ladies Room. At the back of the Hotel, on Rua do Ateneu Comercial do Porto, were the changing rooms, open to the public with hot and cold water, something very rare at the time. Daniel Moura Guimarães invited Dr. Ricardo Jorge and Dr. Augusto Brandão for shower directors and Paulo Lauret for gym teacher, in what would be a worthy predecessor of the modern spa's.
The Grande Hotel do Porto offered banquets, dances and parties that attracted notable figures from the Kingdom, politics, art and society.
In the same decade the Emperors of Brazil – D. Pedro II and D. Teresa Cristina occupy the first floor, which was specially adapted to receive the royal entourage. The Empress would not leave, dying 4 days later from an advanced heart injury.
In the last years of the 19th century, José de Oliveira Bastos, who had also returned from Brazil, joined society, becoming co-owner of the hotel.