Grande Hotel do Porto opening.
Owned by Daniel Martins de Moura Guimarães, a wealthy porto citizen recently arrived from Brazil, the project was ordered to the architect José Geraldo da Silva Sardinha.
The building with a Victorian-style façade had all the luxury and commodities possible for that time, visible in the French mirrors, chandeliers, golden florins and sumptuous marble columns.
The hotel opened with 40 rooms, 5 suites (one royal suite) and several other rooms: Reading room, Music room, Games Room, Ladies Room. In the back, at Ateneu Comercial do Porto Street, the hotel had bath facilities, open to the public, with cold and hot water, exactly like in the hotel and something extremely rare at the time. Daniel Moura Guimarães invited Dr. Ricardo Jorge and Dr. Augusto Brandão to direct the showers and Paulo Lauret as a gym professor, in what would resemble a lot like a predecessor of a modern spa.
Drawn by the banqueting services, the balls and opulent parties that the hotel promoted, the most preeminent figures of the kingdom, from politics, art and society, started to visit the hotel that becomes a meeting point for Porto social life.
One of the most emblematic guests of the hotel in its early years were the Brazilian emperor and empress, that look for refuge here after the Brazilian Republic was proclaimed.
They arrived at Grande Hotel do Porto on the night of December 24th and occupied the hotel’s entire 1st floor that was at the time, specially adapted to receive the Royal committee.
In the last years of the XIX century, José de Oliveira Bastos, also recently returned from Brazil, joins the society and becomes co-owner of the hotel.
Death of Daniel Martins de Moura Guimarães.
With the death of Moura Guimarães, he’s children António and Isabel sold his part to their father’s partner and he began the first hotel refurbishment and enlargement work.