Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Mon November 09 2015

A Taste of Porto Alegre, Brazil, at The City Hotel

Hotel & Resort | David Cogswell | November 09, 2015

A Taste of Porto Alegre, Brazil, at The City Hotel

PHOTO: The City Hotel in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by David Cogswell)

The street in front of the City Hotel in Porto Alegre, Brazil, is so narrow it feels like you could almost reach your arm across to the building across the street. The hotel is in the inner city, the historic district of Porto Alegre, within walking distance of the port area. It’s a business hotel in a business district.

The hotel is faced with the gray stone blocks of a city high rise building. It has large picture windows in front with brass-studded metal frames and wrought iron curlycue ornamentation. Blue awnings display the name of the hotel. The street is no thoroughfare and few cars drive by, although there is a bus stop across the street. 

The lobby has gray and white marble tile floors, beige marble tile pillars and walls, brassy crystal chandeliers, a green Persian rug defining a sitting area with a chrome and glass coffee table surrounded by plush leather couches, and a red carpet in front of the check in desk.

The rooms are strikingly Spartan, even bare, but functional, immaculate and somehow friendly. There is a partial partition between the sleeping area and an office work area with flat-screen TV mounted on top. A framed antique map is mounted on the wall over the desk. A wall mirror is next to the bed. Most of the walls are bare. A console controlling the room lights is mounted on the wall at the head of the bed, enabling you to control the room lights from the bed.

The City Hotel, as its name implies, is in the central business district. It’s ideal for people attending business meetings in the city, who make up most of its clientele. There is not much commercial activity in the neighborhood at night and there are no restaurants nearby that are open in the evening for dining. But there is a bar and restaurant and room service in the hotel. The room service menu is simple, but the food is excellent.

Wi-Fi is free and effective in the rooms and public areas. The hotel provides bicycles free for those so inclined. Rooms are available for as low as $44 a night.

Because of its location, the hotel would not be a likely choice for a tourist visiting Porto Alegre for sightseeing and tourism activities. But with a quick 20-minute taxi ride to the airport, it’s excellent for a stopover. And though the area does not have standard tourist attractions, the historic district is a pleasant environment for walking around looking at the old buildings and the ships at port.

Most important of all when you are a weary traveler is friendly service. The people at the City Hotel are extremely accommodating and friendly, never hesitating to answer your questions and address your needs, even if you don't speak the local language.

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