There is no shortage of decent budget accommodations options in Centro (which tends to be a bit abandoned at night). Posher options can be found in upscale Moinhos de Vento, home to the city’s fashionable restaurant and bar scene. Since Porto attracts far more business travelers than actual tourists, hotels offer weekend discounts. The quasi Continental climate ensures that most hotels have heating in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer.
After viewing the gleaming art deco exterior of the Hotel Lancaster (Travessa Engenheiro Acelino de Carvalho 67, tel. 51/3224-4737, www.hotel-lancaster-poa.com.br, R$80–85d), the rather bland modern interior comes as a bit of a letdown. The rooms are pleasant enough, though basic and rather small. Still, the hotel is good value and is well located in the midst of Porto Alegre’s commercial hub.
Opened in 1951, the interior of Porto Alegre City Hotel (Rua Dr. José Montaury 20, tel. 51/3212-5488, www.cityhotel.com.br, R$185–208 d) hasn’t changed that much in half a century. The marble lobby, decked out in dark wood and red plush chairs, exudes a certain retro elegance, as do the wood-paneled fitness room and billiards. The remodeled rooms, while hardly luxurious, retain an old-fashioned aura that is hard to come by in Porto Alegre’s mostly modern chain hotels.
Speaking of modern chains, if you feel like a little luxury without forking out too many reais, the Blue Tree Towers (Av. Colonel Lucas de Oliveira 995, tel. 51/3019-8000, www.bluetree.com.br, R$248–286) is a very sleek and attractive high end choice in the pretty residential bairro of Bela Vista. Rooms are tastefully appointed and very comfortable. Amenities include an Internet café and access to a high-end local gym.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition