The Hotel Palanca is a nice 2 star hotel situated just a 5 minute walk from Marques Metro station (line D Yellow) which itself is only a few stops from Sao Bento rail station also after Sao Bento the tram/metro travels on before crossing over the top level of Ponte de Dom Luis bridge with it's stunning views over the river and to metro stop Jardim do Morro for Vila Nova de Gaia.
If arriving by metro as you walk up the escalator to exit the metro into the small square with it's trees, cafe, small bandstand and it's seating benches around this nice square, walk a few metres to the road in front of you and then walk left along that road and up ahead you will see a large red Firestone sign on the side of a building and just past this there is a set of traffic lights, turn right at these lights and the Hotel Palanca is about 150 metres up on the left.
On arrival I was met with a warm welcome, all the staff on the front desk were very helpful especially Peter and Anabela and all spoke English, also on the ground floor is a lounge area with television and a relaxing seating area and behind this is the hotel breakfast area, on the subject of breakfast a couple of reviews were not to kind about breakfast but I found it to be perfectly adequate, cereal, meats, cheese, different types of rolls, fresh fruit, yogurt etc certainly enough to get you through the morning.
My room was on the 5th floor with a decent size double bed, television with satellite channels, the bathroom was not huge but served it's purpose. Also there are 2 lifts (Elevators) so you should not have to wait to long for one.
The hotel was very clean and as mentioned the front desk staff were very good and very helpful regarding getting around Porto, well just very helpful with almost any question you had. As already mentioned getting around and into the centre was not a problem, one thing I would mention is that all the tickets machines at Marques Station (there is no ticket offices on the metro system) were out of service for 4 of the 6 days I was there, so get you tickets or Andante card at the Airport or another station and what I was doing was topping up my Andante card when needed at another station so I did not get stuck without a ticket to travel, fines are heavy if you do not have a ticket and you will see inspectors checking on the metro fairly regularly.
Overall I was really pleased with my stay at the Palanca it was great value for money, clean with helpful front desk staff and as mentioned no problem about getting in and about town. On the price situation the busier this hotel gets the more they put the room prices up and into a whole new price range (Not just high season) and at these much higher prices I would certainly start looking elsewhere, but for the price I paid for my 6 night stay at the Hotel Palanca I would say it really is worth a look at while checking out a place to stay in Porto, my stay was indeed enjoyable.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review and may I wish you happy travels but above all may they always be SAFE one's.
With 3 Credits in The Rough Guide Travel Books.
France, Turkey and China.