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O’Porto Seven
— since 2012 —

Few experiences provide greater knowledge about those around us, like making housing available. Today we tell the story of Maria Bernardete and Paula, who improved the art of welcoming and who, after remodelings, laws and setbacks, called a corner in Rua Oliveira Monteiro, no. 581, witness to countless lives, O'Porto Seven.

The route of this guesthouse begins, in 1980, with Bernardete. In 1979, she left behind the world of catering, by selling the restaurant which she had explored in Ermesinde. She moved to Porto and bought the assignment from a residential building, which she named 'Maria Bernardete Residencial', at a time when the city was a little different. On the one hand, it was already defined with traits of professional attractiveness in various sectors, but, unlike its present, did not have the huge offer of local accommodation. The labor force that flowed into the city was met with few housing options, a single room even, and therefore the residences had a, euphemistically speaking, unique operation. In Paula's more straightforward words, people were ‘thrust’ into any available space. They were lives marked by difficulty, but also full of unique experiences. Bernardete, who lived in her own residence, witnessed the course of countless residents, and even became the godmother of many unions that sprang up with the close coexistence.

For her, her business was inseparable from her own life and as soon as she had the chance, she bought the house. It was the year of 1998 and Bernardete took the opportunity to make substantial changes to the building. Housing realities had begun to change and tenants were already looking for a concept with more privacy and space, as well as occupying rooms for shorter periods. The divisions were thus redesigned to the format they are in today, and from the original architecture, only the floors and stairs remained.

It was also at this time that she met Paula, future companion by profession. Paula, in her own words, took a leap of faith, having no experience in the area. She studied management and her professional experience was on accounting, but she did not fail to see the possibilities of Bernardete's activity. Long were the evenings in which the two discussed ideas on how to improve the service provided, from the time they began to work together in 2003. In 2012, the City Hall of Porto launched the new local housing law, which necessarily requalified all accommodation business as such. To continue to exercise their activity, Bernardete and Paula adapted their business, in order to take on a new concept of guesthouse. Paula investigated the new digital synergies, namely the possibility of establishing partnerships with booking.com and ended up opening a new chapter in the history of the house.

The transformation was based on the personal tastes of the two entrepreneurs. In short, they conceptualized the new space according to what they would like to find when staying in accommodation: comfort in the room, minimalist decor, impeccable cleanliness and a fantastic breakfast (something few guesthouses can boast about). They also made it a point to have at their disposal Portuguese articles, whether they are food items (crackers, typical biscuits, among others) or textiles. O'Porto Seven has also been able to merge the centennial facade of the building that fits in with delightful details of modernity, of which the hot tubs present in four of the seven rooms are the main stars. The other three are not overlooked as they boast hydro-massage cabins. Also note that all rooms have central heating and air conditioning. If all this comfort seems to invite you to stay excessively in the guesthouse, don’t be mistaken: curiosity is piqued by the names of the different rooms, which invite you to visit the various monuments or points of interest of Porto that lives outside the residential. This discovery, on the other hand, is easy, due to the centrality of the establishment, which enjoys excellent transport solutions, such as underground and buses.

The name of the business is a reference to the number of rooms available and to Invicta itself. Oliveira Monteiro street has undergone some changes swapping beautiful homes for buildings, but some things at O'Porto Seven seem destined to remain forever the same. An example is the phone number of the establishment, to which during all these years only a ‘0’ has only been added, as well as a '22' (the area code). Paula and Bernardete were pioneers in the guesthouse concept and this is noticeable in the sensitivity and experience with which they deal with their clients, characteristics which are also immutable.
If you want to visit invicta, there is no better place to rest.  
O'Porto Seven