1980s children playing in water on a board, at the dam Alentejo Castelo do Bode
sisters snorkeling on a tropical beach in Tulum, Mexico
children enjoying swings in Porto in the 1980s
Joana and Sofia as children hanging out on sunny terrace in the Algarve in the 1980s
sisters hanging out by the swimming pool of the hotel Vidago Palace in the 1980s
A portrait of Joana and Sofia with a beautiful Lisbon building in the background
Hands holding a pile of books 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Porto' written by JO&SO

We're Joana and Sofia, two sisters from beautiful Porto in Portugal.

We’ve been discovering Portugal all of our lives. From memories of a 12-hour journey from Porto to the Algarve in a packed car when there weren’t even proper roads or street lights to garden walks in Vidago with our grandparents. Countless experiences that we hold close to our hearts.

We love travelling, and between the two of us, we have visited over 30 countries. We always try to find special places to stay – be it a fancy boutique hotel, a simple guesthouse, or a rural cabin. We look for beautiful design, thoughtful service, and good energy.

In 2015, in the aftermath of the economic recession that hit our beloved country so badly, we noticed something happening. From a couple of design-led guesthouses opening in the Miguel Bombarda neighbourhood in Porto to the first boutique hotel in Lisbon, and eco-stays that few people knew about popping up in rural areas.

A year later, we launched joandso.com as a fun side project, born out of a genuine desire to share our discoveries with you. JO&SO is an online guide to what we consider to be the best hotels in Portugal for like-minded travellers. It’s like a list of recommendations we’d give to our friends who plan to visit our beautiful country.

We also wanted to get to know the people behind the hotels we were featuring and bring their stories to light. At the time we couldn't find this anywhere and we thought this was such an important aspect. The vibe and the soul of places are directly connected to the creative minds behind them.

Our website became more popular than we ever imagined, having helped people from more than 100 countries plan their trip to Portugal. We’ve also appeared on national television in Portugal and France, picked up some lovely awards, and been featured in cool publications such as Condé Nast Traveller and New York Magazine.

In July 2021 our first book 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Porto' was published worldwide by Luster. We have brought together our local expertise for visitors who want to discover the lesser-known spots of Porto, and for locals who want to get to know their city even better. The book lists 500 things you need to know about Porto in 100 different categories.

“Sisters Joana and Sofia de Lacerda are the duo behind JO&SO, the most insider online guide to Portugal's coolest hotels.”

Condé Nast Traveller
May 2017 Magazine + Online Feature

What do we look for?

1

Beautiful
Design

For us, that means an uncommon attention to detail and an inspired approach to sourcing materials and objects. We like original touches and expressions of character.

2

Thoughtful
Service

This can come in many forms and the style of service should be unique to each place. It can be anything from no-fuss self-check-in, to staff remembering your dietary requirements on the second day.

3

Good
Energy

One thing we have learned is that it’s difficult to get the vibe of a place from just looking at pictures. That’s why it’s so important for us to personally visit the places we recommend. You can usually feel the good energy the moment you walk through the door.

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