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 wasn’t even a proper road 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. What matters to us is their character (more on that below).
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 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 a collection of our favourite places to stay and go 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 wanted to get to know the people behind the places 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 successful than we had ever envisaged. We have helped people in over 56 countries plan their trip to Portugal, won nice awards and been featured in some pretty cool publications including 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.
What do we look for?
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.
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.
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.
We are content makers and storytellers who love to work with like-minded brands.
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