57 rooms, five meeting rooms with total capacity for 560 people. An investment of five million euros and 20 new jobs. These are some of the numbers that describe the Sea Porto Hotel, the new space that Matosinhos must receive its visitors. José Armando Ferrinha, mentor of the project, tells us about the origin of the project and its plans for the future.
Located in the middle of Av. D. Afonso Henriques, one of the most central and oldest areas of Matosinhos, the Sea Porto Hotel has been open since the beginning of August. The space was born with the intention of supplying a need that José Armando Ferrinha, investor of the enterprise, indicates to have identified. “I wanted to respond to the needs of our land, in satisfying the needs that it has and in an economic and financial aspect. I had to analyse the opportunity and profitability. We must minimize the risks, which I tried to do due to the location, which in tourism is fundamental. I think this unit is therefore well located. It is served by metro, is in the heart of Matosinhos and has a view of the sea”, he said. The new hotel in the municipality was financed entirely by national private investments and is responsible for the creation of 20 new jobs. This investment in space, which takes place in an old housing building, the construction of which was unfinished, was five million euros. The entire concept of interior design of the hotel is based on the naval and maritime tradition of Matosinhos and on national culture. The decoration even has references to the work of Siza Vieira, as explained by the person in charge. “Being a son, grandson and great-grandson of shipbuilders and carpenters, linked to naval art, it couldn’t be different”, said José Armando Ferrinha. The establishment is classified with four stars and has 57 rooms, whose prices vary between 70 and 148 euros, depending on the time of year and the desired comfort. In addition, the space is also equipped with a Deck Bar with terrace, where it is possible to taste various types of snacks and drinks. In addition to these facilities, the project has five different event rooms, with the names of Farol, Boa Nova, Bombordo, Porto and Leixões, which can accommodate up to a maximum of 560 people. Another point worth noting is the fact that the construction of Sea Porto considers new environmental concerns: the hotel is fully equipped with LED lamps and focuses on waste separation.
AN ANSWER TO THE COUNCIL’S NEW NEEDS
The appearance of the Sea Porto Hotel is part of a period of growth in tourist activity in northern Portugal. According to data from Turismo do Porto and North of Portugal (TPNP), tourism in the Porto region recorded an average growth of 10.70% last year. This growth in tourist activity also extends to the neighbouring areas of the city of Porto, in which Matosinhos assumes a prominent role. The numbers of the new cruise terminal, as mentioned in an announcement by the Administration of the Ports of Douro, Leixões and Viana do Castelo (APDL), amount to a volume of 107 ship calls in 2017.
It was in this context that José Armando Ferrinha saw the opportunity to gather private investment for this new space. In the mentor’s opinion, the hotel will be mostly used by business travellers, although they believe in the city’s tourism potential. “I think it will be perhaps a little more for businessmen. But we have a lot of Spanish visitors, since we have a twinning relationship with Vilagarcia de Arousa, a Galactic community located on the North Atlantic axis, which brings many customers from that area. They are a demanding people, which is good for us. It is in the degree of demand that we grow”, he says.
BET ON SERVICE EXCELLENCE
Although he defines himself as a discreet man who does not like to publicize his activities or media coverage, José Armando Ferrinha already has extensive experience in the hotel industry. The person in charge is also an administrator and shareholder at the TRYP Porto Expo Hotel, in Leça da Palmeira. An experience that leads the investor to highlight the difficulty that it represents to work in this sector. “It is an investment of millions with the use of pennies. You have to work through day and night, 24 hours a day,” he says. In this follow-up, José Armando referred to our magazine that although he is concerned with the growth in the occupancy rate of space, the highest priority is to fine-tune the quality of the establishment’s service. “This service depends a lot on us, but also on our customer’s behaviour.
We must be very well prepared to serve each other. Not everyone can be, the people in the hospitality industry must be people who like people. We are the hosts”. Despite this, the owner is satisfied with the demand for guests that has so far flocked to the Sea Porto Hotel and believes that it will continue to evolve favourably until the end of the year.