If you’ve ever stepped into a hotel room and immediately started taking pictures because you want to copy everything, prepare to get (very) camera phone happy at The Vintage Lisbon…
For the thematic Instagrammers amongst us, hotel rooms come in a trio of striking tones: relaxing deep blue, playful terracotta pink, or inspiring botanical green. I’m shown to the dreamiest of all-blue bedrooms on the 5th floor, which is flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows that give me a postcard vista of Lisbon’s street scenes from above.
The Vintage Hotel epitomises mid-century glamour in the most modern way, thanks to a major refurbishment this spring. Think one-off furniture pieces, personal bar trolleys stocked with G&T and snacks, and a box of Couto Vintage Toothpaste that’s all very Mad Men chic.
This is a boutique hotel that ticks all the boxes for restaurant, bar, spa and rooftop with serious personality. Plus, they serve unlimited mini pasteis de nata at the breakfast buffet (we won’t tell if you won’t)…
Don’t even think about not matching your vacation outfit to the city’s decorative ceramic tiles.
THE PACKING EDIT
The Vintage Lisbon may be uber-slick in its design aesthetic but, as a buzzy 5* city hotel, it’s both inviting and friendly. Walk into the reception and there are glass jars of pick ‘n mix sweets that guests can help themselves to, on check-in the receptionist offers a cool curated map showing you the best hotspots to visit in Lisboa, and your room says a big ‘hello’ via a survival minibar kit featuring DIY Vintage G&T with a how-to recipe that includes dried lemon and fig and a cinnamon stick.
It’s not just the bedrooms that have vibe-inducing colour schemes, but every communal space has its own distinct mood. There are just 56 bedrooms so the communal zones aren’t packed but Lisbon’s coolest residents have already cottoned onto the It hangouts, such as V Rooftop Bar, that’s like a mini jungle oasis with a view. There’s more mid-century design dreams via the the ocean-inspired Blue restaurant that combines three spaces: glamorous dining space, jazzy central bar and (my favourite) bijoux al fresco patio featuring a suspended vertical garden.
The Vintage has perfected the art of designing a hotel room that make you want an early night. From the one-off mid-century original furniture to the dark wooden floors and colour-schemed décor that adjust with the light, it’s like walking into a glamorous film set bedroom each night. I’m guilty of judging a hotel room based on their amenities and The Vintage passes with flying colours, thanks to its pretty vessels of Claus Porto toiletries lining the giant washbasin and marble shower. The 132-year-old Portuguese soap and perfume brand is typified by its vintage packaging and local ingredients so it’s an excellent fit with the hotel vibe.
Now, back to that magic bar cart… Although there’s still a discreet mini fridge stocked with complimentary craft beer by Lisbon’s Lince, the vintage mid-century bar cart in every room feels more personal. Guests get a generous first round of free Sharish G&T, craft beers and bar snacks, plus there’s a seemingly never-ending supply of pastéis de nata to nibble on between restaurant reservations, aka heaven.
In stark contrast to the light, colourful spaces of the hotel, The Vintage’s subterranean spa is dark, moody and serene, making it the perfect place to switch off from the buzz of the city. Think subdued lighting, muted tones and shimmering mosaic tiling. The spa includes a sauna, steam room, tranquillity pool with jacuzzi jets, and a veiled tranquillity lounge that overlooks the water where you can kick back with an organic spa tea.
Treatments feature either Comfort Zone or Sultane de Saba products and the spa menu is just as bespoke as the curated hotel map… As well as more unusual offerings like the Vichy Shower water body massage (€75 for 40 minutes) and Candle Massage using melted warm wax (€85 for 60 minutes), there are two Vintage Signature treatments that are worthy of some horizontal downtime. The Vintage Full Body Massage is customised to your mood (€85 for 50 minutes), and the all-singing-all-dancing 2-hour The Vintage Ritual combines black soap exfoliation, steam, massage and facial (€150 for 120 minutes) so you leave the spa floating.
WHAT TO DO
Centrally located, the famous Avenida Liberdade and Bairro Alto, Chiado and Principe Real are all on your doorstep at The Vintage so you can meander through the pretty tiled streets. Word from the wise: take flat shoes with grips to navigate the ceramic floor tiles. If you want a whistle-stop tour of Lisbon’s major tourist highlights, a guided tuk-tuk tour is a great way to whizz around the city on a sunny day – we used Tejo Tourism (www.tejotourism.pt).
There are mandatory stop-offs for more pastéis de nata whenever you need them, including the original Pastéis de Belém, but be prepared for a tourist queue – it’s popular! Rooftops are a big deal in Lisbon, and rightly so with the cityscape views you can soak up over a bottle of wine. For lunch or dinner with some of the best views of Lisbon, go to Lumi Rooftop Bar & Restaurant at the top of The Lumiares – The Vintage’s equally chic sister hotel (thelumiares.com), or Rossio Gastrobar, on the 7th floor of the Altis Avenida Hotel (www.altishotels.com).
If you want to venture out of town, a visit to the picturesque Quinta da Boa Esperança winery (quintadaboaesperanca.com) 30 minutes from the city is a must. After tastings of the white, red and rosé, it’s pretty much compulsory to leave with at least one bottle to take home as a Lisbon souvenir.
How to get there
TAP Air Portugal has up to 8 daily departures from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Manchester to Lisbon, with prices from £93 return. Visit www.flytap.com or call 0345 601 0932
Click here to read on for how to spend a weekend in Lisbon