After a long day spent gallivanting around the city of the seven hills (admittedly pausing for the occasional pastéis de nata en route) it’s imperative you have somewhere a little special to lay your head (and rest those weary feet) come evening.
Cherry-picking six of Lisbon’s chicest hotels, our round-up has thought of everyone – from architectural aficionados to serious luxe-lovers – and where they might wish to bed down.
Plotted in an ancient courtyard in the city’s historic area of Alfama, Memmo Alfama was one of the first to boutique hotels to appear in the city, and remains one of the best. Sleek and fresh in design, the Scandinavian-inspired space boasts a cool-yet-cosy vibe. Designed as a series of spaces which reveal themselves to guests as they work their way through the hotel, your self-guided tour peaks at the terraced pool. With sprawling views of the River Tagus and the surrounding city, it’s the perfect spot for sundowners. While there’s no main restaurant (though the wine bar has a tapas menu if you’re feeling peckish) guests can enjoy a simple, continental breakfast in the living room before heading out to explore downtown, just a short stroll from home.
Santa Clara 1728
Santa Clara 1728 is the kind of hotel that will make design nerds weak at the knees. Located in the old cultural quarter of Lisbon, right by Lisbon’s flea market, this 18th-century palace has been transformed into a minimal and modern sanctuary of tranquility. Comprising of six bedrooms, decorated in the most calming of hues – think flaxen, duck egg, oat and so on – the design spec is really rather remarkable. Giant oil paintings lean up against the walls, there are limestone staircases to ogle over, and the minimalist wooden furniture is A-grade. Gather with the owners in the dining room for delicious dinners, which are open to all guests, and take the opportunity to discuss the design ethos behind the space between courses.
A stone’s throw from the Botanic Garden, The Vintage is an affordable Lisbon bolthole with some boastful credentials. Communal spaces present 70s style leanings, while bedrooms are decorated in rich tones – think dark woods and velvet upholstering – to a modern effect. Head to the roof for cinema nights or a pre-dinner drink created by mixologist Luís Levy at V Rooftop Bar. Other facilities include a compact subterranean spa with steam room, sauna, and jet pool. Free for hotel guests to use between 7–10AM and 2–5PM, outside these times, you’ll need to book in a pamper session – we recommend you do. Try a treatment which incorporates product by Portuguese brand Claus Porto.
Verride Palacio Santa Catarina
This historic townhouse it’s the stuff of Lisboan dreams. Perfectly located, the imposing property blends frescoes and clean lines to great effect. While the hotel’s two royal suites are adorned with decadent wood-carved or stucco ceilings, 18th-century blue and white bathroom azulejos (tiles), and custom-made, silk de Gournay wallpaper, the remaining bedrooms take a more minimalist approach. Clad in raw linen, the overall scheme for the majority of the hotel’s bedrooms focuses on neutrality. You’ll have no trouble nodding off to sleep in these cloud-like surrounds. Venture up the stately staircase to discover the rooftop terrace complete with pool and bar –why not spend an afternoon enjoying champagne and oysters poolside? And while we’re on the topic of sustenance, breakfast here is not to be missed. Served at the communal table, or on the terrace (if you’re feeling less social), the chef can whip up anything you heart desires.
Lively Bairro Alto is where The Lumiares calls home (and you can too – for a short while at least). Housing 47 apartments and penthouses, an elegant spa, plus a rooftop restaurant and bar (Lumi Rooftop Bar), this place ticks a lot of boxes. The design brief for this apartment-style stay would read: old-meets-new. Inspired by the bohemian district to which it belongs, much of the furniture and artwork on display is bespoke, drawing on the wealth of Portuguese artisanal producers. This traditional detailing is contrasted with contemporary touches of blush-toned walls, bold patterns, and brushed gold lights. In the apartments, Smeg kitchenettes are kitted out with high-end appliances offering guests the chance to cook up their own Portuguese feast. If that’s not your style, head to The Lumiares’ rooftop restaurant, or down the cobbled lanes of Barrio Alto, for dinner.
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
With a fresh new look, courtesy of Portuguese architectural studio OITOEMPONTO, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is positioned to become one of the city’s hottest spots this summer. There’s a new outdoor swimming pool and bar, as well as a new Ritz Bar terrace for al-fresco lunches and the like; as for the spa – it remains one of the best in Lisbon. Facelift aside, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has always been a sought after spot, thanks to its central position and proximity to the historic old town. Its impressive collection of mid-20th–century Portuguese art has also be known to persuade bookers. Once you’ve selected your dates and booked in, we suggest you promptly make a dinner reservation at CURA. If you’re looking to build out your itinerary, there’s also the hotels’ newly launched four-hour photography tour of Lisbon by vintage motorcycle – it’s a great way to discover well-loved and hidden spots across the city.