Right next door to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (national antique art museum), as Janelas Verdes is a small boutique hotel that prides itself on first-rate service and attention to detail. The late 18th Century building, formerly home to Portuguese aristocracy, has been beautifully restored, and original features, such as ornate tiles, have been preserved. Decorated in the Classic Portuguese style the Inn has a library, courtyard, and small garden. Breakfast can be enjoyed al fresco on sunny days, and guests can help themselves to drinks and snacks from a "help-yourself" bar that works on an honor system.
Each of the rooms and suites has been individually designed, and some have terraces with terrific views over the River Tagus. The hotel is located on a largely-residential street away from the buzz of Lisbon city center, but it's a short walk or cab ride to all the main sights. The hotel is part of the Heritage Lisbon group, a small group of hotels offering boutique stays in historic settings.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The location, on a back street away from downtown nightlife restaurants, is excellent for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle, but some people may prefer to be closer to the sightseeing and dining action.
Each of the rooms and suites at As Janelas Verdes is unique, and all are furnished with carefully-chosen art works and antique furnishings. Complimentary carafes of port are provided in every room. Sizes vary from compact to spacious, and some rooms have balconies with gorgeous views. The rooms are filled with natural light from large windows and, while the design maintains a sense of history, guests can expect modern comforts such as in-room wifi, modem ports, LCD TVs, and safes. Excellent double glazing virtually eliminates all street noise, and comfy beds mean guests are virtually guaranteed a good night's sleep.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There are no mini-bars, but guests can make their own hot drinks in a shared lounge, and take drinks and snacks from the honesty bar.
Bathrooms continue the classic feel of the hotel, with deep tubs, comfy robes and slippers, and top quality Molton Brown amenities.
The public spaces at As Janelas Verdes are a large part of its charm. The small lobby with its ultra-helpful 24-hour reception is filled with curiosities such as busts of historical figures and antique maps. Armchairs and sofas invite guests to snuggle up with a book on cooler days--there's even a working fireplace--and the third-floor library is a major boon for book worms.
As Janelas Verdes is a good option for a stay of a week or more--both the hotel and the surrounding area have lots of treasures that can easily be overlooked on a flying visit
Breakfast is a lavish affair, with all manner of hot and cold dishes served in the courtyard during the summer, and in the rather grand dining room when weather is cooler. Pastries and other light snacks are available throughout the day, and light meals can be ordered via room service.
Ask reception staff for recommendations about nearby dining options--they can advise on many local choices that don't feature in the guidebooks.
As Janelas Verdes has a spacious third-floor honor bar, where guests can mix themselves a drink and settle up the tab on departure. Drinks can be enjoyed at leisure with great views over city and river.
The famous complimentary port is particularly enjoyable when taken on the terrace at sunset.
The area is pleasant to explore on foot, but--as is often the case in Lisbon--comfy shoes are necessary or negotiating the hills. Buses stop close to the hotel, and it is a 15-20 minute walk to the metro, train and ferry hub at Cais do Sodre. Cabs are easily available.
Madragoa Cafe (8-10 minute walk) is a good bet for steaks, seafood, and friendly service in the newly-trendy neighborhood of Santos. No foodie visitor should come to Lisbon without visiting the Time Out Market (15-20 minute walk, 10-minute cab ride), a gourmet food hall where some of the city's best-regarded restaurants run miniature versions of their famous eateries.
The hotel is within staggering distance of Rua Nova do Carvalho (nicknamed Pink Street in honor of its painted asphalt. On the brightly-hued, bar-lined strip, Pensao Amor is a must-visit, with its hipster-pleasing bar, kooky decor, and the chance to browse books or even have your palm read. The once-rundown docks at Alcantara also offer some smart new waterfront bars, while the same area also attracts hordes of hipsters to Village Underground, which hosts live music events and DJ sessions (20-25 minute walk or 10-minute cab ride).
WHY WE LIKE IT
As Janelas Verdes is a boutique hotel with a sense of history, gorgeous decor, and service goes above and beyond the average hotel stay. The location couldn't be better for art lovers and history buffs--situated right next to the Museu de Arte Antiga (hotel guests get free entry) and close to the grand mansion homes of Lapa and the traditional terraced houses of Santos. Keen walkers will find the neighborhood fun to explore on foot, and it's around 15 minutes' walk to downtown Lisbon with its buzz of sightseers and locals. Many of the best restaurants in the immediate vicinity are simple, family-run affairs, where it is possible to enjoy a hearty set meal and house wine for an astonishingly low price. Nearby, Santos is a newly-trendy area, and its steep cobbled streets are home to many small tapas bars and sushi restaurants. Aside from the art museum, the hotel is well placed for sights such as the Museu da Marioneta (puppet museum, a hit with families) in nearby Santos, and within walking distance of Alcantara, with its museums, waterfront cafes and hipster hangouts (notably the Village Underground and LX Factory). A stiff climb through Santos and Lapa is worth the effort to reach the Basilica da Estrela and nearby Jardim de Estrela Gardens. As Janelas Verdes is a good option for a stay of a week or more--both the hotel and the surrounding area have lots of treasures that can easily be overlooked on a flying visit.