Fodor's Expert Review EPIC SANA

Av. Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 15, Lisbon, 1070-100, Portugal See on Map

This large five-star close to Lisbon's financial district has some of the best business facilities in town, but draws leisure visitors too thanks to stylish design and some truly luxe touches. Rooms are slick and modern, the hotel has excellent on-site restaurants and bars, and there's a stunning rooftop infinity pool as well as an indoor pool and spa. Its 311 rooms (including 20 suites) have every comfort imaginable, and the absolutely enormous buffet spread at breakfast is a real treat. A gym, two bars and grand gardens further add to the hotel's appeal. A short distance from the airport and conference centers, it's just a short walk from the famous Avenida da Liberdade, with its upscale shopping opportunities.

A hotel of this size would be out of place in the historic downtown, but the location, a short walk from a metro station and close to Avenida da Liberdade, is not too far from the city's main attractions.

YOU SHOULD KNOW This new-build hotel will appeal to those who like contemporary design and upscale facilities more than historic charm.

room

The hotel's 291 rooms and 20 suites tick all the boxes for a luxurious stay, with supremely comfortable beds draped in 300-thread count cotton linen and contemporary must-haves such as LCD TVs and Nespresso machines. Guests can even listen to their choice of music by hooking up to a sound system with Bluetooth connection. Rooms have either city or river views, and suites also have comfortable living areas. The decor leans towards neutral, with soft shades enhanced by bold blues, but there's a level of detail in each of the rooms that is often lacking in hotels of this size.

bathroom

The spotless, modern bathrooms have extremely powerful showers, some have wet rooms, and some also have tubs. All have plenty of high-end toiletries as well as professional grade hairdryers and makeup mirrors.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Some bathrooms have clear glass walls looking to the bedroom, which may not be to everybody's taste.

lobby

The large lobby has a 24-hour reception, extremely helpful concierge, and smart contemporary design with lots of clever lighting and crisp, white decor. A lobby bar near the reception has a large terrace, where guests can take afternoon tea or enjoy wine tasting sessions accompanied by Lisbon's famous golden sunsets.

pool

Surrounded by sun loungers and with panoramic views over Lisbon, the 9th-floor infinity pool is EPIC Sana's crowning glory, and the adjoining Upscale bar serves cocktails, coffees, and light finger foods such as sushi. The outdoor pool is open April through September, while the large heated pool at the hotel spa offers a chance for serious swimmers to get some laps in at any time of year.

spa

While there's a charge for treatments, guests can use the sauna, Turkish bath, and Jacuzzi for free.

gym

The Fitness Center is located inside the spa area and is open 24/7, with excellent cardio equipment and weights, as well as a studio for yoga and other classes.

dining

The Flor de Lis restaurant at EPIC Sana may be pricey by Lisbon standards, but many locals will attest that it's worth the high price tag. The light-filled space serves lunch and dinner, as well as a popular Family Brunch on Sundays, and is also the setting for vast buffet breakfasts. Chef Patrick Lefeuvre has created a menu that offers immaculately-presented Portuguese dishes as well as international fare ranging from Italian risottos to Moroccan tagine. Evening meals are fairly formal, but the hotel bars also serve light meals, including pastas and burgers, until 10.30pm.

The Sunday brunch sessions, held from 12:30 p.m. to 4p.m., offer a staffed kids' play area, and a buffet with child-pleasing dishes as well as a sushi station. Under-16s are half price, and kids under 6 eat for free.

drinking

EPIC Sana has two bars, both of which serve a huge range of cocktails, wines and traditional Portuguese spirits as well as coffees, soft drinks, and light meals. Scale, the lobby bar, is a quiet spot where guests gather for business drinks and pre-dinner tipples, while the rooftop bar Upscale (open April-September) is next to the pool and attracts a young and beautiful crowd for poolside drinks during the summer months. The bar does good sushi and sashimi, as well as cocktails.

LOCATION

Getting Around

Located in a modern part of town, the hotel is convenient for the airport, which is just 10-minutes' by car, cab, or airport shuttle bus. Marquês de Pombal metro station is a few minutes' walk away and has fast connections to the attractions of the historic center. A stroll along Avenida da Liberdade, with its fancy boutique stores and abundant pavement cafes, is a nice way to reach Rossio and Chiado, and the nightlife of the Bairro Alto is around 30-minutes' walk away, and can also be easily reached by public transport, cab, or Uber.

Restaurants

For a small city, Lisbon has a high number of Michelin-starred restaurants, including the excellent Eleven (15-minute walk) which is within easy walking distance of EPIC Sana, and serves high-end (with a high price tag to match) Portuguese dishes in a lovely setting overlooking Amália Rodrigues gardens.

Slightly less formal, Casa da Comida (literally 'House of Food', 10-minute walk) is one of Lisbon's longest-standing restaurants and serves traditional Portuguese dishes prepared with great flair. There's a sunny terrace, as well as a beautiful interior with lots of incredibly ornate tilework and furnishings that would not be out of place in a grand stately home.

Bars

Lisbon has no shortage of sunny terrace bars, but for something totally different, take a stroll to the well-hidden Procópio Bar (8-minute walk). Inside the Jardim do Amoeiras, the bar is tucked away from the street, and you need to ring a bell to enter. Once inside, there's friendly service and a fascinating Art Nouveau interior, while the lack of natural light means you can easily lose track of time here as you sip cocktails and listen to jazz.

There's a similar vibe at Foxtrot (20-minute walk), whose decor will thrill Art Deco fans and feels like stepping back in time, with its classic cocktails and retro-chic ambiance.

WHY WE LIKE IT

EPIC Sana is a chic contemporary hotel offering luxurious stays with an attention to detail rarely found in such a large-scale property. Rooms are stylish and comfortable, and the facilities are excellent. The spa is one of the best in town, and the rooftop pool and bar are seriously chic.

QUICK FACTS

Business, New, Views
291 rooms, 20 suites
Breakfast Yes, included
Lunch Yes, extra charge
Dinner Yes, extra charge
Bar Yes, 2
Cafe Yes
Room Service Yes
$$$$
Gym, Pool
Yes, free
Free Parking
No

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 21-159 7300

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