This style-conscious boutique hotel could hardly be better located for the downtown sights, located right next to the Praça dos Restauradores. Part of the Heritage Lisbon group of respectfully-converted historic buildings, the hotel occupies a handsome historic townhouse, artfully restored by the architect Miguel Cancio Martin. Some of the design elements may fail to convince all guests, but there are cute touches, such as the traditional Portuguese paving in the elevator. The optional breakfast is taken in the lobby, with its outsize armchairs and low tables. There's a small pool with water jets, a gym, and a library. Breakfast is quite the spread and can be taken until noon.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The 3 p.m. check in is a little later than most Lisbon hotels, but guests arriving earlier can stow their luggage here and set off for a spot of sightseeing
With high ceilings and retro furnishings, the rooms are spread over six floors, and are simply decorated (brown, white and cream tones dominate), and preserve original architectural features. No two rooms are alike, and sizes and views vary quite dramatically. Beds are comfortable across the board, with lots of plump pillows, and there are some nice touches such as complimentary bottles of Port and mineral water, free in-room Wi-Fi, cable TV, and DVD players (guests can borrow films from the library). Some rooms have French windows, and most have a pleasant view of this historic neighborhood.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some rooms lack the flair of other Heritage Lisbon properties.
Bathrooms are large, with deep tubs, and luxurious touches such as Molton Brown amenities. Hairdryers, robes, and slippers are standard.
The hotel lobby marries a classic style--restored Pombaline wall tiles catch the eye--with some more contemporary features such as statement art works and bold wallpaper patterns. The lobby is also used as a Tea Room--guests can enjoy tea, pastries, and port here each afternoon.
The hotel fits a lot into the ground floor reception--the breakfast room and bar are also found here.
The hotel has a small pool in the similarly-petite fitness center--something of a rare treat for a small city center property. It's better suited to post-sightseeing relaxation than serious swimming, and the water jets are good for a spot of hydromassage.
The basement fitness center is small and has limited facilities, but it's well maintained and will suit visitors looking to put in a few miles on the treadmill before a dip in the pool.
There's no restaurant for lunch and dinner, but the late breakfasts (served until midday) can easily serve as lunch, while the afternoon teas should prevent energy levels from flagging late afternoon.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The afternoon tea is a bit of a misnomer--you can take tea, but most guests opt for Port.
There's a small bar in the lobby area and plenty of comfy armchairs for relaxing with a drink.
The hotel has good public transport links, and taxis are easy to come by. Restauradores metro station is less than five minutes' walk, and Rossio train station--the starting point for trips to Sintra--is less than 10 minutes on foot. The airport is around five miles away and is easily reached by taxi. Those with heavy bags may prefer cab or Uber. Major downtown sights such as Rua Augusta and Praça do Comércio, can be reached on foot, and there are plenty of places to refuel with coffee when making the climb to loftier spots such as Alfama (a 25-30 minute walk away).
Avenida da Liberdade is lined with simple cafes and pleasant esplanade bars, but for fine dining, it's well worth heading to Belcanto (15-minute walk), the double Michelin starred restaurant from Portuguese gastronomic superstar Jose Avillez. With just 28 seats, the intimate restaurant is an experiential treat, and haute cuisine in Portugal comes at a more accessible price than elsewhere in Europe. A slightly shorter walk away, Bairro do Avillez (12-minute walk) is the chef's 2016 opening and is a mini-neighborhood with a relaxed restaurant, a tavern for drinks and small eats, and a store selling gourmet goodies.
The hotel is less than 15 minutes' walk from the famously lively Bairro Alto, with its street party vibe and more austere fado houses. Adega Machado (10-15 minute walk) is a cozy spot for wine with a fado backdrop from some talented local singers. Topo Chiado (12-minute walk) is one of many lovely terrace bars that does a roaring trade during Lisbon's long, sunny summer.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Heritage Avenida Liberdade combines historic charm with bold modern flair, and its location is perfect for sightseeing, shopping and enjoying Lisbon's street cafes and late-opening bars and restaurants. Staff are friendly, and the atmosphere is upscale without being snooty. With no in-house restaurant guests will need to dine elsewhere, but there's no shortage of foodie adventures to be had in the city and many restaurants--from Michelin-starred fine dining to low-key taverns and tascas, are close at hand. The hotel can arrange babysitting services, should parents fancy a child-free night out in the city.