Hotel Borges Chiado
Time Out says
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If Marie Antoinette was on a budget she might be inclined to check into a suite at the Hotel Borges. The eccentric fit-out and furniture is reminiscent of a palace and will inject your holiday with some old-school glamour.
Okay, so the lobby doesn’t pack much punch, but step through to the dining area and you’ll see what we mean. Gold trimmings deck the ceiling, heavy curtains dress the windows, and the overall elegance reflects none of the clinical lacklustre experienced on the way in. The hotel’s 96 rooms have different moods and vibes. Some are modern, some are traditional, and some flaunt extravagance with fur blankets and velvet armchairs. Despite its glitzy get-up, the accommodation functions as a three-star hotel, so you can feel a bit posh without paying for the bells and whistles. If your room is at the front of the building your view will be of the busy Largo do Chiado. You won’t see far, but that’s a small price to pay for staying in the centre of the centre. There is no restaurant on the premises, and no need for one either, considering how many dining options you have in the vicinity. Breakfast is served buffet-style and there is a terrace with a bar to enjoy the sunny days.
Location: You won’t find a location much better than this. The hotel takes centre stage in Lisbon’s upmarket Chiado district and most sights are within walking distance.
Bairro Alto: Party up people, because this is where Lisbon’s social scene flourishes. Revelers spill onto the streets while cars squeeze through the crowds, and, beers in hand, everyone just has a dandy good time.
Royale Café: The cute Royale is a top spot for breakfast or lunch and serves creative spins on traditional Portuguese food.
Manteigaria: Pastéis de Belém may hold the gong for the original Portuguese custard tart, the pastel de nata, but Manteigaria gives them a run for their money for the tastiest. This place is widely reputed as having the best natas in central Lisbon, so try at least one, if not many.
Pop Cereal Café: For a slightly offbeat take on a café, trundle up to this dedicated cereal bar and dip your spoon into a curated masterpiece of Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies and other sugary delights.
Sea Me: This is one of Lisbon’s eminent seafood houses, so pull up a chair at the bar and dig in.
Good for: Leisure travellers will love the hotel’s central location.
Amenities: free Wi-Fi; laundry service
Time Out tip: Don’t be put off by the non-descript exterior of the São Roque church, a six-minute walk north of the hotel. Inside you’ll be dazzled by gold and can admire the ridiculously lavish Chapel of Saint John the Baptist (Capela de São João Batista), which was built in Rome and blessed by the Pope before being shipped to Lisbon. Also, don’t forget to look up—the ceiling is incredible.