Christian Louboutin picked Palácio Belmonte as his favourite home away from home.
The French shoe designer's preferred hideout is very close to the São Jorge castle (less than five minutes away); it could be the home of that couple of architect friends of yours who decided to restore the family manor, preserving its fully tiled rooms, its high wooden ceilings, the old library and living room. It's not actually owned by friends of yours, but you will be greeted like family anyway. Some believe it is the world's most beautiful boutique hotel, and we won't say otherwise. Featuring only ten suites each with living and dining rooms, a bedroom and a bathroom, the intimate mood is so valued by the staff you might feel you're at a B&B. All the better for couples in a romantic mood, and for visiting celebrities in search of some peace and quiet. For the full experience, the Bartolomeu de Gusmão suite has three floors and a spiral staircase that once led to a minaret and now is a private space overlooking old Lisbon's rooftops and the Tagus river. Despite lacking a restaurant (there are good alternatives in the vicinities), the hotel won't mind fulfilling the occasional food eccentricity – within reasonable limits. Breakfast is served in the room on a flexible schedule.
The outdoors area is small, but enough to host a black marble swimming pool and a pair of orange trees offering plenty of shade for a lazy afternoon enjoying the low rumble of the city. There is free wi-fi access throughout the hotel.