The Portuguese word “pousada” usually means no-frills lodging for short stays. That is not what's on offer here. The newest addition to the Pestana Group family is the fulfilment an old promise to the city; some doubters thought Lisbon would never be a part of the Pousadas de Portugal roster.
Last year it finally came to be, as this “Pousada” with a capital P moved into a Pombaline-style building in the Terreiro do Paço, which once housed Portugal's Interior Ministry. Nothing too particular about that, except that it is covered by the Rua Augusta Arch and thus it has been designated a National Monument. The city guarantees its unimpeded view of the Tagus.
Inside you will find a cosmopolitan, luxurious hotel, one that proudly displays its commitment to Portuguese arts. Its corridors and salons have art niches with tapestries by Nadir Afonso and sculptures of St. Anthony. The building's original high ceilings and wooden floors have been preserved. It's not a museum-hotel, but it's close. There are 90 rooms and suites of varying sizes, all of them comfortable and spacious. Not every each one is overtly romantic – there's family rooms as well – but the ambiance will certainly put you in the mood: the relaxing marble showers, that particular Tagus glow and the remarkable beds, so great they will make you rethink what a bed should be, so nice you will feel even better than at home.
Breakfast comes with a choice: either join the buffet, ignore that it's still early morning and have a flute of champagne (included in the menu), or stay snug in your bed and wait for room service. The only thing missing from the Pousada is a backyard garden. But if you're looking for sunshine, a small terrace with loungers is available, and so are an inner swimming pool, a gym and a spa. If you miss the open air, well, Lisbon is all around you.
Timeout tip: on your way out, turn left and follow the signs towards the Lisbon Sé (five minutes on foot). On the way, treat yourself with a long lunch at Pois Café and cap the afternoon with a Portuguese wine tasting at the counter of Wine With a View, an old pastry shop turned into a wine bar. If you're looking for a quiet place to have dinner, you will easily find it in the vicinities. Here are a couple of good Italian food restaurants: Esperança and, a few meters farther, the Cantina Baldracca (perfect if you're on a budget).