The best hotels in Alfama
The 19 rooms are all different in size, and even the most affordable ones include a range of amenities that you would not normally find in a boutique hotel: lots of space, a large bed, a full bathroom including, in some rooms, an old-style tub. There is neither a pool nor a garden, understandably so given the sloping terrain. But the roomy building allows for some extravagances, including an abundance of places to eat and drink: three different venues, each with a different style and purpose. At the Audrey café – named after the glamorous Ms. Hepburn – breakfast is served à la carte and has an immense selection of eggs, pancakes, toast, tea, yogurt and fruit. For lunch or supper, there's two good choices: Fábrica de Santiago and Manny's Bar.
The Riverside Alfama is the perfect starting point for a random tour of fado houses and typical eateries in the neighbourhood. Its 21 rooms are both generous in size and cosy; they also seem out of the same conveyor belt, given how their layout and décor are identical – or at least very similar. Whatever they might lack in originality they make up in comfort (great beds) and convenience (the hotel is five minutes from downtown or the Lisbon Cathedral, and less than 150 metres away from the Tagus). Breakfast is the only meal served, but once you step out on the street you will find a wide range of dining options – many of them with unbelievable views. Needless to say, tradition remains strong in Alfama, and thus fado prevails over any other music genre.