By Time Out Lisbon editors
Posted: Tuesday August 14 2018
From Portuguese classics steeped in history to big name chains and burgeoning newbies, Lisbon boasts some of the best hotels in the world. And how do they claim that title? By offering all the services you need to make you stay as unfussy as possible – and even some services you've never thought of before. These are places designed to cater for the higher echelons of society, the kind who refuse to accept anything less than perfect. So find your perfect stay with a look through our pick of the best luxury hotels in Lisbon.
Looking for something more unique? Have a look at the best boutique hotels in Lisbon.
Look out over the Tagus from one of the many windows in this glass tower. The InterContinental provides the lap of luxury, with elegant decor that harks back to the Golden Age of Hollywood glamour. There are vintage Azulejo ceramic tiles along the walls, the steak tartar at their exemplary restaurant Akla is well known and there's a wine cellar too. You can access free wifi everywhere in the building, use the onsite gym and take advantage of the private parking.
In Portugal the term pousada (hostel) is usually used to mean somewhere cheap and cheerful, but that's not the case here at all. Run by the SLH group – that's Small Luxury Hotels of the World – Pousada de Lisboa offers cosmopolitan luxury with a commitment to Portuguese art. Tapestries, sculptures and paintings line the lobby, stairwells, rooms and more. It's situated in the impressive Pombaline Interior Ministry building, which sits right on the banks of the Targus, overlooking Praça do Comércio.
Given the name, you'd be right to assume that this hotel was once a palace – belonging to Marquis of Valle Flôr no less. You'd also be right in guessing that Pestana Palace is a five-star establishment that is so high-end that even Madonna has stayed here. You may well just rub shoulders with the stars if you stay here, but if not, at least you can take advantage of the spa, gym, indoor/outdoor pools and three restaurant/bars.
The five-star Altis Avenida harks back to the sumptuous design of the 1940s. Rich gold trim and slabs of marble run throughout, with lovely modernist touches. Despite the retro glamour, you can rest assured that they have all the mod cons. Enjoy an elegant lobby bar, rooftop restaurant (Rossio) and 24-hour room service. Plus they're pet-friendly, so you can bring Fido along (so long as he's under 15kg) and they'll provide a bed and bowls
Formed from two old mansions built in the heart of Lisbon (on Colina Sant'Ana), Torel Palace boasts crisp rococo décor. All over are golden and florid details fit for a French monarch and, as if that weren't Instagrammable enough, you can get the most stunning views of the city from here. Torel Palace sprawls down a hill that rolls down to São Pedro de Alcântara and the Tagus beyond. Rooms here provide free wifi, minifridges, Nespresso machines and flat-screen TVs. There's a pool on the hillside, a gym, restaurant and bar.
This historic building was protected from alterations when renovations were being made, so much of its nineteenth-century charm remains. Naturally, this means the 25 rooms vary hugely in size, but even the smallest ones (little more than 20sqm) are decked out beautifully and have en suites (with tubs). Each room also has a different aesthetic, from neoclassical to Scandi midcentury modern. Guests can enjoy cocktails or afternoon tea in the restaurant/bar, live fado twice a week and a walled pool garden.
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.
The best thing about the Bairro Alto Hotel might be its location, right in the heart of Lisbon (if such a thing may be said to exist), at the Luís de Camões square, where Bairro Alto, Chiado, Cais do Sodré and Príncipe Real all come together: the perfect starting point for hitting every side of the city. In the vicinities you will find baroque churches, historic cafes, restaurants and shops; there is plenty to do for a day of strolling around. But it's at night, especially during the weekends, that the area really comes to life. Where it will lead, time will tell. You can be sure that returning to your room after a night out will be more or less like getting into heaven: a large, fluffy bed, perfect when you need a rest from a long day.