We already knew that Lisbon was one of the most romantic cities on earth, but the fact that it had so many hotels perfect for a romantic getaway was a nice surprise. Whether it's because a delicious breakfast is served in bed or because you’ll get highly emotional with its breathtaking views, the best romantic hotels in Lisbon will make you fall in love even more.
The best romantic hotels in Lisbon
It's one of Lisbon's most prestigious locations, and the Memmo Group chose it for the brand's third hotel in Portugal. Starting with Sagres in the Algarve in 2007, then expanding to Lisbon's Alfama six years later, Memmo picked Príncipe Real for its most recent venture. Despite the tourist swarm, Príncipe Real is still mostly a genuine “Lisboner's Lisbon” district, cool and cosmopolitan, yet strangely lacking in terms of lodging. The building is brand new and its style is far from the Pombaline ideal of most of downtown Lisbon.
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. 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.
Picture yourself in a hotel that was once the main residence of a 19th century nobleman, the Marquis of Valle Flôr, a well-travelled man of refined taste. After his death, the building was left abandoned for more than 60 years, until being purchased by the Pestana group – who saw a diamond in the rough in this Petit Trianon of sorts. But only in 2001, after being designated a national monument, did the building open to the public as the Pestana Palace. It became the crown jewel of this hotel corporation, and it is considered one of the world's best luxury hotels. Madonna, a former guest, can attest to that.
The hotel is, inside and out, a worthy representative of late 1940s glamour. Its 70 rooms and suites, divided over six floors, are both kitschy and futuristic, with Art Déco features such as the golden, purple and wooden details, contrasting with the black and white contemporary decoration. The 16 Deluxe rooms have a balcony; all rooms have marble bathrooms and Egyptian cotton bed linens. Here's a tip – room 206 is the only one with a balcony in its bathroom. But if you really want the full retro-chic Altis experience, then ask for one of the (just two) suites.
Located within the old palace of the Counts of Paraty, it is a small deluxe hotel with the kind of gardens and outdoors areas that few city hotels enjoy.With only 19 rooms and suites, at the Hotel da Estrela luxury doesn't mean officiousness. The staff is thoughtful but not overwhelming, and whatever flaws they might have, they make up for it with their kindness and effort. Right in the vicinity, the Estrela garden is a local favourite on sunny weekends, but you might have to fight to get a free square metre of lawn, so you may want to enjoy the Lisbon sun quietly at the hotel's garden and swimming pool. In summertime there are picnics on the grass.
This boutique hotel opened in March 2016 and it occupies an 18th century Pombaline building, one of many erected after the 1755 earthquake. But don't think that crossing the number 20 door at the Praça do Município is some sort of time travel. Alma Lusa is modern and relaxed, geared towards a young crowd. It does have some elements of Portuguese history in its identity – the Alma Lusa Hotels group logo, for instance: that is a traditional Portuguese knocker – no adolescent jokes, please -, a small ring or iron-cast hand used either as locks for gates and doors or to knock on them. With its 28 rooms, it's a street away from the Chiado, the Ribeira das Naus and the busy downtown streets.
At Torel Palace, a boutique hotel consisting of two old palaces, you will find the best of two worlds: the speedy pace you would expect from a capital city and the peace and quiet you only obtain in a rural environment. Lisbon is not the countryside, that's for sure, but in some of its nooks and crannies life continues to be unhurried. The rococo décor, full of golden and florid details (had Marie Antoinette vacationed in Lisbon, this is where she would have stayed), is just one of the distinguishing features of this hotel. Another one is its unbeatable, instagrammable view: no other hotel spreads itself down a hill with such a fantastic view of the São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint, overlooking the Tagus and the Pombaline city centre.
Behind its 19th century facade Valverde is a boutique hotel whose distinguishing features are its artistic side and its immaculate service. Let's start from the beginning. Right upon arrival you will notice how seriously the building's renovation works were taken. The hotel has a bold aesthetic that brings out its classic features. That might have resulted in a schizophrenic style but instead it became Valverde's calling card, a non-dull history lesson. The 25 rooms and suites vary in size and type – the building's original structure did not allow for any major alterations. However, even the smaller rooms (a little bigger than 20 square meters) make up for their size with large bathrooms including a shower and a tub.
Belém includes the city's most famous monuments, such as the Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop (not, strictly speaking, a monument, but it might as well be). You would expect hotels to mushroom around here. But they don't, and so Altis Belém had space to grow undisturbed by competitors to become a luxury hotel with a Michelin restaurant. Modern on the inside and out, its trademark is the Tagus – it is very close to riverside. Within you will find a quasi-futurist setting unafraid of empty spaces and minimalist decoration, in a black and white scheme that only varies in theme rooms inspired by Portugal's former colonies.
Hidden among the mansions of four-surname-plus-two-hyphen-named families, this 19th century manor house is as close as it gets to a modern day royal palace. Its classical imperial style will have you constantly gaping even if you think you're immune to the charms of a wooden dresser, an elegant curtain or a crystal chandelier. The decoration and the landscape are different in each room (some face the Tagus, others the exotic garden). The palace suites have the largest four poster beds you will ever see, wherein two people can stretch diagonally and not touch each other. The gym with its heated swimming pool and the spa are great indoors options for a relaxed time, but on sunny days it's a sin not to enjoy the garden and the outer pool.