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Alma Lusa Hotel
© Time Out LisboaAlma Lusa Hotel

The coolest hotels in Lisbon

Shun the faceless big brand hotels and instead opt for somewhere a little quirkier with our guide to Lisbon’s on-trend hotels

Written by
Time Out Lisbon editors
&
Rhys Thomas
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Lisbon has become something of a tourist hotspot in recent years, and with this comes the rise of the big, hotel chains. When it comes to choosing a place to stay though, we know the Time Out traveller wants to stay somewhere that’s a bit different, under-the-radar and, most importantly, fun. When drawing up this list, we took into account design, location, service, amenities, architecture and value for money, while also considering their general vibe and aesthetic. From small low-key and tasteful boutiques to hotel spas bursting with luxury, the options are all here for you. Now all you need to do is book...

Note: please check the latest travel guidance before booking your trip.

RECOMMENDED: Best cheap hotels in Lisbon

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The coolest hotels in Lisbon

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Avenida da Liberdade/Príncipe Real
  • price 3 of 4

The Memmo Príncipe Real is one of the group’s 10 hotels in Portugal (their first opened in 2007 in the Algarve, followed six years later by Alfama). Unlike a lot of Lisbon, which has taken off as a major tourist destination in recent years, this area north of Barrio Alto is still a favourite among trend-savvy locals. Príncipe Real is in fact, one of Lisbon's most exclusive places to visit, and the spot is short of hotels, which makes this one particularly special. Its purpose-built, modern style also sets it apart from the Pombaline aesthetic of downtown Lisbon. It's also decked out with quality in mind. Each room has air-conditioning, but more than that – they're equipped with a modern Bang & Olufsen TV and many have terraces. The receptions are beautiful too, so if you don't want to leave that's fine, but you could explore the good area and use this as the opulent rest-your-head place you deserve!

Hotel da Estrela
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Lisbon
  • price 3 of 4

While Lisbon has a number of green spaces dotted around its outskirts, downtown can sometimes seem like a maze of tram lines, tiles and narrow, winding streets. Booking in a Hotel da Estrela guarantees some green space at the start and end of each day, and its gardens are perfect for a spot of relaxing in the sun on those days when sightseeing seems all too much. With just 19 rooms and suites, the hotel also offers a more intimate experience than most, and the staff are always happy to assist in any way possible. The hotel also just so happens to be set in Lisbon's Estrela District, which is beautiful and overlooks the most bustling part of the city. Ideal for slow mornings before making the most of the city. The restaurant serves up traditional Portuguese cuisine 'with a twist' too. 

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Santa Maria Maior
  • price 3 of 4

This boutique hotel opened back in March 2016 inside an 18th-century Pombaline building. What's that? It's an architectural style of the 18th century, named after Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, and this is one of the many buildings erected in the style as part of the reconstruction efforts in the city following the 1755 earthquake. Inside that number 20 door though, the Alma Lusa is modern and relaxed, geared towards a young, trendy crowd. Its in-house restaurant serves up some great traditional cuisine, while in the morning you can sample a continental breakfast complete with pasteis de nata. Its mere 28 rooms are just a street away from the Chiado, the Ribeira das Naus and the busy downtown streets, making it a great base for exploring what Lisbon has to offer – there's a huge variety of things to do and see right on your doorstep. It's also a quick metro from the airport. 

Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Belém
  • price 3 of 4

Another of Design Hotels' Lisbon offerings iw the Altis Belém Hotel & Spa and it's a destination worth visiting Lisbon for in its own right, thanks to the unique architectural feat. The hotel not only packs a five-star rating but also houses its own Michelin-starred restaurant – Restaurante Feitoria, which again, you should go to even if you don't decide to stay at the hotel. The location is also pretty elite. It's a neighbour to some of Lisbon’s most famous monuments such as the Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, and the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop (which, strictly speaking, isn't really a monument, but it might as well be). While nearby, you should pop up the Tagus from downtown Lisbon to explore also. A place packed with excitement and adventure. 

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Santa Maria Maior
  • price 3 of 4

Not Paul's Boutique, Portugal Boutique! If you're looking for a low-frills hotel in a great location, you'll want to hope that at least one of the 53 rooms in this hotel hasn't been snapped up. What it lacks in pizzazz it makes up for in comfort and practicality. Loads of Lisbon’s key landmarks – the Rossio, the Chiado and the Cathedral – are just a small stroll from the hotel. The Portugal Boutique Hotel also offers access to the bar, two restaurants at the nearby Hotel Mundial, one of which –  Varanda de Lisboa – combines traditional Portuguese food with a panoramic view of the city and the river. Nice. There's also 24-hour room service, so no matter what time you come back from a night out in nearby Bairro Alto (one of the nightlife districts), you can be sure the chef's here will rustle you up something nice and restoarative. 

Hotel Fontecruz Lisboa
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Avenida da Liberdade
  • price 3 of 4

Silence is in short supply in Lisbon, but bag a room that backs onto the patio at the Hotel Fontecruz Lisboa and you’ll get a slice of peace and quiet (when its bar’s outdoor tables aren't occupied, anyway). It’s worth swinging by the bar too – its gin menu has scores of choices that connoisseurs will appreciate. These unique aspects are just some of the reasons this is a five-star place to stay. It's dropped right in Liberdade Avenue, which is renowned for its prestigious boutiques and restaurants, so that silence is a real treat and doesn't compromise on ideal location. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Alfama
  • price 3 of 4

Alfama is Lisbon’s most traditional neighbourhood, but until a few years ago, visitors would have to settle for local lodgings and budget hostels if they wanted to stay in the heart of the historic, most Lisbon of Lisbon districts. That all changed when the Memmo Group opened up Alfama's first boutique hotel, creating an informal home-away-from-home for tourists who don’t want to traipse back to Barrio Alto or Príncipe Real after a day of tackling Lisbon’s hills. There are 42 rooms of varying sizes, some with a balcony, others with larger areas to make up for a less inspiring view, and yet a few quieter ones overlooking the inner courtyard. The interiors are incredibly homely for a hotel, with bookshelves and big wooden dining tables throughout. There's also a fantastic rooftop pool. seating area looking over the city into the sea, and 24-hour reception in case you do eventually decide to leave the hotel just for a little bit. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Avenida da Liberdade/Príncipe Real
  • price 2 of 4

Born in 2010, Inspira Liberdade Boutique Hotel is like a Kinder chocolate egg – plain on the outside, full of surprises within. Upon stepping into the lobby, you will realise the hotel is much more ambitious than you might have previously thought. Don't expect gold-plated walls, but this utilitarian hotel has earned a positive reputation for its good taste and friendliness. It is a favourite among the LGBT community. There are 89 rooms; those on the ground floor are the plainest, but even they have a Nespresso machine, free wi-fi, glass window showers and biodegradable amenities by Ominsens – stuff worthy of a five-star hotel. Feng-shui principles determine the hotel configuration both inside and outside the rooms, which are ample, minimalist and very comfortable.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Baixa Pombalina
  • price 3 of 4

Situated slap bang in the centre of Rossio, this boutique hotel gets serious Brownie points for location. It also scores points for its historic lilac facade, which is the oldest in Lisbon. Inside is a different story, as the Internacional had a modern makeover in 2009, so now all 55 rooms are themed Urban, Feeling, Zen or Pop vibes. There's a bar and restaurant too – Bastardo – which specialises in cocktails and Portuguese grub. 

Lx Boutique Hotel
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Cais do Sodré
  • price 3 of 4

Young and stylish enough, this 45-room boutique hotel is located in the nexus between the Chiado and the renewed Ribeira das Naus (a riverside “beach” of sorts). It is geared at young folks, to whom it caters with an artsy but relaxed vibe. Being in the middle of the “movida” scene makes this hotel a typical example of the cool side of Lisbon that puts the city among the world's most seductive destinations. This might be a minus if you're not into raw fish but a plus if you love sushi: the hotel's restaurant, Confraria LX, is 100% devoted to Japanese cuisine.

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