VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel & Spa
Time Out says
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Portugal’s national television head office has been jazzed up to become a 295-room, five star spa hotel.
Despite its corporate exterior, the hotel has a contemporary fit-out and panoramic views. An elevated walkway cuts through the big, boxy lobby, where pops of orange and silver feature walls give a modern edge. The VIP Grand lacks the polish of some of the city’s other five star establishments, so might not suit true luxe nomads, but down-to- earth travellers will be satisfied with its unfussy style. The hotel is conveniently positioned in Lisbon’s financial district for business travellers, but a lack of ironing facilities might make the morning spruce-up a tad challenging. The hotel has ample chill space with an outdoor pool primed for lounging in the summer months. And as you’d expect from a hotel with ‘spa’ in the title, there’s also a full-service pamper pad. The Lúcia Piloto Spa runs the gamut with a hydro massage bathtub, massage rooms, hydrotherapy rooms with Scottish and Vichy showers, a sauna and hammam infused with aromatherapy oil vapour, tropical showers and an ice fountain. For a final ounce of zen you can take five in the relaxation zone. Want to amp things up? Book in with a personal trainer or join a studio class. For an extra fee you can kick your day off at the Pivot Restaurant for breakfast, or save some coin by scooting to the pastry shop across the road. The hotel’s Cenário restaurant offers a set lunch menu and à la carte dinner, while The Press Club mixes the cocktails and serves a casual bar menu.
Location: Campo Pequeno is a commercial area of Lisbon outside the historic centre. Hence a metro or taxi ride is required to reach most main attractions. The airport is conveniently located five kilometres away.
1001 Nights: Sample the best of Lisbon’s Persian cuisine at Iranian restaurant 1001 nights. It feels like a bit of a hike from the centre of town, but if you’re staying at the VIP Grand, it’s conveniently only one kilometre away.
Sam Croissants: A prized pastry shop hides unassumingly near the Entre Campos metro station, one kilometre from the hotel. As the name suggests, Sam does one thing and does it well, so grab a loaded croissant to kick your hunger.
Campo Pequeno Stadium: This is the official home of Portugal’s bullfighting scene. Even if you’re not into the gory sport, the red-brick building is a spectacle in itself, and you can catch other events here or wander the shops and foodcourt downstairs.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian: This museum includes both the founder’s private collection as well as modern exhibitions showcasing Portuguese art from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Guided tours are available.
Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa: Lisbon’s renowned zoo is two kilometres from the hotel. Here you’ll find a diverse range of animals, including gorillas, elephants, dolphins and lemurs.
El Corte Inglés: Lisbon’s major department store stocking high-end brands of clothing, accessories and homewares is located 1.5 kilometres away. The supermarket downstairs shelves a wide variety of goods, including international foods.
Good for: The hotel’s 24-hour business centre and location in Lisbon’s financial district will appeal to business travellers.
Amenities: pool; hot tub; sauna; room service; free Wi-Fi; minibar; restaurant; bar; gym; laundry service; concierge; spa
Time Out tip: Frutalmeidas is two kilometres away and is a local favourite for meat pastries called pastéis de massa tenra.