The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is a modern, globalized area thanks to financial, cultural and tourism industries. But the city is also steeped in history -- and many of its boutique hotels show it off. Check out our ten favorites below, and let us know which one YOU love the most in the comments section below!
Altis Belem Hotel & Spa
The Altis Belem Hotel & Spa is a 50-room boutique in Belem, a residential neighborhood on the Tagus River. Belem is slightly removed from the city center, but has several of its own attractions, as well as gorgeous marina views and lovely restaurants lining the river. The hotel's rooms are sexy and spacious, with all-white decor accented by green rugs and unusual wall murals. Marble bathrooms are open -- with little privacy -- and some have inviting soaking tubs. Some rooms also have balconies with marina views and private Jacuzzis. Despite its small size, this hotel has many amenities, including a spa, a big indoor pool, a fitness center, and a Michelin-rated restaurant. Guests that want to be within walking distance of more attractions might consider the Altis Avenida, also a boutique hotel, with modern rooms in the city center.
The Hotel Florida is a historic boutique with a cool retro vibe throughout. Rooms feature fun, quirky decor (such as framed movie posters and green, geometric prints); plush beds with crisp white linens; electric kettles; flat-screen TVs; and mini-fridges. Family rooms are great for families and groups, as they offer a little more space and a third bed. Bathrooms still have generic Best Western style (the hotel used to be owned by the international chain until it was bought by Sterling Design), but feature Saboaria Portugueza toiletries, and are generally very clean. Property highlights include a pleasant winter garden with comfy couches, a full-service business center with an area for kids to play while parents use the computers, and a small bar. The restaurant attached to the hotel is a popular spot serving up international and Portuguese cuisine.
Hotel da Estrela
The 19-room Hotel da Estrela is a stylish, quirky boutique in a quiet residential area a little out of the way of major attractions. The building was once a school, and the fun decor reflects that history (think: chalkboards, desks and shelves with school material). Rooms are spacious, bright and modern, with minibars, flat-screen TVs, and plush beds, plus upscale bathrooms with deep Japanese-style tubs and Castelbel toiletries. There’s a business center in the lounge, an honesty bar, and a pleasant garden, but the highlight here is the wonderful on-site cantina, in which patrons rate the food made by student cooks and pay what they feel is a fair price. But Wi-Fi is only free in the common areas (there’s free wired Internet in the rooms), and its location is not the most convenient for exploring the city on foot.
Hotel Lisboa Plaza
The 94-room Hotel Lisboa Plaza's is an elegant hotel in a central location, just off of Avenida da Liberdade and within walking distance of numerous sights. Unlike some of the smaller Heritage hotels, Hotel Lisboa Plaza features a full restaurant and a fitness center (though it's tiny), as well as great common areas. The luxurious lounge, dubbed the "Chill Out Room," features plush furniture, paneled ceilings, and fresh flowers, while the rooftop terrace is lit up at night and has a (non-alcoholic) honesty bar. The rooms are simple but charming; half have antique-style mahogany furniture, and the other half are more modern, but all are meant to evoke the feel of a Portuguese home. Marble bathrooms have shower/tub combos and bidets. All in all, this is a solid option, but it's also worth considering the hotel's nearby sister property, Heritage Av Liberdad.
Internacional Design Hotel
The 55-room Internacional Design Hotel is a stylish, trendy boutique right in the heart of the city center. Rooms are divided into four different categories -- Zen, Urban, Pop, Tribe -- all with distinct decor styles and vibes, but with the same wonderful amenities, including Nespresso coffeemakers, Sony flat-screen TVs, Ritual toiletries, and jetted shower/tub combos. But Zen Rooms feel more generic than zen, and Cocoon and Small rooms are, well, small. Hotel features include a solid organic restaurant, a multi-purpose space that doubles as a business center, and a wine bar with workshops. But what really sets this hotel apart is the innovative design and concept, and its central location on Rossio Square.
LX Boutique Hotel
The 45-room LX is a cool boutique option often offering reasonable rates. It's located just south of Bairro Alto, within walking distance of the Tagus river and some major attractions. The hotel is known for its funky design; the hip sushi restaurant features bright furniture, rugs, and patterned wallpaper, and each floor of guest rooms has a different theme based on a neighborhood, place, or person in Lisbon history. They actually don't vary much aside from the themed wall murals, and all are impressive. With baby blue walls, plush bedding, upscale furniture, and small flat-screen TVs, the rooms feel cozy and high-end. Probably the coolest "funky" feature of the hotel is the graffiti-like mural on parts of the building that can be seen from some rooms. But the hotel does not have a fitness center or spa, and families may not love the frosted glass walls of the bathrooms.
As Janelas Verdes Inn
The Verdes Inn is a charming boutique overlooking the Tagus and situated next to the Museum of Ancient Art. This 29-room hotel, part of an historic 18th-century palace, lacks the amenities of a larger hotel -- there is no spa or fitness center, and the business center consists of a desktop computer -- but the hotel's intimate size is part of the appeal. Guests come for the cozy (if simple) rooms and gorgeous common areas. Decor wouldn't look out of place in an upscale beach cottage; the antique-filled, wood-paneled library has an attached terrace overlooking the water that lets in a lot of natural light. And the garden area, surrounded by ivy-covered walls, is welcoming. The rooms aren't luxurious but they are attractive, with a pastel color scheme and floral curtains. But although nightlife and a couple of museums are within walking distance, serious tourists (as in those planning on exploring all day) may consider staying in a more central location along Avenida de Liberdade. Still, the Verdes Inn is a great spot for guests wanting gorgeous views and a quaint setting.
Heritage Av Liberdade
The 40-room Heritage Av Liberdade housed in an 18th-century building on bustling Avenida da Liberdade mixes modern decor with restored historic touches. (Most of the ironwork is original, as is the wooden front door.) The predominant look is sleek and contemporary. While the room decor isn't quite luxurious, it's certainly attractive, with warm chocolate and beige tones, pops of pattern, wood floors, and sepia-toned photographs. The reading lights attached to the headboards are a convenient detail. Many rooms have Juliette balconies looking out onto the tree-lined street, reminding guests of the hotel's fabulous location; numerous major sights -- as well as popular neighborhoods -- are within walking distance.
Solar Do Castelo Hotel
The historic Solar Do Castelo is different than any other hotel in Lisbon. The rooms are quaint (if not luxurious), and the breakfast buffet offers a ton of options for hungry guests. But the real reason tourists stay at this hotel is the location; not only is it convenient to numerous sights and neighborhoods in the city, but it is the only hotel within the walls of the medieval village surrounding St. George's Castle. It's quiet, and rich in history -- the hotel has preserved a large part of the architecture, as well as adding a small museum of artifacts off of the lobby. And a real highlight is the outdoor terrace, where peacocks congregate. None of the 14 rooms are decorated the same, and some feel more upscale than others. But all offer free Wi-Fi and plenty of charm.
The 60-room Hotel Lisboa is a mid-range boutique in a great location -- just off of Avenida da Liberdade and within walking distance of numerous sights. Though the lobby is empty and unimpressive, rooms are nice; they may not be particularly large or glamorous, but they feature sleek, Ikea-esque furniture, red pops of color, small modern bathrooms, and tiny mounted flat-screen TVs. There are few amenities -- and even fewer freebies -- at this hotel; there is no spa, fitness center, or pool, and Wi-Fi in the rooms comes at an additional fee. But there is a cozy bar and restaurant, and overall the hotel is a good value for the location.