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Olissippo Lapa Palace 4.5

Lapa, Lisbon, Lisbon District

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Review Summary

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  • Housed in a 19th-century palace in upscale Lapa neighborhood
  • Elegant rooms with marble bathrooms and garden views
  • Excellent Mediterranean restaurant, plus an elegant bar with piano nights
  • Lovely outdoor pool with seasonal bar service and a kiddy area
  • Upscale spa with treatment rooms, a sauna, and a steam bath
  • Heated indoor pool open year-round
  • Staffed fitness center with plenty of machines and flat-screen TVs
  • 10 gorgeous meeting rooms with historic features
  • Small business center with two computers and printing services
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout, and free on-site parking
  • Breakfast buffet included in all rates


  • A little far from most major attractions
  • Some may find decor excessively ornate and a little dated
  • Some rooms don’t have coffeemakers

Bottom Line

Housed in a 19th-century palace in a quiet, upscale neighborhood a little outside of the city center, the Olissippo Lapa Palace is one of the most iconic luxury hotels in Lisbon. It is known among well-heeled couples and business travelers for its opulent interiors, charming gardens complete with a pool, and excellent Mediterranean restaurant. The quiet spa has an indoor pool and several massage rooms, and the fitness center, though small, has plenty of cardio and strength-training equipment. Elegant rooms have upscale amenities and lots of Old World character, but some may find the rich fabrics, plush carpets in pastel tones, and ornate antiques a little stuffy. The Pestana Palace Hotel has a similar historic feel but lower rates. 

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Luxury hotel housed in a historic palace with decadent interiors and a lovely garden

Surrounded by lush subtropical gardens and with a hillside location looking out over the Tagus River, the Olissippo Lapa Palace has a tranquil atmosphere that feels a world away from lively Lisbon. The hotel is housed in a gorgeous palace with tea-pink facades, slate roofs, and arched windows dating back to 1870. Although the building has undergone renovations several times since it opened as a hotel in 1992, the property still retains its ornate interiors and many of its original features. Rich fabrics, period furniture, crystal chandeliers, crown moldings, gilded accents, and stained-glass windows give spaces a strong Old World character, while delicate traditional Portuguese painted tiles add local charm. The overall feel is decadent and elegant, like something out of a period movie, but some may find the style a little stuffy and even dated in some areas. 

The property was expanded in 2002, and has three sections now: the Palace Wing (housed in the main building), the Garden Wing, and the Lapa Villa. All have a similar ornate style, but the Palace section has the most traditional Portuguese interiors. Outside, the cobblestone paths that wind through lush gardens dotted with palm trees, bushes and flowers, and ponds with water features add to the serene atmosphere.  


In Lisbon’s quiet embassy district, a 10-minute drive from most major attractions

The Olissippo Lapa Palace is located on a quiet street lined by beautiful homes with lush gardens. Its setting, on one of Lisbon’s seven hills, allows for gorgeous views of the Tagus River and the city. There are a few restaurants nearby, but no stores or nightlife, and only the National Museum of Ancient Art is within easy walking distance. Those who want to explore the city on foot or prefer to be closer to public transportation might feel a bit removed from the main attractions, as only tram 25 and a couple of buses run in the area. However, taxis will generally be more convenient, and they’re reasonably cheap and easy to find. Rossio, Chiado and Bairro Alto are all a 10-minute drive from the hotel, and Saint George’s Castle is just a few minutes farther. The airport can be reached in about 20 minutes.


Spacious rooms with opulent decor, upscale amenities, and marble bathrooms

The hotel’s 109 rooms are just as decadent as common areas, with heavy drapes, thick carpets, period-style furniture, and pastel color palettes with a few scarlet touches. Each room, however, has a different style -- ranging from Art Deco to Algarvian and Neo-Classic -- and unique details such as ornate wooden mirrors frames, canopy beds, upholstered walls, or a gold-and-blue color scheme. Some units have a less ornate traditional Portuguese style that may feel more dated than opulent, with dark wood furniture, simple artwork on walls, and plain white walls. Rooms on the main building’s fifth floor have antiques that once belonged to the original owner. 

Marble bathrooms are also different in each room, but all are equipped with shower/tub combos and L’Occitane toiletries, and many have traditional Portuguese painted tiles. All rooms feature air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, stocked minibars, and safes, but only some room types have espresso machines. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. All rooms overlook the gardens, and units located on top floors have Tagus River views. A few have balconies.


Two restaurants, two pools, a spa, a fitness center, and meeting rooms

Lapa is a formal restaurant serving excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a large room with ornate classic decor and painted ceilings. In the warmer months, casual Le Pavillon Restaurant offers salads, seafood, sandwiches, drinks and coffee in a poolside pavilion with outdoor seating. Rio Tejo is an opulent piano bar with a red and orange palette, large windows with heavy curtains, period furniture, and thick carpet. It offers a terrace overlooking the river, as well as a food menu, afternoon tea service, and piano evenings. 

Surrounded by lush gardens, the pool is a quiet spot for a relaxing day in the sun, but bar service is not available. A separate kiddy pool and a small playground in the shade are great perks for those traveling with kids. Additionally, there is a heated indoor pool long enough for a few laps that is open year-round. The spa has several massage rooms, two saunas, and a unisex steam bath, and the fitness center features an array of cardio and strength-training machines. 

The hotel has 10 exquisite meeting rooms -- including one with historic wainscoting, gilded accents, and a stone fireplace -- and  a small business center with two computers and printing services. Wi-Fi and on-site parking are free for all guests. 

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Rua do Pau da Bandeira, 4, Lisbon, Central Portugal 1249-021, Portugal

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