Lisbon has an eclectic culture, tempting visitors’ senses with fresh seafood dishes, traditional Fado music and views over the skyline from the terraces known as miradouros. After a day taking it all in, pamper yourself in a lavish spa or a whirlpool tub in your own room, then watch the River Tagus below roll by as you swim in a rooftop pool. Or maybe you prefer the finer things in life and crave a stay in a converted palace with stately rooms that strike a romantic note for a getaway for two or historic townhouses that provide an authentic flavour of local life.
Lisbon boutique hotels: palaces, pools and panoramic views
Historic boutique hotel in Lisbon with a Japanese restaurant
Find the LX Boutique Hotel in Cais do Sodré, Lisbon’s historic centre, steps from the flowing waters of the River Tagus. Full of character and personality, the hotel sits within a century-old building that’s been thoughtfully restored with a sense of modern elegance – think plump velvet couches, crystal-adorned candelabras and intricately patterned wallpapers.
Each of the individually designed rooms is dressed with dramatic flair, from quirky murals to grand antique-style armoires. This is complemented by sleek bathrooms with glass walls and rainfall showers adding a touch of modernity.
Sushi aficionados will be in their element as the hotel restaurant is renowned for its Japanese cuisine. Throughout the day it’s used as an informal lounge and bar too, offering a casual and welcoming atmosphere. Huddle closer in plush armchairs for intimate chats over tempting plates such as pink salmon nigiri and crispy tempura shrimp.
Five-star bolthole with panoramic vistas
For an opulent break, stay at the romantic Memmo Principe Real where the serene rooms offer a sense of vintage sophistication. Each is decorated with muted tones and minimalist shapes complemented with tactile fur throws, natural wood and polished marble. Soak up the sun while lounging on a rattan bed outside on your private terrace.
Take a cool dip in the pool, then discover the hotel’s elegant glass-fronted restaurant where you can take in panoramic views of Lisbon. Up here, dine on dishes inspired by the influences of Portuguese culture around the world. You’ll discover delicacies such as aromatic fish and prawn curry or tuna tacos.
Accessing the hotel feels like you’re entering an exclusive club with its own secret views over the city. It’s nestled at the top of a hill in what’s fast becoming one of the city’s most chic neighbourhoods. Once home to ancient royalty, the area now boasts a cosmopolitan spirit with alternative shopping areas to explore.
Restored boutique hotel fit for a marquis
Leave the real world behind and live like royalty in the lavish Pestana Palace Lisboa. This restored 19th-century palace sits peacefully surrounded by lush plants and manicured grounds. Outside there’s a pool for a refreshing dip, a sumptuous spa hidden within the gardens where you’ll be pampered with a selection of treatments, an indoor pool, a Jacuzzi and Turkish steam rooms.
The palace’s four royal suites offer the utmost in splendour – from Luís XVI-styled interiors with painted frescoes to private terraces overlooking the River Tagus. Rooms in the hotel’s additional wings have a more contemporary design (such as bathrooms that feature a TV) while still capturing the same regal spirit with antique bed frames and artwork.
Dine like a king in the hotel’s majestic restaurant decorated with original Regency and Louis XV furniture. Brunch here is a special event that begins with a specially crafted cocktail and ends with a sampling of delicate desserts.
Swim in a secret rooftop pool
Rooms at the contemporary Hotel White Lisboa are decorated in calming grey tones, creating an atmosphere of tranquillity. The furnishings have simple shapes and clean-cut lines, adding a sense of minimalism to spaces that are softened with tactile throws, patterned cushions and plump beds. Freshen up with a steaming power shower then wrap yourself in plush towels and slippers while you choose an outfit.
Exclusively for hotel guests, there’s a secret rooftop terrace where you can sunbathe on the deck or glide through the waters of the turquoise pool. The terrace is surrounded by glass panels, so you can watch the world go by as you relax.
The hotel’s in the heart of Lisbon, next to Saldanha Square, making it easy to explore the city. A short drive away you’ll find the main avenue, Avenida da Liberdade, lined with leafy trees and glamorous boutiques for some retail therapy. There are also cafés that flow out on to the mosaic pavements and restaurants with patios for long lunches.
Charming Lisbon hotel showcasing Portuguese culture
Immerse yourself in all things Portuguese at Almalusa Baixa/Chiado. The hotel’s deli-inspired restaurant uses seasonal and locally sourced ingredients to create authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Try dishes such as traditional fish à brás followed by sweet rice with cinnamon, washed down with regional wines.
The hotel cleverly captures the city’s spirit by supporting Portuguese artisans. Its bed linens are locally crafted and the wines are from nearby vineyards. It even fragrances rooms with a signature scent inspired by the area. The effect is that you’re totally surrounded by the nation’s culture as you touch, taste and smell your way through the hotel.
Make yourself at home in a room that follows the hotel’s ethos, with fresh cotton sheets made, of course, in Portugal. Each space is decorated with an eclectic combination of local antiquities, quirky wallpaper and patterned textiles and overlooks the hotel’s quaint inner courtyard. There are plenty of modernist details too, from Bluetooth speakers to a coffee machine for fresh steaming cups.
Panoramic views by the river
Upgrade your break with a pampering afternoon at the Myriad by Sana Hotels floating spa. Its 23rd-floor wellness centre features panoramas over the Tagus River. Stretch out with a few laps of the vitality pool or lounge on a hydro massage chair before trying one of the revitalising treatments. You can even take in the vistas while relaxing in the glass-fronted panoramic sauna.
The hotel makes the most of its riverside location with an elegant glass-walled restaurant, where you can order Mediterranean-inspired dishes made with Portuguese ingredients, such as rosemary-infused slow-cooked lamb. Outside on the terrace bar, it almost feels as if you’re sailing as you watch the water flow by, cocktail in hand – try a classic with a twist, like an espresso martini shaken with rum.
The hotel’s innovative and luxurious style continues in the design of its rooms where retro-cool chairs hang in front of large windows that frame vistas of the nearby park. There are spa-inspired bathrooms, too. Float in the bubbles of a whirlpool bath or be soothed by the massaging jets of your shower.
Authentic boutique hotel in Lisbon's oldest quarter
Tucked away in the winding stone-paved streets of Alfama is the understated and chic Memmo Alfama Hotel. Original features of the building, like domed brick ceilings, sit alongside a modern design. Outside, you’ll find an open-air deck with cushioned sofas and views across the terracotta roof tiles to the Tagus River. After taking in the sunshine, slip into the infinity pool that stretches out beyond the rooftop towards the river below.
Dine out on the terrace from a menu of tempting tapas delights, such as prawns with lime and ginger, accompanied with wine from nearby vineyards. Watch the sunset and the quarter’s lights begin to twinkle as you sip on one of the signature cocktails, such as the Alfama Garden made with rum, lemon and fresh mint.
In each of the rooms, a tranquil ambience is created using pale earthy hues along with natural fabrics and luxurious excess. The plump beds are dressed in Egyptian cotton sheets and stacks of cloud-like pillows. Windows frame views of Alfama’s red tiles and the river or the quaint cobbled street at the hotel’s entrance.
Boutique hotel set within historic mansions
Perched on Santana Hill above the city, Torel Palace is a peaceful haven that’s just a stone’s throw from Lisbon’s lively centre. The hotel itself is created from two century-old mansions with vistas over the city’s rooftops and the flowing waters of the Tagus River. It’s an idyllic spot for a few soothing lengths in the outdoor pool or unwinding on its surrounding terrace that shares the panoramic views.
Alongside the sensitive restoration of the house’s grand heritage, the hotel’s rooms have been designed with luxury and modernity in mind – expect soft furs, statement lamps and glistening chandeliers. From your room’s tall windows, watch the sun set over Lisbon or step outside onto the balcony to feel the sun’s warmth.
Make the most of the hotel’s lofty heights out on the poolside terrace with a refreshing ice-cold beer. In the evening, take a seat at the bar in the hotel’s intimate dark wood-panelled restaurant for a signature cocktail before dinner. Once at the table, you’ll be served a tasting menu of artistically presented gastronomic delights.