An elegant retreat at Hotel das Amoreiras, Lisbon
Lisbon’s small and pretty Jardim das Amoreiras – a garden founded by the Marquis of Pombal in 1759 when he planted more than 300 mulberry trees, with the aim of stimulating the silk industry – is surrounded by 18th-century townhouses that were once the homes of silk workers. Two of those abandoned buildings have been converted into the charming Hotel das Amoreiras.
With 17 rooms and 2 attic suites, the space has been carefully renovated and designed by owners Pedro Oliveira and Alicia Valero. Oliveira designed many of the items himself (including various pieces of furniture and light fixtures) and works from the couple’s personal art collection adorn the walls.
Through its design and decor, the property conveys a satisfying blend of private home and tasteful luxury hotel. They may be close quarters, but they’re quiet and comfortable – thanks in part to carpeted hallways and heavy guestroom doors and thick windows. The bathrooms feature sturdy, high-quality fixtures and elegant Portuguese marble. All the expected amenities (plush robes, bath products, TV, USB ports) are included, along with unexpected and thoughtful touches. From the bed linen to the light fixtures, everything looks cool and luxurious without being pretentious.
Opened last year (one of the 500 Best Small Luxury Hotels in the World) the hotel offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, while being close to neighborhoods such as Principe Real and Bairro Alto, and with many bus and tram stops nearby. If you’re walking the steep hills back from the city centre, there are plenty of places along Rua da Escola Politécnica for breakfast, snacks and nata pastries to fuel your journey. A stop at the Imprensa Oyster and Cocktail Bar is a special welcome bonus. (Also not far away are Pica-Pau, BouBou’s, and Magnolia Bistrot & Winebar.)
But if you want to enjoy a drink after a long day at the hotel, the bar — complete with wicker stools, velvet banquettes, patterned wallpaper and vintage movie posters — serves cocktails, wine, snacks and desserts until late.
When it comes to hotel breakfasts, Hotel das Amoreiras is the place to go. Breakfast is served from 8 am to noon, it is made to order, and the dishes are exquisite. On the menu, guests will find pastries, breads, granola and muesli, as well as cheeses, cured meats, fruit, eggs served five different ways, fresh juices and coffee options. Weather permitting, breakfast and drinks can be enjoyed in the hotel’s sunny courtyard – full of cobblestones, café seats and gingham cushions.
From the food to the fabrics and the style of the staff, simple elegance abounds in this charming hotel.
Hero image provided by Francisco Nogueira