If you’re coming to the Portuguese capital but don’t want to stay in another generic chain hotel, you’re in luck. The city has dozens of excellent boutique accommodations, the best of which blend historic buildings with modern design and make the most of the high-quality local food, wine, textiles and more.
These are seven of the very best boutique hotels in Lisbon.
Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel
Avenida da Liberdade is one of Lisbon’s most attractive thoroughfares — a wide, tree-lined avenue lined with shops, cafes and kiosks — and the Heritage Avenida Liberdade takes full advantage of its prime position.
Original features abound, like shutters and iron balconies facing the street, old photographs and traditional blue and white tiles covering the walls in public areas. The 41 rooms are clean and spacious, luxurious yet minimalist, with high-end furnishings and amenities, and plenty of natural light.
There’s free port at the bar, along with a good selection of Portuguese wines, and 24-hour room service. A substantial breakfast is included in the room rate, and there’s a small gym and swimming pool in the basement to work it off afterwards. Free Wi-fi is available throughout the hotel.
Also on Avenida da Liberdade, the Valverde Hotel opened in 2014, and quickly become one of the highest-rated hotels in the city. It’s small, with just 25 rooms, in a heritage building that means no two rooms are the same.
Some of the best art, ceramics, textiles and stone from around the country have been bought together with retro furniture and flooring to create a luxurious, stylish feel. The look continues through to the black and white tiled bathrooms, with cast-iron tubs and powerful rain showers.
There’s a small gym, film room and courtyard swimming pool, as well as free Wi-fi throughout. The ground floor restaurant has a small menu of Portuguese dishes and wines, with a view of the interior courtyard, and the hotel staff are knowledgeable and always happy to help.
Taking advantage of historic buildings is a common theme for boutique hotels, and AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado, on the site of the city’s old arsenal, is no exception.
Facing a square in the heart of the downtown area, the exterior dates back to the 1700s, and because it’s a protected building, all of the rooms have their own unique quirks. Flagstone floors, tiles, fireplaces and more have all been preserved, paired with expensive local wallpapers, linens, and amenities.
There’s high-speed Wi-fi throughout, and each of the 28 rooms has a walk-in shower, coffee machines, and microwaves. Double glazing and other soundproofing deaden most outside noise, but if you want the quietest spaces, book one of the deluxe suites or rooms.
Breakfast consists of local pastries, with more substantial fare available in the restaurant for lunch and dinner.
Solar do Castelo
Known as the “City of Seven Hills,” it’s not hard to find a good view in Lisbon, but some of the best are from around St George’s Castle that dominates the downtown skyline. Solar do Castelo actually sits inside the castle walls, on the site of an old palace, so you’ll swap easy car access for pedestrians and peacocks when you stay there.
Dating back to the 18th century, the building has been restored to take full advantage of the original arches, courtyard and stone pillars. There are only twenty guest rooms, with the décor tending towards the luxurious, all velvet curtains and iron bedheads.
There’s 24-hour room service available, but the culinary highlight is the breakfast, with fresh juices and coffee, pastries, ham, cheese, fruits and more. Wander down through the winding streets of the Alfama district for your evening meal and a few glasses of local wine — but be prepared for the steep climb to get back again!
Hotel da Estrela
A little further from the action, Lisbon’s Estrela neighborhood is dominated by the gardens and basilica of the same name. A block back from the park lies Hotel da Estrela, a former school that’s making the most of its educational roots.
There are chalkboards behind reception, classroom-style desk, and shelves full of educational reading material. Unlike most schools, though, the emphasis is on chic luxury rather than long division, modern design instead of multiplication.
Guest rooms are large, with luxurious beds and modern amenities, and the bathrooms all contain deep, Japanese-style tubs and local toiletries. There’s Wi-fi in the rooms and business center, an honesty bar, and a peaceful garden. The undoubted highlight of the hotel, though, is its restaurant, where food is prepared by student chefs, and patrons pay what they feel the meal is worth.
If you’d like to stay in the heart of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, there aren’t many boutique hotels to choose from. One notable exception is Memmo Alfama, its 42 rooms tucked inside a restored 19th-century building.
The highlight of the hotel is the gorgeous terrace, with panoramas out over the terracotta roofs, wide river estuary and, yes, the city's famous cathedral that lies at the end of the street. If it gets too hot in summer, there’s even a pool to cool off in — a rare find in Lisbon, especially one with a view. On cooler winter nights, a fire pit provides welcome warmth instead.
Coupled with a free guided walk around Alfama for hotel guests, 24-hour honesty fridge, and complimentary Wi-fi, there’s a lot to like about this beautifully-designed hotel.
Looking for some art deco action? Hotel Britania, on a quiet street just off Avenida da Liberdade, dates back to the 1940’s when art deco was in full swing. Classified as a historic building and restored in the 1990’s, period features include marble floors, plenty of chrome, and even a vintage barber’s shop in the lobby.
Rooms are spacious and luxurious, with quality toiletries and linens, and there’s complimentary port wine on arrival and daily in the downstairs library. The included buffet breakfast is better than most, with dozens of quality restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner.
Free wi-fi, tea, coffee and afternoon drinks help make the 32-bed Britania solid value for money, and it’s the ideal option for those looking for quality, non-traditional accommodation that doesn’t break the bank.