This article original appeared in Forbes Travel, January 2018.
Mark your calendar for a European getaway this year because it’s all about Lisbon. Portugal’s capital city capitalizes on its coastal locale, a vibrant arts scene and a gorgeous culinary landscape. Here are five properties that will pique your curiosity and leave you with such a sense of saudade that you’ll be longing to come back to the City of the Light before you even leave.
Pousada de Lisboa
If you’re looking for luxury with a side of history, then this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended 18th-century address is for you.
Brazilian interior designer Jaime Morais upgraded the hotel’s 90 rooms to evoke a classic modern-chic style with artistic furniture, restored antique features like chandeliers and stained glass windows, and original works by Portuguese artists selected from local museums.
The most enticing accommodation at this luxury Lisbon address is the Dom Pérignon Suite, which consists of 1,184 square feet of elegance in the form of a living room, two balconies with panoramic views of the Tagus River and an Irish green marble bathroom bathed in natural light.
Altis Avenida Hotel
This retro-chic hotel is perfectly perched in the middle of everything you want to do in Lisbon. Located at the Praça dos Restauradores and opposite the Rossio train station, Altis Avenida has the city center at its doorsteps and all of the capital’s must-see sites within walking distance, as long as you don’t mind traversing a few hills.
The throwback art deco décor plays to the hotel’s history as a 1940s office building with a palette of ebonies and ecrus, slick marble, Lucite and a modernist design.
2018 will bring big changes to the property (including 46 more guest rooms in an adjacent building), with all eyes on the soon-to-open rooftop bar and sun deck that surely will be Lisbon’s next hot spot.
Tivoli Avenida Liberdade
Another art deco reboot with a bit more of a modern flair can be found in this newly renovated hotel on Avenida da Liberdade, just below Principe Real park. Its location along this glamorous boulevard offers a straight shot to both the historic center and to the trendy Bairro Alto neighborhood.
After exploring the city, you’ll return to a tranquil retreat. Each of the historic hotel’s 286 rooms is outfitted in a calming blanket of light, muted tones with large, all-white bathrooms.
Explore the property’s verdant gardens to find a hidden oasis, the Tivoli Spa, for elegant pampering and a circular swimming pool set below the shade of palm fronds.
The perfect spot for a sip can be found on the rooftop Sky Bar, offering some of Lisbon’s best sunset views.
Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Family Suites
If you’re traveling with tots in tow, you may want to try this residential-style Lisbon retreat. The surprisingly upscale property offers 37 chicly designed suites in a 19th-century palazzo. Martinhal’s cheerful aesthetic is a celebration of bright colors, vintage cartoon posters and classic toys, with a sophisticated style that will please parents.
Location is key — these sumptuous suites are in the very family-friendly Chiado neighborhood lined with cafés, shops, boutiques and restaurants. Popular sites such as the National Azulejo Museum and the lively Mercado da Ribeira food hall are just a short walk away as well.
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
The luxury Four Seasons brand consistently follows through on its philosophy of white glove service, ever-present staff and immaculate facilities. Its Lisbon incarnation does not sway from this line of thinking.
The 10-level, retro-modernist building is situated on the northern edge of Lisbon’s Marques de Pombal square — a nice walk to the historic center and art museums — overlooking the open greens of Eduardo VII Park. Its 282 rooms and four suites are done in opulent Louis XVI-style with 18th-century replica furniture, jewel-toned carpets and spacious marble bathrooms.
Though noted for its spa and 59-foot wooden-decked central lap pool, the hotel also boasts a scenic rooftop running track that traces the perimeter of the building for a one-of-a-kind workout.