Romantic Hotels in Lisbon. The Loveliest Places to Stay in the City



Feeling flirty and frivolous? Looking for somewhere to pop the question, enjoy a honeymoon, toast an anniversary, celebrate a special occasion or simply relax and unwind with your other half? There are several truly romantic hotels in Lisbon that offer a mix of modern or historic accommodation options, special places to stay for those seeking memorable moments in the Portuguese capital. Spend time in Pálacio Belmonte for a real sense of occasion plus a wonderful dining option. Likewise, the new Lumiares Hotel in Bairro Alto offers its guests a romantic interlude option in noble surroundings. Similarly, spending a night in AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado is to embrace 18th-century elegance with a sophisticated charm, and you’ll be immediately smitten with this centrally located property. Its original antique décor lends Palacete Chafariz D’El Rei near Alfama a wonderfully authentic and traditional air. Along the Lisbon coast beyond Cascais is charming Fortaleza do Guincho, which offers guests an upscale stay in a converted sea fort, replete with Michelin-star restaurant. In picturesque Castelo district there are two discreet boutique properties, Solar do Castelo and the equally enchanting Solar dos Mouros – both ideal for a romantic city break. Meanwhile, hidden away in the narrow winding lanes of Alfama, is the chic Memmo Alfama: the views from the terrace swimming pool are quite beautiful! Over in the west of the city, in the trendy Santos district, Pálacio Ramalhete guarantees its guests a peaceful and discreet stay. And back in the Santa Clara district is the wonderfully refurbished Santa Clara 1728.



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Located in Lisbon's Campo de Santa Clara district and set overlooking the city's landmark Panteão Nacional is this delightful six-suite retreat. Borne out of a carefully undertaken restoration project, Santa Clara 1728 retains its original 18th-century architectural heritage through the employment of traditional building methods, including the generous use of local marble. The sense of history is tangible but so too is the wonderfully tranquil atmosphere that permeates throughout the entire property. Providing subtle contrast is the interior décor, high-end furnishings and fittings that celebrate 21st design. The six bedrooms are divided into two different sizes, the large Suite Santa Clara option and the slightly smaller Suite Tejo options. Beds, spacious and inviting, are from B&B Italia, the natural cotton mattresses from ALMA Natural, Spain. Bathrooms feature oversized freestanding limestone-clad tubs and basins. The colour palette is pastel soft, the warm natural look accentuated by pinewood flooring. Adding to the sense of occasion are the romantic views afforded to all rooms. There are no conventional leisure facilities here. Santa Clara 1728 is bereft of spa, gym, and business salon. But therein lies the appeal. This is a place to relax and escape the trappings of in-your-face five-star amenities. Indeed, less is more. Breakfast is a healthy and organic choice of cereals and yoghurt, or an equally wholesome hotplate. Lunch can be arranged on request, and dinner is served Wednesday to Saturday. Reservations required. Guests are also within easy walking distance of the city's Graça and Alfama neighbourhoods, with all the local flavor and down-to-earth nightlife these districts provide.


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Cais do Sodré/Santos


 

A real sense of history greets guests at this noble property, parts of which date back to the 17th century. Once the home of the Dukes of Palmela and Counts of Póvoa, the building speaks of exclusive elegance and timeless romanticism and perfectly reflects the Lisbon of yesteryear. The 12 different rooms and suites are individually styled, with several distinguished by outstanding features. The walls of the Oak Suite, for example, are lined entirely in wood, and the room also features an impressive stucco ceiling. The Old Kitchen Suite is fashioned out of the palace's original kitchen where the old copper roofed fireplace has been converted into a lounge area. Complementing all this graceful authenticity is the heated swimming pool set in a lovely garden and shaded by a sleepy palm tree. Other leisure amenities include an inviting bar where guests can relax over light meals and Portuguese wines. Indeed, indulging in blissful peace and quiet is a large part of Palácio Ramalhete's appeal.


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The stylish and contemporary four-star Memmo Alfama is currently the only hotel property situated within the city's ancient Alfama neighbourhood. This charm filled boutique bed & breakfast, beautifully converted from a townhouse, is tucked away in a quiet side street not too far from Lisbon's cathedral and is the perfect city break bolthole or romantic getaway option. Views from the 42 smoke-free guest rooms and suites take in amazing views of the vicinity and the sparkling River Tagus, and are offered in several different categories. Facilities include iPhone/iPod/iPad charging docks, in-room safes and TV and radio. Amenities extend to complimentary Internet access, daily newspapers and 24-hour loyalty fridge. An outstanding feature is the hotel's funky Wine Bar & Terrace positioned over a wood deck terrace where a small outdoor pool is sunk. The surrounding views are simply jaw dropping, especially at dusk when the old quarter starts to sparkle.


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The bright and vivacious interior of this snug bed and breakfast hideaway is the result of the creative flair of Portuguese abstract artist Luis Santos, who in fact owns the property. His eye for design has seen each room decorated in a unique and wonderfully colourful fashion, with canvases by various contemporary artists adding depth to an already stylish interior. Just 12 rooms, including two suites, are available in this gracious Alfama townhouse, with each affording spectacularly romantic views of Castelo de Sao Jorge and the river beyond. A ground floor terrace blossoms into life in spring when flowers of all hues provide even greater colour.


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A favourite haunt of honeymooners and others seeking a romantic city getaway, this charming 14-bedroom boutique property is unique in that it's the only hotel located within the walls of Castelo de São Jorge. The 18th-century building was originally a mansion, itself built over the foundations of a medieval palace. Privacy is a byword here, and the intimate, individually styled rooms all face inwards to overlook a cobblestone courtyard, complete with gurgling fountain. The peace and quiet is such that peacocks roam the grounds at will. At night, flickering candlelight and glowing Moorish lamps further heighten the sense of occasion. A wonderful rooftop view of Alfama, Lisbon's oldest neighbourhood, is served with breakfast.


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Outside the City


 

Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the magnificent Guincho beach is Fortlaleza do Guincho, a former 17th-century military garrison that's now one of the most prestigious and enticing hotel properties in the Lisbon area. Accommodation is made up of just 27 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, all with sea views. The three Junior Suites are particularly enchanting, each one classically styled and commanding a jaw-dropping Atlantic Ocean panorama. This exclusive retreat facilitates some memorable wild and romantic encounters with Nature. The stunning Sintra National Park, which encompasses Cabo da Rocha, the westernmost point of continental Europe, is on the doorstep, while the windy coast attracts experienced surfers and windsurfers to the beach. And the Fortaleza guest experience is further heightened by the Michelin star that shines above the restaurant, a gastronomic accolade that's been maintained since 2001!


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Sited on the edge of Lisbon's picturesque Alfama district and overlooking the River Tagus, this extraordinary boutique B&B property is one of the most charming and beguiling hotels in the city. Combining neo-classical design elements with art nouveau and rococo flourishes, the hotel is an architectural gem. Beautifully appointed throughout with original period furniture and decorative art, the building, which dates from 1909, comprises of just six guest suites, accommodation that includes the Grande Torreão, housed in a tower and commanding stunning panoramic views of the river and the old town. Each room is complimented by a host of modern amenities, including satellite TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi. Some of the suites face the river. Breakfast is taken in considerable style, served as it is in a room at the front of the hotel that's very often bathed in morning sunshine. Palacete Chafariz D'El Rei is known for its brunch, where guests can mingle with non-residents in the splendid "Mirror Lounge", a fabulous salon designed in the Brazilian art nouveau style, the hotel's highlight interior design feature. A balcony terrace, replete with gurgling fountains and, in summer, a blaze of purple bougainvillea, adds additional romantic appeal to this unusual and unique Lisbon hotel property.


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Tucked away in a corner overlooking Lisbon's splendid Praça do Munícipio is this enchanting boutique bolthole Occupying an historic 18th-century premises which used to be the city's former military arsenal but was later turned into a bank, the building now houses one of the capital's most romantic hotel options. Offering 28 rooms and suites, the interior décor draws on 500 years of Portuguese history where noted interior designer Giano Gonçalves has enhanced original features such as the attractive vaulted ceilings and heavy flagstone floors with stylish shabby-chic flourishes like the atmospheric mood lighting and retro furnishings. The Sanidusa power showers meanwhile, make a big splash. The signature Junior Suite has been modeled around a beautiful fireplace embellished with decorative Portuguese tiles (azulejos). The upmarket amenities extend to the refined Delfina Restaurant, a brasserie-deli style concept big on al fresco dining.


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One of Lisbon's newest hotels is also one of the city's most romantic and aesthetically pleasing. Located in the heart of the capital's hipster nightlife zone, Lumiares is a boutique gem, housed in a carefully refurbished historic property of noble ancestry. Accommodation comprises a choice of apartments: studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, loft style and, crowning the top floor, a glorious penthouse option. Styled and decorated using modern furnishings embellished with traditional Portuguese handicraft and artisanal accessories, the rooms combine regional culture with a fashionable and contemporary signature. It's a theme carried through to the public spaces and into the restaurants. Located on the ground floor is the bright, breezy Mercado Café for light snacks in a cosmopolitan, al fresco atmosphere. Upstairs, the über cool Lumni restaurant and rooftop bar offers diners a gastronomic hideaway and a seriously swooning panoramic view. Celebrated Portuguese chef Miguel Castro e Silva is the guiding light behind both eateries. Guest amenities extend to a modest but inviting spa, plus a useful gym facility.


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With its film-set looks and history book heritage, Palácio Belmonte is one of the most distinguished hotel properties in Lisbon, and one of the least conspicuous. Sections of the edifice date from 1449, built around towers constructed in 123 BC, thus making it one of the oldest buildings of its kind in the city. Yet the veiled exterior is such that it's easy to walk straight past this extraordinary architectural gem. Inside, meticulous restoration has provided guests with a choice of eleven individually designed suites, each featuring a considered blend of bespoke classical and contemporary furnishings but bereft of television (senses are instead stimulated by the beauty of the location and the rarity of the occasion). Landscaped Mediterranean gardens embrace a black marble swimming pool, itself overlooked by a generous terrace that leads the eye over the terracotta rooftops of Alfama, a romantic picture-postcard canvas of astonishing allure. The next-door Leopold restaurant is a noted gourmet hotspot.


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Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul

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