Mary Lussiana checks into the Portuguese capital's prettiest hotel.
Deep inside the fashionable and leafy district of Lisbon’s Príncipe Real, a candy-pink palace lovingly restored by British owners Gail and Miles Curley has opened as a hotel. Its’ called Palácio Príncipe Real.
The hotel sits overlooking a generous expanse of lawn — a rarity in Lisbon — the lawn, in turn, punctuated by a jacaranda tree and enticing swimming pool. The former perfect for hiding underneath with a book and the latter for cooling off in, during those long summer days.
Inside, there are 27 bedrooms all individually decorated; my favourite is one housed in the old kitchen, the walls clad in the room’s original blue and white tiles and a copper bathtub resplendent in front of the fireplace. The en-suite bathrooms have underfloor heating (in the winter temperatures can dip below ten degrees celsius) and oversized rain showers. Byredo amenities come as standard.
On the ground floor, the light-filled restaurant specialises in light, healthy dishes and Portuguese classics, such as the house bacalhau and dried codfish, here, oven-baked with sweet potatoes. A bar, with sofas and chair upholstered in warm burgundy velvet allow for a thorough exploration of delicious local wines.
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What to do in Lisbon
- In Belém, visit the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery, a relic of Portugal’s Golden Age
- Stop for a Pastéis de Nata in Pastéis de Belém (the birthplace of the famous custard tarts in 1837)
- Shop for homeware at Costa Nova, Vista Alegre and delicious soaps and candles at Claus Porto
- Have a cocktail at rooftop BAHR & Terrace
- Go to the beach: Costa da Caparica (above) is a thirty minute drive from Lisbon’s centre. Try to visit mid-week. It’s popular with locals so can get busy at the weekends
- Don’t rush home: after a long weekend in Lisbon, hire a car and visit one of Portugal’s sleepy coastal towns south of the capital. Comporta is a favourite with surfers and Melides with artists. Vermelho Hotel — designed by shoe-maestro Christian Louboutin opens in the latter this Spring