With Lisbon’s newfound love for creativity overspilling into its blossoming collection of trendy hotels, there’s also no shortage of truly beautiful places to stay. From my many stays and from gorgeous quirky-chic boutiques to grand and modern, here are my favorite trendy and unique hotels to stay in the city…
1. WC Beautique
I love how uniquely decorated this inner-city hotel was! My favourite features included a lobby area with two huge stand-alone bathtubs and marble walls with running water features. Bespoke furniture has been designed like ripples of water, forming a truly unique aesthetic.
My bedroom was elegantly furnished with turquoise walls, and circular beds illuminated from underneath. While some rooms are funkier than others, all of them are a delight for the senses with quirky washing facilities barely separated from the main sleeping area. The oval rooms are the most original, and they lie in the curve of the rounded Art Nouveau building. There’s a minibar included in the rate, offering beer, water, and juices, as well as a Delta Espresso machine.
The hotel’s Banho Restaurant, located in the basement serves well-executed Portuguese cuisine, and has tiled turquoise floors and walls that mix mirrors with images of water. I would highly recommend sampling the menu of crafted cocktails and fine wines!
2. Memmo Alfama
The building’s 19th-century exterior has been painstakingly restored, while the interior offers 21st-century style and convenience. From the thick exposed ancient stone walls to the fine cement floor in the bathrooms, the old and the new blend seamlessly here. All interior elements are imbued with the Memmo mantra ‘make yourself at home’, as written on the wall by reception.
My bedroom at this trendy Lisbon abode had a simple feel with wooden floors, rustic bedcovers, and simple white linens, while the bathrooms are fresh and modern. The rooms differ in size, the largest being the Mansard Junior Suite, offering a supreme vantage point over Alfama and the Tagus River.
In true small hotel style, there is a 24-hour honesty fridge filled with local delicacies, a sitting room with tables and chairs, and a small Wine Bar upstairs that offers food and views out across the city. The buffet breakfast offers a true taste of Portugal and is the perfect way to kickstart your day in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. There is also a beautiful red-tiled lap pool and fire pit on the terrace where I would suggest spending some time, I thought it was divine!
3. Dear Lisbon, Charming House
Located in the iconic neighbourhood of Santa Catarina, where winding streets spill down the hills of the city, the exceptionally rated Charming House is an authentic Mediterranean hotel with a Moorish vibe. This is the perfect urban oasis for those seeking to explore the real Lisboa, inviting you to get lost in the pace of fado, the authentic cuisine, the vibrant nightlife, and the charming boutique shops.
I was a big fan of the communal lounge which was an eclectic mix of wingback chairs, rustic tables, and button leather sofas centered around a stunning feature fireplace. Bedrooms are refined with crisp white bedding, polished wooden floors, and incredible views out across the Santa Catarina rooftops. You can opt for a double with a private terrace, a junior suite, or a double room with either a patio or city view. Each one is perfectly balanced in terms of space, decoration, and character.
Breakfast is served on-site, comprising a variety of bread, traditional jams, home-baked cakes, and freshly squeezed juices, among many more delights. For more filling fare for lunch and dinner, explore the international food cafes and restaurants that can be found on every corner of this buzzing, bohemian neighbourhood.
The outdoor space at this hip and beautiful Lisbon accommodation offers a Riad-style patio with a small swimming pool and Arabian styling, and although there is no restaurant on-site, guests can enjoy a continental-style breakfast in the lounge.
4. Mama Shelter
With its vibrant and quirky decor that echoes the colorful and sun-soaked city, Mama Shelter Lisboa is centrally located in the French Quarter, between the Botanical Garden and Parque Eduardo VII, and close to Avenida da Liberdade. The hotel’s playful approach to hospitality and décor is characterized by colorful fabrics, Portuguese crafts, blue wave patterns reminiscent of the ocean, and fun fish-filled ceilings by French artist Beniloys.
The rooms have ocean-inspired decor, luxurious beds, free movies, a fridge, and air conditioning. All 130 of them are spread over 8 floors. Standout features are the televisions framed in Portuguese cork, lampshades crafted from Portuguese straw, and walls festooned in ceramics by the Bordallo Pinheiro brand. Guests can use the “Move Me Up” option to choose a quiet room on the 7th or 8th floor, above the bustle of the city.
I loved the laid-back vibe as well as the with open-air terraces, a rooftop bar, and a Mediterranean restaurant famous for homemade food, signature cocktails, and music sessions. You can tuck into homemade pizza from the wood-fired oven, and sit around the island bar at dinner while mingling with other solo travelers. A continental and buffet breakfast is served here every morning. Mama Shelter is making waves on Lisbon’s hotel scene, and the visiting DJ nights Thursday – Saturday have become an electric hub for locals.
5. Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
This 5-star design hotel located on the Tagus River near the Monument of the Discoveries takes its inspiration from Portugal’s Golden Age in the 15th and 16th centuries. You will be within walking distance of famous monuments and sights such as the Jeronimos Monastery, Belém Cultural Centre, Berardo Collection Art Museum, Oriental Museum, Ajuda Palace, and more. I was a big fan of the boldly contemporary structure that mixes black granite with white marble, while white leather sofas sit atop black marble floors, forming a graceful, dazzling design.
The decor in the rooms and suites took me on a journey across Africa, Arabia, India, Siam, Osaka, and Brazil, and the use of light and water views has won it awards like Portugal’s Leading Design Hotel 2015 and 2016 and Europe’s Leading Design Hotel 2016 for the World Travel Awards. For example, in some rooms, tropical birds are etched against a jungle background to symbolize Brazil. The Superior Rooms come with a balcony, and the Presidential Suite is inset with a whirlpool tub.
For dining, I would recommend taking your pick from Cafetaria Mensagem overlooking the river, or the Bar 38⁰ 41’ which is named after the geographical coordinates that symbolize the departure of Portuguese navigators. Alternatively, you can head to Feitoria, the only Michelin-starred hotel restaurant in Lisbon. Panoramic river views provide the most idyllic setting for the luxurious rooms, as well as the tranquil BSpa by Karin Herzog.
6. 1908 Lisboa
Housed in an award-winning Art Nouveau building situated in downtown Lisbon, I loved that the 4-star exceptionally rated 1908 Lisboa Hotel is uniquely different on so many levels. It is set in an emerging neighbourhood, just a 20-minute walk from the Praça do Comércio and the capital’s waterfront. Across the road is Ramiro, one of the city’s most iconic beer halls.
The interiors brim with a sense of place, with original tiles and murals by Lisbon street artist Vanessa Tedoro, alongside Bordalo II’s art installations. Cool antiques blend perfectly with funky Art Nouveau features, whilst the unique and sophisticated Lisbon hotel is also home to an ever-evolving art gallery sharing the work of up-and-coming artists. The lobby has stunning tiled floors that combine beautifully with the industrial decor and an original turned staircase.
My bedrooms was clean and comfortable and had a modern vibe, whilst bathrooms offer steaming hot showers and are incredibly clean. I suggest splashing out and booking the King of Dome duplex suite with its tiny round window under the dome, offering a bird’s eye view of the red-roofed capital.
The Restaurant Infame serves up delicious local food, and running along the front of the hotel is the bar, providing seasonal cocktails and classics with the hotel’s own twist. The staff here have created an excellent Concierge App, where you can find up-to-date sightseeing and cultural recommendations.
7. Internacional Design Hotel
A trendy boutique hotel situated in a truly central location on the corner of Rossio Square, Internacional Design Hotel puts me within a few minutes of the traditional districts of Bairro Alto, Chiado, and St. George’s Castle.
Inside I discovered an unrivalled blend of cosmopolitan comfort, personalized service, and local insider knowledge. While the Internacional might be one of the oldest hotels in the city, the interiors are anything but dated. Even the aromas are considered to be the tiniest detail, so one can easily identify the place even with eyes closed.
The modern decor combines bold patterns with intricate works of art and an eclectic mix of furnishings to create design-conscious looks, whilst bedrooms have been created to match the many themed floors that run throughout the property.
Choose from pop art-inspired Andy Warhol rooms, as well as rooms on the Zen, Urban, and Tribal floors, all with plenty of space, style, and even individually themed scents on offer. Each unit is equipped with independent air conditioning, sound-proof windows, telephone, a mini-bar, a safe deposit box, an LCD television with cable channels, a Nespresso coffee machine, and plenty of thoughtful add-ons.
The Bastardo Restaurant is a beacon of passionate cooking, serving dishes made of unique ingredients. Meanwhile, the Bastardo Bar features plastic chairs, long-hanging lampshades, and trendy artwork as well as a modern menu and first-class drinks. The hotel also boasts a beautiful garden, where I sat out and savoured a cup of tea!
8. Torel Palace
You’ll get the royal treatment at this boutique hotel, with 25 rooms, a villa, and five apartments located in a complex consisting of two historic palaces and a mansion. The site is beautifully hidden away on one of the seven hills of Lisbon, a location chosen for its spectacular view of the Tagus River and São Jorge Castle across the cityscape.
I loved the 19th century traditional architectural details, light-filled interiors, rich furnishings and the combination of classic and modern styles. The two houses are adjacent to each other with a courtyard running in between.
The rooms and suites are surrounded by gardens and terraces, and most have balconies to relax and enjoy the surroundings. They were all named after the Kings and Queens of Portugal.
The 2 Monkeys fine dining restaurant invites guests to interact with the chefs in a small, intimate environment, while the Black Pavilion is more informal in style and draws on local, seasonal ingredients. A delicious breakfast is served every morning and there are all kinds of extra services like babysitting, laundry and an airport shuttle that will make your visit go that much more smoothly. I found that the swimming pool was a great place to relax and unwind, and comes with a terrace from which you can enjoy the views over the city. Spa treatments can be booked up here also.
9. AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado
Understated and utterly sophisticated, the AlmaLusa Hotel is tucked away in an 18th-century building that was once the site of the city’s old arsenal. It sits in a square dominated by the palatial City Hall, within walking distance of the wide-flowing Tagus River and the main Railway Station of Rossio.
The building has listed status meaning that the interiors are full of original features including flagstone flooring and huge wooden fireplaces that have been carefully combined with contemporary elements and a clutter-free approach to hotel design. The muted color and rich textures exude an aesthetic that is both soothing and uplifting.
My bedroom came well equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, smart televisions, and REVO SuperSignal radios, and are dressed in calm neutral colors with soft beds and quality furnishings. Bathrooms offer traditional black and white slate tile designs and feature walk-in showers with rain heads.
The ground floor Delfina Restaurant serves buffet breakfasts consisting of traditional pastries, smoked salmon, fruit and local hams. For lunch and dinner, you can indulge in hearty Portuguese food, as well as a range of wine, beer and spirits. As a guest, you can take part in one of the hotel’s excursions to neighboring Sintra, or a walking tour through Lisbon’s Jewish quarter, or even ride along the city’s hills on a Segway.
10. The Vintage Hotel & Spa
From the fabulous V Rooftop Bar to the spa with a heated pool and organic herbal teas served in bespoke China made by a local artist, I promise you’ll get an authentic taste of the Lisbon experience. The clean-lined interiors have been woven by Spanish-based Quiet studios, with vintage pieces, and colourful Portuguese portraits scattered around, befitting the hotel’s name.
My room had large windows with city views, seating areas, artwork by João Rei and specially curated bar carts with a gin and tonic kit and complimentary snacks. They are divided into three categories – Inspire, Relax and Play. All 53 of them draw on a rich palette of botanical green, warm blue, and deep terracotta, in homage to Lisbon’s dazzling rooftops. The coffee machines are accompanied by Costa Nova cups and saucers, as well as a minibar stocked with Lince craft beer brewed in Lisbon.
I found traditional Portuguese cuisine at the Blue Restaurant and wine and cocktails at the Lobby Bar. It’s no surprise that this charming boutique eatery has been chosen for the 2022 Travelers Choice Best of the Best award from TripAdvisor. It leads directly off the street and delivers delicious Portuguese fare with a contemporary twist.
The V rooftop bar and restaurant is the perfect spot for the summer months, inviting guests to delight in light meals. They host cinema nights up here, as well as DJ events. Other on-site facilities include a spa with a steam room, sauna, jet pool, and treatments using Portuguese brand Claus Porto products.
11. The Lumiares
If you’ve always wanted to live in a palace then in my opinion this place is for you! The studios and suites in this boutique hotel, housed in a 17th-century palace are designed to feel like home. The location in the trendy Bairro Alto puts you near all the sights, and the narrow streets surrounding the property are lined by tiled façades, ancient palaces, and old family businesses.
The 47 high-ceilinged apartments vary in size. Mine had French windows with white wooden shutters, and balconies with views over the picturesque red-tiled city roofs, and come with fully equipped kitchenettes and separate living areas. Fabrics and fittings from local artisans such as the cushions from the Alentejo, rugs by Ferreira de Sá, and traditional Portuguese tiles in the bathrooms add to the sense of belonging. The in-room kitchenettes are luxurious with high-end appliances and porcelain, and you’ll be welcomed with complimentary white wine on arrival.
The Lumi Restaurant boasts an open kitchen on the inside and a rooftop space, serving up dishes that draw on the traditional Portuguese kitchen. This is the best place to start the day, with the à la carte breakfast consisting of dishes such as avocado toast and chicken empanadas alongside the normal egg selection, fresh fruit, and yogurt. There’s also the Rebel Café downstairs with an entrance from the street, offering a popular hangout spot for digital nomads.
A great feature of the hotel is its small but elegant spa, offering four treatment rooms using La Sultane de Saba products.
12. Le Consulat
Located near Luis de Camoes Square in the lively Chiado district, I loved that this place introduces you to the cuisine, art and culture of the city. Yellow trams rattle past and one of Lisbon’s best nata bakeries is right across the road! The area’s most beautiful church, the Baroque Igreja São Roque, is also just a five-minute walk away.
A variety of Lisbon galleries have partnered with the hotel to dress it in original art. It thus brims with bold character and chic style. Industrial in areas, you’ll find spaces adorned with terrace windows opening out onto the main square.
The high ceilings boast eloquent stucco work, while large windows let in the famous Lisbon sunshine, and the elegant decor in light earth tones gives a welcoming, homely feeling. Each suite has a unique design with local artwork, and many have balconies looking out over the city. Floors are wooden, balconies are lavish, and bathrooms are stocked with own brand amenities.
Taberna Fina, the hotel’s esteemed restaurant, is headed by chef André Magalhães, long acclaimed for his restaurant Rua das Flores on a neighbouring street. I discovered an exquisite menu decided on the day by the season and the market produce. Breakfast is served in the lounge, which becomes the Rove bar in the evenings with drinks, food and music. With its friendly and professional service, Le Consulat will add a sense of graciousness to your stay, where art is at the forefront and your convenience is the number one priority.
13. My Story Hotel Figueira
This landmark building in Figueira Square is full of elegance and modern comfort while recalling the bustle of the area’s fruit and vegetable market in times past. I loved that it’s also close to all the sights, museums, shipping, restaurants, and bars in the heart of the city, and right next to the tram stop, from which you can explore all of Lisbon’s charming neighbourhoods.
All interior spaces exude comfort, boutique design, and modernity in an atmosphere of serenity. The essence of Lisbon’s downtown and the daily lives of its people are embraced through the artwork dotted around the property.
My room was unique, clean, and stylish decor with all the comforts of rich furnishings, parquet floors, and soundproofed windows, though you may want to leave them open to the sounds of the city outside. You can opt for a Double Room with a city view, a Twin Room, or even a Family Room, all of which offer state-of-the-art amenities like kettles, mirror TVs, and tech-forward appliances.
On-site you can head to the innovative Italian restaurant, signed by chefs Augusto Gemeli and Prakash Adhikari, who serve up dishes inspired by the fruit and vegetable market of Figueira Square. The result is a gourmet Italian menu with homemade bread and Italian pizzas fresh from a traditional wood oven. I kickstarted my day with a buffet breakfast, before heading out to explore the gems of the vicinity. The hotel also plays host to pleasant outdoor spaces including a garden and swimming pool, inviting you to delight in happy memories.
LXBoutique is a hip, blue-fronted hotel which led the way for the millennial crowd when it opened in 2010. It’s an artsy but unpretentious boutique close to the bars of Bairro Alto and the shops of Chiado, with wonderful views out across the river. Pensão Amor, a popular bar set within an 18th-century house lies across the road, while the world-famous Time Out Market is just a few minutes’ walk away.
The 4-star exceptionally rated LX Boutique Hotel has a fresh, modern feel with an arty vibe, and each of the five floors has its very own theme. Taking inspiration from Lisbon’s traditional Fado music to its wide River Tagus and literary giant Fernando Pessoa, the corridors brim with a sense of place, drawing on the city’s charm.
My Bedroom had a cozy, waterfront feel and are dressed in hues of blue and grey, whilst the bathrooms are bright and modern. Some boast French windows with pristine river views, while others are tucked under the loft with sloping ceilings and white shutters.
The restaurant, open all day, is operated by the Confraria group, renowned for their sushi. A popular dish is the house Confraria roll with grilled salmon. The hotel has a nice, friendly bar that is perfect for a cold beer or two. There are plenty of bars and restaurants just outside the hotel doors, so if Sushi isn’t your thing you certainly won’t go hungry here. A stand-out feature of LXBoutique is the free walking tours organized daily.
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Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six-month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh-faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi-nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in the warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds, and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex-Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
Hotel Reviewing Experience – published hotel review in the 52 Sleeps Book organised by Laterooms.com and Lonely Planet. Asked by over 12 tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Germany Tourist Board, Canada Tourist Board, Eviivo, France.fr, Visitoostende.be, Live Riga and Queensland Tourist Board. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos.
I’ve also been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, LA Weekly, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, Daily Express, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and Metro. Winner of Travel Blog of the Year. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.