A member of Design Hotels, the new Memmo Alfama is a 42-room hotel that reinvents traditional hotel concepts. For example, instead of walking towards a check-in desk, guests approach a lounge styled like a living room. (Checking in can take place anywhere within the hotel, even at the hotel's bar.) Books can be borrowed from the hotel's library, perfect for travelers who already blew through the book they packed. A fridge stocked with beverages in the library operates on an honor system. A buffet breakfast of mostly locally sourced foods is eaten at a communal table and guests help themselves to whatever is in the fridge that morning. For tips on what to do in the neighborhood, the "Living Alfama" list features personal recommendations from staff to help guests "live like a local."
A team of architects including Samuel Torres de Carvalho and João Corrêa Nunes honed in on a cozy vibe by using lots of wood materials and warm colors. Portuguese street artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils was commissioned to create a mural for one exterior wall of the building that the hotel is in. Framed in the windows of each room are stunning views of the River Tagus or the Alfama neighborhood. Surrounding a swimming pool are cheery-red umbrellas and chairs while the rooms are decidedly calmer with neutral shades of white and grey. From the terrace—which doubles as a wine bar (specializing in Portuguese picks) and dining destination (tapas and salads)—is a spectacular view of Portugal's capital city.
Rates at Memmo Alfama start at 145 euros ($195) per night.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Memmo Alfama/Design Hotels