Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca 88, Lisbon, Lisbon 1099-039, Portugal
Those familiar with the luxury Four Seasons brand will know the drill--smartly-attired staff, immaculate facilitie, and attentive service. At the Ritz Lisbon, the luxury starts the minute you step into the marbled reception area and through to the lounge bar, whose terrace overlooks Lisbon's central park. Public areas are filled with tapestries, fine paintings, and antique reproductions, while airy guest rooms have elegant furnishings and balconies looking out to Castelo de São Jorge and the river, or toward Monsanto forest. A superb buffet breakfast is served in the Varanda restaurant, which has a terrace. There are lunch and dinner menus for kids of different ages—also available via room service. The spa is top notch, and the views from the rooftop gym--with its full-size running track--are strong motivation to fit in a workout. Calorie replacement is at hand at the vast breakfast buffet, served in the plush Varanda restaurant.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel is well-placed for business visitors, but it's a metro ride to most of Lisbon's biggest attractions.
All of the 282 rooms and suites have impressive views--some overlook the hotel's manicured gardens, some take in the impressive Eduardo VII Park while others look out over Lisbon's old town, the castle and the river. The rooms and suites are stylishly furnished, have all mod-cons, and most have a good-sized private terrace--all the better for absorbing those terrific views.
The bathrooms continue the hotel's lavish feel, with high-end L'Occitane amenities and an abundance of marble. Most of the bathrooms have baths, and Superior rooms have separate showers.
The lobby at the Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon is as ritzy as the name suggests--fresh flower displays and antique artworks set the tone, and there's a large lounge-bar, which is also open to non-guests. There are also a handful of shops, offering clothing and keepsakes.
The impressive spa at the hotel has a pool big enough for those looking to do a little exercise rather than just cool down. The 18-meter indoor pool has great city views, too.
Children are welcome to use the pool, but under-12s need to be supervised.
The hotel spa is one of the best in town, and attracts both guests and non-guests with its range of pampering treatments. The cool space has large windows looking out over hotel gardens and the nearby park, and the facilities include treatment rooms--offering facials, massages, mani-pedis and a wealth of other invigorating (if costly) treatments, using Swiss Perfection, ESPA, and Sodashi products.
The spa is a popular place for brides and bridesmaids to enjoy pre-wedding beauty treatments.
Exercise buffs have a lot to get excited about here--the rooftop workout facilities are a joy to use. The floor to ceiling glass windows mean guests can look out over the city as they use the modern equipment. There's a pilates room and weights room, but the crowning glory is the 400-meter outdoor running track on the rooftop.
If your workout routine is important, it might be worth sacrificing a more central location in favor of this hotel with its terrific fitness facilities
The hotel's restaurants attract a mix of guests and non-guests, who come here for the high-end food and the views. There's excellent sushi at the intimate O Japonês, and relaxed snacks and small plates at the hotel's lounge bar, but the biggest draw is Varanda Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with stunning views. The kitchen is manned by acclaimed French chef Pascal Meynard. Varanda hosts a hugely popular lunchtime buffet, while evening meals are a-la-carte and focus on Portuguese dishes.
YOU SHOULD KNOW As one might expect, it's not cheap--dining out is relatively affordable in Lisbon, but prices are high by any standards here.
The hotel is well-placed for business visitors, but guests will need to take cabs or public transport to the historic downtown and Lisbon's biggest sights. Marques do Pombal metro station is five minutes' walk from the hotel, and has connections to the airport and most Lisbon sights. Taxis are abundant and inexpensive--it should be less than €10 to reach most of the sights downtown as well as Alfama and Bairro Alto.
The hotel is not as central to Lisbon' restaurant scene as those closer to the historic downtown, but there are plenty of cozy, unpretentious spots nearby, as well as high-end dining with fine views at the Michelin-starred Eleven (10-minute walk). Meat-lovers would be well advised to visit Fogo de Chao (5-minute walk) a Brazilian import, where waiters carve endless cuts of freshly-grilled meat to diners at their table. An enormous salads-and-sides bar ensures even vegetarians can eat their fill.
Many of the bars close to Ritz Lisbon are found inside (or on top of) other hotels, but there are also plenty of simple hole-in-the-walls and street kiosks--try Central Parque, in the middle of Parque Eduardo VII for family-friendly drinks and light bites surrounded by plenty of open, green space. A younger, hipper crowd heads to Rooftop Bar Hotel HF Fénix Music (6-minute walk). This hotel on the top of the Fénix Lisboa hotel has wonderful cocktails, great city views, and a lively musical menu. For those who want to carry on the party, Bairro Alto, with its many late-opening bars, is a half-hour walk or 10-minute cab ride away.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This luxury hotel has impeccable service, top-of-the-range facilities, good restaurants, and a breakfast buffet that could keep you going all day. The rooftop workout room and running track could tempt even the least motivated guest to lace up their running shoes, and the spa is excellent.
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