Expect lodgings fit for royalty at this beautiful guest house. Located on the first floor of a grand, neo-Moorish 19th Century townhouse in the upscale and increasingly fashionable Principe Real neighborhood (also named for Dom Pedro), the intimate hotel has only 9 rooms and suites, and is a masterwork in tasteful restoration, with plenty of high stuccoed ceilings, original 19th Century furnishings and ornate azulejo tile work to be admired. Wrought iron balconies overlooking the botanical gardens in one of Lisbon's most elegant neighborhoods add to the sense of occasion, and the focus on providing attentive customer service means guests can expect to feel suitably pampered. Given its prime location and luxurious feel, room rates are surprisingly accessible.
This is prime shopping territory, with upmarket treats galore on offer at the ritzy Embaixada boutique mall next door
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guests have the place to themselves after around 9 p.m., but staff are contactable via phone.
Bathrooms vary in style, color scheme, and layout, but all feel suitably luxurious, with lots of colored marble, gold tones, and traditional tile work. Some bathrooms have tubs with overhead showers, others have walk-in shower units. Comfortable robes and slippers are provided, and there are plenty of high-quality complimentary toiletries.
Entering the hotel feels less like walking into a lobby than stepping into the home of a landed gentry, thanks to the framed portraits, blooming potted plants and one-off vintage furnishings. The 13-foot high ceilings and wooden floors add a sense of old-world opulence, and guests are greeted with a welcome drink on check-in.
There's plenty of choice on offer at the buffet breakfast, served in a but no lunch or dinner is served at the guest house.
There's no bar at the hotel, but guests receive a complimentary tipple on arrival.
It's a short stroll to the Metro stations at Rato or Avenida, and the Casa do Principe is also well served by buses and taxis. Strolling around the area is pleasant (if taxing on the legs, expect some stiff climbs on the roads nearby), and Principe Real is a beautiful spot to explore on foot. Heading along the leafy, well-heeled Avenida Atlantica, guests can reach iconic spots such as Rossio square in less than half an hour, and the lively nightlife of Bairro Alto is within staggering distance, too. A shuttle bus from the airport stops nearby, otherwise it's a short (less than four mile) cab ride.
As befits one of Lisbon's most fashionable spots, there are lots of worthy dining experiences within a few minutes' walk of the hotel. Check out the delicious ceviches and dramatically contemporary design (hello, giant octopus suspended from the ceiling) at A Cevicheria (2-minute walk); or try crowd-pleasing Portuguese-style burgers (in meat, fish or vegetable-based forms) and tasty tapas at the lively O Prego da Peixaria (2-minute walk).
Principe Real seems to get trendier every week, and new bars crop up here with great frequency. One unmissable, longstanding favorite is Pavilhão Chinês (2-minute walk), a unique drinking experience, where cocktails are served in a space filled with antique toys, mannequins, and other curios. Another unique aspect of Lisbon's drinking scene is its plethora of outdoor drinks kiosks, dotted at scenic locales across the city. Try cocktail hour or lunchtime sangria at Quiosque Principe Real (2-minute walk), which is set in the lovely nearby gardens.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A world away from high rise chain hotels, this luxurious guest house has wonderfully plush rooms and an intimate feel that allows guests to really make themselves at home. The location, in one of Lisbon's prettiest and most upscale areas, is excellent, and shoppers will right at home in this smart part of town.