Fodor's Expert Review Jerónimos 8
Rua dos Jerónimos 8, Belem, Lisbon, Lisbon 1400-211, Portugal See on Map
This recently-refurbished hotel sits in close proximity to one of Lisbon's most impressive historic buildings--Belem's Jeronimos Monastery--and almost on the banks of the River Tagus. The scenic Belém neighborhood is famed for its grand architecture and world class galleries, and the hotel reflects this blend of the historic and the modern. It offers slick design and modern amenities in a restored 1940s building that is perfectly situated for exploring the many big ticket attractions of this much-visited neighborhood. Guests can admire the fine Manueline architecture of the monastery from within the hotel, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto to the famous building. Organic breakfasts and very reasonable rates add to the appeal. The hotel is owned by the Alexandre de Almeida group (the oldest hotel chain in Portugal!).
YOU SHOULD KNOW The ultra-modern interiors may not be to everybody's taste
Each of the 61 rooms and four suites at the Jeronimos Hotel has been individually designed, but the hotel's strikingly modern design is evident in all of them. White walls, lots of natural light and minimalist furnishings make for a relaxing ambience, and the large windows make the most of the enviable location--rooms offer views of the Monastery, Belem Tower, Botanical Gardens, leafy lawns, or the neighborhood's scenic squares. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, and some have pleasant terraces looking onto the hotel courtyard.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Although the rooms are double-glazed, the busy location means traffic noise may disturb light sleepers.
The plush marble bathrooms, with full bathtubs are a contrast to the minimalist style of the bedrooms, and take the luxury level up a notch. Amenities are plentiful and good quality.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There are no separate showers in the bathrooms.
The brown, cream, and red that dominates the decor at this hotel is notable the moment you enter the lobby. Contemporary furnishings, skylights and large windows make the space feel larger than it appears from the outside, and guests can look out onto the cloisters of the Monastery as they browse the morning's newspapers.
A buffet breakfast, included in the room rate, is served in ultra-modern space with snazzy white chairs and futuristic hanging lights. The buffet isn't the most extensive in town, but is carefully chosen, with a focus on organic produce, including delicious pasteis de nata (custard tarts). Snacks, and those delicious pastries, are also available in the hotel bar and through room service.
There's no in-house restaurant, but the hotel is a stone's throw from abundant cafes and restaurants
The hotel is a top option for wine lovers--there's an exhaustive wine list at the Bussaco Wine Bar, including some very hard-to-source varieties, many of which can't be found anywhere else in Lisbon. Cocktails and pasteis de nata from the legendary Pasteis de Belem store (a tourist attraction in itself) can also be enjoyed at the bar, which is open to non-guests.
Wine completists take note: this is the only bar in town offering Buçaco reserve wines
The leafy lawns and sprawling palaces make Belem feel a city apart from Lisbon "proper," but it's a short hop from downtown via regular buses, train, and trams. Trains pass through here every 15 minutes or so on their way to the beaches of Estoril and Cascais, so it's a good option for beach lovers as well as culture vultures.
Centro Cultural de Belém (8-minute walk) has a lovely roof terrace complete with kid-pleasing water features and a casual-chic restaurant Este Oeste (East/West) where drinks, sushi, and light Italian dishes are served against a dramatic view over the river. Pasteis do Belem (3-minute walk) is perhaps Portugal's most famous cafe--it's pasteis de nata are the stuff of legend. You can buy bags to go or enjoy them with coffee in the azulejo-tiled interior. Be prepared to queue--those flaky, buttery pastries are in high demand.
Those looking for a funky night out should make the one-stop train journey to Alcantara for rooftop drinks at Rio Maravilha (30-minute walk, 10-minute cab ride or 5-minute train ride and 5-minute walk). The trendy bar-restaurant at LX Factory has a relaxed terrace with DJ sets, cinema screenings and views across the river to the Christ statue. In Belem itself, the innovative Wine With a View (15-20 minute walk) cart sells high-quality Portuguese wine by the plastic wine "glass"--look out for the cart at the gardens facing Belem Tower.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This fairly-priced restaurant has a fantastic location and a slick, modern feel that contrasts with the historic location. Service is good, breakfasts are high quality, beds are comfy and some of Lisbon's best sights are right on the doorstep. The location is perfect for culture vultures and history buffs. Belem is arguably Lisbon's most picturesque neighborhood, with its parks, palaces, cultural centers, and some of the city's finest architecture. It's a short hop from downtown via train, tram, or bus. Nightlife is low key. The wine bar has an exceptional array of vinhos, too.
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