When I was searching for a spot to stay in Lisbon, I wanted a unique property, and something felt like an oasis without being too far from the center of the city. A few of you have actually asked me how I search for the hotels that I stay in, and to be honest, it’s not really that complicated. It’s a combination of “thumbing through” Instagram, browsing Mr. & Mrs. Smith, reaching out to friends for personal anecdotes of their recent stays, and checking TripAdvisor & Telegraph reviews. I cross-section all of my research on these platforms, and usually end up with a list of 5-15 properties that suit my fancy. Okay, so maybe it’s not the most straightforward. But, I generally like my system and find that it directs me to one-of-a-kind experiences, and accommodations that meet my needs.
Ah yes, my needs. My mom likes to joke that she loves traveling with me because the places I stay in “aren’t horrible”. (Yes, this is dripping in sarcasm). It’s no secret that I have a pension for luxury, personal service, and show-stopping amenities. Enter the Olissippo Lapa Palace.
Situated on a hill, with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, and old world vibes that are apparent the minute you pull up to the property, Lapa Palace was the ideal start to my trip to Lisbon. From the ornate tile composition at the entryway, to an impressive lobby that transports you back in time to when this property was an actual palace, this Lisbon retreat was a welcome sight after our red-eye from Boston.
There’s no shortage of beautiful parts of the property to ooh and ahh at, including a fountain several stories high built into the side of the hotel & an outdoor pool and patio perfect for sunbathing, but there’s also quite a few amenities that make this stay a true value. For starters, the weather wasn’t quite warm enough for us to enjoy the outdoor pool, so taking a dip the indoor heated pool is a pretty sweet alternative. Their gym was pretty sizable, especially for a European property – most of them you can barely fit two people working out, but there were a good amount of machines and swanky locker rooms. Given the number of pieces of chocolate cake from Landeau I ate, and the portions sizes at Ponto Final, I was grateful to have a dedicated space to break a sweat.
If I’m pulling the trigger on a hotel, as opposed to an AirBnB, I also need to have breakfast included. That’s kind of a non-negotiable for me because there are so many benefits to having breakfast where you’re staying: 1) you don’t have to worry about scouring your neighborhood for a spot to eat – especially on days that you’re planning a lot of sightseeing, 2) there’s a hard end time to breakfast, meaning you don’t sleep in too much and waste your morning on your trip, and 3) they’re often open earlier than other breakfast places in the area to cater to business travelers. This means if you have a scheduled activity starting pretty early in the morning, you don’t have to go through the whole thing hungry. All this well-deserved pump up talk about breakfast leads me to saying that Lapa Palace has a pretty impressive spread in the morning. I genuinely enjoyed starting my days with a pot of tea, some bacon, and fresh cut mango. I mean… doesn’t get much better than that!
The icing on the cake, though, is really the view. Walking into our room, and out onto our balcony took my breath away when we first arrived. And, there’s something about that first impression that just stays with you.
At the end of our stay, I was a bit sad to leave the friendly staff and pink walls of Lapa Palace, but even the view on the way out is a good one! Driving through the gates one final time and down the hills of Lisbon wasn’t the worst way to end our time in that part of the city. If you have a chance to stay here, I’m sure you’ll feel the same.