Within the walls of the São Jorge Castle, this previous noble family residence, now serves as an oasis to sophisticated, but not pretentious, world travelers in Lisbon. A typical guest at the Palacio Belmonte is not looking to be burdened by bellhops touting top hats, or for the comfort of knowing fellow guests are in rooms with identical amenities. No, instead, they’re looking for connection with fellow intrepid souls who appreciate the finer things in life, such as a property that boasts ten unique suites, 1700’s Portuguese tile covered walls, a carefully curated contemporary art collection.
One of the many perks of calling this one-of-a-kind property home during your stay in Lisbon is your proximity to popular sites without feeling like you’re being overrun by site-seers. Less than a 5-minute walk away, you find yourself at the base of the the São Jorge Castle, which is perfect for a few hours of exploring and getting the best views of the city.
Starting your morning in Bartolomeu de Gusmão Terrace Suite, named one of the most beautiful suites in the world by Condé Nast, you are treated to natural light spilling into your first floor living area, complimented by spectacular views of blue water and the red roof covered skyline of Alfama dancing in the windows. Breakfast is brought to your suite at an hour of your choosing; meaning you have ample time to take advantage of your bath robes and claim victory over a crossword puzzle. While we elected to devour our morning sustenance inside, you can take it to the top of the tower where you have an unparalleled perspective of the city from your private terrace. This lookout not only serves as the best place to start your day, it is worth ending there with a cigar and night cap as well. Bonus: you can purchase Cubans in Chiado for those inclined to give into their inner Groucho Marx.
After you’re done taking in the city from above, it’s time to tour the hilly streets of Lisbon. Workout equipment would be wasted at the Palacio Belmonte because, as the owner likes to point out, “the entire city is a gym,” thanks to its many ups and downs. Strap on your sneakers or boots and get ready for lots of walking, while simultaneously snacking up on Portugal’s most famous dessert, Pastéis de Nata. Cafes featuring their own iteration of the custard filled pastry, paying homage to the original recipe birthed in the 1830’s abound, and there’s no harm in trying them all during your urban hike.
Chatting with alfacinhas (Portugal’s affectionate nickname for Lisbon city dwellers), you’ll be pointed to their favorite bookstore, like Livraria do Simão, or the most underrated miradouro in Lisbon, or an off-the-beaten-path tinned fish shop like Conserveira de Lisboa. Of course, if you’re looking for recommendations, you can always ask the personnel at the Palacio Belmonte; they provided us with the best guidance during our stay.
After a long day, it bodes well to return to the ballroom with a good book, grab yourself a complimentary cocktail while you challenge your travel companion to a game of backgammon, or thumb through their CD collection to bring familiar (or new) sounds back to your suite to set the mood. However you choose the close our your evening here, it is sure to be a memorable one — as will your stay.