Up the steep riverbank that is Lapa, the hotel is in the swankiest neighbourhood in town. However, there isn’t a great deal immediately on the hotel doorstep, save for some very grand homes and embassies. Within walking distance are the clubs and bars of Docas and Santos, plus the sights of Belem are a few minutes by cab. But if you want to be in the thick of it, this isn’t the place for you.
The 29 rooms come with grand oil paintings of colonial Portugal’s fleet, old wood panelling and antique furnishings. High thread-count sheets top deep comfy beds, while the best rooms have uninterrupted views of the sparkling river.
The top-floor library harks back to Portugal’s ‘Age of Discovery’ with its worn leather armchairs, grand terrace and telescope, for looking out beyond Atlantic and dreaming of what lies beyond the horizon – or spying on some the neighbouring embassies, if you like.
Eating and drinking
There’s no restaurant. But the hotel does serve an excellent continental buffet breakfast in the outdoor patio, or dining room, weather depending.
Just the aforementioned library.
Absolutely faultless, although the small reception can make things crowded at check-in and check-out time.
Who stays there
Mainly couples on a romantic break.
The suites here are the same price, and of generally better standard, than many of the top range hotels. Prices also drop by 25 percent in the off season.
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Quiet and romantic location and setting
- Plenty of charm and character
- Slightly removed from the city centre action