High up, amongst the palaces and palm trees of the aristocratic Lapa district, this is just the place for self-importance, luxury and historic beauty. Unfortunately, the only problem is there’s little in the way of restaurants and sights on your doorstep, meaning you have to rely on the often-inflated cost of the hotel taxi service.
The suites on the 7th floor, with their four-poster beds and private turrets, are the finest in town. The standard rooms are sufficiently opulent with private balconies overlooking the Rio Tejo or the tropical garden below.
The echoey lobby and hotel corridors maintain a hushed regal charm with all-marble interiors and antique furnishings. I particularly liked pottering around the towering ficus trees and waterfalls in the tropical garden around which most of the hotel is set.
Eating and drinking
The Restaurante Lapa serves excellent high-end Italian food – the seafood dishes were particularly good when I visited. There’s also a poolside restaurant, Le Pavillion, which serves juices, sandwiches and light dishes in the summer. Tea junkies should check out Rio Tejo Bar, which has 42 different varieties from around Asia.
There’s an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, a sauna, Turkish bath and a small spa and gym.
As you’d expect in such a place, the service is exemplary.
Who stays there
Anyone with the cash, from dignitaries to rock-stars.
The prices can reduce by up to 50 per cent in the off-season.
- Culture vultures
- Families with younger children
- Celebrity spotting
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Romantic and peaceful
- The height of luxury
- Slightly isolated from urban amenities