Standing on the terrace of my ninth-floor suite at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, the cityscape of the Portuguese capital is an irresistible sight. Known as “The White City”, the hills are a vividly coloured vision, dotted with brightly painted houses with terracotta rooftops and handmade tiles, and historic monuments like the São Jorge Castle, 25th of April Bridge and the National Sanctuary of Christ the King – inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.
Built in 1959, the hotel has been Lisbon’s premier luxury hotel for more than half a century, and it’s easy to see why. Despite the influx of tourism and a crop of new five-star, boutique and design hotels popping up around town, the hotel is in a class of its own when it comes to luxury, from the doorman’s top hat and double-breasted coat to the epic floral arrangements in the sprawling lobby that seamlessly transforms into the Almada Negreiros Lounge. Named after the influential Portuguese modern artist, José de Almada Negreiros, the lounge walls are decorated with his tapestries that were commissioned by the original owners of the hotel in 1956.
Enjoy breakfast on the terrace in Lisbon
Decorated in swathes of neutrals and seafoam, mustard-yellow antique furniture and chairs gilded with lacquered black trimmings, the lounge has a history-laced atmosphere that suggests no shortage of interesting people have lingered here. Adjacent to the lounge, Varanda Restaurant, overlooking Eduardo VII Park, serves a decadent breakfast with freshly squeezed oranges from the Algarve, homemade granola, Portuguese bread, cheese and local meats.
You can stuff yourself with pancakes, waffles or an omelette and finish with a deliciously fruity yet cleansing green juice – the detoxifying elixir of celery, apple and ginger will do the job better than any coffee. However, Portugal is known for its excellent caffeine, and the smooth and nutty espresso packs a punch.
The hotel attracts an eclectic mix of travellers, with everyone from tourists and business executives to locals on a staycation basking in the glory of the historic surrounds. A stroll around the hotel feels more like an art walk; the interiors exude the same style and grace as an established museum.
The living room of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon suite
The Imperial One-Bedroom Suite shares the same colour palette as downstairs, with classical lamps and tables peppering the living room. The bedroom, attached to the living room through a small corridor, is fit for royalty.Adorned with sweeping curtains, it has a plush king-size mattress and down pillows that are so cosy, parting from them proves difficult when morning comes.
For those who want to stay in, there are large-screen televisions in both rooms, L’Occitane en Provence amenities, and robes and slippers, while prompt housekeeping service keeps the room stocked and enticing for lounging between hiking up the challenging hills of Lisbon. All that walking means a trip to the gym might not be necessary, but for fitness fanatics, the top-floor gym also features a Pilates room and a rooftop running track, while an in-house personal trainer is at your disposal.
Spacious and pleasant, the suite exudes old European luxury while catering to the modern traveller. Positioned in the corner of the hotel, guests staying here can take their pick of three separate yet spacious terraces to snap photos of the city, or enjoy a curated room service breakfast al fresco. Unwinding after a day of exploring with a glass of port wine while overlooking the view only sweetens the experience.
Historic art adorns the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon suite, creating a museum atmosphere to the property
The important bit