At the Best Hotels in Lisbon, Tile Shows Up Everywhere, From Moody Pools to Serpentine Art
Plus where to eat and shop.
Published Jun 1, 2023 1:31 AM
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From dreamy decor to top-notch amenities, Domino’s Wish You Were Here series is your first-class ticket to the most design-driven getaways around the world. Whether you’re looking to steal away for a few days or just steal a few ideas for back home (we encourage both, for the record), check out where we’re checking in.
Known as a hub for some of the finest textiles and the world’s largest producer of cork—and for a cherished tradition of hand-painted tile walls—it’s no wonder design lovers flock to Lisbon. Portugal’s capital city is a paradise for those who appreciate the beauty of well-crafted spaces—from historic bakeries where you’ll spend your days tallying how many pasteis de natas you can humanly consume to cobbled streets that may lead you into one of the city’s many architectural wonders. (Don’t skip a visit to the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, by the way, where the exhibitions are just as incredible as its rooftop views across the Tagus River.) After hoofing it over hilly streets and winding roads, kick up your feet in one of the best hotels in Lisbon, where style takes center stage.
Tucked into a side street off Príncipe Real’s Avenida da Liberdade, this one-year-old property manages to blend history and contemporary influences seamlessly. Like so many of the city’s facades, Hotel Hotel is covered in painted ceramic tile, but with a fresh take thanks to Pedrita Studio by way of artist Maria Ana Vasco Costa. Costa created a distinctive three-dimensional pattern with glossy diamond shapes in a moody shade of teal that gives the whole exterior a serpentine feel.
Inside, each of the 40 rooms has a unique layout—some with sloping ceilings and others with small terraces. Every one features custom-made furniture and headboards crafted from Burel fabric. Underdogs Gallery curated dozens of one-of-a-kind pieces from Portuguese and international artists. (You can also catch a variety of works as you ride the holographic glass elevators.) And in the junior suites, you’ll find plush amoebalike rugs tailor-made by local artist Vanessa Barragao under your toes.
The interiors are good, but the real eye candy is outside. A pool lined with ’80s-era black tile sits within vertical gardens. The green walls fade into a canopy of trailing plants. Look up through the open roof and soak in that natural golden light Lisbon is so well known for.
Other Chic Stays
The Vintage: The idea here revolves around vintage mid-century bar carts, which the hotel sourced for each of the 56 rooms and are for guests to mix their own gin and tonics. Other highlights include a rich color palette of terracotta and mossy green guest rooms, vintage furniture pieces throughout, an intimate rooftop bar, and a subterranean spa with a soothing hydrotherapy circuit.
The Lumiares: Housed in a former 18th-century palace within Bairro Alto, the team behind this 47-bed hideaway worked hand in hand with local brands, makers, and artists so that everything feels as authentic as possible, from the bold black, white, and brass-accented flooring to the geometric artwork accenting the rooms. Don’t miss the real showstopper, a mesmerizing sculptural chandelier that dominates the grand staircase.
Baixa House: Baixa House is less a boutique hotel and more a cozy holiday home away from home. Beyond the blue and white tile is a collection of one- and two-bedroom apartments decorated with vintage pieces collected over time. Expect just-cut flowers to grace each room and a delivery of fresh, locally made bread at your door every morning.
Where to Shop
- Banema Studio: Brought to you by the architecture studio Campos Costa Arquitetos, this newly opened concept store carries everything from favorites by Hay to pieces by local ceramists. But it’s more than just a place to shop; the founders invite guests to stay a while, share ideas, and drink tea or coffee while discovering the latest designers, artisans, and products from their international inventory.
- Beijmat Studio: The brainchild of Marrakech architect Myriam Bennouna, this storefront sells a handpicked collection of goodies that range from vintage Moroccan lanterns to custom-cut zellige tile to new-wave Italian furniture.
Where to Eat
- Belcanto: The feast begins with the eyes at this two-Michelin-starred restaurant, where Studio Astolfi sets a scene of effortless elegance against stone arches and wood-paneled walls before chef Jose Avillez’s Caesar salad and suckling pig even hits the table.
- BoaBon: From the moment the flower-shaped butter candle(!) arrives for bread service, you’ll know you made the right choice popping into this newcomer right off Rua da Prata. Dainty cocktails and a delicious brunch tower—piled high with artisanal toasts and delicious dips—will confirm any lingering doubts.
- Castro: You’ll have the chance to grab one of the city’s signature pastries on almost every corner, but none compare to the pastel de nata from Castro’s oven doors. The quirky art installation by Joana Astolfi in the windows will draw you in, but the flaky, custardy combo this spot flawlessly delivers will keep you coming back for more.