Memmo Príncipe Real
What We Love
- Hermes toiletries in all bathrooms
- Limestone flooring, a nod to Lisbon’s many palaces
- A mosaic-tiled terrace pool with views of the city’s trademark red roofs
- You can whip up the hotel’s signature drink, a Porto Tonic Café Colonial, from a cocktail station in your room
What To Know
- The hotel offers a complimentary 90-minute walking tour of the stylish surroundings
- Two of the guest rooms have outdoor fireplaces
- The property is one of the first five-star hotels to grace the neighborhood
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Surrounded by the crumbling 19th-century mansions of Príncipe Real, this geometric four-story building, the work of architect Samuel Torres de Carvalho, breathes some much-needed modernism into Lisbon’s famed Moorish district. While its interiors do pay elegant homages to Portugal’s glamorously Gothic capital by way of hand-carved stucco walls, hand-painted tiles, and locally sourced glass lamps (your bedside lighting), the 41-room property isn’t stifled by its regal heritage. 21st-century splendor reveals itself through modern art by Miguel Branco and Barahona Possollo, a young and enthusiastic staff (known to eagerly offer shopping recommendations and restaurant reservations), and sleek rooms, not counting the occasional faux-fur throw. But perhaps no single spot exemplifies the hotel’s classic-meets-contemporary soul better than the Colonial Café, a velvet sofa-clad expanse with chic black marble tabletops and inimitable city views. The menu brilliantly mashes up flavors that take cues from the voyages of renowned Portuguese seafarers, fusing age-old Japanese, and West African and Goan ingredients with of-the-moment techniques.
In the Area
Once Lisbon’s main antique district, this leafy bairro, just north of the city’s bohemian center, though still mostly residential, is slowly becoming a shopper’s paradise: the luxe British clothing label Barbour recently set up an outpost here. But the real neighborhood darling is Embaixada, a revamped 1877 Neo-Arabic palace (part of a larger urban revitalization project) complete with stained glass windows and frescoes that now serves as a gallery for a number of beloved local brands. For a glimpse at the area’s past life, make your way to nearby Jardim do Príncipe Real, a green plaza with an alfresco café and 200-year-old cedar tree.
How to Get There
This was our first time in Lisbon, and although we researched the many areas to explore, we were very uncertain as to where to stay – Alfama, Bairro Alto, Baixa, along the Avenida da Liberdade – it was a difficult choice.
Well, hopefully, I can make that choice easier for you. If you are going to Lisbon, THIS is the place to stay. The location is fabulous – literally walking distance to all of the main sites (Rossio is 10 minutes, the Rua Augusta Arch is max another 10 minutes, and you can take in the Elevador de Santa Justa along the way), shops, and great restaurants – and the best part is, the Elevador da Glória (this one’s a funicular), is less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel, and it takes you from the top of the hill down to the Avenida da Liberdade (and probably more importantly, especially after a day of walking, takes you back up), where it’s an easy walk to the waterfront and all the sites along the way.
Okay, more about the hotel. Prior to leaving for Lisbon, we’d arranged to be picked up from the airport. We were met inside on the arrivals level and taken to the driver’s air conditioned, Mercedes van, and whisked off to the hotel. Roughly 20 minutes later, we arrived at the hotel, which is off Rua Dom Pedro V, down a short alleyway. Again, prior to leaving for Lisbon, we’d asked if it was possible to check in to our room earlier, as we were arriving early in the afternoon. While this was not guaranteed, upon our arrival at about 1:00pm, we were able to check in immediately. Our room was 1 level below the main lobby and opened out onto a terrace where we could sit, enjoy a glass of port or wine, and enjoy the views of Lisbon. And those views were fabulous.
The room itself wasn’t large – roughly 270 square feet – which was a little tight for 2 people and our luggage, but very well designed and very quiet, though the open concept bathroom took a little getting used to. We could have opted for a larger room, however, but it wouldn’t have had a terrace. The beds were comfortable and the turndown service was a nice touch. The food – although we only ate our breakfasts here, with the exception of one late night snack – was fresh and tasty, with enough variety to get one energized for a day of touring. And, dining on the terrace in the glorious sunshine overlooking Lisbon made it that much more enjoyable. Oh, and I almost forgot, they have a fabulous little pool in which to relax and cool off after a day of walking around.
And finally, the staff were truly amazing; everyone from the door man, the front desk, the folks at breakfast, and at the bar, were warm, friendly, and attentive, and went out of their way to make our stay memorable. Daniel, whose name tag says “trainee” went above and beyond his name tag status. And Carolyne, in guest relations, provided us a full page list of restaurants, sights, museums, and tours to keep us busy for weeks – unfortunately, we were only there for 4 days, but we will definitely be back. Kudos to all for making our stay so enjoyable.
The hotel is new an a great location. The food and the bar is OK. Do not trust the concierge if you ask them to make reservations in restaurants. They made a lot of mistakes. Yet, the guide they suggested for a private tour was.
Great hotel in a beautiful location in Príncipe Real. Staff are great and very knowledgeable. Only niggle would be rooms are small and common spaces looking a bit worn and frayed. Location is ideal for exploring the city.