The Vibe: Palatial, yet warm and inviting.
The Area: Hilltop Santa Catarina, famous for its views over Lisbon’s red roofs and the Tagus River, and next to the Bairro Alto and Chiado. Whilst the façade faces the river, the rest of the building runs steeply down into the narrow, cobbled streets of the Bica area, where yellow trams rattle up and down and small bars date back centuries.
The DNA: Since it was built in 1750, the building changed hands several times until a few years ago when a consortium of private and public sector parties agreed to settle a messy and protracted legal battle by turning it into a modern boutique hotel, the Verride Palácio Santa Catarina. Throughout the building there is an emphasis on allowing the characteristic Lisbon light in. Colours mix soft blues, beige and greys, with some rooms clad in silk wallpaper, others in raw linen. Intricate mouldings, the wrought iron internal staircase, ornamental ceilings, the Portuguese and Greek marble in the public spaces have been meticulously restored. Timber floors were salvaged and repurposed as dining tables in the restaurants. A bijou glass-encased lap-pool has peekaboo views of the neighbourhood rooftops.
Suite-Me-Up: The hotel’s 18 spacious rooms, are wrapped in a muted palate of light browns, low-slung grey sofas, slender AJ floor lamps and de Gournay silk wall panels. The King’s Suite has a magnificent wooden coffered ceiling while the Queen’s Suite is richly adorned with stuccowork and leads into a bathroom with azulejo tiles dating from 1901.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 18 rooms & suites (31-200m2) (334-2,153 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2017 • architecture: Teresa Nunes da Ponte • interior design: Andrea Previ • bathroom amenities: Aesop • street parking (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible