This five-star hotel was built in the late 1950s when the Portuguese dictatorship decided to show the world that it too could offer first-class hospitality. Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has impressive with crystal chandeliers, marble floors and gilded furniture.
The exterior looks like a concrete box, but the inside is a showcase of Portuguese materials and craftsmanship. Locals still call it the Ritz Hotel, but it was taken over by the Four Seasons group and entirely refurbished. An excellent collection of modern Portuguese art, from tapestries to sculptures and paintings, hang throughout the hotel and an iPhone app will guide you around the best of them.
Huge flower displays prevent it from feeling like some massive art gallery and the corridors that connect the 282 rooms are wide enough to accommodate two cars driving in different directions.
The hotel is among the best in Lisbon, equally suited to high-end business travellers and up-market tourists. It’s a bit of a hike from the city’s historic centre, but there are excellent metro connections.
There’s a total of 282 rooms including 41 suites, all but 10 with balconies. Add a king-sized bed, a large sofa, a marble bathroom with Bvlgari toiletries, and you can imagine the kind of luxury on offer. You get both a standalone shower and a bath – beware the tub fills so quickly that there’s a danger of causing a flood if you don’t pay attention.
In the room, I particularly liked the USB sockets for charging phones and laptops, which meant I didn’t have to rummage in my case looking for an adapter. Oh, and there was the personal espresso machine which gave me my fix of coffee, morning and night.
The spa features four treatment rooms plus sauna and, of course, there’s an indoor 18m pool, with views over the Hotel gardens and Eduardo VII Park. And if swimming doesn’t appeal, there’s a rooftop running track, as well as all the usual fitness facilities including a Pilates studio and cardio machines.
Food and drink
The Varanda restaurant doesn’t have a Michelin star, but it feels like it should. Chef Pascal Meynard is French and works with the best fish and meat that Portugal has to offer. If you don’t fancy dining at this level, then both at lunch and dinner, a sushi chef prepares dishes in front of you in the bar area. There’s also a poolside spa café featuring an all-day health-conscious menu and herbal infusions.
Is Wi-Fi available?
Yes, it’s free throughout the property.
Value for money
A night in a Superior Room costs from 525€ for single occupancy and 610€ for double occupancy. Expensive but you’re paying for the highest standard of accommodation and service.
The hotel is next to the spacious Eduardo VII Park and only a short walk from the Marquês de Pombal Square, at the top of Avenida da Liberdade. El Cortes Ingles, the department store, is just across the park, and Art Museums such as the Gulbenkian are close.
FLY: Tap Airlines fly to Lisbon.
GETTING AROUND: A taxi from the airport will take 15 minutes or take a 30-minute metro ride to Pombal where it’s then a short walk. If you have your own car, driving is a breeze since you don’t have to navigate Lisbon’s narrow streets in the historic quarter.