Why choose a boutique hotel in Lisbon? Character, intimate atmosphere, quality and a local touch

Memmo Alfama

Lisbon is one of those cities which offers a wide array of options for accommodation. There is basically everything in Lisbon from Luxury hotels to camping sites. There is always something for everyone’s taste and preferences. What makes boutique hotels a favorite choice for many of Lisbon’s visitors is the distinct, unique character of the city.

In a way, something about Lisbon’s intimate atmosphere invites a stay in a place which has its own local signature and memorable quality. 

 Given that many of my friends who visited me in Lisbon preferred to stay in boutique hotels, I got to explore these cute little hotels with them too. I also got to hear their feedback on their respective boutique experiences.

The Lumiares

For something which combines coziness and a “hotel-ish” feel, The Lumiares strikes a great balance between both with its location in the historical neighborhood of Bairro Alto and its polished decor.

The rooftop bar has a stunning view and the spa offers a different range of treatments. We tried the rooftop bar Lumi, and the seafood there was quite exquisite. However, this hotel, compared to other accommodation options in Lisbon, is not exactly on the cheap side. 

The Lumiares

R. do Diário de Notícias 142, 1200-146

Room rates start at about 300 per night depending on the season

Independente Príncipe Real Hostel and Hotel 

On the cheaper side, and in fact also on the prettier side, there is Independente Príncipe Real. It is in the quite central, trendy part of Lisbon called Principe Real which is known for its busy nightlife and very good restaurants. Moreover, Independente lies between some of Lisbon’s best viewpoints (Such as the viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara).

Independente also has  a range of private suites and large dorms depending on your budget and preference. Its wood floors and large windows create a warm, comfy atmosphere. 

Independente Principe Real Hostel and Hotel

Rua São Pedro de Alcântara 81, 1250-138

Rates start at about 76 euros per night

Hotel Valverde Lisboa 

Valverde Hotel is Housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century townhouse near Avenida da Liberdade. This  boutique hotel offers an elegant experience from the courtyard garden to a gourmet restaurant and beautifully decorated rooms. The location in the middle of Avenida da Liberdade, which could be described as the Portuguese Champs-Élysées, provides access to many of Lisbon’s many attractions within a walking distance.

The rooms are air-conditioned with a minibar and a coffee machine for an extra touch of comfort. 

Hotel ValverderLisboa

Avenida da Liberdade 164, Santo Antonio, 1250-146 

Room rates start at about 329 euros per night

Memmo Alfama – Design Hotels 

 Situated in the historic Alfama district, one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods which survived the earthquake of 1755, Memmo Alfama could be found in a refurbished, late 19th century building.

 Despite its historical location, the interior of the hotel has a modern, well-equipped, Scandinavian vibe which makes good use of space and light in order to offer a panoramic view over the city and the Tagus River. The design of the building and the interior demonstrates attentiveness to details. The hotel also offers complimentary walking tours.

Memmo Alfama – Design Hotels

Travessa das Merceeiras 27, Santa Maria Maior, 1100-348

Room rates start at about 150 euros per night

The Vintage Hotel and Spa  

You wouldn’t expect a 5-star hotel to be that cozy and understated, but luckily The Vintage is exactly those two things. It is an elegant stay without being too loud or over the top about it. The hotel is a walking distance from the neighborhood Principe Real which is a must-visit in Lisbon.The rooftop bar offers another incredible panoramic view over Lisbon. 

The indoor pool and jacuzzi add some luxury to your relaxing stay as well. The very friendly, welcoming staff was one of the highlights of my friends’ stay. 

Vintage Hotel and Spa

Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 2, Santo Antonio, 1250-191

Room rates start about about 200 euros per night

These boutique hotels cover the most central areas of Lisbon. However, there are also many other options for those who prefer to stay away from the city center.

Staying at a boutique hotel will probably make your Lisbon trip just as intimate, arty, and friendly as the city itself is. Moreover, I always prefer to give my money to small businesses whenever possible. Many of those boutique hotels are run by local or immigrant families which contribute to the hospitality business in Lisbon everyday.


Read more about Lisbon here in Dispatches archives.

See more from Sarah here.

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Sarah Nagaty has a PhD in cultural studies, She’s lived in Portugal for six years.

As a student of cultural studies, Sarah is drawn to what connects people from different backgrounds to new cultures and places, how they relate to their new surroundings and what kind of activities they could engage with in their new hometowns.

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