Looking for some royal treatment? The five-star, ultra-elegant Pestana Palace Lisboa, one of The Leading Hotels of the World, is the regal retreat you need. Simply driving through the imposing stone front gates is a special moment but when a bevy of charming bellhops rushes to welcome you and spirit your bags away, you begin to sense this is no ordinary hotel experience.
While ordinarily glad to have a room close by when I arrive after a long journey, I was thrilled that my suite at the restored 19th century Pestana Palace was a good walk from the lobby. Leaving those charming bellhops with my bags, I strolled elegant hallways, peeked into the Bar Allegro where well-heeled guests sipped cocktails, and then lingered in several gracious lounges along the way, lolling for a bit on a chintz sofa so lush I wanted to simply sink into it and stay all day.
Tempting aromas wafted from the palace’s former ballrooms, now the Valle Flôr Restaurant, one of Lisbon’s finest eateries and the pride of renowned Chef Pedro Inglês Marques, reminding me that their fabulous tasting menu lay ahead. Steeling myself against the delicious aromas, I persevered and continued the search for my own place in the palace.
The four royal suites once housed the marquesses but my elegant room had a no-less breathtaking view of the palatial gardens – themselves considered a national monument. Although my bed was draped in sumptuous linens and downy pillows, what thrilled me most was the bathroom – a marble-lined wonder with not only another gorgeous garden view, a rain shower, and large double sinks but also a bathtub so capacious, I could disappear in it.Though I knew the hotel boasted two swimming pools and a spa, I was happy to simply float in my giant tub.
This is a convenient hotel for those wanting to explore the Tower of Belém, the Belém Cultural Centre, the Jerónimos Monastery, the MAAT –Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology and the Lisbon Convention Center. The Pestana Palace is also a convenient 15 minutes from the airport, but who would ever want to leave such a stately and elegant retreat?
Written by Liz Fleming. Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Fall/Winter 2018 issue. All photos courtesy of Pestana Palace.