Hotel Review: AlmaLusa Baixa Chiado, Lisbon in Portugal
Tucked away in a corner of the Praça do Município, one of Lisbon’s gleaming marble squares, is the AlmaLusa Baixa Chiado hotel. Located next to the city’s bohemian beating heart, Bairro Alto, the AlmaLusa offers guests the best of both worlds: a location right in the thick of things, where you’re only minutes away from those famously narrow, cobbled, tiled-adorned streets; yet still a relaxing, tranquil stay where you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep. Here’s how the AlmaLusa measures up.
Style & Character
This 18th-century building once served as the city’s arsenal, and the entire hotel is packed with history and character. There are original flagstones floors, wooden beamed ceilings and ornate stone fireplaces, and because it’s an listed building, you won’t find any enormous swimming pools or decadent spas here; instead, you’ll find a vibrant boutique hotel that oozes sleek, understated style. Designer Giano Gonҁalves has made a clear effort to keep things traditionally Portuguese, and from the tiles to the textiles, everything feels authentic. Each little nook and cranny tells a tale of Lisbon’s fascinating history; the more you look around you, the more thoughtful touches you’ll notice.
The 28 bedrooms and suites all have their own chic, unique decor and individual personalities, but all share the same subtle colour schemes and sleek monochrome bathrooms (with powerful rain showers and indulgent amenities). The beds are big and soft and clad in luxurious linen, and while not huge, the rooms are light, spacious and free of clutter. Big windows look out onto the striking mosaic tiles of Praça do Município, and there’s a neat fold-away desk that comes in handy if you have to do any work. All rooms have high speed Wi-Fi, smart televisions and REVO SuperSignal radios.
Food & Drink
The onsite restaurant – “Delfina – A Fine Portuguese Deli” – has a brasserie-style feel to it, and you can feast on fresh, seasonal cuisine in the informal restaurant, or al fresco, if you prefer to enjoy the sun. Delfina serves up an array of local food, including the national dish Bacalhau – dried and salted cod, usually with chick-pea puree – and the ever-present pastel de nata, Lisbon’s celebrated egg custard tarts. Lunch and dinner are often tapas style, and you can order national favourites like fried eggs with black truffles or locally-caught fried octopus with tomato rice. There’s a small but decent range of wine, beer and spirits.
Service & Facilities
The friendly concierge at the front desk are relaxed, smiley and helpful, and they’ll gladly give you pointers for Lisbon’s best restaurants, bars and museums. Room service (from the Delfina Restaurant) is available from 7:30am to 10:00pm; the restaurant itself is open from 07:30am to 11:00pm. There’s daily housekeeping, two bottles of water per day (still and sparkling), and 70 different cable channels in case you fancy chilling in front of the TV. On arrival you’ll also receive a Smartphone 4G to use for the duration of your stay, which includes 30 minutes of national and international calls per day and internet, as well as the hotel’s own App which has recommendations, reservations, taxis and other useful information.