During a recent press trip to Lisbon, I was invited to stay at the beautiful Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon for two nights. My experience was exceptional! It’s a great business hotel situated at the top of Avenida de Libertad, which means easy access around the capital and to art museums such as the nearby Gulbenkian; it is also only a 15-minute walk from the old town center. The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is a hotel built for show and its exterior opens onto opulent interiors that reflect this. Palm trees and flowers line the street-side entrance. A huge marble lobby leads into a very formal dining room. The décor is grand – think chandeliers and huge flower displays on gilded furniture. A nice collection of modern Portuguese art, from tapestries to sculptures and paintings, hangs throughout the hotel.
The hotel lives up to the Four Seasons name, with impeccable service! From the front desk to the concierge to the restaurant staff, every single person I spoke with was knowledgeable and courteous. The combination of the natural friendliness of the Portuguese with the efficient service that the Four Seasons Group delivers translates into an impressive result. The staff does an outstanding job to make you feel welcome.
The restaurant was delightful and it is in a great location for views of Lisbon, shopping, nearby museums and restaurants. The Varanda Restaurant spills out onto the pretty terrace in the summer and is renowned for its resplendent lunchtime buffets. Breakfast is a magnificent spread, with highlights including creamy scrambled eggs and perfect Portuguese pastries. The restaurant only uses fresh produce from breakfast through dinner.
My favorite place! What a great fitness facility! The gym, located on the roof, is magnificent. Aside from having an exceptionally large selection of equipment — bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, a dedicated Yoga and Pilates room, a dedicated boxing area, cardio machines, and a weight room, you name it — it spreads over more than 7,000 square feet… there’s also a 400-meter running track that goes around the periphery of the roof of the hotel, allowing you to take in 360-degree views of Lisbon as you jog. I would stay here just to experience that all over again!
Of the 282 rooms and forty-one luxury suites, all but 10 have private terraces with far-reaching views over Lisbon. I was one of the lucky guests to have a private terrace, with a killer view of the nearby park and in the distance, the buildings and town squares of Old Lisbon. It was very quiet throughout my stay. The room was spacious, with décor that mixes peacock blues with creams. The opulent theme continues with 18th-century replica furniture, deep carpets, and heavy curtains. Bathrooms are large and clad in marble. Sheets are luxuriously soft and the famous Four Season beds never fail to deliver a restorative sleep.
I also visited and used extensively the 24-hour business center. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, is not limited to one or two devices and worked well consistently. The office space also offers printers, fax machines, copiers and, best of all, bottled and sparkling water and coffee.
The tranquil spa is a huge asset to the hotel. There are just four treatment rooms, hidden in labyrinthine corridors with excellent soundproofing, so the area never feels crowded, or even particularly populated. Although there is no outdoor pool, the 18-meter wooden-decked central lap pool is bathed in light from floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the gardens. The 59-foot pool (heated to 80 degrees) rarely sees more than a few swimmers at one time and has comfy beach chairs lining the side of the pool and also overlooks the hotel garden.
Towel-covered headrests on the 10 loungers (never all occupied, during my visit) are one of many thoughtful touches throughout. There’s fruit-infused water, teas, and fruit to help yourself to, a dark relaxation room, and sauna and marble steam rooms in changing rooms. Plenty of space between beds affords privacy. Upright seating (two clusters of four chairs) plus attractive ornaments and modern art pieces create supremely stylish lounging areas.
The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is exceptional in every way. I highly recommend this property for anyone looking for quality accommodations in Lisbon. I would return to the city, in fact, just to stay in this hotel.
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Story by Meyer Harroch – New York Jewish Travel Guide & New York Jewish Guide.com
The author took part in a press trip sponsored by Visit Portugal.