If you are looking for an urban, boutique hotel in Lisbon, with chic and quirky interiors, look no further than the Internacional Design Hotel. Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, not only is it located in the midst of a thriving and bustling part of the city (Chiado) but it is also close to some of the major attractions in Lisbon, such as the plaza D. Pedro IV, Elevador de Santa Justa, São Jorge Castle and Barrio Alto (the oldest part of town). A stone’s throw away are shops for retail therapy, restaurants that tick both the touristy as well as the untouristy, fit-for-foodies box and trendy bars for the fun after.
After a quick and surprisingly cheap metro ride (€1.45) from the airport, we were in Rossio, with the hotel just a two-minute walk away. Through the double glass doors, we were welcomed by the friendly Reception team. The check in was fairly smooth and fuss-free and we even got upgraded to a Superior room courtesy of Expedia.
The building itself was quite tall and narrow. Whilst I wasn’t completely blown away by the Entrance Lounge, it was what was slowly revealed on the floors above, once we took the glass lift, that really brought home the design concept of the hotel.
Each of the four floors were divided into different themes; each atmosphere created and distinguished with the use of wallpaper (images), artwork (texture), music (sounds) and fragrance (smells).
Our room was on the third floor (Zen) that overlooks the square, spacious and naturally lit. It was mostly clean and minimalist in design with an elegant floral wallpaper in violet forming the backdrop to the bed.
In terms of amenities, it was fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable city break, starting with the all important Nespresso coffee machine, a safe, bathrobes and slippers. Luxury toiletries were sponsored by L’Occitane.
Breakfast was served daily at the hotel’s own restaurant, the cheekily titled Bastardo. It was a lavish and delectable spread that included a range of hot and cold buffet (loved the meat quiche), fresh fruits, salads and desserts.
Kris and I both felt that the scrambled eggs were one of the better ones we have had, given the reputation for pre-cooked hotel eggs. It was creamy and thoughtfully seasoned, fleshed out with real eggs, not watered down with milk. The best bit was a bottle of sparkling wine that was on offer, so we essentially turned our brunch into a bottomless one. What can I say, once a Londoner, always a Londoner!
A big shout out to the design of this restaurant, which was creative and completely insta-worthy. I normally don’t get distracted whilst eating, but in this case, I found myself constantly dropping my fork and picking up the camera to click away.
There were some funny, sometimes rude signage and vintage style artwork which I leave for my readers to translate.
There was also a minibar in our room, but we really didn’t feel the need to use it as the hotel had its own intimate and well-curated bar. We spend one heady evening sipping delicious cocktails conjured up by their very accomplished resident mixologist Patricia. Her knowledge of drinks was unprecedented and I wish we could tempt her to relocate to London.
However, my favourite part of the hotel was undoubtedly the Eden Garden – a cosy and quiet sheltered courtyard space to relax and unwind. Rustic and organic, it was a lesson in creatively transforming leftover spaces. This cool hangout spot had a synthetic green turf, a living wall and a skylight perched on top, surrounded with verdant hanging greenery and overflowing foliage, against the backdrop of soft, meditational music.
On the first day of our arrival, we were offered a complimentary welcome drink which we happily enjoyed in this spot – our very own insta-paradise!
The staff were cheery, helpful and clued-up. At the end, we couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay for our short weekend trip to Lisbon. It ticked all our boxes of location, value for money, interior design, food and drinks. We were there to celebrate my husband’s birthday and he had a splendid time. Throughout our stay, the hotel left us tasty little treats in our room – little extra touches to make it extra special.
It is safe to say, we would highly recommend this hotel for when you next visit Lisbon.
Location : Rua da Betesga, 3, 1100-090 Lisboa
More information can be found here.