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Lapa Palace Hotel Review - Lisbon

Luxury in Lisbon's Lapa District

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Lapa Palace Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal

Picture Provided by Lapa Palace Hotel
Many hotels tack "Palace" onto their names. The Lapa Palace in Lisbon is a rare hotel fully deserving of the title, having been created out of the original Palace built by the Count of Valencas, Luis Leite Pereira Jardim. The Lapa Palace offers spectacular views of Lisbon and the Tagus river, large, well-outfitted rooms, great service, a bountiful breakfast buffet you can eat on the patio when weather permits. The Lapa Palace is worth a romantic splurge.

First Impressions of the Lapa Palace Hotel

The Lapa district of Lisbon, known as "Lapa das Mouras" or Moorish rock, is an interesting place to stay out of the downtown area, which is a quick taxi ride (or a 20 minute walk) away. The neighborhood is tree-shaded and lined with stately buildings, many of which are now embassies.

As your taxi turns into the entrance, the elegantly simple facade strikes you as small for such a large hotel. The staff immediately deals with your bags, and your check-in is quick and efficient.

And...you can now feel you're in a real palace. The renovation from palace to hotel was faithful to the 19th century Portugese concept that I'll call "calming luxury." The classic furniture is either original or has been hand built in the old style. The result is certainly stunning. The Lapa Palace is a hotel you don't mind getting lost in.

The Staff of the Lapa Palace

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Lapa Palace Common Room - Lapa Palace Hotel Review - Lisbon, Portugal

James Martin
Let's make no mistake, the Lapa Palace is not budget lodging, even in this day and age of Internet price competition. But value cannot be determined on price alone. Unlike the two-star hotel, a luxury Hotel like the Lapa Palace has many experts on hand to make sure your stay is as enjoyable as it can be. You should use them.

I talked to the assistant manager to get some idea of what the hotel might do for someone wanting a romantic day in or near Lisbon, perhaps a surprise for wife or husband. The list went on and on.

"Imagine you're riding horses. You crest a hill, and there, in front of you, is a picnic all laid out, champagne chilling in an ice bucket, just waiting for you," he offered.

Another intriguing idea was a vintage port tasting, complete with the traditional ritual of using red hot port tongs to cleanly break the bottle neck (rather than let the ancient cork crumble into the bottle), then decanting.

But I decided to test the Concierge with a simple request. I wanted a small restaurant, not too expensive, that served traditional Portuguese cuisine as if cooking were a religion.

At 7:30 I had a magnificent dining experience at A Charcutaria on Rua do Alecrim, 47-A downtown, a 5 Euro taxi ride away.

My Room at the Lapa Palace, Lisbon

I had an Deluxe room at the Lapa Palace. This included a patio where I could have entertained many people, a marble bathroom with a huge marble walk-in shower and separate deep tub, dual sinks, and a separate toilet room. The closets were huge. Between the two closets was an espresso maker and selection of different coffees, tea accessories, and a mini refrigerator with bar items.

The Lapa Palace offers high speed broadband access via cable, as is the case in other Lisbon hotels I stayed at. They'll supply one if you don't have one.

As you can see from the room picture below, I had more than enough space in which to swing a cat. See the mirrored armoire in the center, at the foot of the bed? The TV was in there. Yes, you pushed a button and out pops the TV. Nice that the tube didn't disturb the ambiance of the room, and the conundrum provided by being provided with a remote control and no visible television provided me with hours of quiet contemplation on the issue of, well, why? Then, when I came home from dinner, all was revealed to me--the television stood proud and erect from its hidden box, ready for my late-night use.

The Lapa Palace Hotel - The Bottom Line

lapa palace room picture

Lapa Palace Deluxe Room: Lisbon, Portugal

James Martin
I've probably never stayed at a place as nice--or expensive--as the Lapa. Yet I didn't get that feeling that I didn't belong--and that's a testament to a well trained and friendly staff. Yes, I'm a journalist and they knew it. But as I poked around the bar, where you can imbibe just about anything, including rare vintage ports, or the celebrated Ristorante Hotel Cipriani, I saw a lot of happy people enjoying life as it should be lived.

If you have the opportunity to put some money away for a romantic time in a real palace, perhaps it's time to do it. And Portugal is the place to do it in. I got the sense that the staff all loved Lisbon and loved what they do. For the money, you won't come across a better splurge value, especially if you make ample use of the well trained folks at the Lapa Palace. And don't forget the Spa services. How about a Caviar Body Treatment? An open air body massage?

Yes, everything's possible at the Lapa Palace.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Fantastic, Member lizzieness

We stayed at Lapa Palace a few years ago now and thought that the excellent service, the spa, spacious bedroom, outdoor & indoor pool, lunch in the restaurant by the pool, evening dinner taster-menu & wine selection, our own private breakfast on our terrace and the calm relaxing atmosphere were second to none. Have now booked to stay this weekend and really looking forward to it. We are both very discerning guests & diners and the Lapa Palace certainly didn't let us down. I am confident this weekend will be equally as good. A rare but excellent treat!

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