Bairro Alto Hotel
An incredible hotel in Lisbon, like an exotic ballerina plying her luxuriant trade on a street corner, the Hotel Bairro Alto cruelly tempts gaping passers-by as they stroll along Lisbons landmark Praça de Camões. Positively oozing sophistication the hotel’s spartan lobby acts as a kind of decompression chamber to shield privileged guests from the bustling cafes and bars of Rua Garrett.
A cool and fresh silence is only cut by Rui Chaves wrought iron sculptures hanging from whitewashed walls. Spacious rooms and suites conjure up a Breakfast at Tiffany’s film set complete with American walnut tree and cane wardrobes and soft yellow, ochre and pale blue wooden panelling.
The Anouska Hempel-inspired bathrooms overlook the cobbled square bearing the statue of warrior-poet Camões, the cool spaces are lined with yellow marble contrasting with modern chrome tap fittings. A 5th-floor wellness centre offers massage, beauty treatments and yoga whilst the upstairs rooftop terrace is decked out in grey Mansard furniture – the perfect place to sip drinks and see the panoramic cityscape below. It is mainly thanks to top design duo Diogo Rosa Lã and José Pedro Viera that the hotel has set an entirely new standard for Portugal in terms of architectural flair and unrivaled urban chic.
The hotel’s impeccable service would be difficult to surpass in Paris or New York whilst resident chef Leonor Manita, poached from London’s Nobu, produces dainty menus fit for a Lusitanian king at the ‘Flores’ patio restaurant. For late night revelers not wishing to venture too far the ground and basement floors house the ‘Garrett Café’ containing a mezzanine for sipping tea and reading newspapers – separated by a solid glass wall is a bar, dance-floor and ‘igloo lounge’ open to the public where clever lighting and film projections pulsate to the rhythm of a resident DJ.