Lisbon’s Avenida Palace is a Belle Epoque Wonderland

Ingrained in the historic legacy of Lisbon is the Hotel Avenida Palace, a charmingly regal spectacle located in Restauradores Square.  Though modernized, the Avenida Palace was built in 1892 and maintains a Belle Epoque-style that makes it more akin to a museum than a hotel.

Centrally located—the hotel is billed as the “only palace in the center of the city”—the Avenida Palace is within walking distance to most Lisbon tourist destinations. If you’d want to venture outside of the city, the Rossio train station and metro train station is in close proximity. Although there are no recreation activities on site, there are several activities—swimming, volleyball, tennis and water activities—close by.

There isn’t a restaurant on site, but don’t let that persuade you not to stay. Avenida Palace provides a breakfast buffet every morning, served in the three separate dining rooms. Tapas are served several times throughout the day and Port wine is presented in the evening. The Bar has an old English style and invites guests to relax, enjoy drinks and light dishes. While the hotel does not permit smoking on site, the Saloon next to the Bar is the designated smoking room, so feel free to step inside and light up if you like.

Guest rooms are very comfortable and fully appointed in the style of the hotel. Double sound resistant windows keep the hum of the city outside, while keeping the quiet inside so you can relax and unwind in peace. Feel free to sample the complimentary fresh fruit, chocolates and bottled water placed in your room each night. Terraces provide spectacular views of the Marques de Pombal, Rossio, the courtyard, Praca dos Restauradores, St. Jorge Castle, Avenida da Liberdade or the Pombaline. And if you’re lucky, your room might include a fireplace.

The fitness center is modernized within the nineteenth century shell of the hotel, though compared to larger chains it’s a little meager. But if you’re in Lisbon, surrounded by beauty and history, do you really want to spend yourself in a fitness center? Get your exercise by walking the town! However, if you insist on gyming it, the fitness center has stability balls, stationary cycles, elliptical machines, yoga mats, free weights, kettle bells and treadmills.

Maybe you’re using the fitness center because you’re in Lisbon on business. If so, the business center includes sending and receiving fax, computer service to check email and copy service. Exhibit space is available as well as large conference rooms. A library is available with books in various languages. The hotel also has a technology help desk available for computer, fax, projector needs.

While you’re in Lisbon, make sure to take in some Fado, a musical tradition in Portugal—it’s a beautiful, melancholy sound that’s linked to the Portuguese word “saudade.” Saudade has no English translation, but is a word to describe a deeply nostalgic feeling for someone or something of one’s past. Fado traces its roots back to the period of the African Atlantic Slave Trade. The songs are tragic, exotic and spiritual. A true Lisbon experience would be incomplete without soaking your ears in it.

  • Address: Rua 10 De Dezembro 123, Lisbon 1200-359, Portugal
  • Rooms: 82
  • On site: Restaurants: a lounge, serving afternoon tea. Bars: one bar. Fitness: gym.
  • Reservations: +351-213-218-100
  • Price: $$$

 

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