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Fontecruz Lisboa, Autograph Collection – Lisbon, Portugal [Master Thread]

Fontecruz Lisboa, Autograph Collection – Lisbon, Portugal [Master Thread]

Old Mar 16, 13, 9:45 am
  #1  
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Fontecruz Lisboa, Autograph Collection – Lisbon, Portugal [Master Thread]

Fontecruz Lisboa, Autograph Collection

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Fontecruz Lisboa, Autograph Collection

Avenida da Liberdade, 138-142 Lisbon, PT 1250-001

Fontecruz Lisboa Lisbon Review (6 Photos)

Fontecruz Lisboa, Autograph Collection

I stayed here as a weekend add-on to a work trip. Very trendy boutique property with attentive service, modern dor, and excellent location. I’ll definitely come back when next in Lisbon.

Arrival: I took the Aerobus from LIS and was dropped off at the Liberdade stop. Hotel was across the street slightly downhill. The subway would have been convenient too; the Avenieda stop has an exit about 40m from the hotel’s front door.

Check In

The lobby was packed with stylish locals attending the launch party for a new wine. Check-in lady apologized for the crowd but otherwise followed textbook Marriott procedures. She notified me that I’d been upgraded to a deluxe room and offered the Plat amenity. I chose the “Traditional Portuguese Pastry” and the bottle of Port. As a Plat, she also invited me and my guest to have breakfast (on the weekday and weekend mornings) in the hotel restaurant, and the charged would be removed from the bill.



Hotel Layout: restaurant on the ground floor with courtyard out back. I was in the main tower. Smallish but new stainless steel elevators took me up to my floor. Hallways are jet black with kitschy numbering – kind of like a hipster motif with the mismatched typefaces and mirrored sculptures.

Room

The high-class intentionally mismatched theme continued in the room, with dark walls and treasure chests for nightstands. Room had enough space to spread out but by my American standards wasn’t noticeably large. View out the back was of the Lisbon hills (but no ocean). Beds were on the soft side. The bathroom contained another treasure chest with amenities – disposable slippers, robe, etc. Shower (no tub) had a choice of spray or rain features. Internet was fast enough for speedy web browsing and access to my corporate VPN. Digital safe available and actually secured to the furniture.



Amenities

The pastry and port were delivered about 10 minutes after check-in. Four egg tarts were placed on a hot stone plate with a dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar. I almost forgot to take a photo before devouring the sweet, flaky treats.

Dining

Breakfast: There were a couple hot items – bacon, (blood?) sausage, eggs. The standard Euro continental offerings were also available, with fruit, cold cuts, bread loaves, and fruit juices. The egg tarts made another appearance, albeit cold.

Service

Check-out: no bill under the door the last morning, so I stopped by the front desk. As promised, the restaurant charges for breakfast were wiped, as well as the internet fees. Got my receipt and was on my way, quick and easy like all Marriotts are supposed to be.

Overall

Overall: I’d definitely return to the Fontecruz on my next visit to Lisbon. I spent most of my days out and about, and didn’t really think about my hotel except for the times when they exceeded my expectation (the warm egg tarts, the cool decoration). Highly recommended.

Fontecruz Lisboa Lisbon Review

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Last edited by hilitr; Mar 16, 13 at 9:53 am Reason: Fix Image Links
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Old Mar 16, 13, 10:15 am
  #2  
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Thanks so much for the detailed trip report with pictures! Much appreciated. Will also help your fellow FTers when they do a search for this property.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 5:54 pm
  #3  
 
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Very Disappointed with this Property!

Hotel Fontecruz Lisbon, the Autograph Collection, was very disappointing for many reasons. Just about the only thing going for it is its location on one of the main avenues of Lisbon. Where to start?

I will start with issues that do not depend on my taste in furnishings etc. The room keys do not work... they are a chip card that you are supposed to press against a pad on your door (no slot). We had to have ours replaced three times in three days, and the desk people did indicate that this was a common occurrence. The hotel has no concierge, no gym, and of course, no pool. Our room was allegedly a premium room as I am a MR platinum. There was no alarm clock in the room. There was no box of tissues in the room... just use the toilet paper, I guess. The bars of soap provided are the smallest that my wife and I have ever seen and we had to ask for replacements as they were not automatically replaced when they had shrunken down to the size of an Altoid breath mint! We returned to our room one afternoon after a day of sightseeing at 5PM and the room had not been serviced at all. And once, while at the desk getting new keys, a woman who had just checked in came down to say that her room had not been cleaned after the previous occupant checked out!

The hotel has a courtyard with an annex, and the courtyard is difficult to cross even with rolling luggage as there are steps. There is no luggage bellman per se... one of the males at the front desk can assist with luggage. The breakfast buffet was OK but fairly rudimentary, certainly not what you would expect in a true international Marriott. Also, there really is no lunch or dinner service in the hotel, just bar snacks. And the bar tender also is the one that runs "room service" bar snacks up to rooms, so often disappears for a few minutes at a time

The bathroom is screened from the bedroom was a translucent glass wall, so be certain that you and your roommate do not mind "sharing". The AC worked great in our room despite the several reviews on TripAdvisor in which the AC was trouble.

Now for opinions... the hotel has put a lot of effort into trying to be avant garde and radical in the lobby furnishings as well as some of the room furnishings. Some of the lobby furnishings and decorations border on the bizarre. In the rooms, there are no end tables per se, just trunks that one never opens because there is a lamp on it. And in the bathroom, there is a trunk with robes and a hair dryer. The bedding was very comfortable... no complaints there.

In contrast to the experience of the OP, the wi-fi was so painfully slow that I actually hooked up with a cable to the internet... still too slow to stream anything due to constant buffering, too slow for a Skype call.

This hotel comes up at the top of the Lisbon hotels on the Marriott web site, but none of you should delude yourselves into expecting what you would normally expect at an international Marriott property.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 5:06 pm
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I've now completed a stay of four nights at the Fontecruz. My review is likely somewhere between the 1st two posters. One, I cannot say enough about the staff - they were accommodating, helpful and did their best to handle any questions and issues - though I speak no Portuguese and little Spanish. Everyone from the bartender to the Manager on duty and extremely attentive front desk staff was excellent.

Internet - I had issue at various times while staying. I had to move completely due to lack of connect-ability (don't stay on Floor 6), but the MGR on duty was empathetic and helpful - even giving me a slightly better room. At times, the internet was great, other times I could not connect at all; and sometimes just really slow to the point that you gave up getting anything done. This is an area this hotel needs to improve on.

Decor - unusual, artsy, dark, film noir - without good daylight (depends on the side of hotle you are one) the rooms are very dark considering the CFL lighting and color schemes. That said, the entire hotel is dark - but it is clearly the design they are going for, so can't knock them totally. Just be aware, if you need a lot of light to see, this probably is not the right Marriott for you.

Location - absolutely perfect. Waking distance to all the key neighborhoods and insanely close subway station to assist if you don't feel like walking or if you are exploring outside Lisbon without a car. It's even the best way to transfer from the airport.

Amenities - lack of pool, fitness room and room service/full meal service all True - so if you NEED these items and can;t find a workaround, not for you.

MR Platinum - very decent breakfast comped each morning for wife & I - really no complaints. Coffee and offerings may be different than what you are accustomed to, but plenty to get by on.

PS- I have found tissues elusive in many European hotels. Also, limited charge sockets AND, as is common in European hotels, when you leave room, electric shuts down (without card in room slot) - this can complicate charging devices while out of room
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Old Jul 26, 13, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by mdaecher View Post
I've now completed a stay of four nights at the Fontecruz. My review is likely somewhere between the 1st two posters. One, I cannot say enough about the staff - they were accommodating, helpful and did their best to handle any questions and issues - though I speak no Portuguese and little Spanish. Everyone from the bartender to the Manager on duty and extremely attentive front desk staff was excellent.

Internet - I had issue at various times while staying. I had to move completely due to lack of connect-ability (don't stay on Floor 6), but the MGR on duty was empathetic and helpful - even giving me a slightly better room. At times, the internet was great, other times I could not connect at all; and sometimes just really slow to the point that you gave up getting anything done. This is an area this hotel needs to improve on.

Decor - unusual, artsy, dark, film noir - without good daylight (depends on the side of hotle you are one) the rooms are very dark considering the CFL lighting and color schemes. That said, the entire hotel is dark - but it is clearly the design they are going for, so can't knock them totally. Just be aware, if you need a lot of light to see, this probably is not the right Marriott for you.

Location - absolutely perfect. Waking distance to all the key neighborhoods and insanely close subway station to assist if you don't feel like walking or if you are exploring outside Lisbon without a car. It's even the best way to transfer from the airport.

Amenities - lack of pool, fitness room and room service/full meal service all True - so if you NEED these items and can;t find a workaround, not for you.

MR Platinum - very decent breakfast comped each morning for wife & I - really no complaints. Coffee and offerings may be different than what you are accustomed to, but plenty to get by on.

PS- I have found tissues elusive in many European hotels. Also, limited charge sockets AND, as is common in European hotels, when you leave room, electric shuts down (without card in room slot) - this can complicate charging devices while out of room
No tissues, no alarm clock... and oh, how did your room "keys" work? We had to change them out multiple times. And no drawers to place clothes in, just an armoire type closet.

The place does have a certain charm, but by no means should anyone expect anything close to a Marriott class facility that one might usually expect to find in a European capital city.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 12:12 pm
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Many of the TA reviews describe very thin internal walls (being able to hear your neighbors chat and watch TV). True? One of my biggest issues with hotels is when I can't get a good nights sleep and hear my neighbors all night.

I'm currently booked at the Sofitel in Lisbon - but am so upset with them over their atrocious best price guarantee program, that I'm considering canceling with them and moving to the Marriott. Would save me about $25 per night too. Has anyone stayed at both (to compare)?
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Old Dec 8, 13, 9:20 am
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just a few comments on my 4 night stay at Lisbon Fontecruz during November...

Liked the location very much. Midway between the new modern section of Lisbon and the old town (10 min walk). Was very happy that I chose this hotel rather than full service Marriott even though it was $25 more expensive and had no lounge. I am finding that in Europe I prefer the Autograph Collection properties over the FS because their locations are often more central and frankly the FS Marriott lounges are pretty mediocre and FS often located in non-central and poorly city-accessible areas. For me, a nice breakfast in the restaurant more than makes up for the lack of lounge. This breakfast had all the basics with good quality but I would have enjoyed a made-to-order omelet on occasion.

A few disappointments... For the first time in my life (over 10 years of being platinum) I sent back the platinum amenity. I felt it was an insult and wanted to make a statement to management. On hilitr recommendation I ordered the egg tarts and port. (his photo above shows 4 medium size tarts, strawberry garnish, small bottle of port) Now the offering is just 2 tiny tarts (1.25" each) and one very small glass of port (not a bottle as pictured by hilitr). The port glass is filled about an inch (similar to what hilitr poured in his picture). Really??? My suggestion is to take the 500 points and try the egg tarts (Pastel de Nata) in the morning at breakfast. If you arrive before 10 am there generally are some left on the breakfast buffet. They are delicious and can be found in many bakeries or coffee houses around Lisbon for about 50 cents each so do be sure to try them.

Also, I enjoy a tea kettle in the room to make tea/coffee/soup at my leisure. Most hotels in Europe have them. This one did not. If a hotel doesn't want to put them in all the rooms at least put them in the upper level rooms and have a few extras for those of us who request one. This hotel's answer was to bring up a carafe of hot water (no cup, no teabag) which doesn't solve the problem as the water doesn't stay hot for long.

Small matter, but there were no elec charge sockets by the beds. Not a big deal but I would have been helpful to be able to recharge as I'm reading my iPad.

Otherwise I enjoyed this property. Upon checkin they had upgraded me one level to a deluxe room avenue view. I asked if it would be possible for a terrace room and after 2 long phone calls and a lot of chatter I was upgraded to one with a residential view. I didn't realize that it really was kind of a waste because it was so cold in Lisbon that week (mid 50s) that I couldn't enjoy the outdoors but I did appreciate the gesture. Unlike others, I was ok with the dark decor of the hotel.

I took the metro to the hotel from the airport. Very easy. Take red line to the end, change (there are elevators if you have luggage) to blue line for a few stops to Avenida which is directly across the avenue from the hotel. At Avenida I could not find an elevator but I think if I had looked more carefully there would have been one as that was the only stop in all of Lisbon and Porto metros I took that didn't have either an escalator or elevator. The metros in Portugal are really top notch. Trip took about half an hour mid morning and cost 1.25 euros. Would choose this method again.

TV had CNBC which I greatly appreciated. I think Bloomberg also, but not sure. 5-6 other english stations too but no CNN which surprised me although their worldwide coverage has so deteriorated lately that I only watch if there are no other English stations. Internet was good...not great but perfectly adequate for my needs. I did not try a Skype call so I can't comment if wifi strong enough for that or VPN.

After this stay I went to Doubletree for 1 night (needed a stay for a promo). Didn't like that location as much as Fontecruz. More financial area and didn't feel like I was in Lisbon, I could have been in any big city. But for those of you on a budget or who like more of the "American standard luxuries" in a room this may be a solid choice. Room had tea kettle with tea/coffee/mugs, tissues, alarm clock, elec sockets by the beds, made-to-order eggs with free elite breakfast, and was about $50 less than my rate at Fontecruz . For me, I prefer and would return to Fontecruz for it's location.
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Old Feb 16, 14, 10:37 am
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I recently stayed at both the Fontecruz Lisboa as well as the Marriott Lisbon. Thanks to the Spring promotion, I was incentivized to have two separate stays . I ended up spending three nights at the Fontecruz Lisboa and one night at the Marriott Lisbon.

The Fontecruz is by far in a better location literally directly across the street from the Metro which is a breeze to take from the airport.

As a Platinum, I received:
- Platinum arrival gift (I chose the cheese, since I figured I could try the egg tarts at breakfast). It was a generous portion of cheese with a glass of wine (not a bottle like I usually get).
- upgraded room to Deluxe room overlooking main street
- Comped breakfast

As others have said, it's very dark and trendy inside but I liked it. I did have power sockets by the nightstands and had no problems with my room key . To me it was refreshing to have a different look and feel from that of a typical Marriott. The breakfast was nothing to write home about and some of the food looked like it had been out a while and was a little cool.

I then stayed at the Marriott Lisbon for a night. The pluses were of course the lounge and gym facilities... Not the location! If I remember correctly it was about a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest metro and wouldn't be a very friendly path if carrying lots of luggage. The staff were very friendly, especially the concierge who went out of his way to tell me where some things were. I had dinner at the restaurant one night and tried the "Chef's special" which was some sort of fish dish in a tangine... all I have to say is it was incredible and I would highly recommend it.

So all in all, both were nice properties but if I were staying in Lisbon again I would choose the Fontecruz because of the location. Hope this helps!

Last edited by timetosave; Feb 16, 14 at 4:15 pm
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Old Apr 14, 14, 6:19 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Just returned from a 2 night stay at the Fontecruz.

Pleasantly surprised by a free upgrade to a rather large suite (2 toilets, huge bed / bedroom and big lounge as well).

Ultra-modern hotel, not quite to my tastes, but really stylish.

The location was fantastic, short walk to the main 'old centre' with the tourists bits etc.

Didn't spend much time at the hotel, but the breakfast was decent enough with a good spread.

Anyone with any specific questions, don't hesitate to ask, but would recommend this hotel without question.

Cheers
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Old Apr 21, 14, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Flapster View Post
Just returned from a 2 night stay at the Fontecruz.

Pleasantly surprised by a free upgrade to a rather large suite (2 toilets, huge bed / bedroom and big lounge as well).

Ultra-modern hotel, not quite to my tastes, but really stylish.

The location was fantastic, short walk to the main 'old centre' with the tourists bits etc.

Didn't spend much time at the hotel, but the breakfast was decent enough with a good spread.

Anyone with any specific questions, don't hesitate to ask, but would recommend this hotel without question.

Cheers
Did you have any noise issues?
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Old Apr 23, 14, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by JONEZY00 View Post
Did you have any noise issues?
External or internal?

Actually, it doesn't really matter, as had no noise issues whatsoever. I am a heavy sleeper, but it's quite a quiet part of town outside business hours..
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Old Apr 14, 15, 11:48 am
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I just completed a stay at the Fontecruz as a Platinum. The hotel was sold out - so I was surprised that we were upgrade to a large suite on the 8th floor.

Breakfast was excellent (just get there early if there during a busy time period and want the pastries mentioned above). We did not have any noise issues at all. We chose the cheese amenity (with glass of wine vs. a bottle, sigh).

The location is superb. The Staff was excellent. We arrived in Lisbon after a week in Spain, and really hadn't done any research on the city. The reception staff provided maps and directions to all the major sites (including recommending a day trip to Sintra - which a highlight of the trip). Great stay.
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Old Jul 13, 15, 1:49 pm
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Join Date: May 2011
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Had a 5 night stay here during last week in June. Am only Marriott Silver, but booked using my corporate rate which was way better than using points. Rate also included the breakfast buffet for self and husband. So an excellent deal for us.

We were given a large room on the 2nd floor with a very comfortable king bed and a large lounge chair. Room had a small balcony. One staffer said rooms on the first 3 floors are the nicest (I assume for being standard, non-suites). As others have mentioned, the décor is dark, nightstands are trunks. Bathroom was large with only walk-in shower and a step which I tripped on once or twice. Soaps not replenished, but other toiletries were.

A/C worked great. Internet worked fine for me - but I only use it to clear out personal emails and not for work. The OP's pictures show the décor style - for me it was a little more form than function. At my age, a little more light is a useful thing!

No fitness center or pool, which would have been welcome in the 90+ degree heat. Breakfast was more than adequate for us as we are not big breakfast eaters. Delicious fruit, yogurt and a roll or pastry - all that we require. Coffee is just OK. Starbucks is a 5 minute walk down the avenue if you are desparate for American style coffee.

Downside: a horrible sewage smell in the hallways. At first the front desk staff pretended not be aware of it and sent one staff member to "check it out". Then they confessed that there was a pipe (sewer?) break a few days earlier. From what we could gather from their fractured responses, it was either repaired, or being repaired, or only just repaired. Apparently it was really bad in the parking garage under the hotel, but we didn't have a car, so didn't use the garage. And they claimed that it was seeping into the hallways thru vents at the ends of the hall. Spoke to few other guests we met in the elevators and they commented that they smelled it also. The staff said maintenance did do something to try to clear/freshen the smell in the hallways so it would fade and then return as the air freshening wore off. Smell did dissipate over the course of the 5 days, so it was only slight when we checked out.

Upside: Luckily absolutely no smell inside the room - we were told that is because the hallways vent from a system in the basement and the rooms vent from a system on the roof. Whatever - no in room smell or we would have had to leave. We weren't in the hotel or room much so we passed thru the hallway pretty quickly. Also, there was no smell in the lobby or restaurant area.

As others have mentioned, location is very good but quiet. Aerobus leaves from the corner - we came from elsewhere in Portugal but flew home from Lisbon so the Aerobus was convenient and way cheaper than a taxi. Close to many restaurants, easy to walk many places.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 10:36 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Anyone know if this hotel is leaving the Marriott portfolio. The Fontecruz Lisboa is not showing up as available after February 28th, 2017.

Last edited by fwfdan; Jun 20, 16 at 12:21 pm Reason: fix date of last availability
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Old Jun 20, 16, 11:14 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Detroit, Michigan USA
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Originally Posted by fwfdan View Post
Anyone know if this hotel is leaving the Marriott portfolio. The Fontecruz Lisboa is not showing up as available after March 26, 2017.
Found dates in May 2017.
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