A select guide to Lisbon

A view of the Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon.
Where to stay (the Corinthia) and where to go for everything from vintage to sardines.

Lisbon is one of the most diverse capitals in Europe, with each district offering delightful sites to experience.

You can enjoy museums devoted to ancient and modern art, renovated castles, shopping in the malls and markets plus an energetic nightlife. I highly recommend that you stay at the world-class Corinthia. With the Corinthia’s signature luxury hotels in Budapest, London, Malta, Prague and St. Petersburg — and two new hotels coming to Brussels and Dubai — the Corinthia is definitely a deluxe hotel brand to put on your radar. 

So why Corinthia Hotels? It’s an insider secret. Corinthia is a collection of hotels founded by the Pisani family of Malta in 1962. It is a business known for its discreet service, valuing authenticity, passion, precision and understanding, with a nod to local architecture and cultural traditions.

Undoubtedly, the best place to stay in at the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon is the Presidential Suite. It offers unparalleled space: a master bedroom with a king-size bed, an optional second bedroom, a large living and dining room, a fully equipped kitchen, a separate study area with a printer and library and two bathrooms.

Presidential Suite guests enjoy 24-hour private checkin and checkout, VIP guest relations, escort to and from Lisbon airport, complimentary Wi-Fi and internet access and a private shopping service. Guests in the Presidential Suite are also granted access to the Executive Club Lounge, offering silken service and panoramic views of the city, where they can enjoy a complimentary breakfast plus international newspapers and magazines. There’s also a dedicated reception desk.

The hotel’s Sete Colinas and Tipico restaurants feature the best of Portuguese cooking, using seasonal produce to create traditional dishes and contemporary Mediterranean and international cuisines, while the Terrace Lounge provides guests with an al fresco setting.

Of course, I am partial to the Corinthia’s spa, where I relished an Age-Defyer Face & Eye Treatment — a luxurious and regenerating 90-minute facial for maturing skin to help minimize lines and wrinkles around the eyes, neck, lips and jawline and combat the signs of aging. It includes a deep cleanse and skin analysis, plus a personalized mask and scalp massage. The spa has 13 treatment rooms and a heated swimming pool and is home to products made by the brand ESPA. My pampering included ESPA’s Optimal Skin ProCleanser, Promoisturizer and ProSerum made with turmeric — the hot new product.

After your soigné spa treatment, you can book the hotel’s private chauffeur service and have a smooth journey through Lisbon where you can savor massa sovada, the rich, creamy sweet bread; linguiça, the red, paprika-laced sausage; and Port, the after-dinner wine. Or you might want to shop for some blue-and-white textiles or head to a club for the haunting melismas of the fado, the Portuguese blues. Whether it’s an airport transfer, shopping, business or sightseeing in Lisbon, there’s nothing like an exceptional car with an experienced chauffeur.

Book directly on corinthia.com for a host of exclusive benefits, including the Best Rate Guarantee, free room upgrades and late checkout. Wishing you Sweet Lisbon Dreams.

Where to go? Here’s a quick guide to some of the rest of the best that Lisbon offers. Fasten your seat belts for a great ride to enjoy the following:

Elavador — The word is Portuguese for elevator and also is used to describe the funiculars that are mostly situated toward the north end of Lisbon. Journeys cost about three Euros and take customers from the low seafront up to the higher residential areas.

Thieves Market — A great place for stylish vintage gear. The largest and most famous is in the Campo de Santa Clara.

The National Palace of Queluz — Located on the outskirts of Lisbon, the palace is one Europe’s last great Rococo buildings. Designed as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza in the 18th century, it’s a must-see just for the extravagant Robillon Wing.

O Polícia — Founded in 1900, O Polícia is one of the oldest restaurants in Lisbon. Named to highlight the history of the founder, Teotónio Lázaro Miranda, who hung up his police uniform for an apron, this top restaurant is still in the family, now being run by his great-granddaughters.

Belas Clube De Campo — Golf, anyone? Hidden away in the valleys of the Sintra hills (just a half-hour drive from the city center), Belas Clube De Campo is shielded from coastal winds, meaning players can enjoy this championship course year-round. Designed by William “Rocky” Roquemore, the Belas course has an eighth hole that was christened “Augusta” because it resembles the 13th hole at Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club. 

Luvaria Ulisses — This is one of Lisbon’s longest-standing dedicated glove shops. Proving you don’t need to travel to Italy for long-lasting, quality gloves, the artisans of Luvaria Ulisses have been making gloves for Lisboan high society since 1925. The bespoke glove maker (which hasn’t been redecorated since it opened) may only have room for a couple of customers at a time, but this doesn’t stop everyone from returning time and time again.

Conserveira de Lisboa — A guide to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without including Conserveira de Lisboa. While it isn’t unknown, it is one of the most unique stores in the city for it sells just one thing — sardines. Inside are thousands of cans covered in striking vintage designs. The store stands exactly as it did when it opened in the 1930s, right down to the vintage cash register.

Custard tarts — Known as Pastéis de Nata  in Portugal, these have a reputation for being the world’s best, infused with lemon and cinnamon. 

For more on Debbi, visit gorgeousglobetrotter.com and marketingauthor.com.

More from Debbi Kickham
Debbi K. Kickham knows from glam-on-the-go
Debbi K. Kickham fell in love with travel and travel writing as...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *