Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Lisbon, Portugal


Built in 1959, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon was the city’s first true luxury hotel. It offers the world-class service and facilities the hotel group is known for globally. Occupying a perfect position at the top of a hill near the main Avenida de Liberdade, you’ll have easy access to the capital and museums such as the nearby Gulbenkian. Rooms offer views of the Eduardo VII Park and the hotels’ gardens.

The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is perfectly placed to get the best of every aspect of this diverse city, a pleasant walk or short tuk-tuk from almost any place you’d care to visit. Though a cab was never more than a few moments away, we chose to walk as much as possible. It took us only forty minutes to get all the way to the old town, and we really took our time, getting lost down the city’s signature narrow streets and stumbling upon the iconic tramline. You really couldn’t hope for a better location to make the most of Lisbon.

The hotel’s modernist exterior opens out into an opulent marble lobby which leads into a formal dining room. Art Deco meets updated modern stylings inside. Lavish flowers, dripping chandeliers and statement furniture are set against walls adorned with giant tapestries and artwork, while ornate sculptures lurk around every corner.

Check-in was smooth, and always appreciated, and service in general was reassuringly swift, friendly and professional. Of the 244 rooms and 38 suites, most have private terraces that offer panoramic views of the Portuguese capital from high on the hill. The furniture is largely bespoke and mid-century in style. Bathrooms are marble and spacious with Bulgari products. It’s rare that we’d notice or comment on a hotel bed but ours made us feel as though we were sleeping on a cloud.

Of course, the days of the rubbish hotel gym with a dusty treadmill are long gone, but even by modern standards, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is a standout: a 400-metre running track on the roof offers an incredible view to get the heart going and the glass-walled gym is modern and well equipped, with a weights room and pilates studio. The spa, meanwhile, offers manicures and pedicures with top-of-the-line local products and four treatment rooms. One treatment even offers a ‘digital detox’, seeking to counteract the effects of screen addiction on the body.

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While you’re Out There
Seek out – or take a tour of – the Bordalo II murals. The Portuguese street artist made a series of giant animal murals out of rubbish, as a comment on how wasteful humans can be. If you find them all, you’ll get an extensive tour of the city in the process, taking in the Santa Justa lift, laid-back Belem, the Timeout market where you can grab some food, as well as Oriente station. It’s like a treasure hunt. For trash. In a good way. 

Also, be sure to check out the beautiful Ler Devegar. It’s a trendy bookshop with over fifty thousand new and second-hand books, plus rotating art exhibitions, a coffee shop, and pop-up events.

There are a range of activities on offer at the hotel. We chose the tuk-tuk tour, which was the perfect way to see the city, taking in history, architecture, food and street art. Activities are swiftly and efficiently arranged by the hotel’s friendly concierge, who we found indispensable during our stay.

In terms of dining, you’re spoiled for choice. For some good old-fashioned extravagance, the Varanda restaurant delivers. It’s known for its spectacular lunchtime buffets and is very much a place to be seen for the city’s great and good. With sumptuous decor and towering ceilings, it spills out onto the terrace overlooking the park and the jacaranda trees. O Japonês provides fresh sushi and sashimi at the Ritz Bar, and poolside snacks and cocktails were delicious.

But Cura, the hotel’s highly acclaimed, starred restaurant, is the jewel in the crown. We enjoyed an incredible tasting menu from Michelin chef Pedro Pena Bastos. The setting is intimate, the lights are low and the entire place feels like a special experience. You may roll your eyes at another restaurant promising to take you on a gastronomic journey, but Cura more than delivered on their promise. We chose the thirteen-course Origins menu. Particular standouts were the squid with hazelnut and roasted seaweed butter, as well as the short rib with corn and ‘bairrada’ sauce.

The wine pairings were exquisite also and incidentally, they didn’t skimp on the measures. We had to take a dip in the pool to ease our heads the next morning. Luckily, we had our choice of an indoor 18-metre lap pool or an outdoor heated pool more suited to lounging around than swimming in.

If it’s old-school glamour, delicious dining and world-class service you’re looking for, you’re never going to go wrong with the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. We can’t think of a better place to base yourself when checking out this vibrant, historic city.

Photography courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

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