With its heart-of-the-city location, historic roots and penchant for highlighting local artists, The Lumiares hits a winning note. Using its high vantage point to offer stunning views coupled with a jaw-dropping rooftop bar to boot, this new kid on the block has evolved into a bonafide big-hitter.
The Lumiares in Bairro Alto is a premium-level front-row seat to Lisbon. This five-star, apartment-style hotel sits on a hilltop giving what must arguably be one of the best views of Lisbon life. The Glória funicular, which takes passengers down to Avenida da Liberdade and back, is directly opposite. As is Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara which is a lookout point over the city. What all this means is that from our one-bedroom suite, we had a panoramic view of everything all at once and we spent a great deal of time people-watching from our balcony window.
Of course, this is to be expected when you’re staying in one of the most historic parts of Lisbon. The very narrow pavements outside are packed full of people at all times of the day and each side street is an Aladdin’s cave of restaurants and bars brimming with people spilling onto the streets. The vibe is high here and it remains that way late into the night.
Elsewhere, we explored the Chiado district on foot where the iconic Portuguese fragrance brand Claus Porto has a store. We loved their products and of course, indulged in a few treats. Incidentally, Claus Porto also supplies the amenities found at The Lumiares. Our exploration took us all the way down to the Tagus River and the beautiful promenade that runs along it. To have all of this on the doorstep of The Lumiares makes this location a deal-breaker.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
Take the funicular down to the main square for great shopping, more bars and good coffee shops. It is also possible to walk down and it takes around 10 minutes. The walk feels like browsing an outdoor gallery. You will spot street artists working as you walk by. In general, the best way to enjoy Lisbon is by foot… Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes!
In addition, the hotel’s own eateries, Rebel Café and Lumi Rooftop Bar and Restaurant are both open to the public. The rooftop, in particular, is very popular so expect to share the hotel lift with outside visitors on their way up and down from there. Reservation is a must because the view pulls a crowd and they stay for the insanely good Portuguese dishes the kitchen sends out. The cocktails from the bar guarantee that you will return.
Both inside and out The Lumiares stays true to its roots. The interior is heavily influenced by the artistic atmosphere of Bairro Alto. The stairway is decorated by renowned Portuguese mural artist Jacqueline de Montaigne and original artworks also hang all around the hotel. Elsewhere, chandeliers, gold detailing and a grand staircase all pay homage to the building’s 18th-century origin as a palace.
Our suite, which flooded with light from sunrise, was nothing short of fabulous. From the Queen sized bed to the geometric-patterned tiles on the bathroom walls, we were mesmerised by the mix of tones and textures that tied in the bohemian surroundings with a luxurious interior. Soft blankets, sleek angles and bold art mark this territory.
With Lisbon being a city popular with short-stay visitors, we expect that the hotel sees a quick turnover of guests. Yet, the reception staff, who rotated, greeted us by name each time we entered and left – which we did frequently during our stay. From check-in to finding a taxi on the anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, the staff at The Lumiares offered consistently exceptional service. As any weary traveller will testify, this is worth its own weight in gold. Our stay in Lisbon will remain memorable for a long time to come and this wonderful place to stay has a great deal to do with it.