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The first contemporary-chic boutique hotel to open in this rapidly changing city, the Bairro Alto cannot be beaten for location. Straddling the vibrant district from which it takes its name and the more elegant shopping district of Chiado, its 18th-century façade forms part of the historical Luis de Camões square.
Inside, the building has been completely restructured by Oporto interior decorators Bastidor, who have skilfully mixed references to Lisbon's past with stark new design in the popular bar. The ground floor, minimalist in feel, is dominated by striking black and white photographs of Lisbon life.
Although often on the small side, the 55 bedrooms and suites are well equipped with DVD players, plasma- screen TVs, Internet access and wonderful touches such as a night-light button to direct you to the marble bathroom in the dark.
The top floor houses a gym and massage room and a breathtaking roof terrace overlooking the city and beyond to the River Tagus.
Flores do Bairro restaurant has plenty of options to choose from and dishes to share, in a genuine "bairro" kitchen, with a relaxed and casual yet elegant environment.
In summer the Flores restaurant spills out on to the street outside and you can watch the locals starting another night out.
Nick, Original Traveller