Martinhal Lisbon Cascais
Situated on the Lisbon coast, Martinhal Lisbon Cascais is a stylish, child-friendly hotel. Designed by award-winning Lisbon architect João Paciencia and landscaped by the legendary Francisco Cabra, the hotel exudes a neat, modern feel throughout.
There are 72 spacious rooms in total, four of which are suites beautifully adapted for families. In addition there are 12 villas on site, perfect for families, each complete with two bedrooms, a kitchen, open-space living room and a dining area leading out to a terrace.
Dine at one of three restaurants on site serving everything from buffet breakfasts and exquisite Portuguese dishes to Italian cuisine at the hotel's trattoria. Each restaurant is family friendly and features a special children's menu.
Facilities include three pools dotted around the resort as well as Finistera Spa complete with a sauna, steam, room, jacuzzi, and a selection of spa treatments on offer. Kids can be kept entertained at the kids' club, catering for ages of six months to early teens. The kids' clubhouse includes over 700 metres of play space, as well as a range of toys and activities.
Beach and sports activities in the area can include surfing, body boarding, diving and boat trips. Golfers can also make use of the two championship golf courses Quinta da Marinha and Oitavos.
Why We Love It
Families can dip in and out of Lisbon without having to stay in a city that can get pretty hot in the summer months.
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.
Why We Love It
In summer the Flores restaurant spills out on to the street outside and you can watch the locals starting another night out.
Hotel Valverde, located on Lisbon's most bling boulevard - Avenida da Liberdade - opened in 2014 as a new project by Bastir, the same designers as the Bairro Alto, another of our favourite hotels in the city.
Bastir's design is a major reason for staying in what must now be arguably the city's most stylish hotel. The look throughout the Valverde is sophisticated eclecticism, with boldly coloured walls, Portuguese artworks and Moorish touches such as sliding screens and mosaics.
The 25 rooms (including junior suites and two large suites built in to the eaves on the 6th floor and with great views of the city rooftops and castle) are similarly stylish, with the emphasis on elegant mid-century furniture and geometric patterned rugs.
The hotel's Sitio Restaurant/Bar serves brasserie-style modern Portuguese cuisine and evening drinks in a lovely high-ceilinged room that overlooks another of the hotel's highlights, the Pateo courtyard garden, complete with heated pool and five o'clock tea service. Pateo is also a lovely place to relax after wandering around the city, or for an early evening cocktail (order the hotel's signature cocktail, Valverde Spirit - a blend of gin, basil, cardamom seeds, lime juice, sugar syrup and ginger beer) before heading out to sample Lisbon's renewed and renowned nightlife. The morning after the night before, you can even settle in for a movie in the Valverde's small cinema.
Why We Love It
Hotel Valverde is within easy reach of the nightlife hubs of Bairro Alto and the achingly cool dockyard area of Cais do Sodré but far enough removed that when you do decide to call it a night you aren't kept awake all night by the noise on the streets.
Lapa Palace Hotel
The 19th century Lapa Palace is situated on the hilltop overlooking the Tagus River in the diplomatic quarter of Lisbon. The sub-tropical gardens surrounding the hotel make it a peaceful oasis from the busy city.
The 109 bedrooms are distributed between the Palace wing, Garden wing and Villa Lapa. All have been decorated in a range of styles, with touches from the original décor of the palace. Some bedrooms have floor to ceiling windows looking out over the stunning rooftops and down to the river of this elaborate neighbourhood, whilst others look onto the sub-tropical private garden and outdoor swimming pool.
The restaurant Lapa serves Italian influenced cuisine; the hotel also has a poolside restaurant where guests can order cocktails and fresh fruit juices along with light snacks. For a more lively option the Rio Tajo bar is the place to be in the evenings with live piano music. With a range of 40 types of tea from around the world, the Rio Tajo bar is also perfect for a relaxing afternoon catch up.
Lapa Palace has extensive facilities including a spa, sauna, steam room and gym as well offering massages and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. However if guests want to venture out of the hotel, it's central location means the historic heart of Lisbon and the Unesco world heritage site of Belem are only a short taxi ride away.
Why We Love It
Some bedrooms come complete with original furnishings from the palace and have their own private turrets.
Memmo Alfama is the latest boutique hotel in the city's historic area, Alfama, concealed away down cobbled streets and close to the Cathedral and the Sao George Castle.
The nineteenth century property is housed in an ancient courtyard, with the architecture kept very much to its original roots despite extensive renovations.
All 42 bedrooms over look the river Tagus and Alfama, and are authentic and contemporary in style. The interiors of the hotel have been designed to provide a Portuguese home feeling, with a laid back ambience.
For wining and dining The Memmo Alfama Terrace wine bar and pool on the first floor serves a great selection of local Portuguese dishes and wines, and is also a great location to hear the buzz of the city and view the sights and Tagus River.
Memmo Alfama is a short distance from downtown Lisbon, which can be accessed by the famous yellow trams - a great way to discover the city.
Why We Love It
The hotel has an area called 'Lisbon Story' where guests can learn about the city's culture and history, as well as local information on restaurants and advice from guides.
Areias do Seixo
Areias do Seixo is a great new addition to Portugal's portfolio of boutique hotels. It's properly quirky, and less than an hour from Lisbon so works well in combo with the capital.
The 14 individually decorated bedrooms epitomise the eco chic style of the hotel, with beds on wheels and suspended log burners. The style is hipster heaven - think mismatching furniture, quirky lighting and slogans on the walls. For a little more privacy there are four self-catered villas and one town house, and the little onsite farm shop provides all the necessities for a homely stay.
The hotel's restaurant Lugar da Horta is much like a large dining room, where all the guests can eat together for dinner. All dishes are locally inspired and produced from the hotel's organic garden. Those with a sweet tooth will find the hotel café rather appealing with a range of homemade cakes, pastries and tea.
What to do? Take a bike ride around the surrounding area, watch a film in the private cinema or relax in the Spa with a massage. There are also daily activities which are scribbled on a chalk board in the reception area, such as fishing for mussels or sourcing vegetable from the gardens to produce a culinary delight or even a stroll along the sand dunes.
Why We Love It
Take your guitar for the nightly Fire Circle, where guests mingle around a bonfire drinking delicious Portuguese wines and nibbling pata negra.