Located in the centre of the capital, the Bairro Alto is revered as Lisbon’s original boutique hotel.
The five-star Bairro Alto Hotel sits conveniently on the boundary of two of Lisbon’s most popular districts – its namesake, the ‘Bairro Alto’ district, and the bustling ‘Chiado’ district. The hotel is surrounded by the hurly-burly of Lisbon life, with many of the city’s best restaurants and café bars within easy walking distance. A stroll down the Rua do Alecrim will bring you to the banks of the Tagus and the transport interchange at Cais do Sodre. Follow the river east via the grand Praca do Comercio, and you’re into the maze of narrow, twisting streets which characterise historic Alfama.
The building itself dates back to 18th century: to a period of urban renewal when the medieval footprint of the district was reshaped into today’s pracas, largos and roads. Hailed as the future of Portuguese inner-city living, four of these lofty, multi-story townhouses were brought together to create the ‘Grand Hotel de L’Europe’ in 1980. Twenty-five years later and following an extensive refurbishment, the boutique Bairro Alto Hotel open its doors to the public in 2005.
The building became an instantly recognisable landmark, thanks to its distinctive yellow exterior. Inside, the Bairro Alto’s architectural heritage has been sympathetically preserved, and a thoughtful mix of antique and contemporary furniture, warm fabrics and traditional azulejos tiles give the guest rooms a pleasantly comfortable, idiosyncratic style. The Classic Chiado rooms and the larger Prestige rooms lookout over the Praca Luís de Camoe and Rua do Alecrim – and for families, some of the Chiado rooms are interconnecting. There are also Junior, Deluxe and Chiado suites – they’re light and conformable with views across the rooftops of Chiado, and on the very top floor the spacious Signature Alecrim suites have city view balconies, looking east towards downtown Baixa and the Tagus river.
In keeping with Lisbon’s finest culinary traditions, the menu at the in-house BAHR restaurant showcases the best seasonal produce from across Portugal, and you can sample the deliciously-moreish pasteis de nata on home soil at the hotel’s very own pastelaria. Cocktails are served at the 18.68 bar – the former HQ of Portugal’s first Fire Brigade, formed in 1868 – and the residents-only sixth-floor bar is secret spot, where you can enjoy a privileged view of the sunset as it stretches out across the Tagus.