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Memmo Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal
Hidden in the maze of streets that makes up the city's oldest district, the Alfama, this hotel can be a challenge to find, which all adds to its discreet allure. Originally a bakery and shoe-polish factory, the buildings have been coolly re-configured - flowing interiors, bleached-wood floors and minimalist white-on-white bedrooms - with a modern take on Portuguese design. The large bar-lounge, spread over two floors and with a help-yourself fridge, makes up for the compact, though neatly designed, bedrooms. Highlight is the triple-level terrace, with pool (and winter fire-pit) and mesmerising views over the colourful hillside jumble of churches and rooftops. It's also the best spot for the bar's tapas supper menu.
Nothing beats losing yourself in the atmospheric streets of the Alfama district. We stumbled upon little bars and unexpected views, while at night fado music (the city's traditional soulful music) drifted in the air.
The hotel is tucked away in the central Alfama district. The 28 tram (which takes you across the city) stops a few minutes' walk away.
By plane: flights to Lisbon take around 2 hours 50 mins from London and Manchester and 2 hours 30 mins from Bristol. The hotel is a 25-minute taxi ride from the airport. Public parking available. skyscanner.com
Style & Character
Design-conscious friends and couples who want a cool place to hang out, that's also central. The space, the light and the lack of fussy details make this a very calming hotel.
Service & Facilities
You'll enjoy having an early-morning dip before breakfast and heading out into the city and, equally, a reviving dip when returning hot and dusty.
- Roof terrace
- Public parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The terrace rooms have a small patio, although not screened; otherwise, any room with a river view is worth asking for. The white-shuttered windows let the light flood in, and the room feel more spacious.
Patio Room, Mansard Room, Alfama Room, Terrace Room, Alfama Superior Room, Mansard Superior Room, Premium Mansard Room
Facilities include: ensuite bath or shower, hairdryer, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Getting up early is a must; you'll want to bag the best spot for breakfast on the terrace to enjoy those sensational views. The pasteis de nata (traditional Portuguese custard tarts) on offer are sinfully gorgeous too.
The restaurant: pastries, cooked breakfasts, Portuguese tapas, wine, port. Open every day.