Hotel review

Bairro Alto Hotel Review – The Luxury Editor

Member of the Leading Hotels of the World portfolio, Lisbonit’s Hotel Barrio Alto has five stars (and rightly so, we’d give it six if we could). The property dates back to the 18th century and underwent a major expansion and upgrade in 2019. It now houses 87 rooms, each inspired by Portuguese craftsmanship, from handcrafted rugs to Costa Nova ceramics, a restaurant, spa and a beautiful roof terrace with sea view.. TLE recently stayed here – read on to find out why it’s our favorite hotel in the Portuguese capital.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Traykground and Concept

Part of a large block of buildings, Hotel Barrio Alto sits on the border between two important neighborhoods, elegant Chiado and boho Bairro Alto. Here, classic and contemporary, past and present, mingle with a touch of irreverence and an orientation to the future. The property celebrates all things Portuguese, from on-point decor to food, artwork, and furnishings. On the fifth floor is BAHR & Terrace which serves the best of Portuguese cuisine in a contemporary setting and on the ground floor treat yourself to delicious pastries at the hotel’s patisserie.

The 2019 renovation expanded the property’s footprint by incorporating three buildings adjoining the existing hotel, all of which date from the 18th century. The renovation project was undertaken by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Souto de Moura, he himself was a regular guest at the Bairro Alto Hotel, which became his home during his stay in the city. As well as turning four buildings into a single hotel, he took the bold step of adding another floor to the property, presenting the challenge of ensuring they were all on the same level, as well as preserving the stonework, existing vaults and tiles.

Before starting work, his studio studied the original Pombal-era buildings in the surrounding area, so they could revive architectural elements that had been lost over time. The original yellow ochre, light blue, light green and gray green are the colors that give the final touch and preserve the identity of each building. Souto de Moura says, “Everything is cream-colored, milky and sweet. I didn’t do a color study, but I chose soft colors.

Atelier Bastir created most of the interiors including all guest rooms and common areas – with the exception of the restaurant and the terrace on the 5th floor. With the aim of keeping the footprint of the hotel while bringing it into the 21st century. The building became a hotel 14 years ago, with a strong connection to the surrounding area with the hotel’s slogan “Where is Lisbon” – reflecting its hospitality, extended to the local community and beyond. Not just a hotel for its customers, it’s for Lisboetas and everyone who lives and feels the city.

The finished product is a masterpiece of architecture and interior design – updated to be more modern and luxurious, while maintaining classic references.

The hotel’s personality is further accentuated by art, with a curated selection of pieces by various Portuguese artists. There are also references to the original hotel throughout, such as the sculptures by Rui Chafes in the lobby or the photographs by Rui Calçada Bastos. A huge tapestry of the hills of the city, with a macrame base, was created by Oficina 166 (Diana Menezes Cunha) and serves as a focal point on three floors. Its colors are linked to the decoration of the hotel and the facades of the buildings of Lisbon. Local craftsmanship can be seen throughout the hotel, from the handmade rugs in the reception area to the curtains, bedspreads and ceramics in the bathrooms.

Service and staff

The hotel has been known for its hospitality and staff since it opened in 2004 and it shows from the second you arrive at the hotel. The staff are trained to provide informal and discreet service and they couldn’t do more to help you during our stay.

Location

Located in one of the most beautiful squares in Lisbon, Praça de Camões in the Barrio Alto district. The square is one of the most popular in the city and is named after the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões. It is lively with many restaurants and cafes, while the whole Barrio Alto neighborhood is filled with bars, clubs and restaurants, and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Barrio Alto is also home to a number of historical and cultural sites as well as being Lisbon’s main shopping district. A metro station is a one minute walk from the hotel which connects to the airport line and you can easily walk to any part of Lisbon from here.

Rooms and Suites

During the renovation, the area of ​​the hotel doubled to reach 9,000 m2, with its four buildings offering 87 large rooms and suites. Families, groups, couples, and solo travelers in need of space can find the perfect room for them with room categories including Single, Classic, Prestige, Junior Suite, Deluxe Junior Suite, Suite, and Signature Suite.

Each room offers a slightly different style or layout, but they all have a design thread. The style is timeless, with bespoke furnishings in bedrooms and bathrooms complemented by more striking accents in contemporary colors and textures, lighting and accessories. Comfort and convenience are key, with each room having a Marshall speaker and Le Labo products in the bathroom.

Rooms

Sequels

The suites have been designed in a spirit of luxury, glamor and refinement, while bringing a touch of modernity, absolute tranquility and comfort. Each suite has been carefully designed to reflect the soul of Lisbon, ensuring your stay will be a memorable experience you’ll want to repeat.

Some of our favorite suites include:

The Alecrim Signature Suite

The Alecrim Signature Suite is perfect for those seeking a luxurious, 5-star hotel experience. With its large size, natural light and location on the top floor of the new wing, guests can enjoy stunning views of the city’s historic quarter and the Tagus River. The refined interior decoration of the suite and the personalized service of a dedicated maid guarantee an unforgettable and unparalleled stay for all guests.

Chiado

The Chiado Suite allows guests to experience the glamor of the city with its beautiful view of historic Luís de Camões Square. The suite is decorated with contemporary design elements that make it luxurious, comfortable and sophisticated. The suite also has a living room and a work space, ideal for relaxing during your visit to the capital. The daylight bathroom, the shower and the antique cylinder bathtub make this space even more special.

Our bed and breakfast

Balcony and View

Bedroom

Bathroom

I’m going

Workspace

Free postcards and stamps

Refuse service treats

Food and drink

Bahr Restaurant & Bar

The BAHR Restaurant and Bar on the 5th floor of the hotel is the main dining and dining area. it’s a bohemian and provocative style representing impudence and the avant-garde, it’s carefree and unconventional.

The famous Michelin star Nuno Mendes is the creative director of BAHR. While a Lisboeta, Mendes spent many years working in London, before returning to his home town.

Service begins at 7am, with breakfast, followed by a market menu lunch, weekend brunch and dinner. Mendes cooks up snacks like smoked goose barnacles on toast, entrees like aged beef tartare, and entrees including Black Pork Secretos with Crayfish and Savoy Cabbage. Dine indoors in the trendy restaurant or on the terrace, overlooking the Tagus.

The first thing you see when you enter the restaurant from the elevator is the art installation that embodies the essence of Bairro Alto – “girls and pimps; walkways, corners and bohemian doorways” – featuring items such as the traditional comb, knife, demijohn of red wine and shoe shine bench.

The restaurant is contemporary and informal with elegant touches. The toilets have been “vandalized” with drawings, writings and sayings of artists on gold leaf. Furniture includes benches by Valentin Loellmann, seating and side tables by Lloyd Powell, tall “Jupiter” bar stools by Johanson Design, and chairs by Brazilian designer Jader Almeida and Danish brand Carl Hansen & Son.

Bahr has an open kitchen, separated from the dining room by a marble counter and leaving the service team visible. But there is also a superb view of the river and a panoramic balcony. The dishes are composed mainly of Portuguese seasonal products, with slight differences at lunch and dinner. Inspired by the best of Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary twist, this is emotive cuisine, linking Nuno Mendes to Portugal and, in particular, the Alentejo. It is also influenced by historical trade routes and products imported from distant lands. Particular attention is paid to sustainability, not only on the menu but also on the wine list.

Breathtaking views of the Tagus come from the 5th floor extension of the BAHR restaurant. Open to guests and the general public, it is one of the busiest places in the city, especially by regulars of the terrace before the redevelopment. Guests can order breakfast as well as the restaurant menu (while the restaurant is open), as well as a light meal menu available throughout the day.

Our culinary experience

Cocktails

Snacks

Soupe

Sector

Dessert

Breakfast

What a way to start the day, we had breakfast on the terrace overlooking Lisbon, but they also serve it inside the restaurant.

Mezzanine Lounge

The hotel’s mezzanine has a lounge and seating area. The design is inspired by luxury yachts and libraries, with handpicked furniture and décor. The space’s food offer is healthy and plant-based, available throughout the day.

Pastelaria

The hotel’s Pastelaria cafe specializes in quick bites and twisted pastries. They offer a variety of pastries including sausage and honey swirls from Alheira, sweet potato beignets and savory prawn pastries as well as coffee from Climpson & Sons.

6th floor terrace

The hotel also has an outdoor space on the 6th floor reserved for hotel guests. This space has an incredible view of the city and the Tagus. Guests can order from a light meal menu on BAHR’s terrace.

Gym and wellness

One of my favorite areas of the hotel is the gym and wellness center, which includes a small but well-equipped gym, double massage room, sauna, and sensory shower. Guests can book treatments and personal training, as well as experience products from Suzanne Kauffmann, an internationally renowned Austrian cosmetics brand.

Final Thoughts

The Bairro Alto Hotel is the ideal place to stay for those looking for a luxurious and contemporary experience in the heart of Lisbon. The prime location in trendy Bairro Alto puts you right in the heart of the city’s cultural and artistic district, making it the perfect place to explore all that Lisbon has to offer. The modern interpretation of traditional Portuguese architecture is sure to turn heads, and their dedication to providing guests with the best possible experience is second to none. If you are looking for a truly unique and luxurious travel experience, look no further than Hotel Bairro Alto. This is our favorite establishment in Lisbon and it is included in our guide to the best hotels in Lisbon.


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