Lisbon, Portugal

Memmo Alfama

Rates from (ex tax)$187.22

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR183.99), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

White and wonderful

Setting

Old town on the Tagus

Once used as a shoe polish factory, Memmo Alfama hotel is a bright and breezy townhouse tucked away in a maze of cobbled streets twisting between ancient churches and Fado restaurants. Inside, smooth lines, crisp sheets and laid-back lounges beckon; outside, the river-view pool bar is Lisbon’s latest spot to see and be seen.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A Portuguese custard tart and glass of liqueur for two

Facilities

Photos Memmo Alfama facilities

Need to know

Rooms

42, including one suite.

Check–Out

12noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $187.21 (€174), excluding tax at 6 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR183.99), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast of fresh fruits, pastries, cold meats and cheeses, as well as a selection of hot dishes such as eggs, bacon and crepes.

Also

Local street artist Vhils (a young, Portuguese Banksy) has left his mark on the building’s façade with a striking large-scale portrait of a former resident. Inside, housed in what was once a bakery, the library is stocked with books on Lisbon’s history.

At the hotel

Lounge, library, terrace, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, Saboaria Portugueza toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Alfama Superior Room 8 has a small balcony with fantastic vistas over the river. Under the eaves, the spacious Mansard Junior Suite makes up for limited views with a killer bathroom. Bedrooms are fresh and clean-lined, with wide lime-washed floorboards, crisp white linens and deliciously comfortable beds stacked high with plump, inviting pillows. The bathrooms – all polished concrete floors, sleek infinity sinks and huge rain showers – have an equally seductive edge.

Poolside

Lined with iridescent red tiles, the unheated infinity pool is sleek but bijou – just the right size to dip a perfectly manicured toe in. Order poolside drinks on the decked terrace and take in those postcard-worthy views over the River Tagus.

Packing tips

Don’t even think about heels: leather sandals will fare much better on Lisbon’s slippery cobbled hills. Pick up a vintage tin at the flea market to fill with golden custard tarts before your flight home.

Also

One of the Alfama Superior rooms on the ground floor is equipped for disabled guests. Smokers can indulge on the terrace only.

Children

Leave the children at home: Memmo Alfama is an adults-only stay.

Food and Drink

Photos Memmo Alfama food and drink

Top Table

If you can’t help whispering sweet nothings over your morning pastries, nab a couple of brown leather bucket seats at one of the tables for two.

Dress Code

Something crisp and comfortable to explore the city; cool cottons and elegant flats will do the trick.

Hotel restaurant

None, but breakfast in served in the Living Room, a laid-back Scandinavian-inspired space gently lit by a light well in the ceiling from the terrace above. Take a seat at the long communal wooden table and help yourself from the buffet and the Smeg fridge, well stocked with milk, juice and yoghurts. After breakfast, the Wine Bar has a tapas menu for the peckish; put up your feet on the terrace and snack on plates of Portuguese ham croquettes, octopus salad and tender veal loin.

Hotel bar

You’ll find a scattering of Carrara marble tables and a wall of local wines, ports and champagnes at the Wine Bar, but the real action is outside: walk through the sliding glass doors and pick a spot on the poolside terrace. Head for the furthest deck, flanked by glass barriers, for the best views of the higgledy-piggledy jumble of red-roofed houses tumbling down to the riverfront.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 11am. The bar’s small plates are served until 10pm.

Room service

The Wine Bar’s tapas menu is available until 11pm.

Location

Photos Memmo Alfama location
Address
Memmo Alfama
27 Travessa Das Merceeiras Alfama
1100-348
Lisbon
Portugal

Planes

The closest airport is Lisbon International, a 20-minute drive from the hotel, with flights to many destinations in Europe, particularly in the summer months from June to September.

Trains

Santa Apolónia station, a 10-minute drive from the hotel, serves CP trains to major Portuguese cities such as Oporto, Coimbra, Aveiro and Faro.

Automobiles

The hotel is well served by public transport and there’s plenty to explore on foot in Memmo Alfama’s neighbourhood, so you may not need your own set of wheels. If you’re planning on exploring further afield, the hotel is an easy drive from the cathedral square; go along the left side of the cathedral and take the second street on the right, Travessa das Merceeiras: Memmo Alfama is at the very end of the cobbled alley. Public parking near the hotel costs €15 a day including valet parking; it’s best to drop your bags off at the hotel first.

Other

Hop on the eléctrico 28, Lisbon’s retro yellow tram that trundles past the end of the alley. It’s been dubbed the ‘tourist tram’ with good reason: just hop on and off to take in the city’s flea market, panoramic views from the hilltops and the downtown and historic districts.

Worth getting out of bed for

Spend your days gently meandering down charming neighbourhood paths: Alfama is a labyrinth of mediaeval alleyways, tiny plazas and hidden staircases. Stop to marvel at the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Sé Cathedral and the imposing São Jorge Castle. Nearby Chiado and Bairro Alto are excellent for shopping; pick up a pair of butter-soft leather gloves at Luvaria Ulisses (+351 213 420 295). No Lisbon visit could be complete without a tour on the trundling tram 28, or a refuelling pit-stop at Pastéis de Belem (+351 21 363 7423) for velvety custard tarts, just round the corner from the architectural splendour of the Jerónimos Monastery and the fairytale Belém Tower. Embark on your own treasure hunt at the Feira da Ladra (the ‘thieves market’, now a bustling and perfectly legal affair) to pick up some quirky one-of-a-kind souvenirs, or wind down from a day of sightseeing with a walk along the sparkling stretch of the River Tagus.

Local restaurants

Below the cathedral, Taberna Moderna (+351 218 865 039) adds contemporary flourishes to the traditional tavern, with stainless steel hanging lamps, mismatched chairs, and an inspired fusion menu. Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese flavours mingle in heaped plates of fideua (a paella-like noodle dish), cuttlefish rice and grilled sesame tuna. A highlight is the Lisbonita Gin Bar, serving only gin from its 70-strong collection, and mixed just as you like it by the expert bar staff. Down a winding Alfama street, intimate Duetos da Sé (+351 218 850 041) is a family affair serving classic Portuguese dishes; the cream tart with cinnamon ice-cream gets rave reviews. Live jazz and Fado performances set the mood if you stop by in the evening. A 20-minute stroll from the hotel, Taberna Tosca (+351 218 034 563) serves traditional Portuguese tapas, or petiscos, on the serene Praça São Paulo. Dine inside the cosy low-lit tavern or outside on the square, next to the 18th-century church. Let the sommelier guide you through the extensive wine list: order by the glass for the perfect pairing with each small plate of local cheeses, fresh seafood and cured meats. Hailed as serving the best seafood in Lisbon, Cervejaria Ramiro (+351 21 885 10 24) is a laid-back local favourite. Start with sizzling garlic prawns, fresh lobster and crab plucked from the in-house tanks, follow with a hearty steak sandwich and wash it all down with cold, crisp beers. The restaurant doesn't take bookings, so arrive early or be prepared to queue.

Local cafés

Pois Café (+351 218 862 497) nestles at the back of the cathedral, a bright and cheery space under lofty arches. Stop by for comforting soups, hearty lunches, a cocktail or a slice of something sweet from the Austrian bakers.

Local bars

By day, Guilty (+351 211 913 590) serves paper-thin-crust pizzas and indulgent pasta dishes from the open-air kitchen. Come nightfall, after the last sinful chocolate fondant has been devoured, the cowhide-covered restaurant floor becomes a club dancefloor, where resident DJs and mixologists keep the party going until the small hours. If you’re in the mood for something more traditional, the renowned Clube de Fado (+351 218 852 704) plays host every night to melancholy-fuelled Fado performers. Go full-on traditional with bacalhau and grilled goat chops beneath the stone columns and curvaceous arched ceilings.

Reviews

Photos Memmo Alfama reviews

Anonymous review

Trekking around Lisbon can be an uphill challenge at the best of times, but things get particularly tricky in the quaint, atmospheric district of Alfama. Dropping us off, the taxi driver told us to walk 100 metres up one of the narrow alleys and turn right. After walking, turning, walking, turning, and dragging my fat Tumi, we found nothing. What we did get to appreciate was one of Lisbon’s most traditional neighbourhoods as its residents went about their day-to-day lives. At a bakery, we stopped to ask where Memmo Alfama is – it was a mile away. High noon and the sun was out – but we were determined to get there, and somehow (including a little wheel damage caused by Lisbon’s charming cobblestoned streets), we made it. Turns out that Memmo Alfama is still a well-kept secret – and it isn’t difficult to get there. If you know where it is.

It was too early for our room to be ready, but that wasn’t a problem: checked in, we had a special day planned in Lisbon. This was a rare chance for me to enjoy my hometown as a regular tourist. Still, we couldn’t set off without first getting an eyeful of the view from this prime perch.

This townhouse has been sensitively refreshed from its shoe-polish-factory past with clean lines, tactile furnishings and a bold graffiti mural. Navigating through the hotel’s common areas – a smart living room and a communal-style dining room, which has an air of Scandinavian design with Portuguese touches – I soon found the stairs that led to the terrace. I had seen photos of the sexy red infinity plunge pool, but seeing it up close with Lisbon’s old town at our feet was something else.

Our busy day out and about included a private visit to the top of the freshly revived triumphal Rua Augusta Arch. (We booked our visit through Exclusive by TLC,) After such a concentrated dose of sightseeing, we were ready to return to Memmo. And with only one night there, we planned not leave again until we absolutely had to. Lisbon is a city of steep alleyways and tricky cobblestones best explored, rather cruelly, on foot. This picturesque slice of old-school, red-roofed Portugal clings determinedly to the hillside above a wide, beguiling stretch of the River Tagus – usually you need to clamber up the slopes for heart-stirring vistas, duck past tempting tabernas and Fado restaurants and crane your neck to gawp at some of the capital’s most iconic castles and churches. Thankfully, you’ll find blissful respite from all this strenuous exploring at this soothing, bright white bolthole steps from the cathedral.

When we got to our room, my husband led the way. (He always likes to be one step ahead, which is fine by me.) One foot in the door, after a quick peek he said with a smile: ‘Either you go in or the suitcases do – your choice.’ To say our room was cosy is an understatement. I love the design and quirky details, like the fabric mailbox, with great suggestions for things to do around town, but as the hotel was fully booked, we had no choice but to take a patio room. In I went and the Tumi put to rest in the surprisingly spacious sleek concrete-floored bathroom with its fabulous walk-in shower. Bright-yellow loo paper to match the decor set a new standard for attention to detail.

We decided that our baby room was a great place to sleep but we were happiest out on that terrace; we cancelled evening plans to stay put and enjoy our base. The rooftop bar is a dream if you’re a G&T fan, here a gin-tônic comes in a proper gin goblet, nothing like the silly glasses with three ice cubes we get back in the UK. Although Memmo Alfama doesn’t have a formal restaurant, it serves fantastic tapas – so a few minutes later, the friends that came to meet us for dinner were also quickly mesmerised by the river views. We loved dining on Portuguese delicacies such as fried beans, cheese, octopus and charcuterie, pairing it with delicious gins. (We found the wine list limited for Portugal but I never say no to a Gin Mare or G’Vine.) Everything was perfect – simple and so peaceful, but not too quiet. At around midnight, the bar closed but we were told to make ourselves at home and just leave when we were ready. It was at 1.30am when we finally left the cosy sofa and made our way to our room.

Pared-down and inviting, the rooms have warm wooden flooring and big beds with plump pillows. We slept wonderfully and woke in true Portuguese fashion – that’s to say not so early – immediately agreeing it was time for breakfast with those views. Memmo Alfama lays on a great spread of Portuguese classics such as four types of delicious bread, cheeses and hams and there’s a wonderful big fat Smeg fridge where you help yourself to freshly squeezed fruit juices. I want one at home! Eggs and cooked dishes are made to order and brought to you wherever you want them. Naturally, as it was summer in Lisbon we chose outside by the glass wall on the terrace; sat side by side at a bar-style table, we just savoured the lookout over the red rooftops, the pool and the river. I am not usually a morning person, but sipping my Nespresso in the fresh air seeing Portugal’s capital city come to life soon brought me round. Then, for the rest of the day the sultry ruby-red pool was all ours.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Memmo Alfama’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The breakfast, terrace, the staff (who were very friendly).

Rating

Stayed on 9 Feb 2017

We loved

The view from the hotel of Alfama was amazing!

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jan 2017

We loved

The location is wonderful - right in the heart of Alfama, which was our favourite part of the whole city. The staff were all very polite and helpful, there was a great selection on offer at breakfast, the room was lovely - the bed was exceptionally comfortable and the shower was amazing! Alfama is just the most charming place - wander round, get lost there and take it all in.

Don’t expect

Whenever we tried to telephone reception from our room no one answered... there was also no iron available, so I spent one day of our holiday in very creased clothes!

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jul 2016

We loved

The staff were beyond friendly and accommodating. The views from the hotel terrace were the perfect setting for breakfast and for late night cocktails. When in Alfama, take a guided bike tour, you can pick them up around the corner from the hotel. Pateo13 is a must for lunch, any fish you get is perfect and simple. Cervejaria Ramiro is a MUST for dinner...can't stress enough that you should eat there, it's one of the greatest seafood experiences in any city. Ribera Market...even though it feels commercialized as "Time Out Market," it is not to be missed...all of the upcoming culinary scene all under one roof. Stop at Vida Portuguese for gifts while there.

Don’t expect

Don't expect one inch more of space than you need. The rooms are small, but a proper reminder that you shouldn't be doing much more than sleeping in there anyhow.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Jul 2016

We loved

Being located in an interesting part of the city. View from hotel outdoor bar is great. Several good nearby restaurants.

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet especially if Portugal have just won the Euro championships!!

Rating

Stayed on 9 Jul 2016

We loved

The terrace area with the wonderful view.

Don’t expect

To have any room to put your suitcase.

Rating

Stayed on 25 May 2016

We loved

The whole atmosphere of the hotel was one of calmness, efficiency and made to feel welcome. The hotel location is down a quiet cobbled street just off the hustle and bustle of the Alfama area, perfect place to step in and out of your sightseeing plans. The roof terrace makes this hotel which gives great views of the old town and sea, comfortable sofas and great waiter service, nothing is a problem for them. We had our waiter bring over three wine samples for us too taste and talked us through each one. The tapas food was freshly prepared and they offered to box up what we left. Perfect place to start and finish your day. The breakfast can be taken either in the downstairs diner or roof terrace, enough fresh fruit and cooked options to please most. Kept going until 11am which is great for a lie in. The staff were all of a friendly nature and ready to help out and offer they bit more if needed, they were genuine in their work and made you feel that you were their only guests. The hotel decor and cleanliness was first class with a good combination of retaining the old features with a modern scandanavian (but certainly not the well known flat pack variety). 8/10

Don’t expect

The only down point was the size of our bedroom, albeit it was well presented it felt cramped especially between the end of the bed and wall, too small for us by far. Not really the place to take kids, a very grownup hotel which I suppose is how they want it. As I've said the room we were in was too small and made us feel that we should get ready and then get out, not a place to move around freely but still functional and comfy. Overall I would go back and would recommend to others but if you intend to spend a lot of time in your bedroom and want space then make sure you book one of the larger rooms

Rating

Stayed on 20 May 2016

We loved

Everything. The Hotel was superb. Great staff; couldn't be more helpful. Lovely location. First rate facilities. Very tastefully done. Great area, Alfama. Intricate, interesting, lively streets, with great bars and restaurants

Don’t expect

A bath

Rating

Stayed on 14 Apr 2016

We loved

Cool, chic hotel. Friendly and helpful staff. Recommend to take up the free city tour at the beginning of stay. Nice terrace for breakfast in the morning and drinks in the evening, and amazing view from terrace. Would definitely stay there again if we are in Lisbon next time.

Don’t expect

Better than average European service standard but can take it to the next level. Would be better when all the constructions are done nearby to the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Mar 2016

We loved

Outdoor terrace for breakfast was amazing. Have a drink at 'Wine with a view' at the castle overlooking the city

Don’t expect

Huge room

Rating

Stayed on 21 Mar 2016

We loved

The location, the pool, the breakfast, the rooms and the staff. Also loved their recommendations for dinner. Walk around everywhere - there is so much to see in the old city of Lisbon. Definitely see Fado.

Don’t expect

To be disappointed or to be bothered.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Mar 2016

We loved

The design of the hotel is beautiful, with a great location, great breakfast and the staff were fantastic - very helpful and pleasant. 10/10

Don’t expect

Hustle and bustle, it's very quiet.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Mar 2016

We loved

Pared back styling. Fresh breakfast with fantastic terrace views. Recommend visiting the castle at sunset for a great view of the city and a glass of wine. 

Don’t expect

Spacious bedrooms.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Feb 2016

We loved

The design details and the many casual lounge and terrace areas in this historic and original district.

Don’t expect

Large standard rooms. Superior rooms are fantastic though!

Rating

Stayed on 31 Oct 2015

We loved

The view is amazing when the sun shines. The rooms are compact but nicely decorated with nice bathrooms. Food at breakfast and the Tapas style dishes in the bar are great as is the wine list - some great local wines by the glass. The location is great - you are right in the middle of Lisbon with a lot of bars and restaurants around. the reception staff are very helpful with recommendations and restaurant bookings.

Don’t expect

Fast service - we found the bar service to be a bit slow at times and breakfast was a bit of a scrum at the weekend as tables aren't cleared quickly enough

Rating

Stayed on 10 Oct 2015

We loved

The terrace! The local walking tour was really good. Just the right length of time and level of history given up and down the lanes you wouldn't have seen without a guide.

Don’t expect

A party atmosphere

Rating

Stayed on 8 Oct 2015

We loved

First and foremost the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. The idea of a free tour of the local area is a great way to familiarise yourself with the local area, especially useful when only staying for a short period of time. The decor is well though out with lots of little areas to sit and relax. Gorgeous views across the rooftops on the bar terrace.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2015

We loved

Everything! A really cool, trendy hotel that manages to make you feel right at home. The terrace is a massive bonus, the views are amazing, the pool quirky and the staff lovely.

Don’t expect

To be constantly fussed over - not a criticism - they're professional and on the ball but laid back and easy going.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Sep 2015

We loved

The pool roof terrace, the guided tour, location.

Don’t expect

Big rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Aug 2015

We loved

Everything!! Breakfast, lovely rooms, layout etc. But the icing on the cake was the roof terrace and plunge pool. We spent the day lounging there and then off for dinner and Fado.

Don’t expect

Loads of space. Nowhere is cramped but by the nature of the building (which is fab), the rooms aren't massive. That said the beds are still lovely and large.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Aug 2015

We loved

Just about everything - staff are really helpful, the bar area and pool are great to just chill at, the rooms are lovely.

Don’t expect

To wear high heals - it's all cobble stones and hills but we loved it.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Aug 2015

We loved

Incredible terrace with pool and view over Alfama

Don’t expect

Large rooms

Rating

Stayed on 6 Aug 2015

We loved

The location in Alfama, the wonderful service, excellent breakfasts, sitting on the roof terrace looking at the views.

Don’t expect

The best coffee ever, it was adequate.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Aug 2015

We loved

The outstandingly attentive staff; the view, the location, the design of the hotel, the room comfort.

Don’t expect

Extensive menu; what they have is concise but tasty!

Rating

Stayed on 14 Jul 2015

We loved

Hotel staff very helpful, friendly and informative. Breakfast fantastic.

Don’t expect

A lot of walking, very up and down. Need to be active on your legs and feet.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Jun 2015

We loved

The location, the staff (especially Pedro), the pool deck, the breakfast.

Don’t expect

To fit in with the other guests as there seemed to me to be a very pretentious vibe.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Jun 2015

We loved

The terrace, the rooms, the service, the location - just about everything to be honest.

Don’t expect

Wearing high heels: everything is hilly!

Rating

Stayed on 25 Apr 2015