Lisbon, Portugal

Palácio Príncipe Real

Price per night from$543.81

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR499.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Rose-tinted class

Setting

Peaceful Príncipe Real

The flamingo-pink façade isn’t the only flamboyant feature at Palácio Príncipe Real, a carefully renovated Lisbon mansion in the heart of the city. Here hand-painted arabesque ceilings, sweeping staircases and swoonsome azulejos are the order of the day, while super-luxe rooms come with treat-filled Smeg fridges and bouquets of fresh flowers from the garden. Breakfast is served right up to (and occasionally beyond) noon, a freshly cooked feast that facilitates ludicrously long lie-ins as well as setting you up for a long lazy afternoon sipping cocktails in the Lisbon sunshine, cooling off in the saltwater pool, or snoozing in the shade of the garden’s giant jacaranda tree.

Smith Extra

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A glass of port wine each

Facilities

Photos Palácio Príncipe Real facilities

Need to know

Rooms

25, of which five are suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Check-in is at 3pm. Both are very flexible when availability permits.

Prices

Double rooms from £415.93 (€495), including tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include a fully à la carte breakfast, served in the breakfast room and on the terrace until noon. Hot food is cooked using organic oil from the owner’s olive groves.

Also

The hotel logo – an Indian Runner duck – is a nostalgic nod to the time British owners Miles and Gail Curley spent in Asia. You’ll find it on your keycard, in, ornaments, on blankets and even, if you look closely enough, in the wrought-iron detailing of some gates and balconies.

At the hotel

Free WiFi. In rooms: fresh flowers and fruit; a welcome drink; Smeg mini-fridge with wine, juices, smoothies and other treats; Roberts speaker; Nespresso coffee machine and capsules; EcoLove candle; Nau do Cacau chocolate bar; Dyson hairdryer; yoga mat; and Byredo toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

As befits a former palace, all bedrooms have lofty ceilings, tall white wooden shutters, luxury linens and regal upholstery. Smeg fridges come packed with treats, and luxury touches like fresh flowers from the garden, organic chocolate and locally produced candles will have you feeling like royalty. But if you really want to feel like a prince or princess, indulge your fairy-tale fantasies in a Signature Suite, where decorative ceilings complement the sweeping garden views, and there’s even space enough to accommodate a freestanding rolltop bath.

Poolside

The large saltwater pool in the garden is open all hours and warmed by the Lisbon sun, both directly and via the hotel’s solar panels.

Spa

The wellness zone has two treatment rooms for massage and facial treatments.

Packing tips

Pack a copy of celebrated Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa’s modernist masterpiece The Book of Disquiet and go fully meta by browsing its fragmented prose over coffee in front of the elegant Café A Brasileira, right next to the bronze statue of… Fernando Pessoa. If you’re planning to do a bit of sightseeing, your ankles will thank you for favouring flat, comfortable shoes over killer heels for pounding those famously cobbled lanes.

Also

The hotel partners with a private members’ gym at the nearby Gladstone club.

Children

Palácio Príncipe Real favours a more grown-up vibe (have you seen those velvet sofas?) so this one is for over-16s only.

Sustainability efforts

The owners of Palácio Príncipe Real take their green credentials seriously. That velvety olive oil drizzled over your locally sourced burrata at dinner comes direct from their very own naturally farmed olive grove on the Iberian peninsula. The underfloor heating that warms your toes in winter? Fully powered by solar energy. The interior decor? All sustainable, locally sourced marble and woods, with furnishings made in northern Portugal. LED lighting is used throughout and you’ll be hard-pushed to find a plastic utensil or receptacle anywhere in the hotel. Though an air-conditioning system has been installed, guests are encouraged to use it sparingly; the thick walls, high ceilings and shuttered windows of this solidly built 19th-century palácio mean rooms generally stay cool in summer and retain warmth in winter.

Food and Drink

Photos Palácio Príncipe Real food and drink

Top Table

It’s hard to beat a long, lazy breakfast on the terrace beneath Lisbon’s warm morning sun. Think poached eggs on sourdough and punchy Portuguese galão coffee served alongside views of the garden’s swaying palms and shimmering saltwater pool.

Dress Code

Go with deep blacks and canary yellows for picture-perfect selfies against the hotel’s pink walls, and blinding white swimming costumes for movie-star looks by the pool.

Hotel restaurant

Smart checkerboard floors, opulent gilded mirrors and glittering chandeliers are the order of the day in the restaurant, where dusky-pink plush velvet seats mirror the hotel’s distinctive façade. Expect plant-based dishes and lashings of organic oil from the owners’ olive groves. Try the burrata with confit tomato, homemade pasta al pomodoro and chocolate-and-orange tart for the (somewhat indulgent) win. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with tables for terrace dining in sunny weather.

Hotel bar

Formerly known as the Duck Bar (look out for those Indian Runners), the bar has been renamed as Mick’s in honour of the owners’ late friend Mick Bateman, who played an integral part in the design of the palacio’s revamped interiors. Checkerboard floors, ornate ironwork, crimson-red barstools and tropical-themed framed prints evoke something of the colonial era, to accompany seasonal signature cocktails and a long list of wines from the Iberian Peninsula.

Last orders

The bar is open until midnight.

Location

Photos Palácio Príncipe Real location
Address
Palácio Príncipe Real
Rua de São Marçal 77
Lisbon
1200-419
Portugal

Squirrelled away down a steep, cobbled side street in Lisbon’s cosmopolitan Príncipe Real neighbourhood, this perfectly pink palácio sits in meticulously manicured gardens complete with a sun terrace and saltwater pool.

Planes

Lisbon Airport is around 25 minutes’ drive from the hotel, give or take a few minutes depending on traffic and the time of day. The hotel can book transfers at a cost of €45 for up to four passengers and €70 for more than that. The supplement also applies if your party’s luggage is substantial enough to require a second vehicle; worth bearing in mind if you’re the kind of person who likes to travel with several suitcases, a donkey and the kitchen sink.

Trains

At less than €2 one-way, the Lisbon Metro is the cheapest way to get from the airport to the hotel. Switch to the yellow line at Saldanha and get off at Rato station at the end of the line; it’s a five- to 10-minute stroll to Palácio Príncipe Real from there. For trips to Sintra’s fairytale palaces and other major hubs around Portugal, the grandly gothic Rossio train station – a tourist attraction in its own right – is about 20 minutes’ walk from the hotel, or 10 in a cab.

Automobiles

The Metro and various funiculars are by far the best ways to negotiate Lisbon’s notoriously narrow streets and steep hills, short of hoofing it up and down them yourself. However, drivers who enjoy a challenge can rent cars at the airport. There’s limited free parking behind the hotel’s garden and a valet service means you won’t have to risk the paintwork by braving the exceptionally narrow entrance yourself.

Worth getting out of bed for

A pair of ancient wooden doors leads out of the palace garden and into the steep lanes and cobbled squares of Príncipe Real, where characterful old townhouses rub shoulders with indie boutiques and cute cafés, and locals catch up over espressos and pastéis de nata beneath the swaying fronds of towering palm trees. It’s just a few steps to the Jardim do Príncipe Real, the district’s tranquil focal point, where a 150-year-old cypress provides shade from the midday sun. Drop by the nearby organic farmers’ market on Saturday mornings and tuck into your spoils – fresh bread rolls dunked in silky olive oils and creamy Serra da Estrela cheese – beneath the tree’s outspread branches.

Those iconic canary-yellow Remodelado trams that rumble and screech their way through the city’s historic streets provide the quintessential Lisbon sightseeing experience, and will save you a fortune in blister plasters. The E24 route that shakes, rattles and rolls its way through Príncipe Real is way less oversubscribed than its more famous E28 sibling, but no less charming. Once you’ve ticked off the ancient cypress, hop aboard to hit the lofty heights of the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, where your uphill trundle is rewarded with expansive views across the city’s distinctive red rooftops to mediaeval São Jorge Castle.

Príncipe Real is also something of a shoppers’ paradise, thanks in no small part to the Embaixada, a 19th-century palace turned department store, with original interiors – all graceful Moorish arches, imposing bronze statues and biblical frescoes – that are every bit as jawdropping as the prices. Beg, borrow or steal to nab yourself one of the luxury handbags, artisan jewellery pieces or one-off artworks on sale here. Or head east to Avenida da Liberdade, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare, where the shiny designer objects in the windows may be marginally less likely to send your bank manager spiralling into despair. But only marginally.

Beach bums rejoice… It’s just a 30-minute drive south of the city to the epic stretch of golden sand that is Costa da Caparica. Meanwhile, sunkissed Ericeira – the first (and so far only) designated World Surfing Reserve in Europe – is around 45 minutes north along the wild Atlantic Coast.

Local restaurants

A five-minute stroll through the tranquil Jardim do Príncipe Real brings you to A Cevicheria. This small but perfectly formed Peruvian restaurant doesn’t take bookings, and you may have to queue outside (with an apéritif, natch). But it’s worth the wait for the decor alone, which features azulejo-style blue-and-white floor tiles, duck-motif doors and a spectacular, tentacular giant octopus that dangles from the ceiling. The food’s pretty special, too. We’re talking zingy ceviche, fish tacos and more as well as, of course, the best pisco sours in town.

Over on bustling Avenida da Liberdade, JNcQUOI is one of the district’s hippest addresses and also comes with – what is it with Lisbon? – its own beastly centrepiece. A towering resident velociraptor dominates the smart dining room, where shopaholics take a break for lunch and diners people-watch over decadent lobster gratin, tender Iberico pork and the aptly-monikered ‘dinosaur’s drool’ dessert, a calorie-laden treat packed with chocolate mousse, cookies, caramel and whipped cream that just begs to be devoured.

Local cafés

A trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be a trip to Lisbon without scoffing at least five – heck, maybe even 10 – pastéis de nata while you’re in town. Make the pilgrimage to the Pastéis de Bélem café to sample these crumbly, oozy custard tarts in the place they were originally dreamt up by 19th-century monks with exceptionally good taste. The recipe here is exactly the same as it always was: enjoy your sweet treat (or treats) fresh from the oven and still warm, with a light dusting of cinnamon.

When staying in Principe Réal, it would be an equally unforgivable oversight to miss the frankly life-changing Italian-style gelato at Nannarella on Rua Nova da Piedade. The delicious azulejo-tiled façade is a mere amuse bouche for the dozens of flavours that await inside, from classic chocolate-laced stracciatella to limited seasonal selections like pomegranate and pumpkin.

Local bars

Militaria museum? Old curiosity shop? Achingly hip cocktail bar? Pavilhão Chinês (on Rua Dom Pedro V) is all of these and more, a maze of five palatial rooms that are crammed full of antiques, trinkets and memorabilia from the 18th to 20th centuries. Ring the bell to gain entry through an unimposing red door and, once inside, try to convince yourself you’re not hallucinating as you sip that fourth cocktail from the almost comically long menu, surrounded by miniature toy soldiers, model aeroplanes and grinning Toby jugs. And, Imprensa Cocktail and Oyster Bar (46 Rua da Imprensa Nacional) brings a little Brooklyn-style – and the intrguing pairing of seafood and cocktails – to Lisbon. Order up its namesake dish, to be washed down with a highball or natural wine, then leave a note on the Olivetti typewriter that doubles as a sort of guest book.

Reviews

Photos Palácio Príncipe Real reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this candy-coloured confection in Príncipe Real and unpacked their week’s supply of pastéis de nata, a full account of their historic city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Palácio Príncipe Real in Lisbon…

There’s a real sense of turn-of-the-century glamour at Palácio Príncipe Real, from its blushing pink exterior to the soaring ceilings, playful checkerboard floors and opulent furnishings inside. It’s easy to imagine Lisbon’s high society hobnobbing over champagne and canapés as you glide gracefully down the grand central staircase, sip sundowners on the terrace, or lounge on plump velvet sofas beneath crystal chandeliers in the decadent lounge, where historical scenes are rendered in exquisite azulejo tile. We’re talking proper old-school romance here, though modern touches in rooms, including Roberts radios, Smeg fridges and rolltop bath tubs, ensure this picture-perfect palácio never feels old-fashioned

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Price per night from $539.45