Once home to a restaurant owned by prized Portuguese actress and singer (and Eurovision entrant) Simone de Oliveira, Sublime Lisboa is as jazz-hands as ever today. There’s a restaurant that wouldn’t look out of place in NYC (plus a chef imported from the Big Apple for authenticity), infinite geometric patterns on the wallpaper and breakfasts at a film-star-worthy hour of whenever you get out of bed. The bohemian bolthole is a little away from the Bairro Alto buzz, in a northern neighbourhood called Amoreiras, which means fewer tourists and more of this cosmopolitan corner all to yourselves.
Double rooms from £352.66 (€400), including tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per room per night on check-in.
Rates usually include breakfast.
The hotel may not have a spa, pool or gym of its own, but that’s what neighbours are for: guests can buy discounted day passes for the nearby Sayanna spa and Club VII, which has a gym, pool and tennis courts.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: air-conditioning, minibar, coffee machine and Bluetooth sound-system.
Our favourite rooms
For more space, go for an aptly named Sublime Suite – choose between the one on the corner with a balcony that feels like a petite palace, or the two higher up in the old building with a sunny terrace each (on which the team can arrange romantic dinners).
Bring sensible shoes for strolling down to and around Bairro Alto – the clue’s in the name: Lisbon’s Upper District sits at the top of the hill, with a grid of narrow streets set out in a pre-stiletto 1513.
Some of the rooms can be reached by the lift, for wheelchair users.
Up to two pets are welcome, provided their combined weight doesn’t exceed 15kg; bowls and treats are included. There’s a €50 cleaning fee a stay and a deposit of €150 is required. See more pet-friendly hotels in Lisbon.
Families should book a Marquês or Sublime Suite, which has space for an extra bed (€60), or the set of connecting rooms. Babysitting is available with 48 hours’ notice; prices start from €20 an hour.
The hotel’s sister property in the seaside village of Comporta, an hour’s drive south of Lisbon, has an organic garden that supplies much of Sublime Lisboa’s produce, and the bath products are made from all-natural ingredients.
The surprisingly stylish meeting room has a big communal table, or sit near the kitchen to watch the chefs at work. The outdoor seats are perfect for cooling cocktails in the afternoon.
As smart as the lunching suits (the area is home to lots of law firms).
Davvero poached its chef from Cipriani in New York and the decor bears more than a passing resemblance to a slick Big Apple brasserie: navy velvet banquettes, crisp white tablecloths and impeccably polished hanging flutes for fizz. Produce from the seaside sister property’s organic Comporta garden is put to good use in Italian-Portuguese dishes, which include beef carpaccio with parmesan cream, cuttlefish risotto and whipped salt cod with crispy polenta. Breakfast involves bread made on site and baked goods courtesy of the Italian pastry chef – and you can have it any time you like (literally).
Work your way through the great cocktails of the world, from the Bellini to the Garibaldi via a Paloma, at Davvero’s bar.
Breakfast can be at 4pm if that’s when you want it, but the croissants eventually stop flowing at 7pm. Lunch hours are a more orthodox 12.30pm to 3pm, and dinner is from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
Food can be delivered to your room 24 hours a day, but between 10.30pm and 7am, it’s a reduced menu.
This Sublime outpost is in Lisbon’s Amoreiras (of shopping-mall fame) district, to the north of the city centre.
The drive from Humberto Delgado Airport should take a quarter of an hour; the hotel can arrange transfers, or you can hop in a cab or summon a ride via an app.
To the north of the city centre, Sete Rios is the nearest rail station. Taxis from here to the hotel should take less than 10 minutes and cost around €10.
The easiest way to get to Lisbon’s other neighbourhoods is by taxi or on foot – it’s a 30-minute walk to the cobblestones of Bairro Alto. If you have come by car, there’s public parking available.
Worth getting out of bed for
The main selling point of Amoreiras is its shiny, glass-encased shopping mall, which has a viewing platform to see the Lisbon skyline from, too. It’s a quick (15-minute) cab ride to Bairro Alto, or you can walk it in around half an hour. The team can arrange activities including tennis (or padel if you want to impress the locals) lessons and yoga.
It may involve strip-lighting and a questionable love of green, but there’s a reason Pinóquio has been one of the city’s most-loved restaurants for 40 years (namely: its seafood). Dinosaur skeletons, lantern-covered ceilings and hanging foliage form the backdrop at the impossible-to-pronounce Jncquoi. And if you want to swap sardines for sushi, book in at Yakuza, Lisbon’s finest Japanese restaurant.
Travel back in time to the 1920s via the velvet seats, vintage lamps and Prohibition-strength drinks at Procópioin Amoreiras. A bit bonkers (but in a good way), Pavilhão Chinês in Príncipe Real lets you imbibe culture alongside your cocktails: the bar, which is in an old grocery store, has five rooms that are technically a museum, dedicated to toys of the First and Second World Wars.
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 boutique hotel in Portugal and unpacked their custard tarts and colourful tiles, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Sublime Lisboa in Lisbon…
At Sublime Lisboa, breakfast is at whatever time you’d like it (including, we’re serious, 4pm), the house manager will craft your stay with her insider Lisbon knowledge and the gin, wine and beer all come from coastal sister stay Sublime Comporta. The building, which dates back to 1913, has had an illustrious history: in the 1940s, it was a club for the wartime Japanese community. In the 1960s, the bohemian bairro hosted high-society parties for Audrey Hepburn, Aga Khan and Diane von Furstenberg – and it was at this time that the restaurant O Candelabro, owned by Portuguese national treasure Simone de Oliveira, was in full swing in this very spot. (The name has everything to do with candelabra and nothing to do with brethren.) As well as its namesake shopping centre, Amoreiras is known for its palatial pads and bohemian bon vivants. We’re not sure what the Portuguese is for ‘daahling’, but the luvvies would love it here.