Shh, no one need know you’re staying at Valverde Hotel – a discreet, centrally located townhouse where A-listers grace the halls undisturbed. Its gorgeous, rose-hued façade veils a warren of hidden corners and tucked-away spaces, each showcasing the best of Portuguese interiors: heavy fabrics, artwork by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Braz Gil porcelain and Moorish floor tiles. The pool and courtyard are quite the duo: marble-clad and jungle-like, respectively. Curl up in one of the sultry corners (the first-floor terrace and film-room snug are our favourites) after a day of easy exploration in the city of seven hills.
Get this when you book through us:
Return transfer to the hotel from the airport, port or a train station
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £219.95 (€259), including tax at 23 per cent.
Rates include breakfast, served in the leafy corners of the courtyard. Try the stack of carob pancakes doused in maple syrup; top your toast with eggs-any-way; or start your day with homemade granola, yogurt and fresh fruits.
At the hotel
Heated pool, courtyard, treatment room and masseuse, small gym. In rooms: WiFi, TV, robes and slippers, hairdryer, Delta Q coffee machine and pods, desk, Zenology toiletries
Our favourite rooms
Junior suites are extra special – ask for room 202, 302 or 502 to secure a balcony overlooking Avenida da Liberdade. Décor is clean and crisp, with bright fabrics, 13th-century paintings and colourful sirgaria tassels. There’s plenty of room for your designer purchases in the walk-in, lighted closets.
Pools are a rarity in Lisbon. Valverde’s marble-encased addition to this exclusive group provides welcome respite from the high temperatures of summer. The pool is heated, so a dip in winter is definitely on the cards, too – followed by a lounge on the wicker-style sunbeds, book in hand.
There’s a treatment room and in-house masseuse – book in for an 80-minute deep-tissue massage or a 30-minute jetlag recharge. The adjacent door reveals a small gym with a treadmill, elliptical trainer, mats and hand weights. There’s a private terrace to cool down on, post-workout.
Leave the heels at home for tackling the seven (or eight; it’s disputed) hills of Lisbon.
Children are welcome at Valverde, although it’s worth noting that the hotel is most popular with couples taking city breaks. Babysitting can be arranged by the hotel for €40 per hour, when given advance notice.
We love the round tables on the raised courtyard terrace, especially in summer. If you’re wanting to fly under the radar, opt for one of the hidden tables, shaded from the sun by the lush vegetation of the courtyard.
Floor-length dresses, jumpsuits, linens and your favourite bow tie won’t look out of place here; but the reality is that anything goes.
Sítio Valverde is helmed by chef Carla Sousa, who brings a Cape Verdean twist to traditional Portuguese dishes. Start with a warm bread roll, slathered with homemade herb butter and tomato tapenade: something of a palette cleanser for the rich dishes on the menu. Try the pork belly, lovingly cooked on a low heat for six hours and served with roasted pumpkin purée, roasted shallots and a port wine sauce; or the grouper with razor clams and salicornia rice. There’s always a vegetarian option, too, such as beet risotto with baby vegetables. Dishes change with the season, but one always remains: the Valverde hamburger – a veal burger in caco bread with foie-gras, cheese and homemade jam. The mood attained by low-key lighting, glossy green tiles and elegant table settings is heightened by the floor-to-ceiling wooden slatting separating each table. Sítio spills out into the courtyard, where you can enjoy dinner on a summer’s day, or an alfresco afternoon tea of carob and chia scones, smoked salmon finger sandwiches, and decadent chocolate cake.
Take a seat in the courtyard and disclose your palette’s preferences to the bartender: dry, sweet, floral or sharp – soon after, a perfectly poured cocktail will arrive in your hand. The extensive menu has plenty of local wines and port, and the Valverde Spirit cocktail is as eclectic as the hotel itself: Tanqueray gin, lime, sugar cane, ginger beer, basil, cardamom and egg white foam. The bar becomes full on nights hosted by fado singers, whose lung-filling vocals reach increasingly more despairing crescendos.
Breakfast is from 7.30–11am; lunch from 12.30–3pm and afternoon tea 5–7pm. Dinner is served between 7.30–10.30pm, and drinks finish up at midnight.
Room service can be ordered around the clock (with a reduced menu past kitchen hours), with an additional charge of five euros.
Step through Valverde’s discreet door from the pavement of Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s grandest central boulevard.
Lisbon airport is a 20-minute taxi from the hotel. The team at Valverde will be happy to arrange your transfer.
Avenida metro station is less than a two-minute walk from the hotel; Rossio train station – with links to Sintra and Queluz – is a 10-minute walk away.
Much of Lisbon is walkable (and the trams are convenient, should you tire of the hills). If you do bring a car, there’s valet parking in a private garage for an additional €20 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
Valverde’s central location means that many of Lisbon’s sights are within walking distance. Head up the Avenida da Liberdade to the top of Parque Eduardo VII – the burning calves are worth it for a bird’s-eye-view over the gardens, the Avenida and all the way to the Atlantic. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is another garden with a view – this time over the characteristic red roofs of the city. Get there by ascending the graffiti-art lined streets of Calçada da Glória – a particularly steep tram street – or, in fact, jump in the tram itself. The streets of Bica are atmospheric and very aesthetic – all pastel-coloured houses and foliage-covered cafés, with a growing community of independent restaurants, bars and boutiques. See the light at Caza das Vellas Loreto, a charming candle shop that has been in business since 1789. The postcard-worthy Bica Funicular is just off Calçada do Combro, regularly photographed on account of the view from the top of the line down to the sea. Speaking of which, pull up a deckchair at Quiosque Ribeira das Naus, a waterfront café-bar where you’ll find locals reading, chatting (and occasionally, napping) to the lull of the waves. The former munitions factory that is now home to Fábrica do Braço de Prata spans many mediums – its 20 rooms are used for concerts, art galleries, sound installations, exhibitions, vintage market and second hand bookshops. You name it, it’s probably in one of the rooms at FBP.
Nab one of just 10 tables at Taberna da Rua des Flores – a real hole-in-the-wall restaurant near Calçada do Combro where the menu focuses on seafood: its daily changing menu stars classic mussels cooked in white-wine and parsley as well as more adventurous fare such as Japanese okonomiyaki and salt-flaked, melt-in-the-mouth pork neck. Finish with a dark chocolate and olive oil mousse, enjoyed with a crisp vinho verde. Arrive early (6pm) to avoid the queue. Ze da Mouraria 2 is well-loved by locals for its traditional bacalhau, laden with potatoes, chickpeas and local vegetables. But bring a big appetite – portions here are enorme. Offset the richness of last night’s feasting with brunch at Fauna & Flora, excellent for veggies and vegans. The menu has acai bowls, avocado nests and bagels (we loved the bagel filled with beetroot hummus, carrots, spinach and courgette).
Caffeine dependents rejoice: there are plenty of artisan brews just around the corner from the hotel. Stanislav might not seem the most obvious choice, being that it’s a Russian restaurant, but the coffee here is fantastic (and they have oat milk). The same goes for Fabrica, less than a five-minute walk from your doorstep. There are plenty of tables indoors and outdoors, and flaky pastries to pair with your flat white. A 15-minute stroll will take you to the pink façade of Seagull Method café. Ask for a window table to watch Lisbon life pass you by, mimosa in hand. Tuck into the meatballs with creamy polenta or the fresh smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, pickled onions and radishes on rye bread. Hello, Kristof is a more central option, with excellent coffee, lime-washed walls, shelves of magazines and four options for topped toast – we loved the brown sourdough loaded with avocado, lime, cucumber, chilli flakes and crispy onions.
Park’s rooftop is just the place for rapturous sunset views, Aperol in hand. This isn’t the highest rooftop in the city, but it does give a patchwork painting-like vista of Lisbon’s red-tiled rooftops, colourful houses and grandiose stone churches. Head to fellow Smith hotel The Luminares – the bar here has a clear line of sight over neighbouring rooftops, towards the castle and out to sea. Bring in the evening with one of the hotel’s signature cocktails, El Gringo, a medley of Maker’s Mark bourbon, port, Benedictine liqueur and bitters. The terrace bar at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is great for a picture-worthy sundowner, too.
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 townhouse-style hotel in Portugal and unpacked their caseload of pasteis de natas, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Valverde hotel in Lisbon…
Valverde is all the more charming for its discretion: a sleek black sign, curved dutch-canopy awnings and the arched entranceway hint that a hotel exists behind this classical townhouse façade. And the exteriors belie what you’ll find inside: modern, moody rooms with dark walls, ambient lighting and rich fabrics, a sleek marble pool, and a courtyard brimming with lush vegetation. Despite the eclectic mix of materials, rooms seamlessly blend into each other – moving from terrace to snug; snug to restaurant; restaurant to courtyard feels surprisingly natural. You’ll be hard pressed not to develop a crush on one of the hyper-attentive and friendly staff: the service is spot on, and no ask is too much – which makes leaving even more challenging.