If you want to spend a few days in Lisbon, it’d be hard to beat the service and five-star simplicity of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. The property first opened in 1959, and it has preserved all the original touches of vintage refinement and architecture. A character in a Wes Anderson movie would fit right in; it often feels as if Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes’ role in The Grand Budapest Hotel) will be there to greet you after a night out or a breakfast on the terrace. Nothing feels stuffy, especially thanks to a refresh in 2019 by the Portuguese studio Oitoemponto. The firm redid the guest rooms and suites, and, in the process, carefully preserved the hotel’s history of the new and the old, the past and the present, the classic and the cutting edge. A new outdoor swimming pool, framed stunningly by high-rises, is a particularly tranquil oasis, which on a recent Sunday afternoon hosted Gal Gadot en famille. (Though it may seem ridiculous to eat one in Portugal, we recommend a poolside club sandwich.) Like M. Gustave, the concierges here are especially kind and helpful, whether you seek a tuktuk ride around Lisbon, the best place to get pasteis de nata or some help greasing the wheels at Cervejaria Ramiro, a local seafood institution. You might end up having the perfect evening at the hotel’s own Michelin-starred Cura, where chef Pedro Pena Bastos will serve you a meal based on his own history in Portugal.
DuJour spoke with Guilherme Costa, the hotel’s general manager, to learn more about this special property.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
Our most requested room is the Premier Park room. These rooms have just been renovated and its design was inspired by the hotel’s original 1950s-style accommodations, these comfortable rooms feature private terraces perfect for enjoying your morning cup of coffee. These rooms are located from the 5th to the 7th floor.
What makes them so special?
Draped in symbolism, and with hotel’s original interior design references, these rooms mirror in symbolism the hotel’s history and heritage. For example, the chairs are modelled after those found in the Hotel’s Card Room back in 1959, and inject a luxurious vibrancy with their rich blue and canard teal hue and geometric crushed velvet fabric.
What is the nightly rate for this room?
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
Beloved by locals and international guests alike, Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon’s 60-year history make it the city’s most iconic address. The landmark property offers a unique collection of Portuguese art, the city’s only truly luxurious spa, a state-of-the-art rooftop fitness center, the iconic Varanda restaurant as well as a variety of light filled function spaces, a Ritzy ballroom and a glorious outside terrace overlooking the city’s largest park. Now with a partial rooms’ renovation, a Michelin starred restaurant Cura and new outside pool, the hotel will further consolidate its position as the city’s only luxury option for leisure guests, and for the group segment with a unique year-round outside terrace facilities.
What’s your personal favorite room and why?
Almada Negreiros Suite, is one of our specialty suites and is named after the Portuguese artist, José de Almada Negreiros, whose name is also used to our lobby, home to artist’s three tapestries. The suite streams natural light from panoramic windows in our signature suite, where three private balconies, a spacious living area and a separate dining room invite hours of conversation, as well as space for a peaceful retreat. Embellishing the suite’s dining room, an Almada Negreiros tapestry hangs on the wall showing guests the artist’s splendor.
What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?
As a Four Seasons property, our priority is our guests and the service we provide them is paramount. Hence, we want that each guest feels unique and treated like a friend would be. Thus, in our hotel we personalize each stay accordingly to each guest’s profile. The amenities can range from something local, such as homemade typical Portuguese custard tarts for a first timer in Lisbon, pets’ amenities to guests’ furry friends to something more exquisite or particular depending on each guests. At the same time, our concierge is known for arranging these unique experiences such providing to a football fan a meeting with a star football player, finding these unique tickets, seats, restaurant bookings that no other can.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
The fact that it is still so contemporary and versatile after more than 60 years existence. The personality of the Hotel today is as profoundly acute as that born in the minds of its creators. Despite undergoing three full-scale renovations since its inauguration in 1959, which the latest was our rooms’ renovation last year, a new and now Michelin starred restaurant, Cura and the addition of a new outdoor pool, the Hotel’s original spirit is eternal.
How about one more fun fact about the property?
There’s always some curiosity about the hotel’s name. The truth is, by the time the hotel was built, the Ritz in Paris and Madrid were taken as references of luxurious hotels. It is also known that Charles Caesar Ritz was invited to advise the hotel, in order to ensure that our property would have the most luxurious features and would become Portugal’s most luxurious hotel. Hence, the name Ritz was favoured against other options, not only to pay an homage to the Swiss hotelier, but also to be forever linked with luxury. Since then, people have linked our hotel with luxury, and we make delivering that luxury service a daily focus.