Hi, blog readers!
It's been awhile, but I wanted to check in with all of you again. I just returned from a great trip to Portugal (check out some photos on the A1 Travel Facebook and Instagram pages), and I thought I'd put together another edition of the "Where She Stayed" series.
Lisbon is Europe's second oldest capital (after Athens, Greece,) dating back to the 13th century. And while some of the city's oldest architecture was destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 1755, Lisbon noble Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, also known as the Marquês de Pombal, wouldn't let the tragedy keep the city down. He rebuilt Lisbon's downtown with wide, tree-lined boulevards reminiscent of Paris. And many of the city's neighborhoods still reflect what has come to be known as Pombaline style.
One of those Pombaline neighborhoods is the posh Avenida da Liberdade. Decked to the nines with Christmas lights this time of year, and marked by designer shops all year round, it's a perfect location, near many of the must-see sights.
There are many hotels to choose from along Avenida da Liberdade, but the funky Fontecruz Lisboa is where I chose to spend the night.
Upon arrival, I was already struck by the level of service and efficiency of the front desk staff. Tired after a long day in Porto and a couple hours on the train, we were eager to get to our rooms and unpack. After a matter of minutes, all four of my travel companions and I had room keys for our three rooms, and were able to settle in.
The lobby area just begs to be lounged in. Comfy chairs, a bar and restaurant, and glass doors and windows looking out onto the sprawling Avenida...what more could you need?
But our trip up a few floors to our rooms revealed even more. If you read my last "Where She Stayed" blog entry about The Hoxton in Amsterdam, you know I'm a sucker for curated design elements. Step off the elevator, and you're greeted by moody lighting, more comfy seating, and mirrors galore.
And every corner of even the entry-level rooms is painstakingly decorated. Check out the antique trunks that hold your slippers and bathroom amenities, or even the gorgeous glass bottle of water waiting for you in the bedroom.
And...yet again...ANOTHER comfy chair, footrest and all.
But beyond the hotel itself, Fontecruz Lisboa's location is unbeatable. Stroll the Avenida (shopaholics, you'll be in paradise); visit the parks and green spaces currently lit up with Christmas lights; or make your way down to Lisbon's lower town in less than 20 minutes by foot (don't miss the iconic Pink Street for late-night drinks.)
The next time you decide you need a European getaway, consider Portugal. Lisbon and Porto are both great cities worth at least a few days each. And now you know where to stay in Lisbon! As always, I'm here to help you with your travel plans.
Until next time...Ciao, as they'd say en Portugues!