This Iconic Property in Lisbon Is the City’s Original Boutique Hotel

With its tile-covered buildings, burgeoning restaurant scene, and perfect year-round weather, there’s never a bad time to visit Lisbon. The Bairro Alto Hotel, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, is a centrally located stay with a location in Chiado’s landmark square, the Praca Luis de Camoes. The property, which is housed in a yellow 18th-century building, claims the title of the original boutique hotel in Lisbon. It also happens to be one of my favorite stays in the Portuguese city.  

After opening in 2005, Bairro Alto was largely under the radar because Lisbon wasn’t yet a popular European hotspot. However, in 2019, the property reopened following a three-year renovation and has retained its status as one of the best centrally located stays. The renovation made the property larger, combining four different buildings, so no two rooms are alike.

The Bairro Alto Hotel has 65 rooms on site. Each features a blend of antique and contemporary furniture, along with thoughtful Portuguese-inspired touches like local art, glazed tiles, and woven fabrics. Some also feature French balconies with views of the street or central square below. 

When it’s time for a bite, you can’t go wrong with the fifth-floor BAHR. The open kitchen highlights how the chefs prepare locally inspired dishes with a twist. It has a fantastic view and terrace, so its adjoining bar is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike. There’s also an in-house, ground floor Pastelaria, which serves up fresh, hot pasties de nata, coffee, and teas. However, for a mid-day snack, you can’t go wrong with the under-the-radar Mezzanine Bar that serves up an all-day menu and cocktails. 

Arguably the best part of the property is its central location, which is sandwiched between Chiado and Bairro Alto. All around, you’ll find hidden nooks with cute shops, cafes, and boutiques. All the main tourist attractions are also quite close. However, these two neighborhoods are some of the trendiest in Lisbon, making each a fabulous spot for first or recurring visitors. 

Top Takeaways

Location: Lisbon, Portugal 

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: The original Lisbon boutique hotel. 

Food + Drink: Start and end the day in BAHR, an onsite restaurant with an open kitchen. At night, the adjoining rooftop bar and terrace are favored by locals and tourists. Onsite, there is also an in-house Pasteleria with fresh, pasties de nata pastries, alongside an under-the-radar Mezzanine Bar with an all-day menu and cocktails, 

Amenities: fitness center and spa; room service; wifi, luxury bath toiletries, 

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: All the rooms onsite have something a little special about each of them.

What’s Nearby? Castelo de S. Jorge, Praça do Comércio, Santa Justa Lift, Time Our Market Lisboa, and Jerónimos Monastery. 

Any personal neighborhood recs? Rocco, a new nearby Italian restaurant, was one of our favorite spots to dine during our time in Lisbon.  The MAAT and tile museum were also lovely itinerary additions. 

Rooms: 65 rooms and suites 

Pricing: Rooms start at around £227/a night

Closest Airport: Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS)

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