LX Boutique stands for “Lisbon Experience” and this babe of a boutique hotel gave me just that.
If you’re looking to enjoy the nightlife of Lisbon (and why wouldn’t you, because it’s MEGA) then this is the hotel to stay at. Located at the bottom of a very steep hill in Cais de Sodre, it’s a short clamber from the bars of Bairro Alto (the hip and happening part of town), and then at the end of the night you can just roll back down the hill to your bed. Handy. Across the road (approximately 20 metres from the front door) waits one of the most popular bars in town – Pension Amor – a former brothel, and now an unusual but fun place for late night beers, cocktails, and X-rated ornaments in the bathroom (see more here). Two minutes from the hotel is the train station with trains to Cascais (for the beach), and nearby you’ll find the Time Out Mercardo da Ribeiro, a gathering of food kiosks and food for late night eating.
Bright! You’ll spot this boutique hotel
from the top of the hill with its cornflower blue exterior.
Inside I wafted through a deliciously zesty scented reception area, where there’s a platter of egg custard tarts to nibble on 24 hours a day (and I did). On each of the five floors, bold feature walls illustrate different themes of the city – anything from the iconic No. 28 tram to a wall of books showcasing Pessoa’s greatest literary works (the famous Portuguese poet was a big fan of this place back in the day). The 70 rooms include zingy turquoise walls, white wooden shutters and pretty old style furniture with a modern twist (basically French style antique wardrobes that are actually new).
Views involve terracotta rooftops, and if you look to the left, you’ll see the River Tagus. Squint a little and you might make out Christo Rei – Lisbon’s version of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.
Things I Loved
Breakfast, natch. It’s continually voted best in the city, and LX Boutique
source their pastries from a nearby bakery called Tartine (which you should go to by the way).
Each evening in the vibrant downstairs bar, the team lay on complimentary wine and imaginative sushi for guests. The staff at the hotel are wrinkle free and efficient, kitted out in casual polo shirts and square glasses – not sure if that’s a Portuguese fashion thing or an obligatory uniform. They all have a refreshing sense of humour – there is a funny story but it just won’t work if I try to tell it on here. Finally, if I could bottle the smell of this hotel I would wear it all day, it was verging on addictive.
The not so hot
Hmmm. I was travelling with a friend so the glass divide between the bathroom and bedroom was something we both noticed. No biggie though. I did try to order a cup of “cha” (tea) at 4am and was unsuccessful, but I can safely say that was down to my incompetence, not theirs.
Don’t pay more than €15 in a taxi from the airport (even that is pushing it). The airport bus also stops nearby.