This is not a guest-house. It is also not a small hotel. It is something else, a very special place, even a kind of magic place. Now, Lisbon can be seen as a magical city, so it is fitting for the location, but this is not it. Whereas, Lisbon is melancholic and introvert, this place is not, so it is actually a contrast to the city. The first time you arrive, you certainly don't know what to expect. The building in the Baixa district does not really look promising. You stand there wondering if this was indeed the right choice. Then you walk up three floors and wonder again, how many times a day I will be able to walk up this floor. None of this prepares you for your destination. The stair-case looks like it has seen better days and then you come to the door and ring the bell. A woman opens the door and asks you in and in many ways you don't really know what you see now is real or not. You feel like you just walked through the door of your children's room and into a magic world of fairy-tales. You haven't seen so many different colors since childhood, stuffed animals, dolls and many little things you can't possibly pay attention the first time. I arrived very tired from a nightly train ride from Madrid, it was very early in the morning and I couldn't really distinguish if this was my fatigue or if this place was indeed real. The owner of the place, Paula, who over the next days was a like a good fairy of her Pensao showed me my room. When I entered it, I was overwhelmed by the colors, the walls, the dolls, the pillows on the bed. I had re-entered childhood and nobody has prepared me for that. Since it was early in the morning, Paula the fairy, asked me to come to the kitchen and have breakfast. So, I went into the kitchen. Again, I was not sure, if it was my fatigue or something else, but I don't remember seeing a colorful kitchen like this in decades. I looked at the table and there it was, I was invited to a birthday party of 8 year olds. Pastries, cookies, chocolates, cakes, everything little kids liked. I was so overwhelmed I couldn't touch anything and just had a cup of coffee – yes, coffee, grown ups live here anyway.
In short this is a magic place. My room was spacious, the bathroom rather large, impeccably clean and cleaned every day. I couldn't have felt better in a five star hotel. Paula – I still wonder if she is a real person or one of the heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa – is always there to answer your questions. She is there when you wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast, she is there when you come back in the afternoons to rest and she is there when you arrive late at night after being out. And she will answer all your questions, where to eat, where to walk, where to listen to Fado and whatever it is you want to know about Lisbon. The location is extremely convenient, right next to the Metro stop of the Baixa (thus it will take you around 30 minutes to get to or from the airport with one change); you can walk to the Alfama neighborhood or the Barrio Alto, all very near. You just need to figure out how many times you want to walk up the three floors. If this does not bother you, go there, no need to search for another place. I hardly remember being in such a special place before. And being transported into a magic world of your childhood has some advantages and counts for something. The price is more than fair for what you get. Just remember: don't expect the comfort of a 5 star hotel and if climbing stairs is not for you, go somewhere else, but Lisbon is about climbiing anway. I would never go anywhere else in Lisbon.