What a great concept for international travel! The Independente successfully incorporates what is chic, what is cool, and what tastes good all while making you feel welcome, part of a family of some of the hippest and sexiest dudes in Lisbon. And some how they miraculously removed the hardest bit to swallow when you travel...the cost of a clean and comfortable bed!
The historic and architecturally interesting mansion sits at ground zero for where you want to be based while traveling in Lisbon. In Barrio Alta, just next to the top station of the Gloria tram, you couldn't be more properly placed. Walk in the door and get ready to encounter the following cast of characters:
PUPO at the front desk. Tells you everything you need to know. Try to get him to stop smiling. Good luck. All laughs and giggles. Made me feel like I was missing something in my life as he was so happy.
Drop your bags in the room, and head down to the bar for a local Lisbon Happy Hour Cocktail. Meet ANTONIO or ANTONIO. The first ANTONIO is the man-boy mixologist who must be drinking the same juice as front desk PUPO. Smiles, smiles, smiles. The footballer and bartender is never at a loss for an opinion or to try to make you feel at home. Ask away about the local cocktails, the snacks they serve at the bar, or show him how to make a drink that you are fond of at home but that may be foreign to him, all is game, all is fun, all is laughs. The man-boy tells me I am the same age of his dad. Ok, tip reduction starts now...
Then comes the other ANTONIO - I will call him Antonio senior, but he is only 6 years older than puppy Antonio. Bigger, broader, more self assure - he makes you feel safe and welcome to their inside world. Nothing a problem for Big A. Makes a mean mojito.
Head for dinner on the back terrance at the scrumptious and very realistically priced house restaurant, The Dependente. Great food, chill atmosphere. And if you are lucky, along comes Felipe. Part Gabriel Garcia Marques, part adorable food Yoda, Felipe will take care of you. If you are not happy with anything, he will make sure that changes. He gives you all the time you need to ask questions, lets you taste any wine, and I am not sure if he does this yet but with his sageness, should probably start offering "soul council" consultations on a part time basis. He's the man.
Retire up to the lounge to go online or attend any of the MANUEL orchestrated events. Part de facto host, part ringleader, Manuel knows it all. Call him the consummate concierge. Need a recommendation? He's the guy. Want to watch something on the tv in the lounge after hours? A wink and a smile comes and all is done. Class act he is. And a better working English vocabulary than me...made me think about going back to college.
Have a nice rest in your comfy bed after the Lisbon nightlife. Then wake up and be welcomed (or not welcomed) by the real barometer of waking up early, LOURDES, down in the breakfast room. Probably grumpy and maybe hung over she will take care of you nonetheless. Watch closely and you can clock her glorious eye-roll when the French traveling tweeners are noticeably rude when asking about soft poached eggs...She is great, make her smile somehow and it will brighten your day, as well as hers.
Can't go wrong here. Book early. Be ready. Have fun. You couldn't be a more welcome guest.
(can you guys open a place in Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and maybe Capetown?)
A happy and satisfied visitor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.