Living in isbon, I don't often have the chance to sleep in my own hometown. Have done it a few times in the past, mainly due to home improvement or to enjoy a weekend by a pool. There are not that many hotels in Lisbon with an outdoor pool (I wonder why? It has to be great for business in such a hot city), and after spending a weekend at Tivoli's tiny pool, we decided to give Pestana a try. Because the rate was in the 200 Euros region, we also slept there. I already knew the palace and it really is a very beautiful venue, with a much more authentic feel then the Lapa Palace. Ate once at the Valle Flor which was very impressive food wise and was at the time being considered for a michelin star. That never happened, and the chef eventually left. Prices remain high though.
I booked through Leading Hotels, which gave me an upgrade. I get there are worse rooms in the hotel than the one we got, but boy, was it a disappointment! From the moment you leave the actual Palace to got to your room (there are just a few suites in the palace itself, all the lesser accommodation is spread across three new wings), the Pestana brand really kicks in. The hallways have hideous carpets and awful panelling, with a incoherent collection of cheap looking art works, with mismatched frames. This is the way the chain thought they could turn an ordinary modern hotel wing into a palace. They fail and it shows. The room left quite a lot to be desired. A nice desk, two nice chairs, but with worn out fabrics, a nicely design closet terribly veneered, a cheap looking LCD, with bad picture quality, and three horrid paintings scattered around the walls. There was this odd looking feature in the wall next to the bed, a built in mirror, framed by wood panelling and a naif fresco featuring a palm tree. It would have been hilarious if we weren't paying for it. The bathroom was a disgrace. Not more than 5 sqm, with a tiny tub doubling as a shower, with clear traces of water infiltration, dingy faucets and a white curtain. Is this supposed to be a 5 star palace in a national monument? What a mockery.
We ordered the breakfast to our room. Terrible mistake. 44 Euros, and we got a basket of bread (quite dry, probably frozen?) and croissants, 4 slices of cheese, two orange juices (not freshly squeezed), very watery coffee and milk. The side of pancakes was an extra (5 Euros) and it looked as bad as it tasted.
Pool area was nice, the pool itself is beautiful, although the space around it is limited, as it is surrounded by the spa wing. Food in the garden pavilion was reasonably priced for what you get and the overall service was fairly attentive, nothing being to much trouble. At check out I was introduced to the manager who took note of my complaints.
I would not recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Lisbon, unless you were to stay in the suite. Even so, I do think Lapa Palace is a better option, albeit more expensive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pestana Palace Hotel & National Monument, member of the "The Leading Hotels of the World", is a 5 star hotel in a 19th century palace located in the city of Lisbon, and its gardens, with a variety of plants and subtropical trees, are classified as "National Monument". ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pestana Palace Lisbon
- Hotel Pestana Palace