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“Beautiful Lisbon!”

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Palacete Chafariz D'El Rei
Ranked #6 of 262 Lisbon B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We could not have loved the Palacete and Rui any more! It is a beautiful, beautiful space and we stayed in the entire 3rd floor (suites Paula and Lucia). Our older kids stayed in Lucia and we stayed in Paula with the view of the river and our youngest slept on the little daybed in the living room. Breakfast was unbelievable -- just delicious, fresh squeezed juices, delicious coffee, eggs, bacon, yogurt, etc. and great service. Rui arranged for us to have an amazing New Year's Eve at a really fun club. He also got us some great dinner reservations and helped us out with all kinds of little things. The hotel is an old palace that was lovingly restored and turned into a hotel. So it is small and charming, but with beautiful public spaces. It is in the Alfama district, which we loved, near the cathedral and the castle but away from all of the noise. We walked over to the Chiado and the Barrio areas, they are close enough to walk to. Rui and the Palacete can not be beat!!

Room Tip: I would get a river view, if possible.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank kkirsten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 7, 2013

Tough to improve or add anything to the review by Jennifer G below, so let me just say that my wife and I fully second all of those emotions. We had a great time in Lisbon and really hope we get to go back some day, and our stay in the Lola room was outstanding. It is difficult to believe that this hotel was not that long ago one of the "fixer-upper" buildings you see when strolling the Lisbon streets, as the restoration Rui and his partner have done makes it feel like it has always been a part of this historic city. That of course is also a function of the truly remarkable service offered by the outstanding staff.

Upon arrival Rui said he wanted us to feel at home. I am sorry to disappoint but it definitely did not feel like home, as at home nobody takes care of us or looks out for us as well as was done here!

I actually do have a few additional things to add come to think of it. First, bring a really good pair of walking shoes. Lisbon is very walkable but also very hilly - the excellent Chafariz breakfast gives you lots of energy to climb those hills but you need the proper equipment. Second, cabs are quite cheap compared to most places in the world, and readily available, so use this option to go see things like the Belem Tower/Jeronimos Monastery (and the galleries in between them), or if the hills get the better of you. Third, if you are there for 3-4 days, spend at least half of one of those days and go out to Sintra (about 40 minutes by train) - at the recommendation of a couple of the staff we went to the Palacio de Regaleira, which ended up being a highlight of our entire trip to Portugal. Lastly, our two favorite meals in Lisbon were less than 3 minute walks - Clube de Fado had decent food and great music, and Trigo Latino right at the foot of the hotel had great adventurous food and a cool vibe.

Hope to be back some day!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank CanadianRambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

By Jennifer Grant Pacific Palisades, California, USA

The Chafariz is tucked away in the most atmospheric and historical section of the city, the Alfama, a block from the Tagus river. Once a small palace, it fell into disrepair during the time it housed attorneys and other offices that oversaw the commercial activities of the port before being purchased by owner Emilio in 2007. Along with friend and propriator/manager, Rui, the Chafariz went through a three year period of reconstruction and refurbishment which turned it into one of the most beautiful unique and comfortable places to stay in Europe. By the time the Chafariz opened its doors for business in late 2010, it had been turned into a lodging of European tradition and charm with a modern and eclectic touch

There are only 6 suites in the Chafariz, perfect for privacy and relaxation. Each is decorated differently. Therefore, depending on personality, each person will have their favorite. As a month long guest on my second visit, I was fortunate enough to personally experience stays in the Tower, Amaya and Lucia. During the first part of my stay, two friends stayed in Paula. I also was afforded a look at Sonya and Lola.

Lucia is up a winding staircase giving you the feel of going back in time. It looks out on the narrow alley and traditional old buildings of the Alfama providing you with a real feel of Lisbon's life within the quarter that gave rise to Fado--a unique musical style that touches the strings of the heart with a sense of yearning. Lucia is comfortable with a large bathroom, leather couch, queen bed. It is a place to hide away and create, dream or just rest before venturing back out to experience the city.

Paula is on the same floor as Lucia.. Paula is perfect for the person who enjoys a view of the river while they relax with a glass of Portugal's fine wine and some cheese bought from one of the local merchants one finds on the streets below. There is a mini-kitchen if one wishes to stay awhile, a large table to spread out maps, computers or business documents. There is an extra twin bed and plenty of area to relax and sit, taking in the scene from the street below as passersby aim their cameras at the Chafariz's distinct exterior.

Down the stairs from Lucia and Paula, one first comes across the computer room for those who wish to check e-mail but did not bring their own laptop with them. Otherwise, they could take advantage of the WIFi connection in each room. The computer is reliable and quick, though I learned the hard way that internet providers from the USA grow suspicious if you try and access your account from abroad, so be sure to note all the answers to your security questions before leaving!

Almost across from the computer room is Sonya which is ecletic and spacious with two beds that can be made into a queen as in Lucia. Sonya's colors are brighter and it has more of a modern feel than Lucia being in pastels and glass with art deco furnishing and painting while Lucia's are in earth tones and faux wood with more traditional furnishing. Sonya also looks onto the winding and atmospheric streets of the Alfama.

Across from Sonya is Lola. Lola is truly for the romantic. The decor is roses throughout. There is a 20's style sunken stand alone bathtub accompanied by a dressing area where one can imagine primping for an evening with their loved one.. The room is spacious with a small balcony which looks out onto an area of the garden belonging to the Chafariz where the plants, even now on the first day of January, are thriving thanks to staff member Danilo's (Daniel's) green thumb.

If one winds their way down the hall, they will come across a small chapel which existed in the original home when under noblility ownership. It is peaceful with benches to sit and pray or an alter to kneel before. I have spent many moments alone with God there.

Next to the chapel at the end of the hall is Amaya. Amaya has an eclectic and different feel, part modern, part traditional with knooks and crannies to store your belongings. The room is full of different colors and patterns which can seem busy at first before you settle in and see how it flows together to create a sense of Lisbon itself, ever emerging, full of discovery. My favorite part of the room is the lovely stained glass double door which opens up onto a seating balcony overlooking the river. It has enough room to sit and read your book or drink your morning coffee after you wake up to the beauty of the sun streaming in through the colors of the glass. New Year's eve, I stood on that balcony and watched fireworks shooting up from both sides of the river. It was one of those magic moments one does not want to forget.

Located below is the entryway. While the back of the building has guests wondering what awaits them, leaving some with trepidation because of the obscure alley location, once the door is open, they quickly forget any thoughts they had of perhaps having made an error in booking. They are greated to sights out of the 20s, stained glass, an elegant and warm sitting area, often with music softly playing with a library of books that remind one of the fashionable early part of the 20th century. The hall softly reflects the colors of stained glass. Off to the side and in back of the reception room are the breakfast dining rooms set with elegant crystal glasses and fine china. On hand to lead guests into the reception area are members of a warm and friendly staff who want nothing more than to make you feel immediately at home and forget the rigors of the plane flight, 15 hours if you come from California through Paris. Luggage is immediately taken off your hands and there is no need to worry about it again for the rest of your stay.

Before mentioning more about the entry level, I want to finish discussing the suites. The grandest and most luxurious of the suites is simply known as "The Tower" and has a seperate staircase off the side of one of the breakfast rooms. It comprises three different levels and is a sensual fantasyworld of wrought iron staircases between levels, glass mirrors (including one over the bed), a huge shower with smooth stones as the flooring, a breathtaking view of the river and furnishings which give a feeling of being in a modern palace in which you are a fairytale princess. The second level has a balcony on the side to sit and watch the river or look up into the Alfama hills where St. Stephens church, The National Pantheon (which houses the tombs of portuguese heroes and heroines) and the church of Sao Vincente all glow in the dark. Up at the very top is a area with two sun chairs for soaking up rays as you relax and enjoy feeling like royalty surrounded by your kingdom. I truly felt like Cinderella in this suite, though my coach turned into a pumpkin at noon which is checkout time, rather than midnight.

Being a lazy and slow riser, I had breakfast, called "pequeno almoco" served in my room. Most guests however prefer to soak up the atmosphere in the breakfast rooms where they can look out into the lush garden. The breakfast is like three meals for my small body. There is coffee of course and you can have it the American way with fresh creamy milk and sugar or just black, all drunk in china teacups (with as many refills as you want, of course). Staples include scrambled eggs with real butter, ham or bacon, fresh sqeezed juice and an assortment of rolls and pasteries that can be eaten plain or spread with fresh butter or jam. Breakfast starts at 8:30 am, but late risers always find they haven't missed out.

Once breakfast is over, you can head out for your day. EIther Rui or Maria, both who speak flawless English, are full of information and ideas. My first trip, I handed Maria a list of everything I wanted to see in the week I was there. Each day she had an itinerary with maps and descriptions of the day's sights ready for me. Rui is a history buff and can fill you in on the background of not only the Chafariz, but of Lisbon itself. While I personally cant imagine having any complaints, if you do have any, not be shy to speak up as both are so hospitable and gracious that you are left with no doubt that a resolution will be quickly and satisfactorily found.

Valuables can be left in the main safe, but you depart with your key left at the hotel and the building is very secure. To an American eye, some of the Alfama locals look like poor city dwellers, but they really are very gentle and there is nothing to fear. Besides, the security of the building is so good that no thief could enter. You also can safely wander the Alfama streets in the wee hours (an idea very foreign for a woman from a suburb of Los Angeles). However, before you step back into the safety of the Chafariz, do be aware of pickpockets who are everywhere in Europe. I always wear an undergarment purse and suggest doing so unless you want to worry about being aware of your surroundings everywhere in the city. Other than petty theft, Lisbon is one, if not THE, safest big city in Europe. As a woman alone, I never felt threatened or scared.

I have left the best part for last, which is truly the staff. As mentioned earlier, this is my second visit, this time for a month. I have never felt so nutured or comfortable with a group of strangers who now feel like a second family to me after losing first my mom to cancer and then becoming tragically estranged from the rest over issues dealing with the estate. What could have been a lonely and sad holiday season was relieved through a sense of reaching out and sharing the best of human thoughtfulness, graciousness and kindness, all done in a non-obtrusive way. There was the warm smiles, the opening of doors, the eager desire to help and put themselves in a guest's place. The staff is family to eachother and you can tell each person likes their job in which they are united in the purpose of making their workplace your home. I will carry the hospitality, friendliness and warm smiles of Rui, Maria, Eziel, Danilo, Julianna and Eloisa with me always as well as that of Chafariz owner, Emilio who stopped by during my stay.

The city of Lisbon, for me is magic in and of itself. It is rich in history, in faith (including how God showed His displeasure over Jewish persecution during that unfortunate part of Lisbon's history). Since the Chafariz is located in view of the river where the explorers sailed off to chart undiscovered worlds, within walking distance of where kings and queens reigned, and where the haunting chords of Fado were first heard, one feels a sense of timelessness, of discovery, of the overcoming of tragedy and the rebuilding of life and of the depth and unveiling of the human soul. In my opinion, no bustling or modern hotel (though there are many in other sections of Lisbon) can give you this same feel though I have had time to explore quite a few sections of the city and have seen almost every tourist attraction. I plan to keep returning to Lisbon regularly and would never dream of staying anywhere other than the Chafariz.

* Travelers Note: Europe has a different view of accomodating physical difficulty. There is no elevator or lift for those with difficulty climbing stairs. The Chafariz is not appropriate for families with children since they need a place to stay where youthful exuberance is part of the atmosphere and there are more things to occupy them.. Pets are welcomed with advance notice.

Additionally,do print out directions before hand and give them to your taxi driver as the Chafariz is still relatively unknown in the tourist world. However, due to people who fall in love with it like I have, I can only fear that someday we will all be racing to make sure there is booking space!

Room Tip: See description of each suite within my evaluation since I have stayed in three of the six and got t...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

it was not expected . the room in the attic is just perfect. it is located in the old town, i stayed there for 2 night. I can not find one thing that i am not satisfy with. the service, the breakfast, every single thing down to the bed sheet is nice and decent.

i have nothing more to say but look at the photos i attached , pictures tells a thousand words.
This is totally something very different and MUST TRY. don't go to Hilton, Novotel or whatever. Chafariz is where you want to be in Lisbon.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joyce L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We enjoyed a week in the lovely attic/maids room. Plenty of space and charming. Bright, airy with window that open to welcome fresh air if you would rather not have the air conditioning on.Mostly quiet. It was noisy out side our window one night but it was taken care of as soon as we mentioned it. The staff is very helpful, friendly, gracious and courteous The location is great. An easy walk or bus ride to all the major sites.The breakfast is very satisfying, The coffee delicious.
The building is gorgeous.Outside and in. A treat to stay there. I would welcome an opportunity to stay again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Linden08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We stayed here for 5 nights and hoped we could have stayed longer. This very well kept small (only 6 rooms!) palacete is an oasis in Lisboa. Good room, very friendly staff, romantic atmosphere, good breakfast served in a beautiful room, well located in Alfama... Just try it yourself. Its really a very good experience !

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank P_J_Belgium_AA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2012

I stayed at Palacete Chafariz D'EI Rei for three days. From the very beginning of the trip, the manager has been very helpful; he directly contacted us and helped us get the palacete. I booked the room Lola for my parents and they really love it. The room is extremely delicate and romantic with a lovely river view. I stay in Lucia, which is also very neat and comfortable.
The most amazing part is the large public and dinning space of the palacete, which is antique, beautiful and comfortable. The breakfast is also good, and all the staff are very friendly. If you want to experience the unique atmosphere of Lisbon, this palacete will be the best choice.

Room Tip: Each room has its own style. I chose Lola for my parents, because it is very representative with ant...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KoHsun H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palacete Chafariz D'El Rei

Address: Travessa Chafariz de El-Rei 6, Lisbon 1100-140, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Lisbon > Castelo, Alfama & Mouraria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 262 B&Bs / Inns in Lisbon
Price Range: $331 - $490 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Palacete Chafariz D'El Rei 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 6 amazing and luxurious suites with direct river views and in the heart of the city, this family house has the highest level of service, letting you feel at home from the moment you enter the front door. The excellence of the service and the comfort of the house brings light to the new Home Boutique Hotel concept.With distinctive and unique lounges with many different styles, the house has a range of possibilities to organize parties, press conferences, weddings, meetings, business meals and all kind of events.For those who prefer a more cozy and familiar ambience, either on business or leisure, the Palacete Chafariz D’El Rei is the place to stay. ... more   less 
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Palacete Chafariz d`El Rei Hotel Lisbon

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