“Loved this hotel!”
We just came back from a 4-day stay at the Bairro Alto hotel in Lisbon, and we loved it! The location is fantastic, right in the center of the Bairro Alto, steps from the Chiado District, with the famous Tram 28 a few steps away. There is a metro stop nearby, and lots of fantastic restaurants and shops right outside. The service was great. We arrived early in the morning, and they got us into a room by 11, and we got what must be one of the best rooms in the house, with a large balcony with a view of both the river and the square, even though we were paying with frequent flyer miles. The room was quiet even with the large balcony because there were two sets of doors, and when both were closed, we could barely hear a sound from the street. It was my husband's birthday the day we arrived. When we came back from a little sight-seeing, there was a bottle of champagne and a brownie waiting, with Happy Birthday written in chocolate. Such a nice surprise. My birthday was a few days later, and I didn't expect them to know, but they must have noted the date on my passport, because there was champagne and cake for me too.
There is a lovely rooftop bar with an incredible view over the river, and a menu of light meals. That is a must-see. The breakfast room is nice, and the breakfast was a pretty standard European buffet. The staff was always friendly and helpful. They arranged a rental car for us, took care of shipping some pottery that we bought, and always greeted us by name.
I read some of the negative reviews, and was struck by how little research people do before choosing a hotel, and then criticize the hotel for not living up to their expectations. The Biarro Alto is a boutique hotel, in a historic building in the historic center of an old European city, yet people complain that it doesn't have a pool, or a huge lobby, or that the rooms are small? Duh. We chose a Prestige Room because it was obvious from the photos and description that the standard rooms were small. Even if we couldn't have chosen a Prestige Room, I would still have chosen the hotel for its location, which could not be beat. We looked at hotels with pools, but the few in Lisbon that had pools were on the outskirts of the city, and we preferred to be in the heart of the town. It is a trade-off, and your choice depends on your priorities, but don't blame the hotel if it can't give you the impossible.
August 22, 2013