Mattia and I spent an amazing 2 nights-3 days in Lisbon, Portugal this summer. I was excited to explore this historic city on the coast, since I'm a big fan of warm, sunny cities with beaches. (Probably has to do with the fact that my hometown is Los Angeles.)
We arrived in Lisbon after a 3-hour drive from Lagos. We immediately checked into the Atlis Avenida Hotel Lisbon and were greeted by the friendliest staff. They wasted no time in welcoming us to Lisbon and giving us a quick overview of the city and the hotel. We also had chocolates and Porto wine waiting for us in our room. It was my first time trying Porto wine, which is a traditional Portuguese red wine, typically with a sweeter taste.
After our first glass, Mattia and I immediately ran to the rooftop. We both love rooftops with a good view, and Altis Avenida's panoramic views of Lisbon did not disappoint. I enjoyed the late afternoon breeze as I pinched myself--I couldn't believe I was finally in Lisbon!
Altis Avenida Hotel is a boutique five-star hotel, which was apparent from the high-quality design, finishings, and amenities. I loved the building's gorgeous architecture on first sight, and later discovered that it was a renovated historic building that still held true to its original design by architect Luís Cristino da Silva. You can still see that the facade holds true to its 50's Art Deco design.
After enjoying the rooftop, I went back to the the room to shower. I had spent the entire morning diving in the beaches of Lagos and did not get a chance to shower until I arrived at the hotel. The bathroom was all decked out in beautiful marble, my favorite! The white marble walls and black marble sink definitely added to the luxurious feel. I also really loved their bathroom amenities--the shampoos, soaps, etc. were from an organic, eco-friendly brand called Damana.
Soon after I had showered and dressed, our Portuguese friend came to hang out before dinner. We bought a bottle of wine and drank it as we watched the pastel sunset from our room's balcony. The balcony had a great view of the Monumento dos Restauradores. Like true Portuguese natives, we left for dinner around 10pm, when the last trace of light disappeared from the sky.
There were a lot of dinner options within walking distance from Altis Avenida. It was also close to the lively hood famous for its nightlife, Barrio Alto. I really appreciated the quick 10-15 minute walk back to the hotel after a night of bar hopping!
We woke up the next morning and made our way to our favorite feature of the hotel, the rooftop, for breakfast. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, especially on my multiple requests for omelettes (one was not enough!) and Mattia's multiple requests for cappuccino (he's a big coffee addict).
We started to really appreciate the hotel's central location as we started exploring the city. Everything was so close by! We first explored Baixa, the downtown area with many squares, and made our way down it to Arco da Rua Augusta, which was on the edge of the Tagus River. From there we walked to the Castello di São Jorge, which had amazing views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. Then we spent the bulk of our early afternoon at Alfama, the beautiful historic neighborhood, admiring the architecture and unique street art. Many of the city's attractions were very close to the hotel.
Mattia and I got hungry around 4pm and decided to go for an early dinner at the famous Cervejaria Ramiro. It was definitely lived up to the hype and was one of the best seafood experiences in my life. It was around 5pm when we were walking home in the scorching heat--the late afternoon was one of the hottest times in the Lisbon summer (over 100 degrees), and we were both super happy that our walk home from the restaurant was only 10-15 minutes.
After a quick nap, we decided to check out the spa at their partner hotel, Altis Grand Hotel. The hotels are about 15-minute walking distance from each other and there is special partnership so we can access their new Gspa, complete with a big, spacious pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and my personal favorite, steam room. It was the perfect way to relax for a couple hours before heading out to dinner again (yes, our second dinner).
Last but not least, one of my favorite parts of staying at Altis Avenida Hotel was our own personal Nespresso machine we had in our own room. Mattia and his family have a machine back in his home in Italy, so it made us feel at home. We made ourselves coffee religiously throughout the trip--in the mid-mornings a few hours after our breakfast coffee, afternoons after our naps, at nights after dinner to have energy to go out to bars.