The Best of: Lisbon

Four Seasons Ritz hotel Lisbon

The Best of: Lisbon

Our pick of places to stay in Portugal’s coastal capital

Words by Liz Skone James

This pretty coastal capital sees 4.5 million visitors annually, many flocking here in search of summer sun, but late spring, when the temperatures are already balmy, is a great time to explore

Mama Shelter Lisbon


If you’re looking for somewhere fun and a little bit different, you’ll find it at this eccentric, edgy hotel which is part of the iconic Mama Shelter hospitality group. Set between the Botanical Garden and Parque Eduardo VII, in the lively Príncipe Real neighbourhood, it is the perfect base for exploring, with all of the city’s main sights accessible on foot (though you might prefer to take a tram up some of the steeper hills). The 130 light-filled bedrooms here are compact but oh-so chic, with much of the floorspace taken up by the super comfortable beds for which the hospitality brand have become known. The vibrantly colourful interiors have been designed by Mama Design Studio and are quirky and playful – think clashing patterns and neon signs, with Portuguese tiled floors and murals hand painted by local artists to lend a sense of place. Meanwhile, the restaurant is filled with more than 300 fish and marine-inspired pieces from noted local ceramicist Bordallo Pinheiro. A favourite with locals, all-day dining is on offer here, with both the famous Mama pizzas and Portuguese tapas drawing the crowds, who come for the food and stay for the cocktails and rooftop DJ sets. This is a place for the young and the young at heart.

Four Seasons Ritz Hotel


Lisbon’s first-ever luxury hotel has been offering unforgettable experiences and unparalleled luxury for over 60 years. The building underwent an extensive renovation in 2021, unveiling brand new accommodation and beautifully reappointed public spaces. The elegant new aesthetic draws influence from the Art Deco and Louis XVI styles, evoking the building’s 1950s origins. And the interiors are perfectly complemented by one of the country’s largest privately owned Portuguese Modern art collections, with the bold original artworks filling the walls of the public areas and the 282 guest rooms and suites. Michelin-starred chef Pedro Pena Bastos oversees Cura, the fine dining restaurant. Having opened in 2020, it has quickly become a favourite with locals and guests alike thanks to a seasonal menu of contemporary Portuguese dishes, including Pedro’s signature squid with hazelnuts, roasted seaweed butter and caviar. Foodies will also love Varanda Restaurant, which is known for both its gorgeous views and lavish brunch, and O JAPONÊS Sushi Bar located in the chic yet casual Ritz Bar. Other amenities include a luxurious spa with indoor pool; a heated outdoor pool; and an extraordinary rooftop fitness centre, boasting a Pilates studio with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor running track, both offering views of the city and Tagus River to be enjoyed whilst working out.

Martinhal Oriente


Offering fully equipped apartments blended with the highest level of hotel amenities and bespoke service is this new concept from the Portuguese luxury hotel group. Set within the riverside Park of Nations neighbourhood, the gorgeous accommodation opened a year ago. There are 82 apartments on offer, ranging from spacious studios to a vast four-bedroomed penthouse. Designed by architect Eduardo Capinha Lopes, all have large windows affording views over the Tagus, and letting in lots of beautiful light. Elegant interiors boast fully equipped kitchens kitted out with Smeg appliances. Portuguese art features throughout, with carefully chosen pieces by the likes of Graça Paz, Pedro Batista and street art legend, Bordalo II adorning the walls. Facilities are equally impressive, with a 24-hour concierge, indoor and outdoor pools, supervised kids’ clubs and playrooms, and a high-performance gym. There’s also on-site babysitting and a childcare concierge, making this a great choice for travelling families. The Terrace is the hotel’s all-day restaurant, where inspiration comes from the Portuguese explorations in the Orient, with oriental and Mediterranean fusion cuisine on the menu. This is a family-friendly space with many guises – from cosy café in the morning to elegant restaurant at night. Offering the best of riverside living, these luxury hotel residences are the ideal base for those looking to visit Lisbon on their own terms.