A curious red door seals off Palacio Belmonte from Lisbon’s busy Alfama district. While most travelers may miss this understated entrance, those in-the-know are aware that inside these doors lies a sprawling palace, super chic hotel, and personal residence - all in one.
With hundreds of original azulejo tile panels, the palace’s spacious suites are artistic wonders, each boasting a lived-in museum feel. The suites are connected by common outdoor and in door spaces that are replete with views of the city, acid pink bouganvillas, and statement furniture that is surprisingly comfortable. The entire palace feels like a large family mansion where big and small decisions were made over homemade meals, and daily news from the city was digested with aperitifs. Today, palace guests can relive this imagined story with some convenient additions; a dip in the black slate pool for example, is a wonderful way to cool off at the end of a hot day on Alfama’s streets.
Getting to know the owners -- Frederico and Maria -- is part of life at Palacio Belmonte. It is rare, the couple say, to have a guest who does not naturally share the values embodied by the property: curiosity for the world, a politically liberal mindset, and an intrinsic love for cultural miscegenation. Whether guests find themselves enjoying a cocktail in the well-kept but unfussy garden or sleeping way past breakfast in one of the suite’s plush beds, they will find themselves surrounded by a milieu of privileged ease.