We arrived at the Lisbon Airport from Miami at about 5 in the morning and took a taxi directly to the Hotel Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon.
As we arrived, we realized that the hotel was perfectly located, a minute away from the Avenida da Liberdade, which is a beautiful wide avenue full of top-of-the-line shops, hotels and cafes.
We entered the hotel’s lobby and checked in. The lobby was majestic and full of wonderful orchids hanging from the ceiling.
After our long journey we entered our room; spacious, spotless, with a flat screen TV, desk, mini bar (with your own coffee machine and water – both complementary) and a welcome treat that hit the spot: cream cake/strawberry cakes and a small bottle of wine.
Besides the gift, they had also left us a wonderful note.
The bathroom was huge, it had two sinks, separate bath and shower and was decorated with luxurious details and bathroom products from L’Occitane. The towels hang from a “rack” that always keeps them warm.
We took a quick shower and laid down to get some sleep before embarking on our busy day of sightseeing!
When we woke up, we went down to the lobby and talked to the concierge Patricia … oh Patricia, Patricia … how kind she was!!! She explained everything to us about Lisbon from A to Z.
Although we had already done our homework, it helped us prioritize the museums, restaurants and, in general, what things to visit in Lisbon since we only had 3 days in the city.
So first things first, where to have lunch? Patricia recommended SEA-ME as we love seafood and fish. We took an UBER (by the way it works wonderfully here) and went there to eat.
I mention this restaurant because it was the first one we visited and ended up being our favorite (we came back a second time).
We went for a walk around Chiado and the Bairro Alto district and ended up in the Commerce Square. From there we took another UBER and went to São Jorge Castle, which we loved and the view is spectacular. Then we started walking around Alfama and got a TUK-TUK (like a taxi) to take us to Santa Justa.
We wanted to go up but the queue was so long that we decided not to wait and instead walked around the area and bought some ice cream.
We don’t know how, but somehow we ended up at the Carmo Convent, even though they’d had an event that day and we couldn’t get in (someone told us after that it wasn’t worth it).
At this point, we decided to go back to the hotel to rest a bit before going to the Minibar restaurant where the hotel had made us a reservation for dinner.
The next morning, we got up early for breakfast. Well, well, well … the breakfast area was jaw-dropping. The main room is huge and as if it were taken right out of a palace.
On the right hand side there is a very large terrace where at least 10-15 tables can fit, which is wonderful when the weather is good (in our case). From there you can see the Jacaranda trees on the main avenue.
The breakfast buffet has everything you could imagine and is of the highest quality … from fruits of all kinds and local pastries to the typical international breakfast of eggs, bacon, etc. My favorite item was the honey with the whole honeycomb, as it used to be done in the past.
After an hour of enjoying our breakfast, we went over to the Sidecar-Tour that the hotel has recommended and booked for us. This tour is what it sounds like… yes… a tour in a side-car, a side-car imported from Russia from the 1940-1950’s.
The guide (Joao) is the driver and can take two people, one behind the driver and another in the side-car. This is the best tour of Lisbon without having to be inside a bus full of tourists or a taxi.
What’s more, he takes you to places where tourists usually don’t go… to the hidden gems that only locals know about. We loved the first stop on the tour which was an old coffee shop that has been open for decades and that has an impressive “local” vibe.
We can’t say the name because they want to keep it a secret.
From there he took us to some places in CHIADO and we walked around a bit. We visited the oldest bookstore in the world as well as the “La Brasileira” cafe, where we had an espresso for €0.60 (not bad compared to the 3.5-4 USD in Miami).
Once in the area of Belem, we of course had to go to buy some Belem pastries, but the queue was massive so our friend Joao pulled some strings to get us 3 cupcakes and we ate them on the street, over the side-car.
Then, we went to Belem Tower… That was seriously impressive. We thought we’d see Cinderella or Snow White run out at any time…
We had lunch at Darwin Café, facing the sea, and then walked to go see the Jeronimos Monastery, a site worth seeing for its architecture and grandeur.
By then we were exhausted, but we decided to visit the Museum of the Ancient Carriages.
That was well worth it. You could see all kinds of carriages from hundreds of years ago and the highlight was the “center-piece” that belonged to Philip II of Spain, called “the Prudent”, who was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples and Sicily. From there we went to the hotel to rest.
When we arrived we went to explore the pool, the Spa and the gym, where all the equipment and the track for jogging are located.
For starters, the pool is covered and is very large. Not the typical small hotel pool where you can’t actually swim. In this pool, you can easily do your laps and feel almost as if you were in an Olympic pool. It would be satisfactory to any swimmer.
The pool area also has sun-beds for relaxing and wonderful outdoor views.
That’s where the Spa is located. We didn’t have time to enjoy a massage since that day was fully booked. The gym is also very spacious and complete, and is surrounded by windows that allow you to look out on all of Lisbon.
The machines are brand new … we wouldn’t expect any less from a Four Seasons Hotel.
In addition, it has several rooms for stretching, yoga and boxing. What caught our attention the most was the track that goes around the gym outside.
Run around the entire floor and while you run, enjoy a 360-degree view of Lisbon… it’s amazing… I mean, what hotel in the world has that?
From there, we went to dinner and to sleep.
The next day, it all started again. We got up excitedly knowing that we were going to enjoy a wonderful breakfast. While we were having breakfast, we worked a little on our computers, and then we set out to continue our touristy adventures.
We went to see the Gulbenkian Museum, which has a few gardens and some impressive collections (especially of French furniture). We then went to Lx Factory and walked around the shops a bit. We ate tons of Sushi for two people for only €39.
We then decided to go back to our personal paradise-sanctuary (the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz) and rest for a while. We went to the hotel’s hair salon and worked a little more. Something that struck us is the hotel’s attention to detail.
Upon entering our room, we saw that the cleaning lady had left a “bookmark” inside my book (she must have seen that I didn’t have anything to mark the last page read) and what’s more, when I left my sunglasses out of their case, she put them on a cleaning cloth to make sure they didn’t get scratched.
Afterwards, we walked from the hotel to SEA-ME (a decent walk) to once again delight in the wonderful fish and seafood Lisbon has to offer. On the way to the restaurant, we stopped to see the Sky-Bar, and we sat in a small park to listen to a musician play a little bit of Fado… that was truly magical!!!
When we arrived at the restaurant, we ordered the famous “bacalauh”, “caravineros” and the octopus… of course!!!
On our last day and truly sad to leave, we went to breakfast and said goodbye to the wonderful employees of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz who had treated us so well (Patrica, Xabier and, of course, … Catherine). We called an UBER and left for Sintra.
We would have liked to stay for more days, but if we ever go back someday, we wouldn’t think twice about returning to this wonderful hotel, which for us is the best hotel in Lisbon by far and gave us a magical experience.
They treated us impeccably and we can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone visiting Lisbon, because it would make their experience unforgettable.