Imagine this – we arrive at the train station in Lisbon, sweating profusely with frizzy hair, wearing a creased dress and shirt, before making our way to an old palace. Yep, you read that right – a palace. It wasn’t the way I particularly imagined us arriving, but that’s just how we rolled.
For the last half of our trip to Lisbon, we stayed at the beautiful Torel Palace. Located high above the city near to the popular area of Bairro Alto the hotel actually felt like it was in a world of its own despite being in such a buzzing place.
Within moments of arriving, we were sat on the terrace overlooking Lisbon with a glass of vino verde in hand, along with a map of the area. The lovely receptionist (who’s name has completely slipped from my mind!) sat with us and gave us insider tips as to where to visit, what to do and where we should eat. By this point, I couldn’t contain my excitement about seeing where we would stay, so we downed our wine and made our way to our room passing by the coolest looking bar I’ve ever seen.
Torel Palace is made up of two mansions – one which is painted in pink and the other in blue. Each mansion represents the various kings and queens of Portugal with individual rooms depicting their style and personality. Our room was in the blue building and while enjoying our glass of wine, I thought there would be no chance of us staying there. Well, how wrong was I?!
As we made our way up to our room the ‘Dom João II’, the corridor was decorated with floor to ceiling mirrors and navy walls. It felt and looked very grand indeed. This further extended into our room as we opened the door and were swept away by the dark wooden flooring, large bathroom and pillow-like bed. Our room was located on the corner of the building and overlooked the terrace with views stretching out to the pool and city landscape. As we stepped onto the balcony, I couldn’t quite believe how big it was – it wrapped around the building and even had a seating area!
Related: Our stay at Casa Mae, Lagos
The room was full of little touches which were really sweet and epitomised the boutique-like nature of the hotel. There was bottles of water infused with mint leaves and slices of lemon – along with a coffee selection and tins of sweets. The thing I loved the most, however, was how each night when our room was cleaned (for the second time in a day), we were left with a biscuit and tip of the day of how to make the most of our stay in Lisbon. I mean, how cute?!
The best things
Breakfast – fit for royalty!
If the views and general excitement to explore Lisbon, don’t tempt you to wake up early – the breakfast at Torel Palace is guaranteed to make you jump out of bed. It quite literally is fit for a king and queen.
Every morning we couldn’t wait to head down for the buffet breakfast which was full of freshly baked pastries and bread, platters of ham, cheeses and smoked salmon, as well as fruit, eggs (whichever way you fancied) and even fluffy pancakes.
In all honestly, I’d go back to Torel Palace just for their breakfast – it was that good. We even enjoyed just sitting in the breakfast room which gave me some #homeinspo with the yellow and navy velvet chairs and blue walls. The staff were also absolutely delightful and helped our day start off with a smile.
Chilling at the pool with the best view over Lisbon
Lisbon gets hot. And I mean really hot. Especially when you climb up and down the several hills. There are limited hotels across the city with a swimming pool, so we really got lucky when I found one at Torel Palace.
Hidden under the main terrace of the hotel and in front of the pink mansion, the swimming pool is small – but perfectly formed. The view from the pool area is just amazing as it looks out across the city and onto the river. It was so relaxing to sit with my toes dipping into the pool looking out to the city, as my thoughts ran through my mind.
While there are only a few sunbeds at the pool area, there’s this awesome out-building which is home to couches, chairs, cushions and a book case. It opens up so for anyone wanting to escape the midday sun, you can find some shade (and solitude) in this hut. Alternatively, just head upstairs to the terrace for a refreshing glass of wine or sip a cocktail under the umbrella.
Related: Living like locals in Lisbon
A real sense of Lisbon
The hotel isn’t located in the most desirable area of Lisbon – but it’s somewhere which is real. One evening we decided to walk to Alfama which didn’t only include multiple stops of us catching our breath, but it also took us down some back-streets where locals lived.
While it wasn’t as romantic as Alfama, it had a real, gritty charm about it which I just loved. It literally felt like we were the only tourists/outsiders in the neighbourhood. We saw families gathering on their doorsteps and talking away. We walked past children playing hop-scotch and running after each other. We just loved it and we felt so cool.
Bathrobes and our balcony
One of the best memories I’ll take away from our stay at this hotel was wrapping up in our bathrobes, slipping on our slippers and chilling on the balcony under the stars while watching (several) episodes of Game of Thrones. While I may have fallen asleep throughout some episodes, I couldn’t have found a nicer place to chill or sleep than Torel Palace in Lisbon.