Lisbon is not just the political capital of Portugal -- it's also its seat of business and culture as well as its transportation hub. The city is therefore a magnet for both tourists and business travelers, and comes with a diverse array of lodgings throughout the metropolitan area. Because of the many neighborhoods and types of hotels from which to choose, careful consideration should be given to match needs and wants with a given hotel and where that hotel is located.
Located just off downtown Lisbon's major boulevard of Avenida de Liberdade, the Hotel Britania was described as an "Art Deco masterpiece" by Fodor's, and is the only surviving hotel of that type and period in Lisbon. The tireless maintenance of the hotel has allowed it to retain its distinctly 1940s atmosphere without a major renovation, so features such as the candelabra in the lounge are original. The result is a luxurious, centrally located hotel with plenty of character.
Pensao Residencial Camoes
The Camoes offers simple, clean, bright rooms at inexpensive prices. The pension is a no-frills kind of place, and most of the rooms use a shared bathroom. What sets the Camoes apart from other pensions in Lisbon is that it is in good repair and set in the midst of Barrio Alto, Lisbon's major nightlife district. That makes it a logical choice for travelers on a budget who want bars and clubs within a few blocks' walk.
This outpost of the Sheraton chain is located in Picoas in the newer, business-oriented part of downtown Lisbon. That combination of location and the Sheraton's standard amenities make the hotel a sound choice for business travelers in the city. Set in a 25-story high-rise, Lisbon's Sheraton is decorated in a chic, Euro-modern style in both its rooms and public spaces. This is so much the case that while the hotel is certainly comfortable, some might find it a little sterile.
Solar do Castelo
The Solar do Castelo is in Alfama, the hilly Moorish Quarter of old Lisbon that contains the Castle of St. George, the Se Cathedral and the picturesque, labyrinthine alleyways so popular with visitors. The Solar do Castelo breathes Lisbon's history, as it is located within the walls of the castle and built on Roman ruins. The public spaces sport exposed stone walls and traditional Portuguese tilework, while the rooms are furnished in a pleasant, mid-range fashion offering what Conde Nast Traveler described as "modern-day comfort."
- lisbon image by Jorge Casais from Fotolia.com