culture, food, restaurant, tips, travel, Uncategorized

One night at the Four Seasons


When I started planning our road trip from the south-west of France to Lisbon, Portugal – I really wanted to stay in a variety of places in order to get a well-rounded view about the types of accomodation available in the city. We started at a place in hip area in Bairro Alto for two nights and the third we spent at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz. Like any girl who is more accusomted to a Double Tree hotel than the luxurious ambience of the Four Seasons, obvioously I was super excited, and I know you can relate ladies- for the bathroom products ;-).

As is with any experience at the Four Seasons, staying at one of their hotels is the kind of luxury that instead of feeling stuffy, is more like being in a place where everyone intuiively understands your needs, wants and every dream. For example, waiting for us was a small bottle of port wine in our room and three delectable pastéis de belém on a beautiful traditional azulejo blue & white tile {we then searched high and low all over the city for one to take back home with us – they are so beautiful!}.

Sounds a little dramatic I know, but its kinda true in this case. Our room was cozy, elegant and very roomy – with a balcony overlooking Eduardo VII Park. As I dreamed, the marble bathroom had both a tub & shower with a variety of l’occitane bath products that I of course adore thus {sorry Four Seasons} I might have taken every single one in the room even if we were staying for just one night. Girls will be girls and you never know when I might just run out of soap in Florence.


What makes the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz unique?

Other than the fact that most rooms have park-facing balconies, the place itself happens to be a beautiful 10-story building designed in 1952, filled with charm in the form of 18th century furnishings in lots of vibrant colors. Dotted around the hotel are tapestries by artist José Sobral de Almada Negreiros and beautiful art by local Portuguese artists from the 1960s’ [think colorful sculptures, murals and paintings].

Personally if I am going to stay at a luxury hotel, I would much rather stay at a place that brims with a story. A serendipitous mix of small, yet important details with artistic unique touches that represent the local area, which this place does quite well. Any hotel can invest money and become five stars, but what about the story, does it stick in the minds of those who stay there?

[My favorite artwork was“The 7 hills” ( of Lisbon) by Estrela Faria completed in 1956. ]

Here you can’t help but get the feeling that everyone speaks what seems like a million and a half languages (and fluently), they seem to almost have only one job – making you feel comfortable. We checked in, had a peek at our room before joining Four Seasons PR guy, Vasco, who graciously joined us for lunch.

A totally unrelated side note, to see someone so young, so happy in his workplace, was refreshing to see when almost all of my friends in Italy are at least slightly unhappy with their career paths and want to change jobs or countries. I am well aware that Portugal itself has been hit hard by the Euro-crises which is why its amazing to me that someone like him, who could have quite easily stayed in the USA and made, triple or quadruple then he now does, felt the need to come back.

He coincidentally had also visited my home town of San Antonio while studying in New Orleans, needless to say we had a lot to talk about.

[Starting with port wine, which you should really only get at a place like the Four Seasons!]


The Veranda restaurant, which I mentioned in this previous post about food in Lisbon, is an incredible dining experience. The staff was always on point with whatever we needed and the menu is Mediterranean fusion with some Portuguese favorites as well. Our lunch contained a medley of flavors for carnivores and vegetarians alike – oh yes and all of the sushi a girl could eat. This was even before I got a hold of the dessert corner.

After we dined, Vasco took us on a tour of the hotel. You could see the pride brimming on his face as he spoke about the history and art of the hotel along with all of the hidden details like the beautiful glass lamps leading to one of the ball rooms that almost looked like glass on fire.

I heard about their beautiful rooftop fitness center, and even though the only exercising I planned to do was in the form of fork-to-mouth calisthenics {that and exploring Lisbon by foot which means plenty of uphill walking}, I could at least pretend like I was going to use it.

One foot out of the elevator and you are in the entrance to the spa/changing rooms and once you stepped outside, a 360-degree running path featuring a panorama of Lisbon awaits you. If that isn’t enough to make you want to run, I really don’t what is. That and the really inviting apples in a bowl sitting in the center of the room, in view of a beautiful mural depicting Portugal life in the past.

I wanted to be those apples. 

I almost didn’t want to leave the hotel since this was a really special stay for us, but alas we somehow managed to break away for a few hours to explore more of the city. This time checking yet another beautiful view from Castle of São Jorge while later slowly making our way through the windy, mysterious streets down below. Of course I will touch on this in another post.

That night, we dined at a Mexican restaurant and made it back to our hotel early enough for a luxurious bath before bed. How could I not take advantage of that marble masterpiece! 

Breakfast meant another chance to pig out on fresh fruit, mango – papaya, and my favorite rice pudding with cinnamon, oh yes and don’t forget about stone-cut oatmeal with fresh fruits and nuts. As you can see, the list can go on – and I didn’t even touch on the savory options, even miso soup.

Offers to write home about

They have a special deal where if you stay more nights, you can an extra night free – or even two, find out more here. I loved the Veranda restaurant for lunch and at the very least, take advantage of the surroundings and head there for a glass of port wine if you happen to be in the area and listen to live music at the Piano bar. The piano itself is yet another protagonist, with the original owner using it also as his own personal bar, with signatures carved in the pianos wood.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon,

Address: Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca 88, 1099-039 Lisboa, Portugal
Phone:+351 21 381 1400

*Disclaimer – My partner and I were guests of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon but trust that all opinions and thoughts 100% are my own. 

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0 Comment

  1. Avatar
    04.03.2014 at 12:36

    Ooh I really want to go to the Four Seasons in Milan for lunch or dinner! They have a Veranda restaurant too 🙂 I’d be tempted to pay out to stay the night even if I do live nearby just so I can have a decent bath and a proper mattress! Better to be one of those apples than a sweaty person running around that track eh 🙂 xxx

    1. Avatar
      04.03.2014 at 12:43

      Sometimes you just need a night of luxury, we stayed at a variety of places in Lisbon and this was really really special for us both. ps. the Milan one sounds nice too, if you go let me know how it went!!!

      *I promise you that no apples were harmed in the making of this post, well except maybe one.. 😉

  2. Avatar
    05.03.2014 at 16:37

    It is soo worth indulging in a luxurious hotel every now and then! I recently stayed in a hotel in Laos that had once been the home of a prince, it was beautiful! PS although I don’t run much I love that running track on the hotel roof, brilliant idea!

    1. Avatar
      05.03.2014 at 16:59

      I agree! Especially on a trip where you do so much walking, it was heaven to return to such a comfortable room and bath before starting yet another action-packed day. The running track was awesome!!!

  3. Avatar
    10.03.2014 at 11:02

    This post has filled me with suuuch envy! In a good way of course 🙂 I’ve only ever been to the Four Seasons in Toronto, and that was for lunch … My heart longs for that bath tub and THOSE PRODUCTS! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous place.
    Also laughed out loud at ‘fork to mouth calisthenics’. I surpassed my previous record in that particular sport this past week so I could actually use that gorgeous gym with a view :p

    1. Avatar
      10.03.2014 at 14:27

      It’s incredible isn’t it? honestly it was a real treat for me too and I will be forever grateful for the experience. And yes, the amazing bath products meant that I was one happy girl long after the stay ;-). I would become a certified runner if I had 1. this view daily, and 2. food like that lunch, every day… a girl can dream!