Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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One night at the Four Seasons

04.03.2014

One night at the Four Seasons

04.03.2014

fourseasons_lisbon

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.

marble_bathroom_hotelritz_lisbon

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!]

veranda

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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GirlInFlorence

Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as social media manager and content editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' Moscow mule and laughs with the girls.

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About Me

About Me

Hi There!

Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who calls Florence, Italy home for the past 11 years. I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. My bylines have appeared in Lonely Planet, Luxos Magazine, and International Living. This blog is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling and living in Italy, weekend trips around Europe, and a monthly roundup of interesting events. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!

Georgette

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