Six Senses Douro Valley
Quinta Vale de Abrão, 5100-758 Samodães
While there are many reasons we love Douro Valley, the fantastic treatments at the spa are at the top of the list. Many use Seed to Skin products; others use scrubs and salves that are made on-site in the Alchemy Bar from botanicals grown on the property (you can book a session to make your own, too). The signature Warming Schist Vinotherapy, a full-body scrub (with a concoction of grape seeds, oils, and port) followed by a mini facial and a full-body hot stone massage using local schist, is pretty incredible. But don’t miss the Golden Aura Facial—both plumping and glowifying, it leaves your skin sculpted, refreshed, and radiant. (You can also upgrade several of the spa services with a Theragun add-on.)
R. Dr. Evaristo Sousa Gago 2, Melides
From the design eye that brought you red bottoms, Hotel Vermelho is an eclectic new boutique hotel in the quiet artists’ village of Melides. Christian Louboutin first arrived here over a decade ago and quickly adopted the town as a retreat: It’s removed from both the buzz of Lisbon, which is a little over an hour north, and the busier beach town of Comporta. The hotel has only 13 rooms, each decked out in jewel-tone tiles with personal touches, like hand-painted wall details and antiques from Louboutin’s personal collection. The sheets and slippers are embroidered in his signature scarlet. And even though it’s in town, the property feels private and deeply restful. Guests can breeze through their afternoons in a state of siesta, melt into Ayurvedic treatments at the teensy spa, and ride down to the beach to watch the sunset light up the sandstone cliffs.
Rua do Loreto 2, Bairro Alto
Watching Manteigaria’s bakers expertly knock out hundreds (if not thousands) of those sweet, blistered custard tarts in minutes is, to say the least, captivating. Skip breakfast and fuel up with thimbles of the bakery’s velvety espresso and one or two still-warm tarts dusted in cinnamon sugar.
One Palácio da Anunciada
R. das Portas de Santo Antão 112-134, Avenida da Liberdade
The One Palácio da Anunciada is one of those gorgeously decrepit sixteenth-century palaces that’s had a contemporary vibrancy breathed back into its hallways—while maintaining the integrity of its past. The grand blush marble staircase that sweeps up from the ornate lobby feels all of 400-plus years old, but the guest rooms belong to 2019. Big beds, bigger bathrooms, and Nespresso machines fill the cool, creamy interiors. The spa area is small but mighty with stellar massages and facials on offer alongside an indoor plunge pool and a steam room. High up at the hotel’s crown is the real reason you came here. The hotel’s outdoor pool seems to hover above the city—a rare indulgence in the capital. The surrounding daybeds make the perfect vantage point from which to take in the detailed azulejo (tin-glazed, ceramic tilework) cladding and frescoes on the surrounding buildings.
R. Tomás da Anunciação 52A, Campo de Ourique
O Magano is a refined but still resolutely local spot (we were the only tourists in the place). Our chatty, intuitive server decided to skip the standard menu explanation and instead brought platters of what she figured we would like—cold seafood salad, bowls of chickpeas saturated in grassy green olive oil, and plenty of buttery rice. She guessed right. Pro tip: Reservations are essential, but make them late—no one eats before 8 p.m. in this town.
Conserveira de Lisboa
34 Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, Alfama
Opened in the 1930's and virtually unchanged ever since, Conserveira de Lisboa (Lisbon Cannery), sells mainly brightly colored vintage tins of fish. Quirky as it is, its charm is undeniable, whatever your culinary proclivities may be.
4 Rua do Pau de Bandeira, Lapa
Located on a hilltop in the Lapa District of Lisbon, this historic 19th-century palace-turned-hotel offers stunning views of the Tagus River just a short drive from central Lisbon. The hotel was completely renovated in 2003, yet retains much of the timeless charm it had when it was originally built 170 years ago. You can opt for views of the river, or the regal garden and pool; each room or suite features equally impressive décor that varies from Art Deco to colonial to neo-classic styling.
27 Tv. Merceeiras, Alfama
From the cozy living room check-in, to its forty-two rooms with amazing views, every inch of the place is intimate and relaxing.
14 Pátio de Dom Fradique, Alfama
Located inside a 15th-century castle in the historic Alfama District, this boutique hotel is one of Lisbon’s hidden gems. Its eleven private rooms are infused with a sense Portuguese history, decorated with blue and white 17th-century tiles and antiques throughout, with views of the city's rooftops and the Tagus River. Just a 15-minute walk from the main square, it's at once secluded, yet central—an ideal respite for those looking to escape the bustle of the city. Plus, the property itself boasts its own beautiful outdoor café and patio, as well as a private restaurant; a library, ballroom, music room, garden, and pool all round out the experience.
Santa Clara 1728
128 Campo Santa Clara, Alfama
In the center of the city right by the Fiera de Ladra, Lisbon’s flea market, Santa Clara 1728 is a beautiful 18th-century palace that has been transformed into a quiet, romantic sanctuary. Reminiscent of a chic, upscale bed and breakfast, this hotel has six spacious suites and a dining room where the owners (a family who also calls the space home) host delicious dinners open to all guests. Limestone staircases, minimalist wooden furniture, and impressive artwork all complement the beauty of the building itself. Bonus: luxurious, heated bedroom floors, along with views of the Tagus River and National Pantheon.