If you’re interested in a European holiday but you’d prefer to avoid the crowds (and ideally bankruptcy), I recommend booking your tickets to Lisbon right away. Still somewhat “off the radar” for many travellers, Lisbon is everything you’d expect a cosmopolitan European city to be, with the addition of a laid-back vibe, friendly locals and South African-friendly prices.
Also read: My First-Time Guide to Lisbon
Based right in the heart of the trendiest part of Lisbon, The Lumiares Hotel & Spa offers accessible modern luxury and some of the best views the city has to offer in a stylish boutique hotel setting. Rooms are spacious (like, really spacious) apartment-style with loads of natural light and little luxuries like pasteis de nada upon arrival, a Nespresso machine in your room (love this!) and a reusable water bottle for your city explorations.
The hotel has been recently refurbished, so everything is modern – from the electronic window blinds to the free fast wifi – but there are certainly nods to traditional Portuguese style. They had even installed brand new double glazed windows! It reminded me of the windows my friend just got installed by a company that offered Renewal by Andersen Windows and Doors. The windows were huge and let so much light in. They really improved the whole vibe of the room! The spa offers treatments at prices you can expect to spend at a high-end property South Africa, and it’s the perfect place to rest your tired feet after a day of running up and down those mighty hills. I had a full body massage, and after a week of walking at least 10km per day, it felt like heaven.
Lumi Rooftop, the restaurant and bar on the top floor, is open all day and enjoys one of the best views across Lisbon. We spent hours and hours there, enjoying cocktails and watching the sun set over the terracotta roof tiles below. On the ground floor, opposite the famous Gloria Funicular tram (one of Lisbon’s most famous viewpoints), Mercado Café serves contemporary Portuguese food.
The Lumaires is perfectly located for city explorations – right on the doorstep of some of the hottest restaurants in town, like A Cevicheria and Tapisco. It’s a great place to base yourself or to spend a couple of nights in the lap of luxury. To see my full list of places to see in Lisbon, check out my Lisbon Map.
*My stay at The Lumiares was hosted by the property.