Photo: Verride Palácio Santa Catarina
This 5-star hotel in Lisbon, Verride Palácio Santa Catarina, has won the Hollywood Insider seal of approval.
Lisbon is an ancient and uncommonly-stunning city. Fashionable among tourists for its unique architecture and history, the title of most luxurious and expensive hotel is hard to claim in a town like this. To be the most expensive hotel in any place, Lisbon more so than most, it requires having everything. This article will explain how exactly the Palácio Verride has this ‘everything,’ covering every aspect of what makes it so spectacular.
The Glorious City of Lisbon
Before endeavoring to explain how Palácio Verride stands above the rest of the hotels in Lisbon, it will be necessary to remark upon the part of the reason why Lisbon is such a difficult hotel landscape to rise to prominence in. Immensely popular with tourists, receiving 3.64 million visitors in 2019, Lisbon has plenty of hotels vying to make a name for themselves. Unsurprisingly, many of these visitors are Hollywood celebrities, too, meaning the city already has a high bar for luxury and expense. Indeed, many actors and actresses have enjoyed its opulence so much that they’ve purchased homes there. Scarlett Johansson, for instance, star of classics such as ‘Lost in Translation’ (2003) and ‘Her’ (2013), as well as many Marvel movies, owns an apartment in the Príncipe Real neighborhood.
Monica Bellucci also has a place in the city, as does Christian Louboutin, the famed shoe designer. The Alfama district, one of the less touristy areas of town, is host to the holiday home of Michael Fassbender, notorious for his roles in ‘Hunger’ (2008), ‘Inglorious Basterds’ (2009), ’12 Years a Slave’ (2013), and several ‘X-Men’ films. Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, John Malkovich, despite living in Massachusetts, is well known to be a fan of Lisbon, even going so far as to invest in various institutions around the city.
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The Iconic Location
One thing that stands out immediately about Palácio Verride is its location. Located in the heart of old Lisbon, it’s a brisk stroll from much of the city’s most iconic sights. Within twenty minutes is the iconic lemon-colored Praça do Comércio, the Lisbon Cathedral and its bizarre fort-like gothic façade, and the Carmo Convent, which the notorious Lisbon Earthquake left roofless.
In terms of food, within fifteen minutes of walking is the Mercado da Ribeira, a food court created by Time Out, as well as the gourmet restaurant Alma and its two Michelin stars. For dessert, there’s Gelateria Nannarella, where you can pick between a princely thirty-four different flavors of ice cream. You won’t be short on nightlife options either, with Lisbon’s trendiest and most distinctive rooftop bar, Park, less than a five minutes walk away, to be found on the sixth floor of a car park. Only ten minutes further afield is the Hot Clube de Portugal, the nation’s oldest Jazz Club, which has been hosting names like Ronnie Scott and Charlie Haden since the 1940s.
Few other spots in the city can boast such access; with all this at your fingertips and the airport just a twenty-five-minute drive away, you can devote the maximum amount of time to enjoying the city and the minimum to travel.
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Verride Palácio Santa Catarina – The Historic Building
In a town where every other building has a history, it’s rare for one, in particular, to seem extraordinary among the rest. Nevertheless, the Palácio Verride succeeds. Initially constructed in the 18th century as the residence of Count Verride, the hotel undeniably occupies the upper echelons of Lisbon architecture, exhibiting both a refined façade and what is almost unquestionably the most opulent interior of any other hotel available in the capital. Maybe the most remarkable feat the hotel and its designers achieved is its triumph in maintaining the structure’s original imperial feeling without compromising on comfort. Much of the credit for this must go to the architect who restored the palace in 2018, Teresa Nunes de Ponte, who has also worked on such high-profile projects as the Casa de Mateus, a 16th-century palatial residence with national monument classification.
The Exquisite Rooms
The Palácio Verride’s matchless blend of classical elegance and unbeatable modern luxury extends to its rooms too. Irrespective of which tier of accommodation you choose, you will be treated to a flat-screen TV, lavish 600-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, complimentary home-made food, a rainforest shower stocked with Aesop toiletries, and most inimitably, a mix of ornate traditional Lisbon décor with a modern Scandinavian touch.
In the Bica Rooms, you will also be surrounded by gently-hued pastel design and either a king or queen-size bed, brightened by expansive windows looking out onto ancient Lisbon. With a Superior Double Room, you’ll have custom-made furniture, either a king or twin-size bed, and the highlight of this class of accommodation: a serene balcony overlooking Adamastor square. Superior City View Rooms have similar balcony views, though this tier includes a queen-size bed, a business desk, a bathtub, and a walk-in shower. Superior River View Rooms, on the other hand, have windows with a panoramic vantage of the Tagus River and are equipped with a queen-size bed.
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Among the higher-end room types is the Suite, which boasts some of the best natural light in the palace and a great view of the city. It is also fitted with a bathtub or walk-in shower and a queen or king-size bed. One step up is the Prestige Suite, in which rich blue accents perfectly juxtapose against the hotel’s signature pastel shades. This large and airy room has space to accommodate not only a sitting and working area but also a large and superbly comfortable king-size bed. The Premium Suite contains a separate living room and bedroom, both of which are spacious and unique in layout and design. Also promising a view of the river, a walk-in shower, and a bathtub, this is one of the most luxurious rooms available in the Verride – and by extension, the whole of Lisbon.
The Royal Suites
Nonetheless, as the city’s most luxurious hotel, the Palácio could never be satisfied with having a room that can merely rival the rest; it naturally must offer the clear and outright most spectacular. The two Royal Suites on offer are the purest embodiment of the sophistication of Lisbon’s bygone noble families. These two suites constitute regal enclaves of a lost past, where ceilings were sculpted from wood, walls were stuccoed, and bathrooms were not complete without a tiled display on the wall. Silk wallpaper backgrounds an ornate blend of modern and legacy décor, while a delicately fashioned fireplace, a sitting area and a working area, and a bathroom with a bathtub and walk-in shower provide unparalleled comfort.
Two key points to look out for in the Royal Suites?
- The ornamental ceilings are equisitely beautiful
- The porcelain blue tiles surrounding the bath tub
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Garnering a reputation as the most lavish and expensive hotel in a capital city does not happen without going above and beyond on service and facilities. Palácio Verride, to be sure, does not spare any expense when it comes to this. In the mornings, guests are treated to a “tailor-made breakfast experience,” where you are encouraged to speak with the chef and ask for exactly what you’d like them to cook. It is also up to the guest’s discretion whether to eat at the restaurant’s communal table or poolside.
For lunch, try the hotel’s intimate but laid-back restaurant, Criatura. Housed within a beautiful barrel-vaulted red-brick room, while a floral portal on the wall lets in light, a collection of photography on loan from the Museu Coleção Berardo lines the walls.
If you’re in the mood for something more high-end, though, do not miss Suba, the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar, where the food somehow finds a way to outshine a 360-degree view of old Lisbon and the Tagus River. Menus in both à la carte and degustation form are available, each serving imaginative and bold flavors in their own respect. Awarded with a Michelin star just this year, it’s the kind of hotel restaurant that attracts crowds not just consisting of guests, but from foodies citywide. Helmed by Chef Fábio Alves, Suba will stun you in its ability to match the exquisite refinement of the hotel it’s situated within.
Though perfect for a fine-dining dinner experience, Suba offers some surprisingly affordable meals at lunchtime. From Monday to Friday, the Executive Menu serves a starter, main course, dessert, and an epilogue of petit fours and coffee for just thirty Euros. Forward-thinking in more than one way, Suba also offers vegetarian tasting and à la carte menus – a rare feature, particularly in Portugal. After dinner, guests can unwind by taking a dip in the pool or requesting a massage from the palace’s highly qualified staff sourced from Wakeday Spa.
Verride Palácio is a must. Be it for the luxury quotient, the historic building, the iconic location, the rooftop bar or the flagpole viewpoint that is the highest lookout location in Lisbon.
Joao, Margarida and Adilson – these are the three names that are going to take care of you while you stay at the exquisite Palacio. Trust us, you are in safe hands.
By Samuel Sandor
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Outside of his ongoing MA degree in English and Philosophy at St Andrews, Samuel Sandor spends his spare hours writing – short stories, essays, articles on film, music, or any other subject he finds himself preoccupied by. Through all these strands, he strives to find a unique and unexpected way to look at the subject at hand. Without a concerted effort, it’s easy to form surface-level impressions of both the art and the news that one consumes. Sam’s pieces attempt to answer this interpretative simplicity by inducing curiosity in subjects one might ordinarily devote little thought to. It is this desire to transform viewpoints with novel ideas and to stoke deeper and more extensive conversations which attracted him to The Hollywood Insider.