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Pestana Palace - Lisbon, Portugal
Monday, October 17, 2016  

If your cruise begins or ends in Lisbon, you simply have to plan to spend an extra two or three days exploring this amazing port city. We extended our April 2012 transatlantic sailing on Silversea Silver Spirit by booking two nights at Pestana Palace hotel. This is the former residence of the Marquis de Valle Flor who was born in the north of Portugal and eventually became one of the biggest producers of cocoa of that time.

Not being familiar with Lisbon, we decided to arrange for Pestana Palace to have their private Mercedes pick us up at the cruise terminal at 9:30am in Lisbon (48 Euro) after disembarking Silver Spirit. Unfortunately, the driver was about 15 minutes late due to an earlier accident. Nevertheless, the drive to the hotel took about 15 minutes.

Tip: Taxis are plentiful in Lisbon at the cruise terminal and they are very reasonably priced. The drivers speak pretty good English, so a taxi might be a more affordable option than hiring a private car.

We arrived at Pestana Palace by 10am and we were pleased to learn that our room was made up and ready for us. The desk clerk who checked us in also escorted us to our room and described the various features of the room.

The main building of Pestana Palace is actually a palace, the construction of which began in 1904 under the guidance of Italian architect, Nicola Bigaglia. Pestana Palace has a wonderful location with a splendid view over the Tagus River. The property has been restored to its original glory and is actually a National Monument. The historic main building houses the lobby, reception, several sitting rooms, a bar and restaurant and four large Royal suites. Across the street from the main building is the conference center which was originally the palace stables! A newer, modern building sits behind the palace (main building) which is where the majority (190) guest rooms are located. The rooms are connected to the main building via a glass-walled, heated/air-conditioned elevated walkway.

The room is large, elegant and well appointed

One of the most spectacular features of Pestana Palace is the expansive garden which, too, is a national monument. The grounds are expertly manicured and nothing short of spectacular. There are several paths and walkways through the foliage with benches where you can find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There are two swimming pools on the lavish grounds. The Palace also houses some fine examples of frescoes, paintings, stuccos, stained-glass window designs and other decorative features which have been lovingly restored to their former glory. The work of Carlos Reis (1863-1904) can be seen throughout the premises, including beautiful ceiling paintings and portraits of the Marquises' three daughters, which are displayed in the Palace.

Pestana Palace is located far off the "beaten path", away from the typical tourist areas of Lisbon. As such, there is not much in the way of dining or shopping within walking distance. However, taxis are always available to take you anywhere in the city, and as mentioned earlier, are quite reasonably priced. The hotel also offers guests a complimentary shuttle service (Mercedes van) to popular landmark sights and the city center. The shuttle operates several times each day.

A small desk and TV is located across from the bed

Our room was large by European standards and well furnished. Tall ceilings with plastered walls give an impressive look to what might otherwise seem like a typical hotel room. There was a nice-sized desk, a 32" flat screen television (with lots of channels in English), a king-sized bed, two lounge chairs and a small table. A small granite shelf held two glasses of Ginja, the traditional Portugese cherry-flavored liqueur and two small chocolates topped with gold leaf! The free-standing closet is large with plenty of storage and there is a safe and mini-bar.

The bathroom is well thought out and appointed and contains a free standing, large sink, bathub/shower combination and separate "potty" room with toilet and bidet. Quality Laura Kayal bath amenities are provided (soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel).

Cherry-flavored liqueur and chocolates are a nice touch

The king-sized bed is outfitted with quality duvet and linens, but the mattress is very firm. If you prefer a firm mattress, you will love this one. Two of the pillows are huge and are best suited for sitting up in bed to read or watch TV. The other two pillows are traditional sized, but also firm. The acoustics of the room make it possible to hear guests talking in the next room and in the hallways. If you require an quiet space, you should make that known when you book your room. We had two very loud, talkative ladies staying in the room next to us which made it difficult for us to sleep.

Each room has access to Wi-Fi internet for only 5 euro per day (or 3 days for 14 Euro). Internet access and speeds were good and quite a value for 5 Euro. There is a business center with one computer and the front desk will give you a voucher good for 30 minutes of free Internet, enough to print your boarding passes or check email.

The garden, too, is a national landmark and worthy of the designation

Our room included breakfast for two at Pestana Palace's restaurant. Breakfast is from 6:30am until 10:30am weekdays and until 11:00am on weekends. The restaurant is extremely elegant and the breakfast offers a very nice selection of fresh fruit, breads, pastries, cheeses, meats and eggs cooked to order. The coffee served is quite good and they even brought Rickee hot chocolate.

The bar is no less elegant and offers a wide variety of cocktails, beer and wine. There is also a "light bites" menu at the bar. On our first evening, we ate in the bar and had chicken soup, a veal burger and a steak sandwich. All were very good. The restaurant opens at 7pm each evening and has an impressive menu. Prices are at the upper-end of what you would expect to pay at a luxury hotel restaurant. The service in the bar and the restaurant was superb.

The elegant restaurant at Pestana Palace

There is no question that Pestana Palace is a 5-star luxury hotel. It belongs to "The Leading Hotels of the World" group, which has an excellent reputation for luxury properties. The palace decor is stunning and the garden is as nice as you will find anywhere. We did not have an opportunity to try the spa facilities, but I am guessing they are first-rate. For me personally, I would have preferred a less firm mattress and a quieter room. If you are looking for a peaceful, elegant retreat in Lisbon, Pestana Palace has a lot to offer.

Originally posted on: 5/2/2012
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One Comment
Thanks for your positive feedback and view of our property, that will be very important for future visitors.
Saturday, May 5, 2012 6:27 AM  
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