Olissippo Lapa Palace History
The Olissippo Lapa Palace is one of the premier luxury boutique hotels in Lisbon, Portugal. Formerly the residence of a count, the Lapa Palace hotel has attracted presidents, ambassadors, celebrities, and rock stars. The Olissippo Lapa Palace management and staff have charmed their guests with unsurpassed service, stately design, enticing cuisine, and an excellent location. Furthermore, if you book the Lapa Palace through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts or Leading Hotels of the World, you can collect rewards. But most importantly, my family loved the hotel, and I hope that you enjoy it too.
Olissippo Lapa Palace Location
The Olissippo Lapa Palace towers atop Lapa Hill in a quiet neighborhood among embassies and consulates. From the Palace, you will see Lisbon’s terracotta roofs as well as the gardens, pool, and Tagus River. It’s a short drive to Belém and about a twenty-five-minute walk to the Tagus River Promenade. Additionally, if you walk you should remember that you will be navigating hills. When you return to the Lapa Palace hotel, you will trek up steep slopes.
Olissipo Lapa Palace Booking
As previously mentioned, the Olissippo Lapa Palace is one of the Leading Hotels of the World and also participates in the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. What does this mean to you? If you belong to one of these programs, when you book their hotels you will receive perks, when available, like early check-in and free room upgrades. Other amenities include free breakfast for two, a hotel credit, late check out and complimentary WiFi. Also, you can use points to book with Fine Hotels and Resorts and Leading Hotels of the World, and that will save you money.
A representative from American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts found the Olissippo Lapa Palace for us and booked our rooms. Furthermore, they found our hotels in three of the cities that we visited in Portugal.
Lapa Palace Staff
When we arrived at Lisbon Airport, we had to call the Lapa Palace and ask the receptionist if she could send someone to pick us up. We were faced with an unexpected challenge, and if not for her help, our trip would have begun on a stressful note. I will explain at the end of this post.
Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel
Within fifteen minutes, a black SUV arrived at the airport to collect us. We loaded our bags in the car and headed toward the hotel. We wound through the streets of Lisbon and wedged down narrow cobblestone alleys with vehicles parked on one side. Though we often rent a car when we travel, we were happy that we weren’t driving the streets that tapered into thin passageways.
As we approached the Olissippo Lapa Palace hotel, we drove past a black wrought iron fence topped with pointed finials, and then we turned in the open gate. A black L embellished the mosaic tile in front of the hotel, and the light peach Lapa Palace rose before us.
Lapa Palace Lobby
We slid out of the car, and the bellman loaded our bags on his cart, and we headed through the front door to check-in. Lights glinted off the tile floor causing the lobby to sparkle. In the center of the entrance hall, a table topped with gold vases held twisted vines and green buds. Around the lobby’s perimeter, you could find plenty of chairs arranged for conversation. On the far side, yellow chairs with tables grouped under a flower mural gave the impression that you were sitting on a veranda.
Lapa Palace Booking
We approached the reception desk and happily thanked the staff for the ride to the hotel. The desk clerks smiled and ensured us that they were there to meet our needs. Important to note, everyone spoke English.
It was about 10:30 a.m. and unsurprisingly housekeeping hadn’t serviced our connecting rooms yet. However, the bellman stored our luggage, and the desk clerk directed us down a hill to a restaurant by the Tagus River. When we arrived at the restaurant, it was closed. Though we were hungry, we didn’t care since we were able to grab a glimpse of Lisbon on foot.
With help from Google Maps and Waze, we found an outdoor cafe in the area that served our purposes for a light snack that held us off for our Lapa Restaurant lunch. After eating, we explored our surroundings until the receptionist contacted us to let us know that we could check into our rooms.
We headed up Lapa Hill and back to the hotel.
Lapa Palace Rooms
Luxury Boutique Hotels in Lisbon
As one of the luxury boutique hotels in Lisbon, the Olissippo Lapa Palace comprises one hundred rooms and nine suites. The rooms are designed with authentic elegance and located in three wings: Palace Wing, Garden Wing, and Villa Lapa. Unlike large hotels, boutique hotel room styles are diverse. At the Lapa Palace, you will find art deco, colonial, Algarvian, and neo-classic room decor.
Garden Wing, Palace Wing, Villa Lapa
The Garden Wing consists of pool and garden view rooms located on the first through third floors. For a better outlook, you might want to consider the River View Rooms situated on the fourth through sixth floors. Notably, you can choose a room on the fifth through seventh floors in the Palace Wing for the best scenery. Comparatively, in terms of design, the Palace Wing is traditional, and the Garden and River View Rooms feel modern.
After checking in, the receptionist walked us to our two rooms located on the fifth floor. My husband and I had the king room, and our adult children had twin beds in their place. Our connecting River View rooms were furnished differently with a local flair. We walked out on our balconies that overlooked the garden and pool. Terracotta roofs rolled in the distance and the Tagus River served as background scenery.
River View Room Amenities
Inside the room, on the dark wooden desk, we spotted a gift from the management. It included a bottle of port, two wine glasses, and three custard tarts with a shaker of cinnamon. I already knew that I loved this hotel.
King room furnishings included two small chairs and a table that held a vase of fresh flowers. We also found recently cut plants in a vessel in the bath.
River View Room Bath
The bathroom possessed a luxury of its own that radiated from the marble throughout. Inset azulejo tile over the bath added color and was eye-catching. Not only was the tile lavish, but so were the extras. The lavatory came equipped with a towel warmer, bidet, L’Occitane bath products, and robes and slippers. Other items included double sinks, a hair dryer, and a mirror.
Fine Hotels and Resorts
As mentioned above, I booked the Lapa Palace through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. In addition to the amenities previously noted, we received a $100 spa certificate.
Lapa Palace Breakfast
Included in our Fine Hotels and Resorts booking, Lapa Palace offered a breakfast buffet. The buffet consisted of pastries, fruit, meats, eggs and more. We chose to sit outside in the courtyard that overlooked the gardens at a table covered with a white tablecloth and set with fine silver.
Lapa Palace Hotel Amenities
Guests have their choice of an indoor and outdoor pool. In the summer the poolside Pavillion Restaurant serves lite fare. Other conveniences include a spa, fitness center, event venue, private garage, business center, and boutiques. Also, I can vouch that the Restaurant Lapa and the Rio Tejo Bar are beyond expectations.
We dined outdoors at the Lapa Restaurant overlooking the gardens and pool while we sipped Portuguese wine. Lapa Restaurant serves Mediterranean inspired creations with an Italian influence. Our lunch included soup, salads, shrimp, paella, fish, risotto, beef, and of course dessert. Each dish arrived as an enticing presentation, and we raved over our menu choices. Additionally, the view from the hill and temperate weather significantly added to the ambiance. Consequently, we lingered.
Also important to note, during our meal three servers discretely filled our water and wine glasses ensuring they were never empty. Ultimately, we agreed that the Lapa Restaurant cuisine and experience were exceptional.
Lapa Palace Bar
We loved the Rio Tejo Bar and dining area. It felt sophisticated. Large windows supplied plenty of daylight, and the crystal chandelier and soft piano music added warmth.
When we stopped in the bar for a nightcap, the bartender engaged us in conversation and delivered unique concoctions. Not only was he personable, but he prepared drinks with a magician’s skill.
Equally important, the Rio Tejo Bar serves more than drinks including afternoon tea and light fare.
Luxury Boutique Hotel in Lisbon
In summary, if you are looking for small luxury hotels in Lisbon, the Olissippo Lapa Palace is the place to be. It’s far enough away from the downtown bustle, but it’s also within walking distance or a short taxi ride to restaurants and activities.
Between the chic decor, showstopping dining, and meticulous customer service, the Olissippo Lapa Palace has become one of my top three luxury hotels. I suspect that if you stay at the Lapa Palace, it will become one of your favorite hotels too.
- Unless you are a practiced driver of serpentine backstreets, think twice before you rent a car for city driving. If you decide to rent a car, be aware that some streets are too narrow for an SUV.
- Don’t forget your tennis shoes. Unfortunately, I brought walking shoes when tennis shoes would have offered better support on steep hills.
Please Comment Below
Are you considering a boutique luxury hotel in Lisbon?
What do you think of the Olissippo Lapa Palace?
Do you think that American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts and Leading Hotels of the World are worth your while?
Also, please read about how the Olissippo Lapa Palace staff aided us during the Lisbon taxi strike.
Our family of four took an overnight flight and landed at the Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon. With a five hour time difference and little sleep, we pulled our stacked luggage through baggage claim and exited the Lisbon Airport. Taxis were lined up outside, and drivers held signs. In front of the entrance, cabs were parked bumper to bumper blocking access to the airport. After speaking to a police officer, we learned that the taxi drivers were on strike. Unsurprisingly, it added an unexpected spin to our trip.
No Uber Drivers
We tried to get an Uber, and none of them wanted to approach the airport for fear of violence. Consequently, we pulled our luggage to the airport metro only to find over one hundred stranded people like us waiting in line to buy subway tickets.
When we saw the line, we called the Olissippo Lapa Palace hotel receptionist and asked if she could send a driver. After a short wait, a driver arrived in a black SUV, and we were off to the hotel to begin the first leg of our twelve-night Portugal trip.