Situated on Lisbon’s answer to the Champs-Elysees, the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade is one of the most famous hotels in the Portuguese capital. Built in 1933 and completely redesigned by famous architect Pardal Monteiro in the 1950s, it boasts not only one of the most-talked about rooftop bars in the city (Sky Bar), but also a celebrated seafood restaurant (Cervejaria Liberdade), terrace restaurant with views of the River Tagus, heated outdoor pool, new spa and beautiful, lavishly decorated lobby, where modernist works of art sit side-by-side with chandeliers and art deco furniture. Staff are omnipresent and attentive, with the reception, concierge and bellboy all awarded top marks by us.
The Best Room
On check-in, its worth asking to be put in one of the newly renovated rooms, which follow the same purple and silver colour scheme of the rest of the hotel and pinch-me views over the leafy Avenida de Liberdade. Featuring all the classic hotel room must-haves – from a writing desk and chair, comfy beds and flat-screen TV – plus welcome additions, including a bottle of local port wine and a plate of pastries, including the famous pasteis de nata (neither of which lasted very long) - you’ll feel right at home. The bathroom power shower was more than adept at massaging our tired bodies after days spent pounding Lisbon’s seven hills, while the toiletries from Portuguese brand Portus Cale were so good, we did a Ross and ‘took them’ home with us (we’ve no shame… or regrets).
Eating and Drinking
Now usually we aren’t advocates for eating all of your meals at the hotel, but the Tivoli really is a special case. Why? Because you can you have breakfast overlooking the city from the ninth-floor terrace restaurant, where ‘the Portuguese’ breakfast comes with a croque madame AND pasteis de nata; you can while away a few hours over lunch at its stand-out fish restaurant, the New York brasserie-style Cervejaria Liberdade, which specialises in fish which it sources from 800km of local coastline but also offers up a pretty mean steak tartar, whipped up in front of you; and you can complete the culinary whirlwind next door at partner hotel Avani’s Olivier Avenida, where we fine-dined on fois gras, grouper and truffle mash, while our incredibly attentive and knowledgeable waiter waxed lyrical about the ingredients and wine pairings. Suffice to say, we came home a few pounds heavier…
Make the most of the concierge, who can dramatically improve your holiday itinerary with insider knowledge (case in point: don’t ride the popular 28 tram late in the day, no matter how romantic a sunset ride to the castle sounds – it ain’t gonna happen). It’s also worth taking something a little fancier to wear to the Sky Bar, which attracts some of Lisbon’s most well-heeled clientele, not to mention a pashmina in the winter months – it gets deceptively chilly up on the ninth floor.
When To Go
Lisbon is a year-round destination thanks to its mild climate, but make the most of the city and beat the crowds by going slightly off-season, in October – March time. Christmas is also a great time to enjoy the Portuguese capital, with the major shopping streets decked out with lights and trees from mid-November. Who sent snow was prerequisite to a winter break?
How To Book It
Nightly rates at Tivoli Avenida Liberdade start from 195 euros for a Superior double room on a B&B basis.