Hotel Palacio do Governador

“A slow love affair... the perfect marriage of history with comfort!” - Reviewed by Lisa

How to describe a hotel that I had driven past often but had no desire to actually visit… I hate to start with a negative but sometimes the greatest love affairs are a little slow moving at first.

I already loved the Belém area. What a few decades ago was a small village on the outskirts of Lisbon is, today, almost part of the city center. There are certainly more impressive monuments and museums crammed into this spectacular riverfront Lisbon neighborhood than any other.

I already loved that visitors from “the city” would come out to Belém for a day trip (the city is exactly 12 minutes away by cab!) and go back at night leaving the main street as I would have imagined it would have been a few years back – just for locals, quiet and village like.

Once I got past the hotel’s very boxy exterior and made it across the centuries-old foyer (which has been excavated to display the 1st to 5th-century Roman ruins below its newer foundations) and into the bar, I started to relax. With an excellent glass of Vinho Verde in hand, I began to see the hotel’s interior charms with a new set of eyes.

A week later, having barely been able to rouse myself from my super-comfy bed to enjoy exceptionally-great breakfasts, I swam in both indoor and outdoor pools, sunned myself on the terrace and chatted and laughed with the super-friendly staff. I totally fell in love with this blue and white doyenne!

 

EMPHASIS ON GASTRONOMY

The dramatic navy-and-white dining room just beckons for a special dinner or lunch. With French doors opening to the pool patio, it is also a lovely breakfast retreat offering indoor and outdoor dining.

The sumptuous breakfast buffet features many types of local breads, pastries, jams, and other excellent regional products.  Hot dishes are in abundance as is the cold, dry sparkly wine – which turns any weekday morning mealtime into a special occasion.