Located in Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade, arguably Lisbon’s main street, Hotel Valverde is small in size (only 25 rooms), but as they say, great things come sometimes in small packages.
The Hotel Valverde in Lisbon opened in 2014 and has collected a very significant amount of accolades and prizes – and I had to experience it myself. For 4 days, it was my home away from home in Lisbon.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
I organised my stay via email and did not make any specific requests besides informing them I would be checking in after 10pm on my arrival day, due to a late flight into Lisbon.
– The entrance and outside
I arrived late at night and obviously did not take any photos then – and I have to say, I was surprised to see a doorman outside potentially waiting for me. And worth noting that if you have luggage, you will need some help as a flight of stairs awaits on arrival (so not ideal if you have special needs).
That said, the entrance is really elegant and you get a taste of that is to come. And if you had any doubt you were in Lisbon, the tiles would take it away right there and then.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
I assume I was the last person checking in for that day, so I was asked if I was ‘Mrs. O’Reilly’, to which of course I said yes to. I quickly filled in the check-in information, provided passport details and credit card and was handed my key to the room.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
I was, for the reasons mentioned above.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I had no idea which room I was supposed to have. I stayed at room 201, a deluxe double during my stay.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room?
I accepted assistance as I really did not fancy taking it up the stairs (and I had a fair bit of luggage). It was actually taken to my bedroom whilst I checked in, for which I was grateful.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
Wifi was free of charge and I was told how to login, which was pretty straightforward.
Getting to the room
The hotel is quite small and you see immediately its interior design is part of the experience. Dark walls, low lighting, gorgeous wallpaper and carpets… I did like what I saw.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
I had seen photos of the rooms before, and I knew that each room is completely different to the other, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I loved the colour scheme and the furniture – everything felt very Portuguese in a way, yet super modern.
I loved that I couldn’t hear any noise – and this is particularly important as my room faced Lisbon’s main street.
– Welcome amenity
I had a large bottle of still water, some plums and a handwritten note by the general manager (who, full disclosure here, I have known for over 10 years, ‘from my previous life’ – but had actually not seen her in as many).
– The bedroom
I really liked the design and decor of the room – and I loved the black electric sockets and switches. Very interestingly, in Portugal (and I would say in Southern Europe), these are a huge part of an interior design project. I say this because my mother has always been obsessed with them in our homes and I am too, including in mine in the UK. Anyway, I loved them.
There was a seating area with a table, as well as a working desk with appropriate lighting.
– The bed
I had the bed all to myself as Mr. O could not join me on this occasion, but I must say, I did not love the pillows – I felt they were way too small (and the pillowcases were also strangely folded in half). As I was alone, I was able to use the other 2 (and I am sure I could have asked for more), but it still wasn’t brilliant. One (or 2 in this case) of the pillows was square which is not a ‘normal’ Euro preference – and to give you an idea, mine at home at a meter wide almost.
The bedding was lovely and so was the mattress.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
All good here in this department.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
There was none docking station, but there were plugs next to each side of the bed, as you can see from the photos above.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes – but did not use the bathrobe. I liked that the slippers were grey and instead of the usual white and also went very well with the decor.
– Coffee and Tea
I did not find any – but nor did I ever use one in any hotel room in the world. I know many readers cannot live without them, hence why I always take note.
– Free bottled water
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
I was surprised to see TAP Portugal’s inflight magazine there (quite unusual and a good marketing trick). I also had a very good shopping guide and some books.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
Absolutely. And gorgeous black ones.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
The bathroom was really nice and I do not think my photos do it justice. You know these photos have to be taken on arrival or it will never be the same.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
The bathroom had a main room with a single sink, bathtub and a fantastic separate shower, and a separate mini room with a loo and bidet. Very Portuguese and a very welcome sight.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
I had two sets of towels and in true Portuguese tradition, they were excellent. One thing my country does very well is bed linen and towels and I was delighted by the hotel’s selection.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
I did not recognise the brand of toiletries – it is Italian and exclusive to the hotel in Portugal. I had no problems with the shower gel (smelled lovely), but I did not have a chance to try the shampoo and conditioner whilst at the hotel (why? 10 Euro blow dries at one of Lisbon’s top hair salons next door. Exactly). I did however bring one set home just to try it, and I personally did not like the shampoo and the conditioner. Very personal choice here.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
All I could need was neatly organised and hidden in very nice containers.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
There was what looked like a very modern hairdryer in the wardrobe, but I did not use it.
I had not planned to eat at the hotel at all except for breakfast, but I felt so comfortable, I really wanted to spend some more time there – so I shared a lovely tapas meal with my mother and sister. And a glass of wine or two.
Bar, Living Room & Patio
As you can imagine, with 25 rooms, there is only one restaurant. But you also have a living room and a reading room which were super quiet and very comfortable.
I saw guests reading books and I actually thought ‘how nice’.
But I am saving the best for last – which is the lovely outdoor patio the hotel has. It has a heated pool (which is more of a feature as there really isn’t space for sun loungers, so do bear that in mind), and many seating areas – some very reclusive. I wasn’t expecting to find such a quiet place in Lisbon’s busiest street, but there you go.
I enjoyed a night cap outside every night and thought the service was excellent.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
The wifi was great and only 1 login was needed.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
I have to say, the service was impeccable. Really really friendly and so personable. I was expecting very good service (which doesn’t scream Portugal), but it was even better than I thought it would be and that actually made me very happy. I am one of Portugal’s biggest fans and critics as you know.
I took a pair of Jimmy Choos which had had an accident in London (and having them mended them here has proved a nightmare) and I decided to see if they could sort it out for me – Portugal has great cobblers and there is a great one around the corner from the hotel (I used to work exactly across the road from the hotel, so know the area reasonably well). My shoes were ready in 36 hours (which was a great feat) and, wait for this, cost 20 EUR. In London I was given a quote of £200 and 2 months which didn’t seem right. Shoes are perfect, staff were really really good and if you have any shoes that need mending, I would suggest you brought them with you and have them fixed whilst in Lisbon. You may think I am joking, but I am not!
Bang on Avenida da Liberdade which is great base location to explore the city. It is home to most of Lisbon’s ever-increasing designer shops and I may have to confess to some indulgence during my stay.
Rooms cost from 225 EUR per night.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
– Would I stay again?
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Hotel Valverde during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.