Thursday, 29 August 2019

Hop On Hop Off

A simpler, funny and cheaper way to know Lisbon.

We've talked here about what we think is the best way to know the city, but that has its costs...

Fortunately, there are other solutions and the "Hop On Hop Off" tour is when comparing cost and flexibility, the best solution.

This option helps you customize your visit to Lisbon, by allowing you to exit on the any of the many stops along the itineraries and to visit what you wish, for as long as you wish, and then get back to the bus stop and wait for the next one to carry on with the tour.

There are 3 itineraries to choose from: Belém, Oriente and Castelo, all of them quite different and covering most of waht Lisbon has to offer.

All have on thing in common: the departure point Marquês de Pombal. The Belém itinerary goes along the river and has stops in places such as the Coach Museum and the Jerónimos Monastery. On the way back it goes thru the Basilica da Estrela and the Gulbenkian Museum.

The Oriente itinerary covers the newest part of Lisbon Parque da Nações, it stops in the Lisbon Zoo, the Casino and the Oceanarium and on the way back it goes via the river and it stops in the Tile Museum. Last but not least the Castelo route, is the shortest and it stops in the Fado Museum, a very important stop which can't be missed, now that Fado has been considered an "Intangible Heritage of Humanity".

As you can see Hop On Hop Off tours its an excellent solution to visit the city, the price of the tickets range from 15 up to 25 Euros and itineraries can be combined. Tickets are available for purchase with our Concierge.

Good weather is a must to use this service so, summer and spring ate the most appropriated seasons but, even during winter, if it is not raining, the buses are out there waiting for you.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Bar

According to Wikipedia, a Bar is “a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks - beer, wine, liquor and cocktails - for consumption on the premises”.
Well, it’s much more than that isn’t it?
A Bar is where people meet, to talk, to discuss, to celebrate, to cry, but mostly to share their mood, feelings and opinions, with friends or family and sometimes with the Bartender, that “friend/ shrink” that listens to us when no one else does.
That’s why the Bar is a very important part of a hotel, and it can`t be seen by managers as “every hotel has one so we must have one too” or a “cost center”. When we are too busy selling rooms we sometimes forget what to do when the customer is already in the hotel.
A Bar can complete the character of a hotel or be the character itself, it can be its heart and soul. It is very important to create the perfect ambiance where people can feel calmed and relaxed, after a sightseeing day, but at the same time an ambiance where people can feel vibrant to start a party night.
The Bartender is a key element, his knowledge, his patience will provide the client with the confidence and tranquility of a good service. 
That’s why it is important to invest and promote it, to organize events which add value to the client’s stay. Musical events mainly, but there others that can be exploited, like sports events played on a big TV screen.
So, in the end it’s only a matter of vision and determination to grant the clients with experiences they won’t forget.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

The famous 28

One of Lisbon's iconic transports is the Tramway, and Tram 28 is the most famous due to its route. These trams have been around since the early 1900's and still maintain the same charm of the beginning, inspite of the new and modern ticket system.

28 is part of Lisbon's Tram route, and it is mostly used by tourists who wish to experience Lisbon in the most traditional and historical way. It cruises the city throughout narrow streets that are difficult to reach, even by car. It touches a couple of landmarks of Lisbon's history, places such as St. George's Castle, Sé Cathedral and Estrela Church.

The route goes between Prazeres and Martim Moniz and here is where we start our ride. This stop is not far from our Hotel, just a few walking minutes, very easy to get to.

The first meaningful and historical stop is the Church São Vicente de Fora, designed by Fillipo Terzi, its construction started in 1582 and finished in 1627. Then Feira da Ladra where you can find antiques and second hand items.

The Tram keeps rolling down the narrow Calçada de São Vicente until it reaches the Portas do Sol and the belvedere Santa Luzia which enjoys the beautiful sights of the Tejo river and from where you can simply get to  St. George's Castle.

The next stop is Sé Cathedral a landmark of Lisbon's foundation after the conquest to the Moorish. Downhill and pass St. Antonio's Church and through Downtown Lisbon rebuilt after the great earthquake of 1755.

Now, it will start climbing another hill to the Chiado District where you can find Café Brasileira and S. Carlos Theatre continuing through Camões Square and then Calçada do Combro, where you will find the access to the Bica lift.

The ride continues through narrow streets of simple houses until it reaches the National Parliament in São Bento. Now, it is time to climb the Calçada da Estrela and on the top you may see Basílica da Estrela a landmark built in the XVIII century.

The route is now near its end, through the fancy district of Campo de Ourique until the last stop in front of Prazeres Cemetery.

As you can see a ride that you can't miss, with a piece of advice: watch out for pickpockets. Unfortunately, they exist and are present on this Tram. Don't let them ruin a perfect ride.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Lisbon Zoo

With 135 years, Lisbon’s Zoo was the first park in the Iberian Peninsula to have fauna and flora. Hosting two thousand animals from 300 different species, Lisbon’s “Noah’s Ark” plays an important role in the protection of endangered species and their habitats.

Lisbon’s Zoo is one of the world’s most important parks with one of the largest animal collections and it centers most of its activity in animal protection and reproduction.

Thru daily presentations, visitors can watch, from a short distance, species from all over the world and be amazed by its curiosities.

A visit to the Zoo offers an unforgettable experience: a ride in the cable car; a visit to the “Quintinha” (a small farm dedicated mainly for children) where you can find domestic animals; a surprising passage thru the Reptile House and finishing with a Dolphins’ presentation.

By visiting Lisbon’s Zoo you’re contributing to its mission to develop and promote a zoological and botanical park, as preservation, reproduction, and reintroduction of endangered species center, through scientific studies and environmental enrichment programs.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Ginjinha

Ginjinha is one of the most Portuguese typical drinks and today, we’ll introduce you to it. Present in every market or any typical tavern, it has its “hotspots” in Rossio Square.

The morello (or sour) cherry is the fruit of the morello tree (Prunus cerasus L.), which belongs to the same species of the cherry tree (Prunus avium L.). Although from distinct species, the fruit of both trees have great similarities, the morello cherry is more acidic than the cherry which is sweeter.

The morello tree had its origin in the Southwest Asia but was brought by the Romans to various places of their empire.

In Portugal, there are written references to its presence since, at least, the 1st century A.D.. In the 15th century, the use of the morello cherries was already very common in our country, either for fresh consumption or for medicinal applications. In the 18th century, due to conventual recipes, a handmade drink of morello cherries dipped into brandy started to be marketed. This experiment recipe later evolved into the well-known ginjinha (little morello, in Portuguese).

Nowadays, ginjinha is a liqueur obtained through the maceration of the morello (sour) cherries with sugar and aguardente (a Portuguese brandy), without preservatives. But still, it is frequently flavored
with other ingredients such as cinnamon stick or vanilla. It has a red or ruby color, it is fruit-scented, with velvety and sweet or bittersweet intense flavor.

With an alcohol content of around 20%, it ought to be savored at a temperature of about 10°C, as a digestive, or simply whenever you feel like it.


The ritual of drinking this liqueur is very simple as you can either have it without the morello cherries, "ginjinha sem elas” (ginjinha without them) or with the morello cherries, "ginjinha com elas” (ginjinha with them).

Like other fado singers, the eternal Amália Rodrigues dedicated a fado song to ginjinha, praising it. It is a typical product of some Portuguese regions such as Serra da Estrela and Algarve, with a higher reputation in the regions of Óbidos and Alcobaça. In Lisbon, ginjinha is especially popular and it is one of the capital’s ex-libris.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Lisbon’s Viewpoints

Bathed by the Tejo River, Lisbon was built on hills during 2000 years and on top of each hill a different perspective of the city.

On each hill, you will find a viewpoint with its own history but with the same finale... our beautiful city: Lisbon!

The only man-made viewpoint is the Santa Justa lift, which was built by a student of Gustave Eiffel and offers views of St. George's Castle and the "Baixa Pombalina".

St. George Castle's viewpoint is probably the best sight of the city: you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Tejo River all the way to the bridge and, on the opposite side, a beautiful view of the downtown area up to the Parque Eduardo VII.

Another famous viewpoint is the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, with a perfect view of the river and harbor.

Moving up in the city you will find São Pedro de Alcântara, which you can reach by taking the Glória lift, and that allows you to enjoy views of St. George's Castle and of the Avenida da Liberdade.

On the opposite side, it is possible to find the Senhora do Monte and Graça's viewpoints, hidden behind the castle and from where you can see the Bairro Alto district and Martim Moniz.

These are only some of the options. There are other wonderful places to visit such as Penha de França, Monte Agudo and Parque Eduardo VII.

On our App, you will find a Route that will help on your visit

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Lisbon Leading Golf Destination

The Sun is shining, the sky is light blue and you have green trees shaken by a small breeze but not enough to spoil your stroke, this is just the right scenario for a perfect Tee.

At the end of the day, you return to the hotel and guess what? You are in downtown Lisbon, surrounded by history and culture, just a few walking minutes away from a couple of the most well-known Cafés and Restaurants. Impossible, you may say! Not really, let me tell you why:
Lisbon is not known as a primary Golf destination, but according to a survey made in 2018 by the Lisbon Tourism Council, for 49,3% of the enquired, Golf is the reason they’ve decided to visit Lisbon.

There are several courses available in Lisbon or in the surrounding areas, with easy and quick access by car. This way, instead of staying confined to the resort facilities you can have the best of two worlds and enjoy the pleasure of golfing and still feel the bubbling of a cosmopolitan city.

Here are a few examples of Golf Courses, just at hand:

Quinta da Marinha

The Golf Course at Quinta da Marinha has 18 holes with 5.870 meters of unadulterated nature surroundings and major challenges. Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Senior, this par 71 has great views to the Atlantic Ocean and Sintra Mountains. The area, Lisbon Golf Coast, won the IAGTO Award in 2007 - Best Established Golfing Destination Europe.

Paço do Lumiar 

Designed by an American architect, Gary Grandstaff, Paço do Lumiar is a 9 holes Golf Course designed as a challenge for the better player while remaining great fun for all the family. Huge U.S.G.A. tees allowing for constant repair on our 7 par three and 2 par four. Greens designed for any top-rated golf course, and all of this right in the middle of Lisbon!

Aroeira

At only 30 minutes’ drive from the Lisbon center, located on the other margin of the Tagus River, with an extremely mild climate, allowing to play golf along all the year, is Aroeira Country Club with 2 fields with 18 holes which is considered by experts, as one of the best Golf Complexes of Europe. Aroeira "I" was designed by Frank Pennick one of the most well-known and famous Golf fields architects, who achieved here a real masterpiece, to reach, in an exemplary way the requisites of a championship golf with the spontaneous and savage nature harmony which shelters and surrounds it.
This is just a small hint of what Lisbon has to offer.