on November 21, 2009
When we started planning this trip I was not the main planner. Our friend Joe and his brother Jim invited us along so I didn’t have my usual control. Jim wanted to do a tour he saw in a travel magazine. I checked on it but in the end found that I could do better for us by booking the flight myself. Having never been to Lisbon I was having a hard time finding a hotel that excited me. I finally booked us at the hotel that the tour used. I knew what I was doing, it was going to be a tourist class hotel and frankly that didn’t thrill me. Up until the last minute I was looking for what I usually find, a 5 star hotel at a 3 star price. Now that I have a better idea of the lay of the land in Lisbon, next time I will be able to do that but for this trip, tourist class it was.We arrived exhausted from our long flight and were quite shocked to find out there was no room for us. Lucky us, we were taxied across town to a gorgeous hotel for one night and frankly we dreaded coming back. But come back we did and we were shown to our new rooms. Ugh , after the previous place this was pretty grim. We had twin beds with checked bedspreads, all the wood in the room was blond. It looked exactly like what I had anticipated. It was however clean and we had a nice bathroom and a TV. Our room looked out onto the square in front of the hotel, not a bad view but the guys had hit the jackpot, their room had views of the castle, lucky guys. At night we would go to their room to get a gorgeous view of the illuminated castle. The hotel has two restaurants. One is on the top floor and offers views of the castle. We did try to get in their one night but we got almost the same reaction that we got many years ago on the train to Salzburg when that woman wanted to know if we were first class. The maitre de basically told us to come back a lot later and he gave us such a look, we were hysteric laughing when we got back in the elevator, I don’t think soooo. Breakfast is included in the rate and it is okay. It never varies, every day it is the same thing. Well no once in a while the fruit might change. It is unexciting but for free adequate. Had we not had the fabulous breakfast at the other hotel it might not have seemed so glaringly bad. We actually ate dinner here three times. They have a 3 course dinner daily that was actually a big bargain and not bad. We found the pasta dishes to be by far the best offerings.WiFi is available but not free. You have to buy a card and pay by the hour. There are plenty of tours that you can arrange at the desk. The staff was all nice and very concerned that we never ride the tram and get robbed. Even the doorman always reminded us, it was touching in a way. The trolley stop is right nearby, as are ATMs and restaurants and shops.Overall it was a fine hotel in a very convenient location, no luxury but we slept well and if the elevators are painfully slow we got exercise on the stairs.
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