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HOTEL DA ESTRELA, LISBON, PORTUGAL
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Most visitors to Lisbon stay in the delightful but busy Bairro Alto, Lapa, or Alfama districts, but no one is disappointed when they choose one of the quieter, more intimate neighborhoods—like leafy Campo de Ourique. Here among the trees is a charming 19-room newcomer, run by Portugal's Lagrimas hospitality group to provide hands-on training to students from the hotel school next door. The handsome nineteenth-century palace of the Count of Paraty was most recently a school, and this prior incarnation informs the decor by Miguel Cāncio Martins (who designed Paris's Buddha Bar and Lisbon's Heritage Av Liberdade hotel). The reception desks are vintage stone counters from a chemistry lab. Rooms are hung with antique schoolroom charts and maps, and fitted with monochrome carpeting showing a motif of students' drawings, mathematical equations, doodles and scribbles. Spacious and comfortable, rooms have small desks, big TVs, and beds with upholstered headboards that touch the ceiling. Some showerheads are handheld instead of wall-mounted, but bathrooms are spacious and well lit. A pleasant honesty bar and a good restaurant are welcome on nights when you want to take it easy after a long day of hoofing around this hilly city, and there's also a quiet garden out back.

Which room to book: Go for the fourth-floor rooms with views over the city and the Tagus River.

Hotel da Estrela
Tel: 351 21 190 0100
Doubles: $193

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See more hotels on Condé Nast Traveler's 2011 Hot List.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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