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Lapa Palace, Lisbon 

4 Rua do Pau de Bandeira
Portugal 1249-021
Tel: 800 237 1236 (toll-free)
Tel: 351 21 394 9494
view web site ›'s insider take:

The pink palace set high on a hill in its own gardens—the chosen lodgings of President Bush, Sting, and Cher—remains as extraordinary as ever thanks to good management (it's in the Orient-Express stable) and recent refurbishments. Of the 109 rooms, you really have to get one of the Palace Rooms for the full 18th-century experience. Those in the modern Garden Wing and the more period-appropriate Villa Lapa lack that je ne sais quoi. If your bonus came in big, secure the Tower Room, #701—it has not only a private terrace but also a walkway to a second one, an octagonal tower-top perch just big enough for breakfast. Amenities are all you'd expect, with an outdoor pool in the grounds and an indoor one in the La Prairie (and MAC makeup) spa, with sauna, steam, and gym. Kids are well catered for too, with babysitting service and a playground. Last but not least, this hotel has its own fragrance, the 140-year-old mandarin-violet-cedar Agua de Portugal, legacy of King Louis I's bride, Princess Maria Pia of Savoy.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Built in 1870 as a private residence, this hotel has ornate decor "befitting a true palace," with finely detailed woodwork in public spaces and guest rooms and crystal chandeliers. The hilltop location in the embassy district places it a five-minute walk from the dock; Lapa Restaurant has live guitar music to accompany the Tagus River views and Mediterranean fare such as pork confit with lobster.

(109 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 87.6
  • Design: 91.9
  • Food: 91.9
  • Rooms: 94.6
  • Service: 91.9

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006

Amenities: Pool, Spa

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