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LX Boutique Hotel, Lisbon 

12 Rua do Alecrim
Portugal 1200 017
Tel: 351 21 347 4394
view web site ›'s insider take:

LX brought a much-needed dash of color and fun to the unassuming Cais do Sodré area when it opened in September 2010. The once legendary Hotel Bragança, which for a time housed the famed Portuguese poet and writer Fernando Pessoa, emerged in its hip new incarnation after a $10 million refurb. Old suitcases decorate the 45-room property, and its five floors are named after Lisbon neighborhoods and landmarks. Room size ranges from the Xssential (smallest, with cabin-style bathrooms), to the Xpanded (more spacious) and Xplendid (a striking light-flooded suite, with panoramic river views, a skylight above the bed, and a small terrace). Views also are categorized: Choose from Backstreet, Citylights, and Riverside. Room 51 in the attic has the standout Riverside view, yet even a cheaper Backstreet room has its charms: The wall it overlooks has been cheered up with colorful street art commissioned by the hotel. It's fun touches like this—along with the lines of candles that lead you up to your room come nighttime, personal messages for each guest, and the unique Placebook at the reception (a guidebook made by guests)—that make LX a bit special. The hotel's Japanese restaurant next door, Confraria, has an open kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and breakfasts (at extra charge) in bright surroundings.—Anja Mutić

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
It's not often a hotel emulates its host city—low-key, low-cost, soulful, and adorably yet effortlessly hip—with near perfection. Yet this 45-room property, a $9.7 million redo of the ex Hotel Bragança, achieves just that, facilitated by a clued-in, friendly staff. Situated in the unassuming Cais do Sodré area, it is a stroll down hill from buzzy Bairro Alto, and delivers a rare boon: views of the Tagus River. Rooms are organized by size (Xssential, the smallest units, come with boat-style bathrooms; Xpanded; or the Xplendid suite, with a skylight above the bed and a small terrace sporting gorgeous river vistas), and by panorama (Backstreet, Citylights, or Riverside). Even the snug Backstreet rooms, though skimpy on space and light, face a fun wall color-splashed by commissioned street artists. Small details contribute to the charming atmosphere: candlelit stairs as soon as night falls, and fun messages, old-school suitcases, and books in guest rooms, a homey gesture evocative of crashing at a friend's empty pad. The hotel's Japanese restaurant, Confraria do Sushi, serves its fare all day in a colorful environment. —2011 Hot List

Which room to book: Riverside room 501 in the attic, on the Bairro Alto floor, is a standout for its river and rooftop vistas.

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