Bucking the trend for globalisation, Lisbon remains resolutely Portuguese, with its trams and tiled façades. But interwoven with these charms is a new breed of Portuguese hotel that offers immersion in the soul of the city from an as-yet-unseen level of authentic luxury. at Santa Clara 1728
(8 santaclara1728.com), six rooms are housed in a skilful blend of 18th-century walls and 21st-century design, which stands atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills. The work of architect Manuel aires Mateus, this is the fourth property he has designed for owner João rodrigues, after their initial Casas na areia in Comporta was chosen to represent Portugal at the Venice Biennale in
2010. Furniture comes from Carl hansen or aires Mateus. Lighting is by davide groppi and beds are from B&B Italia. But best of all are the huge
stone bathtubs in which you can soak at night while watching the moon dapple the dome of the national Pantheon. ornamental original stucco work and early 20th-century blue-and-white tiles decorate the two royal suites in the
18th-century Palacio Verride (8 verridesc.pt/experience/), which has been painstakingly restored. The 16 other rooms are clad in silk wallpapers from de gournay or raw linens. a 360-degree view of the capital can be experienced from the rooftop, a little less from the lovely pool beneath. The hotel’s detail-driven, personalised service promises to be the best in the capital.
running from one side of Portugal to the other, the vast alentejo is a region of full-bodied red wines, olive trees and medieval whitewashed villages. In coastal Comporta, the landscape is all green rice fields and endless beaches, while the region’s interior is about dolmens and oak groves, rural simplicity and unexpected artisanal talent. now
though, just as in Lisbon, a new level of luxury has arrived. What started as 14 simple rooms has blossomed into Sublime Comporta (8 sublime
comporta.pt), a go-to destination for Portugal’s cognoscenti and foreign celebrities alike. The addition of 10 two-bedroom villas with private pools provides the ultimate escape. undoubtedly the country’s best heritage project, São Lourenço do Barrocal
(8 barrocal.pt) is a 19th-century farm brilliantly converted by Portuguese architect eduardo souto de Moura. Whitewashed stables and outbuildings have perfectly preserved exteriors, but step inside and authentically rural luxury prevails. The six-roomed Casa Azimute
(8 casa-azimute.pt) captures the essence of the alentejo, despite its contemporary structure and varnished cement floors. Locally woven rugs and hand-painted tiles differ in each bedroom, while huge windows frame the adjoining whitewashed farmhouse, and in the distance, beyond the pool, the walled city of estremoz.
the beach location of sal restaurant near comporta