Arrival/Check-In: We pulled into the vast main entrance of The Phoenician a little after 8 p.m. The street lamps offered a glimpse of the exquisite landscaping and expansive grounds of the property. At first it felt like a large, gated community with multiple buildings and driveways, a bit overwhelming for a weary traveler. But before I had to choose a route, I was asked to stop at a small gatehouse where staff directed me to the main lobby and called ahead to let them know I had arrived. A valet took my car, and I was in my room within minutes.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
Arrival/Check-In: I arrived at the newly opened James Royal Palm late in the evening following a cross-country flight from Los Angeles. At that late hour, other guests were enjoying cocktails at the James Club, the lobby lounge, as I admired the interior design created by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio. The décor maintained historical touches including the original green glass reception desk, now used as a coffee bar, and porthole windows. Before I could take it all in, I was quickly assisted and directed to my room.