Arrival/Check-in: Our TAP flight from Porto brought us to Lisbon well before check-in time. The apologetic receptionist saw that our luggage was swiftly stowed and invited us to have a complimentary drink on the hotel’s top-floor terrace while our room prep was expedited. We had just time to enjoy a glass of wine and the view over the Tagus River before a bellman arrived to escort us to our room. His thorough tour included placement of all the light switches and the location of the complimentary umbrellas. He made his smiling exit before we could reach for euros. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: Our deluxe room was not palatial, but it was bright and beautifully decorated in shades of peach, terra cotta and olive. Glass doors opened onto an iron-grilled demi-balcony. Below, a vintage yellow tram circled busy Praça Luiz de Camões in the heart of the Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s charming old hillside quarter. We wondered if the room might be noisy at night, since this is one of Lisbon’s liveliest areas, but the double-glazed doors sealed out every sound. The room was filled with thoughtful details — ample luggage stands, big closets with plenty of hangers, high-count sheets, soft robes, LCD plasma TV, DVD player, WiFi, mini-bar and safe. The central section of a cleverly designed desk lifted to reveal a large mirror, turning the desk into a vanity. A tall modern lamp illuminated either very well, and an outlet was handy for hairdryer or laptop. Bedside reading lights were well placed, and a comfortable chair faced a small, low table. The blue-and-cream tiled bathroom was large, with a deep tub, shower, French-milled soaps and plenty of thick towels. (29/30)
Services/Amenities: One of the best things about staying at Barrio Alto Hotel is having an inside track for a table reservation at Lisbon’s hottest restaurant, Flores. From the appellation-controlled butter and the amusebouche of skate and ratatouille in fine olive oil to the steaming espresso served with monogrammed chocolates, dinner there was superb, the service flawless. Porco Preto — Portugal’s signature breed of pork — was served with porcini in a semi-architectural cascade as artful as it was delicious. Although Flores is a tough act to follow, we retired to the stylish roof terrace for after-dinner drinks as city lights flickered on. A smart café-bar and a lounge were other options, the latter with music and both with separate public access to preserve the tranquility of the hotel lobby. (40/40)
The Experience:The abundance of bellmen (luggage is whisked off instantly and taxis appear out of thin air), 24-hour concierge and the general air of what-can-we-doto- make-you-fall-in-love-with-Lisbon makes this 55-room boutique hotel a pleasure. The location is central to dining, nightlife and attractions in the center of the city.
BAIRRO ALTO HOTEL
Praça Luiz de Camões 2
Lisbon 1200-243, Portugal
tel 351 21 340 8288
Recently renovated Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa launched its Halona Kai Beer Garden pop-up series, bringing Maui brews to meet Maui views and celebrate the summer season. Sip a cold Maui beer or seltzer while taking in the breathtaking views of the island. The beer garden will be offered three times a week, 5–9 p.m.
Love to laugh and travel? Join Just For Laughs in Cancún presented by Pollen Presents Nov. 3–7. This festival event brings together the relaxing accommodations of a 5-star resort and laugh-out-loud funny comedy sets for a long, unforgettable escape.
A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.
Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville announced the launch of a new resort brand, St. Somewhere. The brand will embody the carefree escapism of the Margaritaville brand, with a luxury twist. Slated to debut in fall 2021, the property will be located on Isla Holbox, Mexico, with other locations to open subsequently.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.