Q: What is it? A: A hotel in an old lighthouse building and a new building that doesn’t look like a lighthouse building. Spectacular location. Excellent staff.
It’s quite an unlikely combination.
Take a mansion from the late 19th century. Add a modernist extension, not unlike an old Corbusier concept drawing. Bring in the crème de la crème of the country’s fashion designers plus this months flavor of interior design. Then find yourself a suitable location, like a rocky cape outside an upscale Lisbon suburb. Make sure that guests can feel the spray and mist from crashing waves, (it’s as close to the ocean…) and make sure that there is a lighthouse around, as farol means lighthouse in Portuguese. An unlikely combination and a stellar location.
Honestly, who wants to stay in a ‘design hotel’?
To be honest, it doesn’t look too special. A hotel needs more than Marcel Wanders’ Zeppelin 1 lamp to stand out. If you have been at any hotel in the last decade that have used the word ‘design’ in their presentation, you know what ideas are most often recycled. The Farol Design Hotel are true masters of such recycling. The design is by no means unpleasant, but you shouldn’t arrive and expect something that you have never seen before, although finding Castiglioni’s 1962 ‘Arco’ lamp in a place like this felt like accidentally bumping into an old friend.
Rui saves the day.
Not trying to sound blasé or anything. The first impression wasn’t just very spectacular, (you’d expect hotels putting the ‘d’-word in their name to be something extra). Also, the better of the rooms I was offered had obviously been used by a smoker. Not good. But on one crucial component, the Farol Design Hotel sure delivers: The attitude of the staff. You feel welcome. They are happy to help. They go out of their way to meet your requests. Ka-ching! That’s one star added to what could have been just another hotel. Most impressive is the attitude of a young guy named Rui. He’s so positive that it’s contagious and you feel like the Count of Cabral. Other hoteliers, just come here and watch him work…
I hereby recommend the Farol Design Hotel.
The new wing with the slightly brutal, Corbusier-like look comes with rooms that look just modern. The old building offers high ceilings and exposed beams, (see my pic above). At this place the killer app is called sunset. The view and the location is pretty unique. And Rui is a great guy.
Farol Design Hotel
Av. Rei Humberto, Il De Italia, No. 7