Britania, Lisbon, Portugal ****

Q: What is it? A: Located on a backstreet but often rated one of the very best hotels in Lisbon. And this reviewer can just add to the praise!

From the outside it’s hard to tell that the Britania is one of the best hotels in Lisbon.

From the outside it’s hard to tell that the Britania is one of the best hotels in Lisbon.

No doubt the entrance is the most striking feature of the exterior. It’s also one of a few things that would tell the fans of Deco that the Britania is Lisbons only surviving Deco hotel!

No doubt the entrance is the most striking feature of the exterior. It’s also one of a few things that would tell the fans of Deco that the Britania is Lisbons only surviving Deco hotel!

It sure is Deco, but I’m not sure that I like the style that much. Look at that lamp in the corner… Honestly, I just hate that lamp.

It sure is Deco, but I’m not sure that I like the style that much. Look at that lamp in the corner… Honestly, I just hate that lamp.

Bathrooms are a marble thing. In fact it felt like taking a shower in a museum.

Bathrooms are a marble thing. In fact it felt like taking a shower in a museum.

This is Lisbon’s only surviving art déco hotel.
The bad news first: The location. It is is superb if you want to get away from the hotel swiftly. It’s just one minute away from Avenida da Liberdade, the 90 meter wide boulevard with 10 lanes that is the central artery of Lisbon. On the other hand, the location is quite uninspiring. You can forget about nice views and you should expect to fight a civil war for parking spots. Also, on arrival I’m offered a room that has obviously been used by a smoker, despite the fact that the Britania is a non-smoking hotel. Not cool. But then the good stuff starts: This is a 30 room boutique hotel that is also a listed building. It is actually a 1942 original Art Déco masterpiece by Cassiano Branco. Prepare to for what’s almost an overdose of parquet floors, black lacquered wood, shiny chrome and posh marble…

There is a reason why this hotel is rated really, really high…
This hotel has occupied the #1 spot in Lisbon for quite some time now. Why? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The staff. It’s the staff, stupid! They are extremely professional. My ‘Hey, a smoker must have been staying in my room…’ complaint is dealt with in a light-hearted but efficient manner. They are also very friendly, very thoughtful and warm people. Everything, from helping out with medicine for an aching stomach to parking seems to be a light breeze for them.

I would love to hand out the fifth star, but…
…the room contaminated with smoke did put quite a dent in the paintwork. Housekeeping should have pressed the emergency button and sealed it off, if you ask me. So, no fifth star, but a heart-felt, honest recommendation: This is a very, very good hotel. I hereby join the huge choir of supporters on TripAdvisor! For attitude, attention and atmosphere I doubt that you can find any better in Lisbon. Yes, I will stay here the next time I’m in town.
The friendly and helpful attitude extends all the way out through the doors. See the black Ford Focus in the top picture? That’s my rental car. When I was about to take it to the airport to leave Portugal in the wee hours, the young woman manning the front desk followed me out and assisted my maneuvering, making the exit from that parking spot easy as pie. That never happened to me before and to me it’s a sure sign that sometimes the important things won’t come with a price tag. Amazing what a little hand signaling can do, huh?


Hotel Britania
R. Rodrigues Sampaio, 17
1150 Coração de Jesus,
Lisboa, Portugal

+351 213 155 016

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