true, lisbon doesn't pop up often on our radar. underservedly so, as it ranks among europe's most interesting cities with a cultural legacy and urban scene all its own. but this time it has caught our attention by way of a new hotel opening in the city's old alfama quarter. known for its winding roads and narrow alleyways with old houses and traditional shops, this is lisbon's historic heart by the sea. smack in the scenic middle of it all lies the memmo alfama, a design hotel with a laid-back and homey feel. the property features just 42 rooms, and is housed in a modern structure that seamlessly blends into the historic neighbourhood. designed by portuguese architects samuel torres de carvalho and joão corrêa nunes, the atmosphere is kept intentionally informal and this is immediately evident upon entering the premises.
a living room-inspired space welcomes guests instead of a traditional lobby with a front desk. it's very much the social heart of memmo alfama, and boasts a concise library, comfy chairs and a pantry perpetually stocked with complimentary home-baked cake. the rooms are everything a modern traveler desires, featuring amenities such as free wi-fi, an led tv, an istation for ipod, ipad and iphone, and a comfy bed clad in egyptian linen. a great bonus are the stunning views of the city and the tagus river. and because lisbon is blessed with sunny weather for most part of the year, an outdoor pool is readily available for a refreshing dip. needless to say, we can't wait to head back to the lusitanian shores! location: travessa das merceeiras 27 [alfama].