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I’ve stayed in countless five-star properties during my travels, but I had never experienced a breakfast quite like the one at The One Palacio da Anunciada, a recently restored 16th-century palace.
An elaborate array of tiny, artfully composed dishes was laid out on a circular bar like jewels in a showroom: creamy Portuguese cheese and ripe cherry tomatoes drizzled with local olive oil; smoked salmon atop a dollop of creme fraiche and generously sprinkled with caviar; and miniature octopus tucked into a bed of herb couscous.
Plates of sweets were piled high, from brilliantly colored macarons and freshly baked bite-size donuts to Portugal’s famous pastel de nata, a rich egg custard tart dusted with cinnamon.
And then there was the grand setting. Formerly the noble rooms, the Condes de Ericeira Restaurant at The One Palacio da Anunciada features high, coffered ceilings adorned with restored, hand-painted frescoes and original gilded mirrors. Tall windows look out over the tranquil, mosaic-tiled inner courtyard, which has a spacious terrace, a burbling fountain and a century-old dragon tree.
The rest of the hotel is equally impressive, with a sweeping stone staircase and original marble floors restored to gleaming perfection. The hotel had a soft opening in February after it underwent a three-year renovation overseen by Chilean design guru Jaime Beriestain, who brought a fresh, modern flair to the historic property. Contemporary furnishings in neutral tones stretch from the modern reception area and ground-level library across the two wings of 83 rooms and suites.
My Grand Deluxe Garden Room, like most in the hotel, overlooked the quiet courtyard garden. All are similarly decorated with light wood floors and white walls accented with blue-and-white ceramic plates. Beds are comfortable, with Egyptian cotton sheets from upscale Spanish brand Casa Bassols, and plugs and USB ports are conveniently located on each side of the bed.
My spacious room had a large bathroom outfitted with pink marble floors, a rain shower, a separate toilet behind a glass door and amenities from skincare company Natura Bisse. (If clients crave a bathtub, book them a Tower or Garden suite.)
Though it was too late in the season to use the outdoor pool, which overlooks the courtyard garden and is open from May to October, I tried out the spa’s heated pool and relaxed in the sauna and sensory shower. There was no time to check out the treatments — which include massages and facials — as I was eager to explore the city.
Fortunately, The One Palacio da Anunciada is ideally situated near many of Lisbon’s major attractions. It’s steps to the lively Rossio Square, surrounded by gorgeous neoclassical architecture, and Avenida da Liberdade, one of central Lisbon’s main thoroughfares, lined with fancy boutiques, restaurants and bars.
In one direction is the ancient neighborhood of Alfama, with steep, winding cobblestone streets packed with charming cafes; in the other is Baixa Chiado, a district known for its shopping and historic sites including the Santa Justa elevator and the Sao Roque church.
I checked in with hotel’s knowledgeable concierge, who mapped out several main attractions and offered tips on area restaurants. He also supplied me with information about a day trip to Sintra, a historic town about an hour’s train ride from the city. Fortunately, the train station was just a five-minute walk from the hotel. I would be heading there the next day — that is, if I could tear myself away from the breakfast spread.
The DetailsThe One Palacio da Anunciada www.hotelstheone.com