Tivoli Avenida Liberdade, Lisbon – hotel review
- Live the high life in Lisbon (and think of Ronaldo)
Ever wondered what it’s like being football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in Lisbon? Well, a stay at the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade is probably the closest us mere mortals will ever come to it. Sadly there’s no guarantee of a six-pack but by pairing dining experiences from top Portuguese chef Olivier da Costa (think Gordon Ramsay, but less sweary) with an overnight stay at arguably the grandest hotel in town, guests can enjoy a truly VIP short break.
Opened in 1933, the Tivoli is a mix of old and new, from its majestic Art Deco lobby to the cutting-edge Sky Bar, which has superb views of the city.
The service was fit for an A-lister; we were collected at the airport by Martim Rodrigues, whose events and personal assistant company Complicity (complicity.pt) is used by the likes of Madonna, John Legend and Italian actress Monica Bellucci. Before he had even pulled up outside the Tivoli’s grand entrance 15 minutes later, Martim had got us on the guest list for the best nightspots and made dinner reservations. He also made it clear that he was at our disposal 24/7.
Da Costa has 11 restaurants, five of which are within spitting distance of the Tivoli — we decided to visit all five in a weekend of gourmet dining.
Our first meal was at Da Costa’s K.O.B (Knowledge of Beef) in the Principe Real neighbourhood, where you order steaks like you’d normally order wine, with country of origin and maturation times on the menu. Dinner was at Yakuza, the chef’s speakeasy-style Japanese restaurant near Bairro Alto.
Saturday night saw us personally hosted by Olivier at his signature restaurant before we were given a prime table and champagne at Guilty, a restaurant-cum-nightclub which only seemed to be getting started at 4am.
Slightly jaded from the night’s antics, we made full use of the Tivoli’s spa the next morning before our flight home.
Our plush superior room overlooked Avenida Liberdade, where there’s a slow buzz of traffic and ambling tourists. It’s Lisbon’s version of the Champs-Elysées: a wide, tree-lined boulevard featuring designer brands and luxury shops.
It’s hard to grumble about an outdoor pool set in a leafy botanical garden, but if you’re visiting in January rather than June a bigger indoor pool would be a bonus. And with a huge rooftop, boasting some of the best views of the city, it’s hard to see why a rooftop pool wasn’t included in the recent refurbishment.
In a nutshell
This is the kind of decadent experience that Ronaldo, a regular at Da Costa’s restaurants, would indulge in (if he wasn’t vexed about his torso).
Details: Doubles from £1,290 for a two-night stay, B&B. Dinner for two at Olivier Avenida around £115, including wine.
Read the original Evening Standard article.
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