Ritz Four Seasons, Lisbon

By Linda Coffman

One of Lisbon’s most magnificent vistas is enjoyed from the crest of the elegant Parque Eduardo VII and the tranquility of the lush park is an idyllic setting for the posh Ritz Four Seasons Hotel. After a swift post-cruise check in, we settled into newly redecorated executive rooms with majestic views of the city, St. George’s Moorish castle, Parque Eduardo VII, and the river Tagus—all from our private balcony.

Room décor styles vary, but all have high, high ceilings and a wall of glass, making them bright and cheery. The pièce de résistance are marble bathrooms with tub, separate shower, and fluffy terrycloth robes and towels, including washcloths—fresh ones twice a day. A lighted mirror, hair dryer, and luxury toiletries round out the amenities, along with enough room to really spread out and enjoy such sybaritic facilities. And hold on to your hats, the mini-bar included an ice bucket that was replenished two times each day. 

Ritz Four Seasons, LisbonWinding down a vacation isn’t something to look forward to, but a couple nights at the Ritz gave us the chance to see Lisbon at our own pace and equaled our cruise in terms of service and cuisine. In case shopping for delicate Portuguese filigree jewelry and haute European fashions didn’t burn off enough calories, spend some time working out in the complimentary fitness center on the top floor and enjoy the panorama below.

Room service was a delight; promptly delivered on a cart by a smiling gentleman who was only too happy to serve it on the balcony for Madame to take advantage of the view. Ah, what pampering!

Meals en suite didn’t hold a candle to the Ritz’s fashionable Varanda Restaurant. It’s readily apparent why this is the favored eatery of Lisbon businessmen for the breakfast buffet or luncheon with associates. After dark, the Varanda is the “in” spot for romantic and intimate dining. Don’t see what you want on the menu? No problem. Amiable waiters delivered anything we craved, whether it was on the menu or not. Leave room for a sinful dessert, though—they will tempt you until you relent.

They just don’t build hotels like this any more—a sumptuous lobby and huge “landings” with sitting areas on each floor are as much trademarks of a gracious hostelry as the overwhelming hospitality and discreet service. No tripping over housekeeping carts in these wide, wide hallways.  

All good things must come to an end and, to ease our entry back into the work-a-day world, we began waking up to the sound of our clock radio, checking our voice mail from one of two telephones in our room, and taking advantage of access to a fax or modem.

All this luxury comes with a price… but as part of a cruise package it’s surprisingly affordable. Live it up! Why should The Rich & Famous have all life’s pleasures?