In our Fall 2023 exploration, we turned our attention to one of Lisbon’s most prestigious and exceptionally stylish hotels, eagerly anticipated by travelers. However, the moment we arrived, our skilled driver navigated through the trendy shops, charming storefronts, and fashionable restaurants with a hint of caution, leading us to the almost hidden tunnel entrance that would transport us to the Memmo Principle Real. This secret passage, followed by a steep descent, served as our portal to embark on our Lisbon adventure.
Upon emerging from the tunnel, the captivating city of Lisbon unfolded before us. The Memmo Principle Real, a splendid testament to modernist design conceived by visionary architect Samuel Torres de Carvalho, perched gracefully on a hillside. From this vantage point, the hotel bestowed upon us a panoramic view of the city below, with its iconic red-tiled roofs. It proudly claims its status as Lisbon’s very first five-star luxury boutique hotel, nestled in the thriving heart of the chic Principle Real district.
The hotel’s interiors were thoughtfully crafted to highlight the stunning vistas of Lisbon. They seamlessly fused timeless materials with the allure of nearby regal mansions, all while adding a touch of modern classic style. The use of limestone, marble, and oak in public spaces and guestrooms lent a warm and elegant ambiance. The wooden walls in the reception area, housing the Café Principle Real and the Cocktail Bar, along with the slatted dividers in the guest rooms, exuded a refined charm. The guest rooms themselves served as a sanctuary of indulgence, enhanced by exclusive Hermes amenities that heightened the overall experience.
With only 41 rooms, the Memmo Principle Real exuded an air of exclusivity without an elitist atmosphere. The staff’s dedication was tailored to each guest, ensuring a personalized experience that left an indelible mark.
Dining solo at Café Principle Real was an absolute delight. I found myself seated at a cozy corner table with a perfect view of the entire dining room. The patrons, a delightful mix of locals and fellow travelers, exuded sophistication and style that matched the distant city lights. Dinner became an elegant affair, guided by the culinary artistry of Chef Vasco Lello. His ‘world cuisine’ concept drew inspiration from Portuguese influences spanning the globe, skillfully combining flavors and ingredients from Brazil, Africa, and Asia with local elements and traditional dishes, creating a menu of intriguing modern creations. The thoughtful pairing of each course with a selection of Portuguese wines further immersed me in the rich tapestry of local culture.
As night fell, the dining room transformed with a cascade of hanging lights that cast a captivating shimmer. By day, the panoramic view called out for exploration of all that Lisbon had to offer. Breakfast at the café was a true highlight, with a three-tiered bread and pastry service exuding opulence, while both the made-to-order items and the buffet were equally refined.
The Memmo Principle Real is all about those special, personal touches. Every evening at 5 p.m., an exclusive walking tour of the neighborhood awaited guests, offering a deeper dive into the local charm. Upon entering my room, I received a warm suggestion to garnish the complimentary Porto Tonic Café Colonial with a hint of lime, which turned out to be sage advice.
Welcome to the Memmo Principle Real. Experience the essence of Portugal from the moment you step onto your plane, courtesy of Fly TAP Air Portugal.