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Friday 15 April 2011

Sluttery Travels: Lisbon's Internacional Design Hotel

Mini-breaks. Even the word is pretty satisfying to say, in a Bridget Jonesy kind of way. We're heading towards two four day weekends in a row and I don't know about you, but I'm planning on being far, far away when the madness of the Ro**l We**ing hits. But where do you go when you've already checked out Paris, Amsterdam and all the usual places?

Last week I went to Lisbon and I'm so evangelical about it that I want to crown it something silly like 'the thinking lady's Barcelona'. It's small, pretty, extremely chilled out and even the fanciest cocktail bars charge 5 euros for a mojito. We stayed in the Internacional Design Hotel, which is located on the Lisbon equivalent of Trafalgar Square. But instead of stepping out into pools of vomit and pigeon poop, here it just means you've got decent transport (although some of the local bars are on the more dubious side of tack). A tall slim townhouse, the Design Hotel has a very cool concept (just like the name) with plenty of Alice in Wonderland text everywhere...

...and four floors with differently designed rooms. Whether you're into urban (rock-'ard heartless city graffiti), tribe (African-inspired patterns), pop (Warhol-esque pink'n'punk) or zen (classic, Japanesy chill outs), there's a room with your style on it. We had zen, a calm room with enormous fluffy pillows, a balcony looking out over the sunny square, an espresso machine (serving coffee that's as black as night and twice as strong) and a bath. A bath! Joy.

But the rooms pale into comparison with the wonder that is the first-floor dining room. On checking in, we got two free drinks tokens (nice touch) so could have a very, very late night tipple (bars here don't get going til 2am - yikes) a mere stumble from our bed. Then breakfast. Served between the slightly unreasonable 7am and the very reasonable 11am, it's a breakfast of canapes! Including warm mini custard tarts! Please note: this is an artistically composed shot of my pre-breakfast starter. It all got a bit piley after this.

What more can I say? Fluffy pillows, a sunny pretty city and mini custard tarts: this hotel is awesome.


  1. You went to Lisbon and drank mojitos!? Please tell me you had some caipis ;-)

  2. Of course! But unfortunately I'm not the caipirhana (I can't spell it!)'s biggest fan... :)


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