Finally I get to share with you my Postcard from the AMAZING Corinthia Hotel Lisbon. It took me a minute to figure out how I was going to capture this heartwarming experience in a single image to open this post. But then I remembered that my first wow impression of this exquisite five-star hotel, happened when I opened the curtains in my room (see below), and saw this glorious view of the city from my window. I knew I had to portray the wonderful cityscape in her chic, wide-leg pants...
So here is the thing my friends, I want to get really real with you about this hotel experience, because it was unlike any trip I have ever been on. Corinthia Lisbon makes it their mission to show you not only an impeccable stay at their hotel, but ALSO the very best of what this city has to offer. So if you are wanting to go to Lisbon and leave feeling like you dove right into the heart of the city, look no further than this hotel.
When I first arrived at my room, my dining table was adorned with a beautiful fruit tart and welcome letter from the sweet general manager Roderick Micallef (see above). Almost immediately after settling in, the hotel's pr manager Maria Galante, aka the heart & soul of Hotel Corinthia Lisbon, whisked myself and my travel mates down to the SPA for an aromatherapy massage to get us back in balance after our flight from NYC. And from there we got dressed and ready to head into the city for our first day of adventures...
We started off in the very cool LX Factory area where we had lunch at A Praca restaurant (see below).
Almost immediately I started to feel the vibes of the Lisboa way of lifeeee. A little red sangria with our lunch, and some amazing majestic tunes floating across the restaurant, made NYC seem like a distant memory. After finishing our delicious meal of traditional Portuguese fresh fish and tapas cuisine, we headed out to the streets of this neighborhood to explore...
We happened upon this amazing labyrinthe bookstore, Ler Devagar, (see above) and of course I waited until the perfect moment when all the pathways cleared to take this photo ;p!!
From there we ventured to Mercado da Ribeira (see above), Lisbon's main food market since 1892, which was reinvigorated in 2014 when Time Out Magazine transformed the space into a foodies paradise.
We got so lucky with the gorgeous weather from the minute we arrived. All the incredible pastel colored buildings just glistened in the sunshine. Above is a view of the stunning Rua Augusta Arch and below is the view when you climb to the top!! FYI, Lisbon is packed with the most ornate architecture; with every turn of the corner, you get to discover a new jewel.
By this time our jetlag was starting to kick in so Corinthia Lisbon lead us on an adventure up Tram 28 for a pre-dinner drink in Alfama. From here you could see all the breathtaking views over the city (see below).
After we were properly sun-kissed and blissed, we were ready for our mouthwatering dinner at Corinthia's Tipico Restaurant. I can still remember the taste of that citrus glazing the fresh octopus salad and wait...now my stomach is growling!! I fell fast asleep that night with visions of Lisbon racing through my mind.
Day 2 was packed with fashion-art inspiration which began after breakfast in the super luxe Executive Club Sky Lounge. The Corinthia organized for us to meet with local designers and concept store owners to get a real sense of the creative scene in Lisbon. You can imagine how utterly thrilled I was to wake-up and learn that my only responsibility for the day was to meet with local Portuguese artisans.
Our first appointment was with jewelry designer Valentim Quaresma who makes these extraordinary clear resin "ice" chokers you can see me modelling above. I was soooo blown away by the ingenuity and originality of his pieces that I immediately wanted to draw them, paint them, wear them, hold them..
And then of course when we visited the handsome and talented shoe designer Luis Onofre in his namesake boutique (see below), I wanted to draw, paint, wear, and hold all of his delectable shoe creations too!!
After all the purchase fantasies, we headed over to this SUPER cute and unique restaurant called Pharmacia (below), where there is a prescription for eating and drinking and enjoying your damn self!! For all my foodies who are reading this, you must, must go here to get a fun/refreshing take on traditional Portuguese cuisine.
After a couple "placebo" drinks, we ventured off to Lisbon's supremely elegant and trendy neighborhood called Chiado. Old world charm seeped through every floor to ceiling tiled building and wooden arched cafe here...
Every store and facade is sooo charming in Chiado, you almost feel like you are walking through a movie set. The only way to go up from here was to visit our last designer meet-up at the uber cool Concept 39a store.
This place was brimming with inspiration, from the neon light entry to the full wall mural, and impeccably curated Ibiza collection with Quay sunnies to boot (see above).
Naturally after all the incredible sensory intake, we decided a late afternoon coffee overlooking the 25th of April Bridge at Rio Maravilha, was due! How cool is their version of Cristo Redentor as a multi-colored bare-bummed lady?! To finish the day, we had the most amazingggg diner at Chef Jose Avillez's MiniBar. Talk about culinary inventiveness - I think I was so dumbfounded by the meal that I forgot to take pictures of all the epic food I was consuming!!
Day 3 started with a bright and early visit to the gorgeous Jeronimos Monastery. I can't begin to tell you how much Lisbon completed exceeded my expectations on architecture. I just marveled over the magnificent detail and sophistication of this amazing building (see above and below).
From there we popped into this chic, contemporary art gallery-meets-coffee shop called Espelho de Agua for a morning cappuccino followed by my first ever Pasteis de Belem!! And let me just say that a little dash of cinnamon and sugar in combination with the warm egg tart, feels like a slice of heaven in your mouth!! You really must try the original to know just HOW good this is...
From there we started our first journey outside the city to enjoy a lunch of fresh fish in the beach paradise known as Cascais village. We ate at the most marvellous Furnas do Guincho to the sound of waves crashing on rocks and birds dancing in the sky. Below is a photo of Siobhan, myself, and Bianca soaking up the coastal vibrations.
And below here you can see the traditional boiled shrimp we ate to kickstart our meal!! After a round of carpool karaoke (there was quite literally a microphone in our vehicle) we headed to the magical town of Sintra to explore the picturesque village and the jaw dropping Palacio da Pena which you can see below.
Palacio da Pena is quite honestly one of the most mind blowing and impressive UNESCO world heritage sites I have ever seen. It's exemplary of the exotic tastes of Romanticism, but also stands as an incredible artistic example of admiring, not just tolerating, other religions and races. After such a special day, we finished off with dinner at Corinthia's Hotel Tempus Lounge Bar. The amazing thing about this property is that despite it being world class five-star, the friendliness of the staff and guests makes it feel like home.
Our final day was maybe the most memorable for me, beginning with a yoga class in the hotel spa, and then quickly escalating to a helicopter, I repeat HELICOPTER, ride to lunch on Herdade da Comporta beach!! At one point we got so low while we were flying that we were 2 meters above the sand and sea. Lisbon Helicopters provided such an exquisite service that I'm still dreaming about it to this day.
Below you can see my view from the front seat - just wow!! Then to top it all off we ate lunch at the scrumptious SAL Restaurant right on the water. We enjoyed a different wine with each course and danced to Jamiroquai floating in through the speakers.
When we returned to the hotel I was heartbroken over the thought of leaving. Above you can see the view from Corinthia Lisbon and the glow of the city reflecting on my skin. I grew so close with the 5 women I was traveling with that I couldn't bear the thought of saying goodbye. Fortunately, we had one last adventure in store for us at the hotel that evening.
In addition to an epic finale meal in the Executive Club Lounge, Corinthia organized a Port wine workshop by the Tempus Lounge Bar Manager Nelson Antunes (see below). He is an award winning mixologist and such a sweet soul. As an artist it was so beautiful to see him create cocktails with such passion and heart. My travel mates and I stayed up talking until we couldn't keep our eyes open which was a testimony to how spectacular this trip truly was.
I would like to express my deepest and profound gratitude to Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, Maria, Roderick, Bianca, Karen, United Airlines, and the Bradford Group for inviting me on the trip of a lifetime. My head and heart are overjoyed with what I experienced during those days in Lisbon. Corinthia, you truly are in a league all your own.
Until next time...