Palácio Belmonte is the most veiled secret in Lisbon! History, Architecture, Culture, Sustainable Development... here you will not find a standard accommodation but a single life option!
Classified as National Monument, the most ancient palace in town is built on part of the Roman remains and on the Moorish walls of S. Jorge’s Castle (called "Cerca Moura"). Belmonte offers, on its 3700sqm, 10 exclusive suites, each of them uniquely decorated with Portuguese lush paintings and pieces from the 15th to the 18th century, complimented by contemporary furniture.
Including "one of the 11 most beautiful suites in the World", your attention will be caught by stunning views, tiled rooms, frescos, fabulous terraces, libraries, a black marble swimming pool and a biological garden overlooking the city and the river. While receiving the highest level of service, you will be merged by this deep philosophy of well being, exclusivity, simplicity, natural comfort, intimacy and introspection. Palácio Belmonte is a real alternative way of life... come join us!
A double suite, and our largest, due to the beautiful enclosed winter garden and a terrace on an upper level with an amazing view of the Castelo São Jorge and the River Tagus, this is a very relaxing and romantic suite, with a bedroom, living room with a fireplace and large white marble bathroom.
Total area 162 sqm.
Presidential suite - An extraordinary suite lined with an impressive collection of XVIII century 'azulejo' tile panels and sporting a cathedral ceiling, a living room with a fireplace, a dining room and a queen size half-canopied bed hung with deep red silks. Running along the length of the suite there is a large veranda with a stunning view of the garden and the river beyond, giving the entire suite incredible lighting. It has a most fascinating marble bathroom, and an additional private terrace with a beautiful river view.
Total area 120 sqm.
A double suite with a stunning view to the river and garden and an incredible natural light, the bedroom has original azulejo tile panels by Master Valentim de Almeida as well as original frescoes. There is a very large living room with "caixotão" ceiling, a small kitchen and a terrace.
Total area 90 sqm.
Considered by Condé Nast to be one of the most beautiful suites in the world, this is a 3 level double suite built in one of the 8th century Muslim towers. It has a superb terrace with an expansive view over the Alfama and the River Tagus and a very rare octagonal living room with a high ceiling and original XVIII century azulejo tile panels.
Total area 110 sqm.
Family Suite - A two bedroom suite (two doubles or two twins) with one bathroom and a living room, lined with original XVIII century azulejo tile panels and having low, Arabic vaulted ceilings, creating an evocative atmosphere of past times. View to the lower Patio D. Fradique.
Total area 100 sqm.
Family Suite - A two bedroom suite with beautiful low ceilings (two doubles or two twins - your choice) a living room, a bathroom and one shower room. View to the garden and pool.
Total area 100 sqm.
A peaceful double suite located on the first floor of the western Muslim tower, with incredible Roman ceilings and a marble bathroom, relaxing natural light and pleasant views over our Páteo and Palace.
Total area 45 sqm.
A double suite that transmits a feeling of intimacy and peacefulness, with traditional Portuguese wood ceilings, original XVIII century azulejo tile panels in the hall and the most relaxing view of the sky and Palácio roof tops from the silk draped bed, as well as a little surprise!
Total area 61 sqm.
Our smallest but perfect single suite with a stunning river view. There is a bedroom with high ceilings, an antechamber and a marble bathroom, including a crack in the Roman wall from Lisbon's famous earthquake of 1755! The bed is draped in a luminous yellow pure silk.
Total area of 29 sqm.
The Honey Moon suite - a romantic 2 level double suite built at the top of the Roman tower. With windows on all sides the bedroom is certainly one of the most extraordinary rooms in the world with a 360° view over the Alfama and the River Tagus. The spacious marble bathroom features a sunken bath as well as a shower.
Total area 77 sqm.
Former residence of a noble family dating back to 1449, the hotel has sitting rooms like no other: More than 3,800 blue-and-white Portuguese tiles from the 1700’s cover the walls, complemented by dreamy fado music. I felt as if we had the entire palace to ourselves, as though we were breathing in living history of those walls.
About Palácio Belmonte
When arriving to The Belmonte we hear guests saying: “We read wonderful reviews about Palacio Belmonte and saw beautiful pictures but never expected this , it’s absolutely amazing!” Or “We travelled to the best hotels in the world and never saw something similar”.
Also from returning guests: “What a feeling it is to be back in this house, standing there looking at the 8 meters high ceilings with their eyes closed”.
And what to say when a child of 10 writes in the Book: “I don’t understand why this hotel has only 5 stars. It should have 200 !!!” – when we don’t have television, videogames, pool slides and all those things they are crazy for…
What is Palacio Belmonte?
Palacio Belmonte perched on the Castle’s walls at the top of the hill facing the river was a place too enchanting to be missed for our own house, but 380 doors and windows to open every day decided it otherwise. And Lisbon needed hotels!… So for two years the vernacular sculpture ,Palacio Belmonte, was studied to achieve a new difficult goal.
Frederic an ecologist – since the time very few knew the meaning of the word – used his usual methods, the elderly were called, the old documents were studied, technology worked on lost formulas and soon they knew the materials used in 1420 when the three towers became a house and in 1640 when the house became a Palace. Step by step a new project took shape to give birth to only 9 suites in 3.700 sq meters so the interior beauty – tiles and volumes – would not be damaged and the reconstruction started following the principles of sustainability and the rules in the Chart of Venice.
Because aesthetic were of most importance, walls, floors or anything that didn’t please the eye, was done and redone until perfection, ours! ( Struggling with the worker’s skills and taste. – How can you tell a specialist that, what he sees as perfect, we don’t like?…
After 6 years of works Palacio Belmonte came back to life splendorous in a new design, full of details, light and new colours.
For us artists, its nudity couldn’t miss an exhibit before its last goal. And how perfect the modern huge paintings of Rui Goncalves fitted the huge old walls!
In this way the new Belmonte was introduced to the city. Ever since people haven’t stopped talking about it.
It was now time to bring inside the pieces we had fallen for, one by one they found their place in the sculpture.
But besides art we are fan of wellbeing, so health is in with the concept.
Instead of elevators we gave you little stairs in all directions where you exercise without noticing it. Natural ventilation replaced air conditioning and the ambiance is perfect all through the year. Whatever we touch is natural, whatever we eat is organic and simply good, you feel heaven in bed, the walls breath, you breath and the reason you feel so well!
Palacio Belmonte is a quiet place where you listen to the birds in the garden and no one will disturb you, a place to enjoy a relaxing herbal bath or being shaved the old way, to smoke a good cigar or have a massage with a view in your own terrace, to try the difference and be happy!
And where you are welcome to join us in the kitchen, but also have a Michelin exquisite dinner on a terrace or enjoy the friendly Cultural Club Café where you can share your piano skills.
Palacio Belmonte is not a hotel, there is no formal reception, no crowds, no televisions, no chocolates on the pillow, only beauty and simplicity.
You will be given the keys to your Palace in Lisbon and the staff is entirely at your service with a simple call.
We find three types of people: those who see, those who don’t see and those who want to be seen.
If you belong to the first group you will love Palacio Belmonte, if to the second Belmonte might open your eyes, but if you belong to the third you will feel much happier at the Ritz!
Belmonte is a wonderful experience!
Palace History & Restoration
The first section of the Palácio was built in 1449, on the top of the ancient fortified Roman and Moorish walls, called “Cerca do Alcáçova” and “Cerca Moura”, by agregating three towers: a rectangular keep at the western extremity, a corner tower to the north built upon Roman foundations, and a pentagonal moorish tower of the VIIth century to the west, which built upon a forty meter high rock, makes up an integral part of the “Cerca Moura”.
In 1640, the family enlarged the building, adding the majestic East terrace and five façades in a classical style, giving the Palácio its present look. In 1720 and 1730 the family commissioned two Portuguese master tile-makers, Manuel Santos and Valentim de Almeida, a unique collection of Portuguese tiles. The 59 panels of more than 3800 tiles are to be found throughout the building and are one of the Palácio’s distinguishing features.
When restoring the palace, the first two years were devoted to understanding the different phases of the construction from 130 years B.C. to 1995 – archeological research, light, volumes, air circulation, materials, heat, cold, wind, rain, noise , colors, plants. During these two years under the direction of Architect Pedro Quirino da Fonseca and with the constant help of Architect Felipe Lopes, head of the City Hall rehabilitation department, the lost but old efficient Vitruve’s lime mortar was redeveloped when we found the way to produce it (2 factories have been opened with our formula, and the National Monuments of Portugal use our lime mortar “Cal Fradical” in Portugal instead of cement). The interest of this lime mortar lies in the fact that Portugal on a coastal front is very humid with huge differences of temperature which are absorbed by the lime mortar. A booklet was published explaining the lime mortar which we offered to architects, contractors, civil servants and universities.
Then the vaults and the roofs with roman tiles lined-up were rebuilt and secured with lime mortar. All the ceilings “a caisson” have been either restored or redone, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for air circulation. Lastly, a natural ventilation was created in all the rooms of the Palácio by constructing air circulation conducts opening in each room with small thick stone encased vents. Three retractable canvas sails above a “green house” terrace, providing a soft pleasant lighting all-around and creating a soft, natural air density, easy to breath, were also placed. All tiled floors have been laid in the traditional way, on top of a low temperature water heated system, these tiles are made of red clay (made in Setubal and 50% baked in the sun). The 59 panels of Azulejos (XVIIIth century blue painted tiles) more than 3800 tiles have been taken down, restored and remounted, attributed to the masters Manuel dos Santos 1710 and Joaquim de Almeida 1730. They give to all sitting rooms and some bedrooms […]
The 5 “façades” from 1640, which had been poorly anchored at the time, have been restored at each level, the angles tied-up with metal pins. All historical discoveries and traces of the evolution of the construction through the ages have been highlighted. The Palácio, being a very compact part of Lisbon on top of the hill of the Saint Georges Castle, we could not succeed in treating and re-using water – the use of renewable energy was also impossible, due to the fact that all roofs are visible from the Castle.
Nevertheless, the use of lime mortar – natural ventilation – low temperature central heating – sophisticated insulation of the roofs, floors and walls, double glazing – a lot of planning of the lighting, allowed us to use a maximum of 126 kwa for around 3.700 meters, reducing by 8 times the usual consumption level of energy. The old construction materials – wood – iron – roman tiles – stone was as much as possible re-used. Systems of modern communications have been installed – 3 telephone lines in each suite – (fax, internet, telephone) to optimize privacy.
Associations of rooms per suite have been done to maximize the quality of natural lighting ventilation and to minimize noise effects. The garden has been totally redesigned and planted according to organic principles with usable and numerous local species, plants, fruit, trees, flowers.
The investment has been higher than expected. The Portuguese State, the city of Lisbon and the European Union helped.
Becoming an active member of the local community of Lisbon and of Alfama has been one of our most important goals. The social corpus of the area maintained, by keeping the 21 tenants under rent control living in the four adjoining buildings. Each of their 21 apartments has been restored with the financial and technical assistance of the City Hall bringing total modern comfort while keeping the rents at their present level. On January 22nd 2000 an exhibition room was opened to the public, the Café Belmonte and to the Lisbon City Hall was offered the selection of the theme of the exhibition each year during the month of June.
Six shops on the Largo do Contador Mor and 400 meters of boutiques room on Pateo da Baixa, presenting a selection of very good products from Portugal (olive oil, cheese, wine, bread, craftsmanship, etc…), parking, small conference center and social housing are to open.
National Monument and National Interest
The Palace was officially classified as a National Monument 1910 and of National Interest in 1997.
Following a painstaking restoration, it has come to life once more, thriving today as an ode to the colorful history and enduring culture of Portugal.
2014 USA Today Travel
10 Best Romantic Hotels
Top 10 Castles Hotels
2010 Luxury Travel Magazine
Ten Top Europe Hidden Gems
2010 National Geografic
heute zu den grossartigen Luxushotels der Welt
2003 Tatler-Abercrombie & Kent
101 best hotels /little Gems
2000 Conde Nast Traveller UK
“21 coolest hotels in the world”
2000 Conde Nast Traveller USA
“Hot List 2000″ representing the year’s 36 top new hotels
2000 The selective Gallivanter’s Guide
Rated Palácio Belmonte in their May 2000 issue
Maria Ursula Room
With 100 square meters, the Maria Ursula is the biggest hall in the palace.
Decorated with 27 hand painted blue tiles panels of the first quarter of the eighteenth-century referring to biblical scenes, a vaulted roof 8 meter high, departing from a wooden cornice, marble painted, and three specially designed enormous chandeliers, each with 150 candles.
Facing the beautiful arch that gives way to the inside of the Páteo D. Fradique four long windows allow us to see the magestical harbour scene.
The four walls of this ancient dining room are decorated with hand painted tiles dating from the first quarter of the XVIIIth century. The design and the colour are luxurious and shows rare picnics parties. This room is also 7m high decorated with a splendid wooden painted roof in box.
It leads to the music room and the terrace.
The Library of the Palacio is divided in two rooms. We enter the white library through a big double door from the first floor hall with it’s old black and white “mosaicos de papa”. Two other big double doors connect the white library, one to the red library and the other to the chapel and the suites.
To honor it’s name, one of its walls, facing the chimney is covered with shelves that contain part of the 3.500 books you will enjoy reading during your stay at the Palacio and also a beautiful collection of butterflies. On the other wall we can see a big mirror above a beautiful wooden fireplace marmored in red and on the sides well - kept original letters signed by Portuguese and Spanish kings, D. Pedro e Dª Maria and one from Isabel Queen of Castela, Leão e Aragão. The roof is vaulted and the soil is made of red tiles. The red library obviously painted in red with all its books dealing mainly on ecology and sustainable development, framed letters from long - gone Portuguese kings, old alphabetic letters from primitives press and two paper panels, part of a serie representing the different languages still spoken in the world in the middle of the 20th century will encourage you to immerse in diversity.
The music room is small but of wonderful proportions; it gives way to the great terrace. The tiles "azulejos" have been painted around 1720 and represent music players in the fields. The ceiling, in box painted wood, is much lower than in the Governor’s room. From above a fake door we can see the huge rock that sustain a magical octagonal room (suite Bartolomeu de Gusmao) that was probably once a Moorish musk during the VIIth century. The original floor tiles cooked by the sun "tijoleira" reflects the outdoor light. All these rooms, en enfilade, provide a magical impression of freedom and peace.
Huge terrace built in 1640 with stones coming from Russia facing the "straw sea" and the old Alfama district, magnificient view. A unique place in town to receive your friends or business partners for a cocktail or a diner or whatever you may think of.
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Just by St. George’s Castle, Palácio Belmonte is located at the top of Encosta do Castelo, in the old part of Lisbon, just by the Rossio, the city centre. 5 min away from the city centre, in the middle of the historic district of the city.
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