Christmas Time at A Palace
“That’s what friends are for” echoes throughout the 5-star Olissippo Lapa Palace bar and hotel foyer, as an accomplished pianist dressed in a black tuxedo and bow tie tickles the ivory keys. Accompanied by one other lone gentlemen sipping his cocktail, Meredith and I sit hypnotized and transported to a bygone era. Rounding out the room is a barman – proficient in every move he makes – who earnestly attends to his three charges for the evening.
Our bodies soothed by the health center’s heated swimming pool, Turkish steam bath, and a cold shower, coupled with the soothing effect of a pianist playing timeless Christmas tunes, it is difficult not to reach a state of bliss.
“So this is what luxury accommodation in Lisbon is all about,” I think to myself.
Oscar, a middle-aged Portuguese man, sits at the piano and gently throws a smile our way every now and then at the completion of his tune. He plays to the crowd, thinking we are in need of some melodic Christmas cheer to remind us of snow flakes flying through the air back home; knowing there is absolutely zero chance of a white Christmas here in Portugal.
As the piano man keeps playing, this time a song from the perennial favorite movie Casablanca, the twinkle of a dimly lit chandelier and a red glow cast from the spectacular centerpiece Christmas tree in the foyer heralds the arrival of the holiday spirit at a luxury palace in Lisbon.
Go on Oscar, play it again. I’ve got another 3 hours before calling it a night, and dreaming about my gourmet buffet breakfast in the morning. Somehow I can already taste the mouth watering morsels of fresh fruit, bacon, eggs, croissants, and freshly squeezed orange juice with champagne – now that’s how you start your day off right!
Lapa Palace exudes authentic old-world European luxury.
Well appointed rooms complete with twelve foot high ceilings, tapestries and draperies galore, gold hues outlining chairs, tables, and frames, all paint a vicarious portrait of how a King and Queen would have lived in centuries past.
Indeed, if living like royalty for a day (or a week) is on your bucket list, Olissippo Lapa Palace may be the closest you come in the 21st century to making that wish come true.
Make no mistake, deluxe suites at Lapa Palace are a luxury accommodation splurge. Budget accordingly for your honeymoon – you won’t be disappointed.
I have stayed in accommodations around the world, ranging from minus 1 star to 5 stars plus. In the hotel industry the term quality service is an oft used phrase attempting to transform a set of intangible actions into a measurable byproduct for the hotel guest.
I can emphatically say that the service at Lapa Palace is impeccable: Staff clearly trained in the polished touches of luxury service, discerning and anticipating clientele’s needs at every opportunity.
For example, upon taking a seat at one of the coffee tables in the bar area, the well attired barman offers: “I see you have your laptop, please pass me your cord and I will plug it into the wall for you.”
I wonder if a modern day palace Prince receives the same attention!
We walked through the dark wood doorway of the Palace Deluxe Suite, situated across from the Columbano room (former ballroom) in the old part of the palace, and knew we had been transported into romance for 24 hours.
A half bottle of 10 year old Taylor Fladgate port, along with delectable Pastéis de Belém pastries, sat artfully atop the writing desk in the corner. A handwritten note from the hotel manager imprinted the final touch.
Everyone likes to receive a personally addressed note, yet few companies make the effort to actually do it these days.
Stepping out onto the over-sized terrace (whose size rivaled the room itself), the sound of rushing water drowned out all other noise.
Later that evening, we inhaled the cool December air and snuggled with wool blankets from the closet. Port glasses clinked, and a calm serenity warmed our balcony star gazing session.
A vacation or honeymoon in need of old world charm and romance requires a stay at Lapa Palace. Lose yourself in a fantasy of rich furnishings and decor, true quality service with a warm smile, and hospitality, steps from the heart of Lisbon’s city center.
P.S. Don’t forget to say hello to Oscar!
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As the CEO of Love & Lavender, Andrew wears many hats. He is an expert in affiliate marketing, SEO, and content creation. He loves to cook a mean curry, is a Japanophile, enjoys slow travel, and loves to spend time with his wife and adorable son.