Review – Intercontinental Lisbon

With another great Air France flight behind me, I hailed an Uber and was quickly on my way to the 5-star Intercontinental. Lisbon airport is located very close to the city itself, so the ride was a mere 10 minutes at most.

Although I generally prefer to book SPG or Hilton properties, I decided to go a different route on this stay at the Citi ThankYou Points portal was showing an extremely discounted rate on this property. While normal rooms were going for ~$215 per night, I was able to secure a room with a Lisbon view, plus breakfast, for ~$120/night. I opted to redeem some TYPs for part of the tab as I was in a rush when booking, though after staying at this property I cannot say that these were points well spent.

Introduction – Europe On A Whim
Review – United 737-800 BusinessFirst – RSW-IAH
Review – KLM Crown Lounge – IAH
Review – United 767-300 BusinessFirst – IAH-EWR
Review – Lufthansa Senator Lounge – EWR
Review – Austrian Airlines 767-300 Business Class – EWR-VIE
Review – Sky Lounge (Non-Schengen) – VIE
Review – Sky Lounge (Schengen) – VIE
Review – Austrian Airlines Lounge – VIE
Review – Austrian Airlines A320 Business Class – VIE-DUS
Review – Holiday Inn Express Dusseldorf
Review – Element Amsterdam
Review – KLM Royal Crown Lounge – AMS
Review – Air France A318 Premier Class – AMS-CDG
Review – Air France Salon Lounge – CDG
Review – Air France A320 Premier Class – CDG-LIS
Review – Intercontinental Lisbon
Review – ANA Lounge – LIS
Review – Iberia A320 Business Class – LIS-MAD
Review – Iberia Sala VIP Velazquez Lounge – MAD
Review – British Airways 767-300 Business Class – MAD-LHR
Review – British Airways Galleries Lounge – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – No. 1 Lounge – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – Swissport Lounge – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – American Airlines Admirals Club – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – American Airlines 777-300ER (77W) Business Class – LHR-DFW

The Intercontinental Lisbon is located in a quieter area of town across from a beautiful park. It is about 15-20 minutes walk/metro ride from the main square downtown where a lot of the tourist attractions are and is a short walk to a central metro station (though the return is walking up a steep hill). I arrived later in the evening and was quickly greeted by a bellman who offered to take my bag for me. As I travel light with just a rollaboard bag, I thanked him for his offer and declined.

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Entering the hotel I was greeted by a large and open lobby that featured an array of seats and even a piano in the corner.

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There was no line at the front desk to check-in as it was later in the evening and the lobby was mostly deserted.

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The friendly agent greeted me and quickly checked me in. I have to say right from the start that the entire staff at this property were utterly fantastic. I did not have a single encounter with a staff member at this property where I did not walk away smiling. Simply superb.

After checking in, I made my way to the elevators and up to the fourth floor where my room was located. Upon entering the room I was greeted by the dark woods that are typical of Intercontinentals in the hallway.

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To the immediate right was a small closet that featured some hangers, an ironing board and iron and the safe. The power cord for the iron was rather sloppily put together which I could honestly care less about, but it seems to me that little details like that are really what set apart a 5-star hotel from the rest of the pack.

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The bathroom was just past the closet on the right hand side and was rather large and covered in marble. I really like that the bathrooms featured dual sinks as that makes it much easier for two people to get ready at once.

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The shower was large as well and featured a rain style shower head.

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As is common in Europe, there was also a standard toilet and a bidet.

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Waiting on the sink were your standard selection of amenities. They were Agraria brand – though again I am not the person to tell you whether that is a good brand or not. I include that information in my reviews simply for completeness and in case that matters to some.

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Passing through the hallway I entered the main area of the room, which was surprisingly spacious.

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The bed was a queen sized bed and as I had arrived later in the evening, turn down service had already been performed.

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The bed was quite comfortable, though I found it a bit odd that the turn down service included placing the comforter and some pillows on top of the television stand. It seems to me there would be a better place to put those, but what do I know?

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In the far corner of the room, there was a small chair with an ottoman.

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And opposite that there was a small desk and chair.

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Notably, there were no USB style outlets, nor were there any international style plugs available in the room. When I went down to the front desk to inquire as to a converter, I was told they did not have any at that time and to check back later when maintenance was around. That seemed like an odd situation as I assumed there would always be at least one maintenance worker available?

The television stand also contained the minibar and kettle for making hot water for the powdered coffee and bagged tea that were offered complimentary.

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The minibar was fairly well stocked and featured a selection of waters, juices, sodas and alcohol.

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The prices for the items from the minibar were, not surprisingly, pretty high.

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The only complaint I had about the room (other than my usual outlet complaint) was that it was right under the extremely bright lights that were used to light up the hotel from below. That meant leaving the blinds open was like having a spotlight shining directly into your room. There were blackout curtains in the room, so this was not a huge deal, but it was a bit annoying since I did enjoy the views from the room. I would imagine the higher floors offer even better views, but I certainly was not going to complain about my view!

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Overall, the hotel just felt dated though. It was not that anything was in bad shape or needed a refresh, it was just simply that the hotel felt stuffy and dated.

The wifi was complimentary and worked great throughout my stay.

Although breakfast was included in my stay, I never made it down as the food in Lisbon was just far too good to pass up for a hotel breakfast. And when I say the food in Lisbon is far too good to pass up for hotel food, I mean that I had one of the top 5 best dishes of my life in a hole in the wall outside of the historic city center that cost me less than 15 Euro with two beers. I am not kidding when I say I would literally fly to Lisbon just for this meal again.

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A few things to note about the Intercontinental Lisbon overall. Despite being in a hotter climate, this 5-star hotel does not offer a pool. I thought that was rather odd given the abundance of sunshine and the warm weather. This hotel also seems to suffer from door slamming quite a bit. This was especially the case in the morning when housekeeping was going up and down the hallway. That bothers me a bit normally, but the frequency with which it was happening at this property really drove me insane when I was in the room. Lastly, the Lisbon city tax of 1 Euro per night was not included in the rate and had to be paid separately at check out. I thought this was rather strange and it ended up slowing down my checkout process immensely due to their credit card machine not working at the time.

After a few nights in Lisbon, it was sadly time to catch a flight back to the States for a meeting I had.

Final Thoughts

Although the service was exceptional and extremely friendly at this hotel, the overall feel of the hotel was really just lacking for the price. It is pretty clear that this is an older property and could probably use a renovation. When you add in that you are about a 15-20 minute walk/metro ride from the main sites of the city, that makes it hard for me to recommend this hotel to others.  And as far as luxury hotels go, I have never been overly impressed by the Intercontinental brand as a whole. The Intercontinental Lisbon was no different and I cannot say that I would go out of my way to stay at this property again.

What is your favorite hotel in Lisbon?

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