I usually go for smaller chic boutique hotels but managed to get the Hotel Avenida Palace as part of a good deal online so I thought I would experiment. It was a good decision as it turned out to be a very charming and convenient hotel. We emailed beforehand requesting a king size bed and a street view and we were granted our wish. I always think it is worth doing this as it doesn't cost you anything and may just put you higher on that list of potential upgrades. Our room was spacious and had decent storage space. The bathroom was fine and there was an impressive array of toiletries provided. I would have preferred a shower enclosure unit rather than the bathtub/shower arrangement that it was. I must commend the housekeeping - the room was always cleaned on time and I love it when a hotel does a proper turn-down service with a good general tidy up and replenishment of toiletries and towels. The small chocolates were a nice touch too. Breakfast was very good - a diverse array of foods for anyone and everyone really. The salmon, cheeses and fruits were particularly noteworthy, as were the delicious crepes.
The location was a huge advantage to this hotel. You are in between two key Metro stations and there is an overground train station next door where you can get the train to Sintra. You are on the doorstep of Rossio square and the Figuera Square which have cafes, restaurants and a market for fresh fruit and vegetables. The Tram 15 to Belem leaves from Figuera Square. And finally it is only a 10 minute walk to Rua Augusta and Baixa Chiado and a straight 15 minute walk to Praca do Comercio and the river front.
The only downside to the hotel was the staff really. Don't get me wrong, they were nice enough but they lacked the natural charm and charisma that I would expect of this hotel. I must point out that Pedro, the front of house manager was the exception to this and was genuinely very pleasant. The others however, including the Breakfast staff, wouldn't proactively greet us or ask us how we were or offer any travel tips and my request for a slightly later check-out was dismissed before I had even finished asking for it, even despite notifying them in advance that I would be needing one and knowing that the hotel was not full. It's the little things that matter to me. I realise for some, maybe even most, these things are small and irrelevant which is fair enough. I however prefer to have a bit more out of the people who work at the hotel and that is where my 5th star is won or lost. Otherwise, quite the majestic hotel in a super location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1892, the hotel has maintained its characteristic romanticism from the "Belle Epoque" and now revived by the discerning touch of renowned decorators. The Palace is a jewel among Portuguese hotels, combining regal and elegant architecture with modern comfort and personalized service. Whether resting in your room or socializing in one of the common areas, you'll find the balance perfect. All 82 rooms have just been completely renovated and elegantly furnished in a classic style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Avenida Palace Hotel