Almaria Ex Libris

Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £169 per night

Almaria Ex Libris

Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal

Chic and beautifully equipped apartments (for 2-7) with literary soul, in a charmingly restored building in central Lisbon

Chic and beautifully equipped apartments (for 2-7) with literary soul, in a charmingly restored building in central Lisbon

Throw open your apartment’s tall glass doors and lean out onto the Juliet balcony just as an old electric tram trundles by. Stroll down a pretty cobbled street to enjoy a freshly-baked pastel de nata and coffee at a sunny pavement cafe. Watch the sun descend behind Lisbon’s terracotta rooftops as the Tagus river glitters in the distance. Are these stereotypical Lisbon vignettes? Yes. Does that make them anything less than wonderful? No! If you’ve ever dreamed of living in an elegant, historic apartment in central Lisbon, Ex Libris is the place for you. Previously home to a newspaper and bookstore, the building has been converted into 17 lovely 1-3 bed apartments that are ideal for couples, families and groups of friends.

Ex Libris means ‘from the books of’ and the interiors pay homage to some of Portugal’s most famous literary figures. Books are incorporated into the décor in tasteful, whimsical ways, including the cosy library-like reception area and multimedia artworks by up-and-coming artist Maísa Champalimaud. There's a great feeling of space with large windows, high ceilings and ample living quarters; the top categories have roof terraces too. It's a wonderfully interesting blend of centuries-old details, Portuguese heritage and modern style. Just as a sapataria is a shoe store and a pastelaria trades in pastries, Almaria specialises in creating properties with alma – soul, and Ex Libris is an excellent manifestation of this.

Highs

  • These are some of the best-equipped self-catering apartments we’ve stayed in. Besides the usual appliances, each unit also has a dishwasher and a washer-dryer
  • In the heart of Chiado with many sights, restaurants and shops on the doorstep. Next door is the fun Bairro Alto district, with its narrow streets and vibey bars
  • The complimentary daily fresh bread delivery is delightful
  • Really good value considering the location in central Lisbon and the apartments' size and facilities
  • The team has created an outstanding guest experience by balancing the freedom of self-catering apartments with the support of a hotel and concierge service - you get daily cleaning, for example

Lows

  • Ex Libris is located in a busy and noisy area, so you’ll want to keep your windows closed at night. The double glazing is excellent at blocking out noise though
  • Lisbon’s historic buildings are charming but not well insulated, so you may hear some noise from neighbouring rooms and hallways
  • The only common area is reception, but this is an apartment-hotel after all
  • One-bedroom apartments don't have private outside spaces

Best time to go

Lisbon is lovely year-round but we love the shoulder seasons the most. April-June and October-November are sunny with perfect city-exploring temperatures. May is jacaranda season, giving the city a purple wash. In June, locals go all out celebrating their city’s patron saint, Santo Antonio, with street festivals, traditional Portuguese food stalls (don’t miss the freshly-grilled sardines), live music and lots of fun. Literature fans may want to book their stay around the Lisbon Book Fair in late August/early September.

Our top tips

Familiarising yourself with a little Portuguese literature before your visit will make encountering the authors’ statues and old haunts in the area around the hotel more meaningful. Fernando Pessoa, Luís de Camões and Almeida Garrett are good starting points. Our top tip for Lisbon is simply to bring comfortable shoes and explore leisurely on foot. Don’t pack too much into your visit – part of Lisbon’s charm is its tranquility and slower pace.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Family
  • Boutique apart-hotel
  • 17 apartments for 2-7
  • Breakfast; restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Serviced daily, the 17 apartments have been thoughtfully furnished and equipped to provide a very comfortable stay. The apartments offer 1-3 bedrooms and generous living areas. Each is uniquely decorated with clean lines and modern comforts, vintage flea market finds, and classic Portuguese fabrics, tiles and glassware. We loved the shelves of bound books above the kitchen cabinets, and the traditional woodblock printed cotton chintz fabric (chita de Alcobaça) that dates back to the 15th Century and Portugal’s connections with India.

Our favourite unit is the gorgeous and spacious 3-bed apartment on the top floor, which has a fabulous terrace looking out over the city – wonderful for a group of friends or a family stay. Our second favourite is apartment 3A, a deluxe 2-bed on the fourth floor that faces the street and a beautiful tiled building over the road.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots available
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The apartments have well-equipped kitchens with everything self-caterers need. Our fridge was filled with eggs, cheeses, cold meats, jams, yoghurt, milk and a bowl of fruit – and was restocked daily. There are also facilities for making tea and coffee and a tempting mini-bar basket. Fresh bread in a fabric bag is hung on your apartment door every morning. Let the staff know your dietary requirements or preferences before you arrive and they will personalise your supplies.

Its location in central Chiado puts bakeries, cafes, restaurants and bars right on the doorstep. Be sure to book in advance for downtown restaurants as they do fill up fast year-round. The reception team will help with recommendations and reservations. And of course, part of the fun of visiting Lisbon is finding your favourite pastel de nata (custard tart) during your stay. If you want to stay put but don't feel like cooking, Ex Libris can provide simple room service for lunch, dinner and snacks (the likes of burgers, wraps and salads) throughout the day.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Most of Lisbon's main sights are within walking distance, including the Santa Justa elevator, Praça de Comércio, the São Jorge castle, Avenida da Liberdade, the marvellous Neo-Manueline Rossio train station, and more. Wander around and soak it all in
  • Just up the hill from Ex Libris is the São Pedro de Alcântara miradouro, one of the prettiest viewpoints in the city
  • Continue up the hill to Príncipe Real, where you’ll find some of the city’s top restaurants, independent boutiques, museums and a gorgeous botanical garden
  • On the literary theme, visit writer Fernando Pessoa’s statue outside the beautiful A Brasileira cafe in Chiado, or take the no. 28 tram to his museum in Campo de Ourique. Two must-visit destinations for bibliophiles are the oldest bookstore in the world, Livraria Bertrand in Chiado, and Ler Devagar in the trendy LX Factory complex

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children are welcome. The Ex Libris apartments are great for families. The team will provide cots, cribs and highchairs on request.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Some of the 1-bed apartments and all the larger ones have sofa beds (accommodating 2 children or 1 adult per sofa bed). The apartments are spacious and don’t feel crowded even when the sofa beds are made up. Families with young children will be comfortable in the larger two-bedroom Deluxe/Premium apartments; those with adult children may choose to reserve an entire floor of smaller apartments for themselves.

Cots Available

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots and bedding
  • Baby bath
  • High chair

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

  • Distances:

    • Airport: 30 minutes
    • Hospital: 15 minutes
    • Shops: 2 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Located in the Lisbon's buzzy Chiado neighbourhood, Ex Libris is right in the middle of the action.

    By Air:
    Lisbon's Portela Airport (9km away) is served by plenty of flights from the UK, elsewhere in Europe and further afield. The hotel can arrange airport transfers or you can take a taxi (which should be around 20 minutes). You can also take the metro from the airport to Baixa/Chiado station (changing once), which takes about 30 minutes; from here it's a 5-minute walk.

    By Car:
    Don’t bother hiring a car – you won’t need it in central Lisbon and the hotel has no dedicated parking. If you want to hire a car for onward journeys in Portugal see here.

    Getting Around:
    It's easy to access the rest of the city by foot, from the nearby Baixa/Chiado metro station, or on the old wooden electric trams.

    Detailed directions will be sent when you confirm a booking through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Humberto Delgado International Airport aka Portela Airport 9.0 km LIS

    Other:

    • Beach 19.0 km
    • Shops 0.1 km
    • Restaurant 0.1 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

    {{ review.rating }}/10, ,

    Rates for Almaria Ex Libris

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