Solar dos Mouros

Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal Book from Book from £69 per night

A colourful B&B hotel up on the hill close to the castle, with long views down the river
You’re at the top of the hill in the shadow of the famous castle, but it’s the huge view over city and river that take your breath. All but 3 rooms have it and it keeps you rooted to the spot, stretching up river past Lisbon’s wonderful suspension bridge that appears to hang in the air. 12 rooms are over 6 floors; the higher you climb the better the view. Scale the summit for the Deluxe Suite with its enormous terrace.

The style throughout is bright and breezy, with African wood carvings, lots of art and colour everywhere. Owner Luis Lemos is an artist, and his splashy oils adorn most walls. There’s a breakfast room in vibrant yellow and red and a small courtyard garden for peace in the city. Follow cobbled streets up to the castle or drop down the hill to the alleyways of Alfama, one of the capital’s most intriguing quarters. The Number 28 tram will save your legs on the way back up.

Highs

  • A fantastic location with long views over the rooftops and down the river
  • Big colourful rooms, especially those with small alcoves
  • The district of Alfama that clings to the hill beneath you
  • Good local restaurants nearby (no evening meals are served)
  • The street is quiet at night

Lows

  • Prices shown are a guide only, and vary massively according to occupancy/date of stay
  • When we revisited in 2013, we noticed that several rooms could do with a lick of paint
  • The Deluxe Suite has limited headroom
  • You’re close to the castle - high season is awash with tourists - and you're at the top of the hill: it’s a hard climb up, but there are trams and buses, and public lifts operate 8am-midnight
  • No kids under 13 (a high for some!)

Best time to go

Lisbon is a fabulous place to visit at any time of year. Proximity to the sea means that even at the height of summer temperatures are bearable, though it does get very busy in July and August. Carnaval in February is always a riot whilst for bibliophiles The Lisbon Book Fair is a must, held every year between April and May. The Alkantara and Almada performing arts festivals take place a little later, between May and July, whilst the May-time Rock in Rio Lisboa has become an established annual event.

Our top tips

If you want to party, Lux is the coolest club in town. DJs from around the world in the bar and disco.

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique B&B
  • 12
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • Only 13yo and over accepted
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Double Room

Rooms

All the rooms are similarly furnished, but none are carbon copies of the others. They come in vibrant colours with comfy beds and lots of art. Often you find one wall of colour, the others in white to soak up the light. Expect red, orange, green, yellow, duck-egg blue. There are minibars, TVs and CD players in every room.

Double Rooms are a pretty good size (16sq.m) and are tucked away on the ground floor. Superior Suites tend to be huge (42sq.m) and have partial castle views. River View Suites offer charming vistas that drift on for miles across the river. Some also have alcoves with room for a table and chairs.

The Duplex Suite has silky golden throws on a sofa, big mirrors, a rocking chair from which to watch a plasma-screen TV and a big window to frame the view. The bedroom and bathroom are located upstairs on the mezzanine floor. On the fifth floor, at the top of the building, is the amazing Deluxe Suite. Its enormous terrace and panoramic views over Lisbon are a real plus, although be aware that it has sloped ceilings and is accessed via a spiral staircase.

In all rooms you’ll find bamboo mats, a couple of armchairs, blond wood floors and marble bathrooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

You eat breakfast in the ground-floor dining room or have it brought to your room. There’s fresh bread and toast, plates of cheese and ham, freshly-squeezed orange juice, cakes, yoghurt and fruit. There’s a small room-service menu (sandwiches, toasted sandwiches) and guests can enjoy tapas and drinks on the sunny communal terrace.

Local restaurants are close by. You can eat in the castle grounds overlooking the city: you pay for the privilege, but the view is worth it - just make sure you book a good table. There are quite a few fado restaurants about – places where you eat to the strains of live traditional Portuguese music. Clube de Fado is local and one of the best, but again you pay handsomely for the pleasure. Conquistadors offers good traditional Portuguese food and is reasonably priced. The most stylish place is Chapito. You can eat inside, outside, order a drink, dip into tapas or scoff a big meal. Views tumble down hill to the River Tejo and beyond. Zambeze is also recommended - African and Portugese food.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The Castle of St George is one street north. It’s high on the hill with stupendous views over the city. It was home to Portugal’s kings from 1147, the year the Moors were driven from Lisbon. Leave the castle walls to the east and you’ll find a pretty square with a batch of cafés and a miradouro for more views
  • Alfama is the district between the castle and the river below. It is considered Lisbon’s prettiest district, perhaps because it’s one of the few sections that survived the 1755 earthquake, which clings to the hill between the castle and river below. Mazy alleyways and stone stairs lead you down to the water. The cathedral is here too
  • The Number 28 tram runs down to the centre. Lisbon’s trams are a treat: old, yellow and gorgeous. They’re not fast, and they move jerkily, but they’re the only way to get around town
  • Watch your feet as you stroll through the city – several streets are paved with beautiful Roman-inspired mosaics. Many show nautical images as reference to Lisbon’s important relationship with the sea
  • If you want the best shops in town, head to Avenida Liberdada, the capital’s main street. The Fashion Clinic is the place to go for all the designer names
  • The 20th-century Design and Fashion Museum (MuDe) is one of the best collections in Europe. There are over 1,000 works by the likes of Charles Eames and Arne Jacobsen, and 1,200 couture fashion pieces by famous names such as Viviennne Westwood and Balenciaga. Closed on Mondays
  • Discover the influence of colonialism in multi-cultural Martim Moniz. Its Fusion Market sells produce from all over the world, and stalls sit alongside street performers
  • Belém is where the great explorers set off to conquer the new world. The Portuguese empire was born as a result and the Padrao dos Descobrimentos commemorates their endeavours. You’ll also find the Torre de Belém and the Monastery of San Jeronimo
  • Sporting and Benfica both play in town. Tickets aren’t that expensive

Activities on site or nearby include:

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

Kids

Only children over the age of 13 are accepted

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms except the Deluxe Suite can fit 1 rollaway bed

Kid Friendly: Suite

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 10 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
8/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

We had a lovely time at Solar dos Mourous. The room was comfortable and spacious with a great view across the river. Everyone was warm, friendly and helpful - in particular recommending some excellent restaurants which we wouldn't have found ourselves. It's a great location right by the castle. Breakfast was good and varied (although 15 euros is definitely on the pricy side - if you just wanted coffee and croissant it would be better to go to a cafe). It was lovely to end the day after dinner with a drink on the terrace - very peaceful. Overall I'd definitely recommend it to friends as a good place to stay in Lisbon.

9/10,

We didn't feel this was really a boutique hotel (rather one that was trying to be) - different from any other places we've stayed via i-escape. Generally though it was an OK hotel for one night.

7/10,

Breakfast only taken (snacks are available). Excellent service made to feel very at home and all the staff provide good service, would go there again.
We liked the quiet at night and restaurants suggested were good choices.

9/10,

There is a very steep stairway up to the rooftop and the bathrooms are tiny. However, there is an impressive view of the city from the terrace.
Loved the area where the hotel is. Loved the panoramic view. Eat at the Cevicheria (Rue dom Pedro V in Barrio alto).

9/10,

Our room was a bit tired & taxi drivers seemed unable to find the hotel.

6/10,

Great location and very helpful staff. Get a room with a view, it is worth it!

10/10,

Small B&B type hotel with no lunch or dinner facilities. Service very personal because of the size of establishment. Situated in very quiet neighbourhood by the castle but it is critical one finds the public elevators otherwise the streets are very steep to climb up. Would stay again.

9/10,

My 7 year old son's favourite thing about Lisbon was the breakfast at the hotel! It was a great place to stay for visiting Lisbon, a brilliant situation, easy access to central Lisbon even though high on the hill. Lovely spacious suite for 3 of us. Very helpful staff in the hotel.

10/10,

We were staying in the Santana room, which in terms of the colour scheme wasn't completely my thing, though it is priced the friendliest. However, breakfast was always super fresh and lovely and the service was great! We got excellent recommendations for restaurants and it really helped they told restaurants beforehand I was a veggie.
Restaurant 100 Maneiros is a wonderful culinary experience. They serve a 9 course taster menu and for me they did the whole thing veggie (no fish, no meat) and it was absolutely delicious!
Also the tour on electrical bikes is great, see http://www.bikes-company.com/. And the Oceanarium is a wonderful place.

9/10,

I would have liked better bed-side reading lamps in my room, St. Andre. However the other room we had, St. Vincente was great.
Breakfast had lovely pastries and meat, but the refilling with carton orange juice after the first jug was finished was a disappointment
Service was disapointing because of the surly disposition of the receptionist/waitress. There was no welcome on arrival, and she failed to greet us at breakfast any morning as well as being distinctly unhelpful. Other staff were fine. The hotel is in an excellent location and we loved the view from room 5.

7/10,

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Rates for Solar dos Mouros