Solar dos Mouros

Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
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.


  • 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


  • 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

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
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 12
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • 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


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
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


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


  • 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


Children are welcome; baby cots and extra beds are available on request.

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms except the Deluxe Suite can fit 1 baby cot or 1 rollaway bed


By arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

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

Kid Friendly: Suite

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