Travel Blogs from Lisbon
0116 Eat your Heart out, Madrid… (Por 005, 08A -029)
Lisbon, February 23, 2008
Day 086: 6 hours, 12.7—total: 31.3
As soon as my bus reaches the magnificent suspension bridge that crosses the bay to Lisbon, I know that I’m on my way to an extraordinary city… From the bridge I got a great panoramic view of the steep hills with beautiful orange tiled rooftops crammed in between. And it seems that around ...
... Caen and the Memorial for Peace, a very well presented museum following the entire WWII history including the events that lead to its outbreak and the issues and wars that have since arisen. Whilst parts were extremely graphic and confronting, it was as a whole the best war memorial we had visited.
Leaving Caen we visited the far overrated (personal opinion) Mont St Micheal. Claimed by some as the ...
... 10c but the hiking kept us warm.
I hiked the steep 2 km road down to Sintra and discovered some romantic surprises along the way. An hour and a half later, we happened to meet each other again in the narrowest of winding streets in town- yay!
After a lazy stoll along the sunny, sunny seaside in which Tom was representing Australia in his stylish, shorts and t-shirt combination , showing Portugal how tanned us Aussies are! We eventuallly came across our planned distenation of Mercardo da Riberia fresh food market, where we stocked up for for the week ahead After our morning warm up We decided to really have a crack and hiked over to Lisbons resident flea ...
... surprise. Fully renovated with modern appliances and a view to the see and overlooking g Rossio Plaza and the surrounding hills.
Did so e exploring to the supermarket and met a couple from Rhodes for a very nice chat. After lunch headed off to the Convention centre to register etc and now being very tired off for an early dinner and ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Room service
Historical Traveler Reviews York House Lisbon
Enjoyed my stay
spent 4 nights at this hotel in April.
For the money, and compared to what you get in other major European cities, I thought the room was very nice and pretty spacious. The bathroom is roomy, has towel heaters and a nice powerful shower. The bed was firm and we slept very well.
Regarding the other reviews of this hotel, our air conditioning worked very well (the little sun icon means heat, the little snowflake icon means AC, the rest controls the fans). We were very comfortable at night, altho it is true that you need to keep the windows shut, especially on the weekend nights when you suddenly discover that the entire street is nothing but discos! Very crowded and noisy! but OK with the windows and shutters closed.
I found that in Lisbon that if you first addressed everyone as Signor or Signora, they were much more responsive and helpful. I thought the front desk was helpful and by the end of the stay, very friendly. The courtyard and beverage service was lovely on a sunny day.
Breakfast is typically European, I don't see how one can complain about that. Besides they serve champagne and chocolate cake for breakfast, yummy!
We ate nearby at Sua Excelencia, (uphill from the Museum, just 2 blocks from the hotel) where the owner speaks impeccable English (we prefer something a little less catering to tourists) but the food and ambiance were very nice. The Museum also has a nice coffee cafe inside. We also ate at Sua de Meste east of the hotel and had a lovely fish/shrimp meal, even though they spoke little English.
The light rail #15 which goes everywhere and runs frequently - downtown to the main Commerce Square and out to Belem stops 3 blocks downhill from the hotel. I am surprised that everyone complains about the lack of transportation. The train out to Cascais and Estoril also stops downhill from the hotel. We also took a nice leisurely stroll from the hotel down to Commerce Square, it is doable and fairly flat.
If you are the type of person who wants a Holiday Inn experience even overseas, do not stay here. If you are flexible and want a unique hotel with charm and good plumbing, stay at the York House.
Certainly not for everyone
After a three-night stay at the York House with several friends in various rooms, potential guests need to know a few things.
Taxi drivers generally won't know how to find the hotel, so arm yourself with a map with the location marked before you get in a cab. It may be helpful instead to direct the driver to the "Museu de Arte Antiga," which is just down the street, and then look for the unassuming front entrance to the hotel. Be prepared -- you'll probably be spending a lot of time in cabs getting to and from this hotel, since it's not conveniently located to any Lisbon attraction or neighborhood -- which also means that you'll not find much in the way of nearby restaurants, as well. The "peaceful and tranquil" location really translates into "remote." Fortunately, we had no trouble flagging down taxis on the street in front of the hotel, though the porter at the front door looked at us askew the first time that we asked for a cab and we figured out that we were just supposed to hail a cab ourselves.
The hotel has two courtyards -- one which is landscaped and quite nice, and the other which is a typical residential courtyard with laundry hanging out to dry, etc. Just because your room has a courtyard view doesn't mean that it will be pleasant!
There are 49 uneven cobblestone steps that you'll have to climb to reach the lobby. There's no lift, so there's no avoiding them every time you come and go. A porter is generally available to help you with your luggage when you arrive -- and probably won't allow you to carry your own bags up the 49 stairs even if you preferred to. If you have limited mobility, this could be a big problem.
The service is unexceptional considering the price. The dining room staff is very good, but the front desk personnel can be spectacularly unhelpful and are generally aloof. If you have a problem with your reservation or check-in/check-out, don't expect them to bend over backwards to help you. As far as they're concerned, it's your fault and not their problem. Confirm your reservation details carefully before arrival, particularly if you book over the Internet. The staff will certainly help you with tour tickets (but only for the tours for which they sell tickets) and Fado reservations (for the two establishments that they "recommend"), but don't expect anything beyond cursory assistance for other issues. We distinctly got the sense that the level of service we were afforded was related to the discount we received off of the full rack room rate.
The food in the restaurant was quite good. Breakfast was ample (if uninspired), and other meals were very pleasant. As is the custom in Lisbon, be prepared for a separate charge for bread and butter even though it is placed on your table whether you ask for it or not.
Though the hotel has been nicely renovated in a minimalist chic style that fits nicely with remaining original details from its days as a 17th century convent, sometimes form seems to have been emphasized over function. In our room, taking a shower meant that gallons of water were deposited on the floor of the bathroom. The air conditioning system was difficult to control, making it hard to get a comfortable temperature at night, and the small windows allowed little ventilation. For those with rooms on the street, you'll have to close the windows and wooden shutters at night in order to sleep (the street traffic from the bars next door will be too loud), which means that you'll need to use the air conditioner to prevent the room from being too stuffy. Also note that with the windows open, there's no way to have privacy, since the curtains are attached to the casement windows. Our beds were comfortable, but the TV was a very small color portable with a barely working remote. (Not that we spent any time watching TV, but this might be important to some.)
Overall, for the price, this hotel can't be considered a bargain by any stretch, and if we ever returned to Lisbon we'd certainly look elsewhere for accommodations.
Great Hotel, but No Parking!
The York House is a lovely hotel, in a historic part of beautiful Lisbon.
The location isn't the best, as it is not near a main transit line, or the subway, but the quality of the hotel far outweighs the negatives.
Our room was wonderful, however it was a tad bit noisy. We were at the top of the staircase, directly above the check-in area. So, people were constantly coming and going. It's also an older building, so you hear every creek, and step.
But we also had a view of the beautifully restored courtyard, and that was wonderful.
The big warning for anyone who stays here. We made the mistake of driving into Lisbon, and trying to find the hotel. There is no parking in front of the York House, and you have to park in the middle of the street, turn on your hazards, and make a run for it with your luggage. The Portugese drivers are a little impatient though, so they'll honk. Just take a deep breath, and go for it.
Also, if you're looking for good Fado, head to Sr. Vinho. It's great for dinner, and the music was fabulous. We found it kind of weird that the front desk told us they had no openings for dinner, and immediately suggested two other Fado restaurants, which they had brochures for. (Could they be getting a kickback?) I called myself, and got into Sr. Vinho no problem. It was well worth it, and it is within walking distance of the York House.
The hotel also had a wonderful restaurant, which serves Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
A tranquil haven
My wife and I stayed here for a couple of days during our honeymoon, and as with another person - our taxi driver had trouble finding it too! But, once we found the place we were delighted.
Whilst the view from our window wasn't fantastic, the room itself was. We didn't have any problems with the air conditioning, which kept us very comfortable during the night.
It's in a wonderful location in Lisbon, yet when you are in your room or out in the gardens/patio having a meal you feel as though you could be in the middle of nowhere.
We'll definitely be visiting again.
A Hidden Oasis
I have stayed at this beautiful property twice and both times even the taxi driver had a hard time finding it! The entryway is tucked between regular buildings in a pretty much un-touristy neighborhood. But, WOW, once you step in it's like entering a hidden oasis amidst the bustling city outside. After a walk through a labyrinth-like stone stairway filled with flowers you emerge into a fabulous garden filled with more flowers, tables and chairs used for meals in the summer. The property itself surrounds this central oasis from where you enter the small reception area on one side and to other a quaint, beautifully appointed bar/library.
The rooms are great as described by others who have stayed here and if you can, get a room facing the courtyard. I've stayed at both a room facing the street and the courtyard and can tell you it's so peaceful and picturesque looking out the window - you'd never know you were in a major capital city!
Lovely small hotel but pick your room with care
A well presented hotel in a good location close to the Barrio Alto in Lisbon.
Set around a delightful courtyard with trees and greenery. Meals are taken in the courtyard in summer which is a real oasis after the city. Rooms are decorated in a modern style which suited me. Bathrobes are provided and new towels each day. Lots of hot water. Comfortable bed.
Breakfast is a buffet of reasonable but not exceptional standard. Juice, coffee, fruit salad, pastries, bread, eggs, cereal.
Lunch was delicious. Grilled octopus with a green salad. First rate.
Did not have dinner.
There was some confusion over a booking on arrival which did not seem to have been held despite me having confirmations. However, they found a room but this was one overlooking the street which can be noisy. This wouldn't have been a problem but with the windows closed the air conditioning was stuggling to cope with the heat leading to uncomfortable rooms at night.
Overall a good experience with friendly staff but care on booking rooms is needed.
Spent eight wonderfull days at the York House Hotel, and can not praise it high enough. The room was great the food was excellent, and that courtyard, sitting out side under the trees,just magic. I really can't praise the staff enough. Take it from me and just go there you will enjoy it.
Home away from home
An amazing small hotel, with a nice garden right in the center of Lisbon. Staff and Managment very friendly and very professional. Excelent service, excellent cleanless. Don't miss the restaurant with very good food, and an amazing wine list sorted by grapes with explanations in English. They also have a wine store in the basement called "Enomania" were we can buy at reduced prices all the wines that they have in the wine list.
I will defenatelly come back, and York House will be my home in Lisbon.
Would recommend the York House to anyone
Stayed at the York House for three nights during the summer of 2003 when the hotel was renovating a number of rooms. We had a room that had already been renovated. Wonderful room, great restaurant, quite courtyard for relaxing and reading, excellent service and veryt friendly and helpful staff.Met the daughter of someone who lives 1/2 block from us in Hobken at lunch one day.Would recommend to anyone.
York House - Lovely
We spent two nights at this lovely hotel. Very nice surroundings, the garden is lovely and the food in the restaraunt is great. We did not expect gazpacho to be so filling! Lofty high ceilings, elegant decor, beautiful marble bath. We were upstairs facing a street where young people party after hours, but closing the shutters took care of their noise. My roommate was not even aware of it - but I did need to close the shutters, after which I slept like a baby. We found the location just fine and within walking distance of the Barrio Alto. SW