Bairro Alto Hotel
In Lisbon, Bairro Alto Hotel reopens in July after being fully renovated. The hotel is a pioneer in the Portugese five star luxury boutique hotel concept, in which it translates the very finest Lisbon has to offer into an experience in which charm, bohemia, and sophistication navigates guests through the history of the city.
The hotel’s essence and character was kept in mind during its remodelling and expansion. Interior design Company Bastir was responsible for the whole interior design project, with the exception of the restaurant and terrace on the fifth floor. The architecture was completed by Pritzker Prize Award winner architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.
Bastir told PREMIER HOSPITALITY INTERNATIONAL about their involvement and challenges they faced with the re-design of the Bairro Alto Hotel.
“We had done the interior design of the original hotel about 15 years ago (2002-2005). In 2014 we did a presentation for the enlargement of the hotel, and in 2015 we were invited to do the interior design of the new areas and remodelling of the existing building. The original brief was to renovate the hotel, update it without destroying its original character, and to create new public spaces with a strong identity, reinterpreting the original concept.”
Now there are four new typologies amongst the 87 bedrooms throughout the hotel. Whether private rooms or broader suites, attention to detail does not go unnoticed. There are now Classic rooms with views of the most iconic quarters in Lisbon; Chiado and Bairro Alto. The Junior Suite features king sized beds, en-suite bathrooms and daily in-room afternoon tea. The suites combine Lisbon’s glamour with contemporary comfort, and on the third floor of the new ala the Signature Suites are made up of broad and relaxing spaces, with a breath-taking view over the Tagus River.
Speaking about the design Bastir said:
“The bathrooms in the new bedrooms are very textured and warm. The colour scheme and fabrics are very eclectic, both in the rooms and the public areas. In the “mezzanine” living room, the pastry shop (where the old bar used to be), and the reception, we used warm cherry-wood panelling, antique vintage furniture and a wide range of textiles.
“The greatest challenge was renewing the hotel without losing its original charm and character. The original hotel was a great success, known for its intemporal and unpretentious yet sophisticated style. We are introducing change while trying to keep everything ‘the same”
BAHR, restaurant and bar of the hotel harks back to the artists who left an imprint on the city. Guests are welcomed into a modern, organic and informal environment, where the finest of Portuguese cuisine is enjoyed. The menu was created by Chef Nuno Mendes, whose talent and expertise have been internationally appraised.
BAHR Terrace, overlooking Lisbon’s skyline, partners a seasonal ‘all day dining’ menu, (a concept designed by Nuno Mendes himself), with a welcoming environment for guests to make the most of the view, all year round.
The Hotel offers three additional concepts born from Lisbon’s gastronomic heritage which are appropriate for different stages of the day. Firstly, Pastelaria. In typically Portuguese scenery, this particular space has its doors open to the general public and combines coffee with a variety of homemade baked goods, which can either be eaten inside or packed for takeaway. The Mezzanine is the perfect rendez-vous in Bairro Alto Hotel for guests who want to enjoy a quiet and private bar with a diverse menu all throughout the day. Lastly, Bar 18.68, the original headquarters of the oldest volunteer firefighter squad in Portugal. This is a bar that pays homage to an entire history that is closely knit to this specific space, while also making room for a cocktail and food menu, which is likewise authored by Nuno Mendes, is where guests can find available from late afternoon onwards. There are also meeting rooms situated in the hotel, with plenty of natural light and they include a broad menu which is aimed at dinner parties, and feasts.
“The Bairro Alto Hotel became one of the most famous hotels in Lisbon since its opening in 2005. The first of its kind in the heart of the historic city centre, with a great location and visibility; it has been a great responsibility to keep up the client and public’s expectation.
“It was our first hotel interior design project, so there is a mix of feelings when working on it once more including enormous excitement with the challenge, some nostalgia, and a different maturity that will inevitably lead to a different interpretation and result. After all these years of very hard work, we are looking forward to the opening and public feedback on the result.”