Lisbon’s hospitality scene is so hot right now, that hoteliers have begun to crawl out of major tourist haunts such as Alfama, Chiado, Principe Real and Belem, into historically less-trodden areas. Case in point: Intendente, previously considered part of the capital’s red light district has, over the past few years, started to sprout plenty of new bars, restaurants and shops and now, 1908 Lisboa Hotel has just celebrated its opening, right in the heart of the neighbourhood.
Named after the year the Art Nouveau pile was originally built, the hotel’s restoration and interiors, which were overseen by it’s owner, family-owned company Villa de Santa Ana and local firm Sizz Design, opts for a more eclectic modern style that combines fiercely industrial settings with some mid-century decor. There are also commissioned pieces from Portuguese artists like Bordalo II, Irmãos Marques, and SuperVan, who created a three-floor mostly black-and-white mural depicting various characters that have lived in this part of Lisbon throughout its history.
The guestrooms feature the sleekest aesthetic thanks to subtle tones meant to relax guests. Stripe carpet, age-worn leather chairs, coral love seats, and throw pillows swathed in butterfly patterns, add soft whimsy to the overall style. And there’s a strong made-in-Portugal theme here, too: furniture by We Wood, thick wool throws by Burel Factory, and bathrooms made with Lioz, a stone widely used in the country.
The restaurant, Infame, is another design narrative entirely, with its industrial infrastructure. The bright tile floor, steampunk light fixtures, supple leather club couches, red-brick walls and ceiling, and oversized insect murals create a dynamic visual storyline that turns heads. There’s a lot going on inside, for sure, but architecture enthusiasts should definitely take time admiring its exterior. With its beautifully carved busts, colourful floral trimmings, and the curvy lines that make up the window frames, this building is one of the best examples of the Art Nouveau in Portugal.