Memmo Alfama — Lisbon, Portugal
Heeding the winning formula of his retro beach hotel in Sagres, hotelier Rodrigo Machaz has conceived yet another stunning design hotel - this time in the heart of Lisbon’s Arab quarter. The romantic Alfama neighbourhood is a maze of narrow cobbled streets lined with orange trees and trendy terrace bars, and crowned with an ancient cloistered cathedral. Though surrounded by history, the hotel has an uber-contemporary feel, from the exterior mural by conceptual artist Vhils (Alexandre Farto) to the clever minimalist design by local architect Samuel Torres de Carvalho, who preserved original facades and added a rooftop pool and sun deck overlooking the River Tagus. Views from the 42 rooms - ranging from 20 to 30 sq m - will not disappoint, whether you opt for patio, bairro or river vista. Egyptian-cotton bed linens make for a comfortable night’s sleep, while a well-stocked wine bar provides gourmet snacks and African, Brazilian and Portuguese dance tracks.