Fontecruz Lisboa: it lacks something to deserve its 5 stars

When winter rages in Paris, there is nothing like a little trip to Lisbon to find sun and mild temperatures at affordable prices. So this year I went to spend a weekend in January at Fontecruz Lisbon.

A very well located hotel

The hotel is on Avenida Liberdade, the main avenue in downtown Lisbon. This location is perfect for exploring the city and its many tourist sites. At other times of the year and depending on the purpose of the stay, you may prefer the Altis Belem next to the Marina but this time it was perfect.

Count 10 euros in Taxi from the airport

The Fontecruz Lisboa is part of the Autograph Collection, which was to Marriott what Design Hotels was to Starwood: boutique hotels each with a distinct personality.

Fontecruz Lisbonne

The front of the hotel, very authentic.

The lobby is also very nicely decorated.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

Fontecruz Lisbon : lobby

So I head to the reception.

Fontecruz Lisbon : lobby

The welcome is warm and the staff very friendly. I was told that each Autograph Collection has a theme and that the theme of Fontecruz Lisboa is travel. Hence the keys behind the front desk! And the decoration of the corridors!

Fontecruz Lisbon :

Fontecruz Lisbon :

 

Fontecruz Lisbon : lobby

They apologize for not being able to upgrade me to a suite but they tell me that they found me a “very nice room”, a “Terrace Room”.

The Terrace Room: a superb terrace with a view over Lisbon

All the rooms have their own design, their own decoration. So I head to mine.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

The room is of good size and I appreciate the sobriety of the decoration.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

And the desk is big enough to work comfortably.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

We also notice the small rest/reading area in the corner.

The bathroom is also a good size even if it only has a shower and no bathtub. The toiletries are by Chopard

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

The shower is quite large.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

And the highlight of the show is of course…the terrace. I let you appreciate, it speaks for itself.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Terrace Room

Vraiment très grande et agréable. I do not deny that in January it was most of the time in the shade and that it was a little cool to take the aperitif in the evening but at other times of the year it is really the “plus” of this room.

And the traditional visit in video.

 

A very good level of catering services

Fontecruz Lisboa has a bar and a restaurant. Both being in the same room.

Fontecruz Lisbon : lobby

Let’s start with the bar.

Fontecruz Lisbonne -Bar

It is specialized in Gin Tonic…bad luck I don’t like Gin. I’ll have a Negroni and a creation from the bar. Very good, without false note and staff always so friendly.

The bar also has a very cosy corner.

Fontecruz Lisbonne -Bar

Come on, it’s time to eat.

Fontecruz Lisbonne -Bar

The table looks good.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Restaurant

 

The menu is very appetizing and shows some creativity.

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Restaurant

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Restaurant

And the result:

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Restaurant

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Restaurant

Fontecruz Lisbonne - Restaurant

A real treat, it’s sophisticated, beautiful and good. A really good surprise.

A small tour in the lobby before going to bed…

Fontecruz Lisbon : lobby

Fontecruz Lisbon : lobby

And then….and then nothing is the problem

A very nice room, a hotel full of charm, a very friendly and attentive staff, a very good restaurant: it’s a no-fail situation! Well, no. A few details will have darkened the picture a bit.

Let’s be clear: this is a 5 star hotel and even if it is affordable for those who are used to Parisian rates (175 euros per night for a hotel of this category ….) it is expensive for a city like Lisbon so we expect certain things.

– Coffee in the room: offered, well just the first two capsules. Petty.

– The cleaning: when you come back in the evening in your room and you find the bath products that you have left open in the shower in the morning, it is average.

IMG_5876

And, if the hotel has a large parking lot it has no gym or spa … well no facility to enhance the stay. At this level it is a real lack that causes a real disappointment.

Bottom line

The Fontecruz Lisboa is a very nice hotel that provides an excellent service. But some shortcomings and lightness aren’t acceptable when you have 5 stars.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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