You put it down like New York City
I never sleep wild like Los Angeles
My fantasy hotter than Miami I feel the heat
Oh oh oh oh it’s international love
Oh oh oh oh it’s international love
I have already told you about the warm welcome we got from the receptionist at the Internacional Design Hotel. Around 3 o’clock our room was ready and we got our keys to the suite on the 3rd floor – with a ZEN theme. Calming and relaxing – something that fitted my exploded conference brain pretty well. When we came out of the elevator, an art piece of wood awaited us as well as a discrete scent of lavender in the air. The hallway was dim but had the world’s coolest wallpaper in different shades of green and gold. I loved it even before I entered the room.
The room itself had a balcony, as the receptionist promised. However, the balcony was super small. So we could only fit one wheelchair (and hardly that) at the time. But it was great to have the opportunity to stick the head out and catch some sunrays or take a breath of fresh air. The bed was super comfortable and the wallpaper had a nice floral pattern. And one of the best features: The room had a Nespresso machine with 3 capsules refilled every day. Something which was great for us, who didn’t exactly make a big effort to get up for breakfast. In spite of the hotel’s offer of breakfast for 10 euros per person per day (if we took all days), we decided we wanted to sleep as long as possible. The street outside was filled with cafés. We would definitely not starve.
The only negative thing was the bathroom. The door had a gap, so if you are in need for privacy in the bathroom – this was not the room for you. They also had a fancy experience shower with a fixed seat. However – all the shower handles were soooo high. It actually needed quite some collaboration to be able to have a shower at all. You don’t want to know more about the details here to be honest.
But the bathroom was possible with a wheelchair. For a powerchair it would perhaps be on the smaller side though, but could be doable.
The hotel in general is filled with small artpieces, gems and details, making a true hipster happy. While taking the elevator from 1st to 3rd floor, you will see an art gallery on the wall and the winter garden, where the hotel grow their own herbs.
At the 1st floor, you will find the Bastardo restaurant and bar – where you can get a decent cocktail, a glass of wine or a meal served in an alternative way (how about rabbit for instance?). The service was personal and friendly. They really made us feel at home.
And the location of the hotel could not be any better. The lower end of the Rossio square is the perfect spot for wheeling around. It’s flat, has nice curbcuts and there are two long pedestrian streets on each side of the hotel, with a lot of restaurants and bars. Some of them tourist traps, and it kind of resembles la Rambla at times, with live statues, musicians, street sellers and beggars in one big harmony. But you can also find nice places there, like Paul or Elevador. There are definitely cobble stones, but the kinder, smoother and decorative Portugese ones, which you will also find in Rio de Janeiro.
We were all in all lucky with our places to eat this time:
- Paul’s – great sandwiches & espresso
- Elevador – good brunch & fantastic service (was even offered a pillow to sit on)
- Casa Brasileira – ok brunch – slow service
- The Bastardo – good, but maybe a little bit too hip…?
- ARdeMar – great food & service (the waitor followed us to the taxi stand)
- Da Vinci (Italian) – average italian – find another place!
The hotel however was expensive, and cost between 180-190 euros per night for the room. This is more than I usually pay for a hotel, but it was hard to find a decent alternative in the flat area without doing a lot of research. We checked out Lisboa Prata Boutique Hotel, for some friends. And this is also an alternative. Prata is the last street in the flat area. If you go further East, you will face hills, hills and more hills.
In spite of the price and the complicated shower – Internacional Design Hotel, was a great place to stay. Good food, good drinks and very friendly service. We would like to come back some time. And in the meantime, we just say: