Home > Torel Palace Review
Updated: August 14, 2020
Torel Palace – Tranquil, stately hotel and apartments surrounded by beautiful gardens.
A romantic retreat, Torel Palace is central but perched on a hill high above the bustle of Avenida da Liberdade. Climb up to find a set of charming turn-of-the-century mansions, surrounded by peaceful gardens with an unmatched view across the city. The hotel is warm, vibrant, and aristocratic, inspired by the noble lifestyle of the past. The elegant-but-comfy rooms are named after Kings and Queens of Portugal and are full of rich details, from original stained glass and crystal chandeliers to velvet upholstery; several have private balconies, while the villa and new apartments have more of a contemporary edge and family-friendly kitchens. Guests are welcomed with drinks on the terrace by the enthusiastic staff. The on-site restaurant serves an edgy, globally-influenced Portuguese cuisine, and the pretty outdoor swimming pool is a sensational spot for drinks at sunset.
Torel Palace – Location
- Address: Câmara Pestana 23, 1150-078 Lisbon.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Restauradores Metro station is a 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) downhill from the hotel.
- Area: Quiet hilltop location, near central Avenida da Liberdade, which offers fine dining, bars, and high fashion. Easy access to other areas: Baixa, the historic downtown, is a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) south, with nightlife-central Bairro Alto and well-heeled, cultured Chiado uphill further to the west. Nearby strollable attractions include historic Alfama (0.7 mile, 17-minute walk) and Convento do Carmo (0.6 mile, 15-minute walk). Be aware that the streets around the hotel are steep; the nearby funicular Ascensor do Lavra (75m, 1-minute walk) is useful for getting down from the hotel to Avenida da Liberdade and back.
- How to Get There: From Lisbon Portela Airport, it is a 25-minute trip on the metro to Avenida; take the red line to São Sebastião, then change to the blue line. From here, it’s a 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) to the hotel, but take the Ascensor do Lavra to deal with the steep hill. If arriving by train at Gare do Oriente, take a local train to Santa Apolónia, then take the metro to Restauradores.
- Handy to: Avenida da Liberdade, Alfama, Intendente, Elevador de Santa Justa.
Torel Palace – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be an international crowd with a real mix of ages, especially couples, looking for a special hotel experience. Children are welcome.
- View: Many rooms boast gorgeous views over the city; some also have private balconies or terraces.
- Kitchen: The Villa and 5 Apartments come with fully-equipped kitchens.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
- Laundry: Laundry, dry cleaning, and ironing services are available (extra charge); also a shoeshine.
- Parking: Private parking on-site, a rarity for Lisbon, at €20 per day (reservation required).
- Extras: Concierge service and 24-hour reception. Airport transfer available (extra charge). Private check-in with a welcome drink on the terrace, turndown service, and a bottle of wine in the room (extra charge). Special packages can be booked direct, e.g. romantic massage for two and chocolates and wine on arrival. Nespresso machine, minibar, and complimentary sweet treats in the room. Complimentary Saboaria Portugueza toiletries, robes, and slippers in the bathroom. Notes left with suggestions for your stay; maps provided.
- When to Book: Book 3-4 months in advance for the summer high season.
- Phone: +351 218 290 810
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: torelboutiques.com
Torel Palace – Amenities
- Pool: Beautiful though unheated pool on the terrace below Terraço 23, with fabulous city views, plenty of sun loungers, and comfy shaded seating. Access to the pool is for guests only.
- Spa: No spa currently but massages are available, in the room or by the pool.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: No specially adapted rooms, but several are spacious, with walk-in showers. There is an elevator to all rooms in the blue building and the apartment building (not the pink building). Not suitable for guests with severe mobility issues due to the steep hillside location and lack of step-free access to the reception and breakfast room. Call to discuss your needs in advance.
- For Families: Children aged 4 and above are considered adults when booking. A babysitting service is available. Cribs are available for free and extra beds are €65 a night.
- Activities: The excellent staff will be happy to advise on and help with organizing activities for you in the city, including tours in Lisbon or further afield, e.g. to Sintra or Cabo da Roca, along with car rental.
Torel Palace – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Cave 23 – It is a coup for the hotel to have this gastronomic restaurant, appropriately located in the basement, which delivers an adventure with its tasting menu of 9 moments (€55). Expect decidedly contemporary Portuguese cuisine with international influences and lots of surprises. Open Tues-Sat 7:30pm-12am. $$-$$$.
- Lounge/Bar: Terraço 23 – Instagram-worthy terrace bar, run by the team behind Cave 23, serving fine cocktails and casual sharing plates. There is another cozy indoor bar in the blue building.
- Breakfast: The breakfast spread can be included in the room rate, otherwise, it is €15 per person. It is served 8-11am in 2 pretty breakfast rooms. Thereafter, guests can still order from the kitchen until 3pm. Expect a good range of local products including fruit juices, champagne, cheeses, meats, fresh bread and pastries, and hot food like eggs and crepes made to order.
- Room Service: 24-hour room service is available.
Torel Palace – Rooms
- Room Types: Standard Suite • Executive Suite with City View • Deluxe Suite • Premier Suite with City View • Royal Suite with City View • Standard Apartment • One-Bedroom Apartment with Balcony • Deluxe Two-Bedroom Apartment • Apartment with Terrace • Penthouse Apartment • Villa
- Smoking Rooms: Torel Palace is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: Room décor is highly individual. The Rainha Santa Isabel is a Deluxe room in soft pink tones, with a unique stained glass window and standout grand bathroom. The Dom Afonso Henriques Royal with a View is deeply romantic, up under the roof, with panoramic views from its private balcony. The Penthouse Apartment is particularly spacious at 110 m², with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a long balcony.
- For Families: The Villa and 3 Apartments – the Deluxe Two-Bedroom, Apartment with Terrace, and Penthouse Apartment – can sleep up to 4 people each. The Villa has a sofa bed in a separate living room, while the spacious Apartments have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms each. All have well-equipped kitchens.
Torel Palace – Local Transport
- Walking: Walking in Lisbon is great fun, provided you have good footwear and do not mind hills and cobblestones. Note that the hotel is high on a hill and the streets down are steep. Plenty of big attractions are walkable: Avenida da Liberdade is a 6-minute walk (0.2 mile), Alfama is 17 minutes (0.7 mile), and the Elevador de Santa Justa is 12 minutes (0.6 mile). The nearest metro at Restauradores is a 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Metro, Tram, and Bus: Public transport in Lisbon is good and includes the metro, buses, historic trams, and 3 funiculars; the nearby Ascensor do Lavra is handy for getting to Avenida da Liberdade and back. There are also local trains to Sintra and Cascais from Rossio and Cais do Sodré respectively. Consider getting the Lisboa Card, which covers unlimited trips, including on the trains, as well as free entry to lots of attractions. The metro is good for getting to the airport, while trams are both popular and practical. The famous tram #28E starts at Martim Moniz, 8 minutes (0.3 mile) away, and is a fun way to see the winding streets of Alfama, while #15E and #18E will take you from Praça da Figueira (0.5 mile, 10-minute walk) along the river to Alcântara and Belém.
- Taxis, Uber: A taxi from Lisbon Portela Airport will take around 20 minutes (4 miles) and should cost around €16, plus a luggage charge. There is a risk of drivers seeking to cheat tourists on this route; to avoid this, buy a prepaid voucher from Ask Me Lisboa in Arrivals. Uber and other ride-sharing services are cheaper (starting at €10 from the airport), and more so in the city center.
Torel Palace – What’s Nearby?
The hotel’s peaceful location often means you have further to walk, and the hills can be tiring; getting the Ascensor do Lavra down to Avenida da Liberdade and the nearby Ascensor da Glória up to Bairro Alto will save your legs.
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Lisbon Street Art Tours – If you are curious about Lisbon’s growing urban art scene, go on a dedicated 3-hour stroll. There are open, small group, and private tour options (Open Tours are tips-based). Learn about local and international artists here contributing to this form of art – part of the proceeds goes toward funding the creation of more street art. Open Tours and the Authentic Alfama Tour start at Praça Martim Moniz (0.3 mile, 7-minute walk).
- Devour Lisbon – Spend half a day seeing a new side of the city and Portuguese culture and tasting its iconic foodie highlights. Devour’s tours are decent value at €69 per adult for 3.5 hours. There are over 10 stops, enough for breakfast and lunch, taking in specialties like salted cod, cheeses, pastel de nata, and port. Starts at Praça da Figueira, a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- SANDEMANs – Become a Lisbon insider by booking a walking tour with a passionate local guide. Fun options include an Alfama tour (€14) and a pub crawl (€15). The most popular offering is the 2.5-hour Free Tour of Lisbon, which is tips-based and takes in Bairro Alto and Baixa. It starts conveniently on Largo de Camões, a 19-minute walk (0.8 mile) away.
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Zé da Mouraria – Cozy, traditional tasca in Mouraria, famed for its roast cod and large portions. Great for over-indulging in traditional Portuguese fare at a decent price. 10-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Cervejaria Ramiro – Pricey but informal, Ramiro has been stuffing diners with quality lobsters and prawns since the 50s. It is renowned for its seafood in Lisbon and does not take evening reservations, so come early or be prepared to queue. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- JNcQUOI Avenida – Dress to impress and book ahead at this fashionable place on Avenida da Liberdade. It’s all very stylish – the crazy/beautiful décor, complete with a Velociraptor skeleton, the cosmopolitan menu with French and Italian as well as Portuguese dishes, the extensive wine list, and the chic downstairs DeliBar. The company also recently opened JNcQUOI Asia nearby. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- A Cevicheria – Super-popular Peruvian table from chef Kiko Martins, in a sleek white venue with a dramatic octopus hanging from the ceiling. Be prepared to wait, then enjoy green gazpacho with scallops, ceviche that shows off Portuguese fish, and pisco sours. 16-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Prado – Hip yet affordable spot in Alfama for sharing farm-to-table small plates, pretty with greenery on the ceiling and pendant lights. Young chef António Galapito’s ever-changing menu is all about organic and seasonal Portuguese ingredients. Look out for delights like line-caught squid served with ink and Iberico pork loin and chard. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Boa-Bao – Buzzing Pan-Asian place in Chiado which has won many hearts with traditional dishes from Thai tom yum to Chinese dumplings, Malaysian curry, and Japanese mochis. A pretty terrace and craft cocktails complete the experience. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- 100 Maneiras – One of the hot tables in town, with daring chef Ljubomir Stanisic serving imaginative Yugoslav/Portuguese fireworks. The tasting menus (€80-€110) are ‘stories’ that tell the tale of his life’s journey. Reserve in advance for this relaxed, intimate Bairro Alto location. 17-minute walk (0.6 mile). The team also runs Bistro 100 Maneiras in nearby Chiado (0.7 mile, 17-minute walk).
- Local – An intimate chef’s table in Príncipe Real, Local serves just 10 people in 2 sittings each night. Great for surprising, seasonal dishes from the rotating cast of chefs, and for making new friends. Book ahead. 17-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Tapisco – Spanish and Portuguese small-plate cuisines (tapas and petiscos) meet at this casual fusion spot from Henrique Sá Pessoa. Great for sharing with friends and washing it all down with a glass from the vermouth bar. 17-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Alma – Unpretentious yet Michelin 2-starred, Alma is a soulful foodie destination from Henrique Sá Pessoa in a gorgeous historic warehouse. His crack team blends global influences into beautiful modern Portuguese dishes in the open kitchen, complemented by bold wines. Tasting menus (€110-€120) celebrate local fish and seafood and the chef’s Asian-influenced classic dishes. Reserve well in advance. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Flor da Laranja – Cozy, flamboyantly decorated Moroccan place in Bairro Alto. Rabea Esserghini is a wonderfully warm host as well as chef. Ask her advice on the delicious menu and taste rich tagines, such as lamb with prunes and almonds, fragrant couscous, and more. Book ahead. 18-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Belcanto – Formal, Michelin 2-starred Belcanto is star chef José Avillez at his most experimental. A showcase for Portuguese gastronomy as well as Portuguese wine, it promises to take you on a memorable voyage. Tasting menus start at €165. Reserve well in advance. Look out for Avillez’ other restaurants around Chiado. 18-minute walk (0.8 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Topo Martim Moniz – The trendy Topo original exudes casual cool from its perch on top of a shopping center. There are wide wooden benches to take in the panoramic views, cocktails and tempting light bites, and funky music. Topo Chiado is another great location from the group, behind the Convento do Carmo. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Hotel Mundial Rooftop Bar – Sleek white rooftop lounge with a nice selection of gins and cocktails. With a panorama that includes nearby Castelo de S. Jorge, it is also one of the best bar views in town. 8-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Ginjinha Sem Rival – Hole-in-the-wall near Rossio making and selling ginjinha, Lisbon’s specialty sour cherry liqueur. The family has been running this famous bar since 1890. Join locals queuing up outside for a shot. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Red Frog – Hidden 1920s New York-style speakeasy in Lisbon. Ring the bell to be admitted to a world of vintage sights and sounds and an ever-changing menu of mouthwatering cocktails. The bartenders here are topnotch, so be adventurous. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Casa Independente – Cool, open cultural space in an old mansion in up-and-coming Intendente. Explore the house to find the Tiger Room, which hosts DJs and the resident band, works by artists in residence, a café, and a courtyard for enjoying a drink or a film screening in summer. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Duque Brewpub – Beer aficionados looking for some local flavor should head for Duque, a pub dedicated to Portuguese craft beers, including their own creations. 15-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Pavilhão Chinês – Wonderfully kitsch bar, where cabinets and even the ceiling is filled with collectibles from lead soldiers to Action Men, and the drinks are classy. 17-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto – Tiny wine bar with a big reputation due to its collection of over 200 wines and passionate staff. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations and try the selection of hams and cheeses too. 18-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Le Consulat Bar – Relaxed-chic bar and brunch venue with exciting cocktails and great service. Huge windows open over Praça Luis de Camões for people-watching. There is also an atmospheric corner wine bar/smoking room with a surrealist film projection. 20-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Memmo Alfama bar – Memorable in every way, the rooftop bar of this bijou hotel offers a stunning view of Alfama, with wine, tapas, and signature cocktails to taste, great service, and a chic pool terrace to enjoy it all. 21-minute walk (1 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Fábrica Coffee Roasters – Serious coffee lovers adore this topnotch coffee house. Head here for single-origin coffees, bought directly from producers and roasted by Fábrica themselves. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile) to the Rua das Portas de Santo Antão branch.
- A Brasileira – Grand Art Deco jewel and Lisbon’s most famous café. Enjoy your coffee and cake knowing you follow in the footsteps of legendary poet Fernando Pessoa whose statue sits on the terrace outside. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Copenhagen Coffee Lab and Bakery – Danish import bringing excellent espresso and Nordic minimalist vibes to Lisbon. Their cinnamon swirls are scrumptious and they do a mean all-day breakfast for €12. 21-minute walk (1 mile) to the Escolas Gerais branch; 22 minutes (1 mile) to the Rua Nova da Piedade branch.
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Avenida da Liberdade – The swankiest designer shopping in town is found along this grand boulevard. Big names like Armani and Miu Miu have stores here; Fashion Clinic has womenswear and menswear branches, bringing together international brands; and 39a Concept Store is both, an art gallery and a fashion boutique. 6-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Manteigaria Silva – Venerable gourmet grocery store stocking the best of Portuguese specialties for over 100 years. It’s all about fine traditional products including charcuterie, cheeses, salt cod, and local wines. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) to the historic Rossio branch.
- Garrafeira Nacional – Local wine-selling institution with its own little museum. A great place to stock up on all manner of Portuguese wines, ports, and spirits. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the Rua de Santa Justa branch.
- A Vida Portuguesa – Your one-stop shop for artisanal Portuguese products, from tinned sardines to pencils, ceramics, and notebooks. The brands are carefully chosen to maintain traditional production as well as make excellent gifts. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile) to the Largo do Intendente branch.
- Rua Augusta – The main artery of Baixa, or downtown, has plenty of high-street fashion as well as artier finds like locally designed T-shirts at Typographia. 13-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Rua Garrett – The best place to start for high-end shopping in Chiado. Highlights include colorful, young outfits at Gardenia and jewelry in a very glamorous interior at Tous. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Livraria Bertrand – The oldest-running bookstore in the world, open since 1732. Bertrand is a bookshop, café, and cultural landmark where Portuguese intellectuals once gathered. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Embaixada – Award-winning shopping gallery in a neo-Moorish palace. It beautifully houses a variety of cool Portuguese designs and crafts (and some international brands), from high fashion to organic baby clothes, cosmetics, and eco-friendly homeware. There’s a lovely bar, Gin Lovers, and a steakhouse, Atalho Real, for when you need a break. 17-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Rua Dom Pedro V – Príncipe Real’s main drag is known for its design studios and is a big draw for fashion-forward shoppers. Find Lidija Kolovrat for a local designer with a love for fine materials, Shon Mott for ‘slow fashion’ and timeless style, and Amazingstore for eco-friendly accessories. 18-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Bettina & Niccolò Corallo – Find chocolate heaven at this artisanal, family-run chocolate shop and café. They roast their own coffee and cacao and make the best chocolate in town fresh daily. Try thin bars containing up to 100% cocoa, cakes, luxurious hot chocolate, and even cocoa sorbet. 18-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Maison Nuno Gama – Menswear from one of Portugal’s most famous designers. Expect fine tailoring, use of bright colors and azulejo patterns, and an in-store barber shop. 18-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Manteigaria – Look no further for (possibly) the best pastéis de nata in town. The title is hotly contested, but these custard tarts are certainly an unmissable Lisbon classic, and Manteigaria gives everyone else a run for their money. 20-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Elevador de Santa Justa – Lisbon’s answer to the Eiffel Tower, this cast-iron lift was built in 1902 by Raoul Mesnier, Eiffel’s apprentice. It’s a very classy (if pricey and packed) way to travel from Baixa up to Largo do Carmo. The viewing platform with its gorgeous views can be accessed for just €1.50 from behind Convento do Carmo. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Convento do Carmo – Haunting skeletal remains of a convent destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. Now an atmospheric ruin, with an archaeological museum showcasing azulejos (traditional tiles), mosaics, and sarcophagi. 15-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros – Fascinating site that reveals layers of ruins under Baixa. Book a tour with an archaeologist and explore the mainly-Roman structures, including Lisbon’s only Roman mosaic as well as traces of later Visigoths, Moors, and the medieval city. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – A fantastic example of the miradouros, viewpoints on hills, which are a fixture in Lisbon life. It’s an appealing gathering place with its fountains, kiosks serving drinks, and musicians and DJs playing, and the views across the city to Castelo De São Jorge are jaw-dropping. 16-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Alfama – Get lost in Lisbon’s oldest and most romantic district. Once the city’s Moorish quarter, its winding streets feel lost in time and are a magnet for tourists. Climb up to the imposing ramparts of Castelo De São Jorge crowning the hill, gaze out from the many miradouros (viewpoints), and mix with the locals in the bars and cafes. At night, with the soulful sounds of fado coming from restaurants, it feels truly magical. 17-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Praça do Comércio – Lisbon’s grandest square impresses with its massive scale and graceful 18th-century colonnades which are beautifully lit at night. Here you will find the triumphal arch, Arco da Rua Augusta (you can take a lift to the top for the view), plenty of fine restaurants and cafes, and Lisbon Story Centre, an interactive museum where you can learn all about the city’s history. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade – Important, somber museum in a former prison that bears witness to Portugal’s 20th-century fight against dictatorship. It preserves the memory of the dictatorial regime which was in power from 1926 to 1974, its repressive tactics, and the resistance to it, leading to the Carnation Revolution that ended it. 19-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Street Art – Lisbon is known for its vibrant urban art scene and it is worth taking time to seek out some of the best pieces or joining a dedicated tour if you get really into it (see above). Nearby standout locations include Escadinhas de São Cristóvão with its fado mural (0.5 mile, 12-minute walk); Travessa dos Fiéis de Deus, one of many streets worth noting in boho Bairro Alto (0.7 mile, 19-minute walk); and the Calçada da Glória, where the entire steep street acts as an outdoor gallery (0.4 mile, 11-minute walk).
- Sé de Lisboa – Also known as Lisbon Cathedral, the Sé is the most austere and monumental of Lisbon’s churches. Built in 1147 in a Romanesque style, it takes visitors back to the Christian Reconquest of Portugal from the Moors and stands on the site of a former mosque. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Feira na Avenida – Fancy flea market, as befits the location, strung along Avenida Liberdade and starting by Praça da Alegria. Go look for buried treasure – quality antiques, vinyl records, and second-hand books – as well as artisanal handicrafts and food stalls. Runs every second weekend of the month and on the fourth Saturday and preceding Thursday, May-October. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Mercado da Baixa – Tented street food market that takes over Praça da Figueira for about a week each month. Great for browsing and tasting everything, from hot sausages and cheeses to suckling pig sandwiches and sangria. 10-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Mercado Biológico do Príncipe Real – Find healthy, organic produce galore by the pretty Jardim do Príncipe Real. Wares include honey, jellies, fresh bread, organic wine, and handmade soaps as well as fruits and vegetables. 9am-3pm every Saturday. 18-minute walk (0.7 mile).