A most gracious stay at The RITZ in Lisbon

A symbol of the early 1960′s architecture, The RITZ Lisbon, formerly the InterContinental Ritz Lisboa (IHG Group)  has been operated since 1997 by the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

The Portuguese Government created SODIM (Sociedade de Investimentos Imobiliários) as it realized it needed a luxury hotel property to welcome foreign dignitaries. Under State ownership, RITZ Lisboa opened its doors in 1959 and 2 years later obtained the rights to use the RITZ brand under an agreement with Charles Ritz’s eponymous company. Sociedade Hotéis Ritz-Portugal was created for the purpose of a joint management of the property. Charles Ritz’s ill-fate has allowed RITZ Lisboa to maintain the RITZ brand, indefinitely.

The hotel was purchased in the early 1980′s by the Pereira family, who signed a management agreement with the InterContinental Hotels Group IHG. Following a brief renovation closure, the hotel reopened as InterContinental Ritz Lisboa.

With a total of 282 rooms and suites, Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon is the largest property of the Canadian based chain in Europe and despite its size, probably one of the finest in terms of service. The hotel reached its reputation peak under Portuguese born General Manager, Jose Silva, who has climbed up the corporate ladder to become Regional Vice President and General Manager of the iconic Four Seasons George V in Paris.

It is thanks to Jose Silva, a hotelier with a background in architecture, that RITZ Lisboa, has amassed one of the most impressive art collections for a five star hotel in Europe. The hotel product itself has, unfortunately, remained below the Four Seasons’ standards, especially in a city which counts no less than 23 ”luxury” hotels.

However, it is probably for the first time in my 6 years of reviewing top luxury hotels that I can admit that, sometimes, service can make up for a mediocre product.

Views from the higher floors are unique and breakfast or dinner on your terrace overlooking the entire city and the river can lead to lifetime memories which you will forever cherish…

A comprehensive photo gallery is available on our Facebook page. Watch here a video preview of a luxury suite on the 9th floor of the hotel.

Oliver Petcu in Lisbon