What’s it like?
The Lisbon Marriott was the first Marriott in Portugal (2001) but before that this building was the Penta Hotel back when the group was a joint venture between Lufthansa, Alitalia, Swissair, British European Airlines and British Overseas Airways Corporation (predecessors of British Airways).
It’s a high rise building – you can see it from miles around from the bright red Marriott logo on the top, and this is quite useful when finding your way back to the hotel at night from the surrounding Metro stations, but in daylight it’s not a particularly attractive sight with its concrete and brown metal railing balconies.
Still, as with a lot of these seventies hotels, the views looking out are better than the views looking at, and from the higher floors you can see the rolling hills of the Lisbon suburbs.
The hotel was fully renovated in 2015 with the Marriott Great Room concept, and on the ground floor there is an Executive Lounge, a convenience store, jewellery store and newspaper shop, as well as the Tapa and Tiles café which doubles as the bar in the evening. There’s also an outdoor terrace overlooking the garden and the pool, although beyond these there is a very busy four-lane road.
Where is it?
On Av. Combatentes, on the way in from Lisbon International Airport (about a ten-minute ride). It is possible to use the Metro while staying at the hotel, but it is a ten-minute steep walk to the nearest stations (it is equidistant between Laranjeiras and Jardim Zoologico on the Blue line.
There are 577 rooms, all with balcony. Some 200 of these were renovated in 2015 including the 12 junior suites and the presidential suite. The renovated rooms have attractive sketches of Lisbon street life, a good size work desk with two plugs (European – so you will need adaptors) and a table lamp for working at night.
The majority of the rooms – Deluxe, Superior and Executive – are the same size 26m2, and differ either in the views (how high they are in the hotel) and the amenities offered in the case of the Executive Rooms. These also have access to the newly refurbished Executive Lounge which is just off the lobby and has its own balcony overlooking the gardens. Breakfast is offered here as well as complimentary drinks during the day and a very generous buffet in the evening along with alcoholic drinks.
In the rooms, air conditioning was effective, though there is the option of simply opening the doors onto the balcony for fresh air (though the road is noisy). The shower had been upgraded, and there was the option of a bath. Toiletries were the Marriott-branded Acca Kappa. All rooms have a mini bar, telephone, tea and coffee making and a safe.
Bars and restaurants
As well as the Tapas and Tiles bar on the ground floor (pictured below) there is Citrus Restaurant serving Portuguese and Atlantic dishes, though this clearly caters more for an international, and predominantly American audience both in the menu and the presentation of the food.
Business and meeting facilities
The hotel is strong on this, with most of the lower ground floor being dedicated to some 16 meeting rooms, and the ballroom being on the ground floor just beyond reception. The facilities in the hotel total over 2,000 sqm. There are lots of outdoor spaces and the gardens, and of course one advantage of the hotel’s location is it is close to the airport and major roads, but not so close to the centre of Lisbon that your delegates will keep slipping out to go shopping or sight seeing.
There is a small gym on the lower ground level. During warmer months there is also the swimming pool in the gardens of the hotel.
This is a classic Marriott hotel, so much so that at times walking around the hotel I thought I was in the US rather than Portugal. That said, it has the best things about the brand – good consistent and friendly service, comfortable beds and rooms, and all the facilities you need for a successful business stay.
For leisure it is probably a little too far out for a stay, though if you are confident using the Metro or want to explore the suburbs and the excellent Lisbon zoo, then it will suit just fine.