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Palácio do Governador, Lisbon

Palácio do Governador

Situated in the heart of Belém with views toward Belém Tower, the Palácio do Governador is a characterful boutique hotel housed within a former 15th-century palace. The historic property was once occupied by the governors of Belém Tower but has been artfully converted and now blends period features with contemporary style. The entrance from the main street crosses an area of Roman ruins, while the main reception area was formerly a chapel.

Inside, the decor reflects traditional Portuguese heritage with a blue and white theme and use of azulejo tiles, but the styling is chic, modern and sophisticated. The 60 rooms and suites display a pared-back elegance and have well-equipped, modern bathrooms featuring rain showers or large tubs, though the size and layout of the rooms differs significantly due to the historic nature of the building.

A large split-level terrace and garden area contains a comfortable bar, a large pool and outdoor seating for Restaurant Ânfora, an intimate dining option with a handsome brick-vaulted ceiling inside. Breakfast is also served here each morning.

The hotel also has a large basement spa complete with an indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, relaxation area and gym.

Our rating: First Class

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Each of the 60 rooms at the Palácio do Governador is elegantly furnished in tones of blue and white. All feature plenty of modern amenities, from Nespresso coffee machines to complimentary Wi-Fi, but at the same time manage to retain elements of traditional heritage. A number of rooms boast original 17th-century panelled ceilings and original tile work, though due to the historic nature of the building, the size and shape of all the rooms differs greatly. All rooms have LCD TVs and air conditioning, while bathrooms feature baths or showers.


Situated in the heart of Belém, the Palácio do Governador is located around 6 miles from central Lisbon. The front of the property overlooks Belém Tower, while the Jerónimos Monastery is around a 15-minute walk away. Alternatively, Tram 15 runs from directly outside the hotel. The journey takes around 30 minutes and brings you right past Cais do Sodré station and into the heart of the Baixa district.

Food and drink

Breakfast is served in the brick-vaulted restaurant on the ground floor with tables extending out into the garden toward the pool. In the evening it becomes a cosy dinner spot where you can enjoy a range of gourmet dishes based around traditional Portuguese fare. As well as the restaurant, you’ll also find the Occasus Bar and sun terrace with views across the pool and gardens to Belém Tower.

Facilities and activities

For a hotel of just 60 rooms, the Palácio do Governador offers an excellent range of facilities. Outside, there is a large pool area surrounded by sun loungers and a small tranquil garden. Inside, the extensive spa contains a generous indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, relaxation area and gym. Guests can enjoy treatments from massages to facials or take advantage of the couples’ suite for a relaxing romantic package.

Our opinion

Well-located in central Belém, this historic property has been transformed into a sleek and stylish hotel. In particular, we love the use of traditional blue and white azulejo tiles and the hotel's calm and tranquil atmosphere.

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