Once inhabited by nobles, Palacio Belmonte is an old-world palace that has been converted into a grand hotel.
Rich in history and set upon a hilltop overlooking Lisbon, the palace captivates guests seeking privacy, culture, and authenticity.
In 1449, the first section of Palacio Belmonte was constructed atop ruins of medieval Roman and Moorish castle walls and towers– dating back as far as 130 BC and the 7th century. The building was enlarged in 1640 and it was then that the present-day facade of the palace was erected.
Current owner and ecologist Fredric Coustols acquired the building in 1994 and Palacio Belmonte underwent a six-year renovation. During that time, Coustols thoughtfully examined and tediously researched the history and architecture throughout the palace’s 2,130 year lifetime.
Part of the restorations included taking down, reconditioning, and remounting around 3,800 Portuguese tiles (azulejos) handmade by two tile-masters in the 1700s. In addition to the aesthetics of the building, the renovations included preserving energy-saving techniques such as natural lighting, ventilation, and insulation.
The end result was an expansive estate that seamlessly incorporates centuries of history with style and sustainability. Palacio Belmonte spans nearly 40,000 square feet and includes a lush garden, terraces, a swimming pool, ballrooms, a cafe, a library and, most importantly, the suites. Individually crafted, each of the 10 suites has a unique appeal and each is named after a historically prominent Portuguese figure.
Choosing a suite can prove to be an arduous decision as each is so vastly different and alluring. Some suites occupy multiple levels of the medieval towers; some feature cathedral ceilings, private terraces with river views, or all-marble bathrooms with original Roman wall exposures.
Palacio Belmonte has hosted many families and visitors over the millennia, from the Romans to the Moors, and many generational changes are preserved. Palacio Belmonte emanates history; roaming the same palace that was formerly owned by the Earls of Belmonte as well as famous explorer, Pedro Alvares Cabral, visitors are awarded a special experience.
Whether admiring the depictions of an ancient world upon the original tiles, or gazing at the adjacent Castle de Sao Jorge, the authenticity of the palace transports you. Much an art piece and historical structure in and of itself, Palacio Belmonte has since become a National Monument. Preserving history, culture, and art in a stately and pure fashion, the palace also accommodates modern comfort and style.
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Written by Brooke Blocker