Getting back on the road, Seeing The World In Steps is currently in Lisbon, Portugal. This will be my first time in the country and it is always lovely when I am visiting a new city as well as a new country. I am excited to be in Portugal after hearing so much about this place. I will be visiting 4 cities in Portugal over 8 nights. For the first 4 nights, I will be based in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. We got in from Budapest after a transit in Munich via Lufthansa. Seeing that I have already shared extensively on my Lufthansa flight, Senator Lounge and Business Lounge. I will not be revisiting them since they are rather similar. Do check out the posts if you are keen on them. My first choice is always Hilton properties and there are two of them in Lisbon. For the next 4 nights, I will be staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lisbon – Fontana Park. The location of the hotel was pretty central and well connected to the public transport system. The hotel was once a 20th-century metallurgy factory.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
I was informed via the app that I was pre-upgraded to a King Premium Room in advance. This represents a 2 tier upgrade from the base level room that I book. My nightly rate was around 175 SGD including taxes. This was brought down by utilising my Citi Prestige 4th-night free benefit to 136 SGD a night. The hotel was prompt and provided me with information before my stay in terms of entry regulations and the hotel offering at that point in time. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lisbon – Fontana Park features 143 guest rooms and suites spread across 7 categories. You can find the breakdown below.
|Rooms||Bathtub||Room Size||No.of Rooms|
|Premium||Yes||25 – 30 Sqm||15|
|Premium with Park View||Yes||32 Sqm||3|
|Deluxe with Private Terrace||Yes||25 Sqm||9|
|Junior Suite with Private Terrace||Yes||40 Sqm||1|
It was a fairly quick drive from Lisbon airport to the hotel but that can’t be said for the process to get a ride at the airport. Free Now and Uber are readily available in Lisbon and very affordable but you do need to meet the driver at a specific point in the airport. Taxis on the other hand are super pricey. As a matter of fact, a taxi ride will cost around 20 Euros but an app ride will cost you less than 7 Euros. To get to the hotel you can also take the metro or subway. The red line brings you from the Airport to Saldanha station.
Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed and check-in was fast. We had to show our Vaccine Cert. The staff then greeted us with the signature DoubleTree Cookie. The hotel does have a quaint entrance and you can tell that this is rather different from the usual Hilton and DoubleTree style. The hotel goes for a chic and cool kind of vibes with dim lighting and dark tones. I am not sure if I am a huge fan of it given that some parts are way too dark. For example, you could barely see the buttons in the lifts. The hotel was operating at pretty high occupancy during my stay. I tried asking for a Diamond Suite upgrade during check-in but was turned down despite it being shown available and for sale. Elite treatment is pretty bad here. I do appreciate the associate showing me to the lift given that there are two wings in the hotel and my room was located in the side wing. It would be pretty hard to find the place with the twists and turns.
King Premium Room
I was assigned room 255, one more room or suite on the second floor. I do seem to have an affinity with this level this trip! The King Premium Room is just a short walk from the lift and this mid-tier room was of a decent size. It measures from 25 to 30 Sqm depending on the configuration. Mine was on the larger side since it comes with a huge balcony area. Upon entering, you can find the bed in the middle. I do like the design of the room which looks modern and the non-carpeted flooring finishes. The makes it more welcoming and hygienic as well. I am not a fan of carpeted flooring. The plush king-size bed is located right in the middle and flanked by 2 nights stands.
I am happy to report that they aced the power sockets aspect with outlets to be found on both sides of the bed and there is even more than one. Controls for the lights can be found here as well although weirdly it’s installed into the bed headboard. The blinds are electronic controlled but the sheers are not. I love the bed which was on the firmer side and the pillows offer good neck support as well.
To the left of the bed, you can find two spacious wardrobes which should be more than enough for your stay. Inside, standard offerings like bathrobes, bath slippers, an ironing kit and a safe are provided. A foldable luggage rack can be found here as well.
The minibar is also built into the wardrobe area and this concept is badly designed in my opinion. I’m constantly complexed by it since the steam or water vapour created by the coffee machine or kettle gets trapped by the wood panels. Aren’t they creating something that is not sustainable in the long run? I am glad to see a proper coffee machine in the room as well as some packaged tea. The mini-fridge is left empty.
Another mind-boggling aspect was the glass media setup that they have along the wall with a built-in high definition Smart TV by IG. The concept was good and pretty chic. It is even useful since it acts as a mirror of sort for the room. However, it is not practical. You could barely make out anything from the TV when the lights are on or the sun is shining during the day. The glare makes it difficult to view. It does set up a super nice movie night when you are lazing in bed and watching shows at night when all the lights are off. There is a good collection of Cable TV channels. Below the TV you can find a huge ottoman. It is certainly nice to have some additional seating or you can use it as additional storage for baggage like us.
On the left, you can find a relaxing armchair and a side table by the window. Two bottles of bottled water are provided here and these are replenished daily when the room is tidied up. You have a working desk next to the window. It’s pretty good for getting some work done with outlets easily available here. Wifi was fast and easy to connect to. The office chair provided offers good back support.
The room comes with a mini balcony or some sort and you can head out for some fresh air. There isn’t much of a view given how low we are.
It does face some greenery and makes for a nice relaxing view. The soundproofing wasn’t really good given how close it is to the street. You can hear noise easily in the evening.
The bathroom is spacious and huge but this is one negative side of the room in my view. There is definitely space for a double sink but they did not choose to do it. Amenities are from Crabtree and Evelyn as per the norm. I would also appreciate it if they could install a cosmetic mirror. No dental kit or other amenities are provided. I hate that it is a standing shower cum bathtub set up and it even comes with a half glass which is the worst ever. This causes water to splash around and get all over the place. Water pressure was great but temperature control was super bad. Finally, they don’t even have a proper toilet paper dispenser/holder.
The gym is open 24/7 and located in the basement. It is fairly basic and isn’t too welcoming. The space is small and while it could be decent if you are the only party using it. I couldn’t imagine having to share this with others. There is only one treadmill, one bike and some weights. You do not have to make reservations or anything. Towels and water can be found in the gym. I was told that they will disinfect the place once guests use it but I shall leave that to your own interpretation seeing how all guests can use it without an appointment and simply with their room cards.
Breakfast at Saldanha Mar
Breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant, Saldanha Mar which is located just off the lobby area on the ground floor. Breakfast service starts from 7am to 10am on weekdays and till 10.30am on weekends. The restaurant is also open only for lunch on weekdays when I was there. I was promptly welcomed in by the staff. It certainly gets crowded here during peak hours. With that being said, you still do not need to queue. Breakfast is included if you book a rate that includes it or if you are a Hilton Gold member and above. Staff were polite and the service was excellent.
I also appreciate that they have a counter outside the restaurant for guests to grab some coffee and tea in the morning when they are in a rush. I do love the white facade of the restaurant.
It is not a huge space and can at most fit 30-40 people max. I was shown to my seat and drinks orders were taken. The breakfast was one of the smallest selections that I have encountered during this trip in Europe. Breakfast is done via self=serviced buffet format and guests have to put on gloves when at the buffet line. It’s mostly a continental selection. Here are some pictures.
There are only 3 choices for hot dishes. You can also order eggs cooked to your liking and I love this part since freshly cooked food is always better than anything on the buffet line. The coffee and Orange Juice are very bad. The OJ tasted more like syrup water rather than orange juice. On the positive side, I love the huge selection of fresh fruits. They are super sweet and delicious. The pastries, cold cuts and cheese are pretty good as well.
Of course, being in Portugal, you can’t go without their local speciality, the pastel de nata.
I was feeling rather mutual about this property. While it is nice to stay at a Hilton where my status will allow me to collect points and enjoy some benefits like free breakfast, I can’t say that I was impressed with the stay. Neither does it feel especially good value for money. The hotel was rebranded to be a doubletree a couple of years ago. The breakfast was underwhelming and in fact the worst out of all my stays this trip. Elite treatment was the bare minimum. I am not a fan of the theme of the hotel too. It was so dark that you can’t even see the buttons in the lift like which floors the buttons are for. The only reason why I will stay with them is due to status and ability to earn points. Other than that there is simply no reason to be back. If given the chance, I would love to try the Curio if I am ever back in Lisbon.