Palacio Belmonte sits proudly on its Lisbon hilltop as it has since the Middle Ages
Over 30,000 of these beautiful blue and white tiles grace the walls of Palacio Belmonte
The historic library, where you can read, have a cocktail, or just admire its beauty
The timeless appeal of Portugese blue and white ceramics
Every room has a history, this one is wonderfully immersed in it
The shuttered windowseats of the Suite Bartolomeu Gusmao
A 17th century family palace for over 500 years is now a rare historic boutique hotel filled with a priceless collection of hand-painted Portugese tiles.
Palacio Belmonte is the oldest palace in Lisbon and has, over several centuries, evolved into one of Portugal’s, in fact Europe’s, great historic treasures. It is singular not only for its tile collection but as an all-suite exclusive accommodation.
The earliest sections of the Palacio include a medieval castle “keep” and other fortifications including an octagonal Moorish tower. These buildings were constructed over the foundations of earlier Roman and Moorish elements. Most of the what is seen today represents a major expansion during the 1640s when a more classical presentation was desired.
It was in the 1720s and 1730s that the most dramatic and beautiful interior upgrades were performed. These spaces are dominated by walls covered with hand-painted blue and white tiles. The tiles, arranged as large decorative panels, were created by Portugese artists Manuel Santos and Valentim de Almeida. There are 59 tiled wall panels throughout the Palacio, totaling over 30,000 individual tiles. The tiles can be seen throughout the public spaces of the Maria Ursula Room, Governor Room, Music Room, and in many of the guest suites.
The Palacio was purchased by Frederic Coustols in 1994 and throroughly restored with the assistance of the City of Lisbon, the Portugese government, and the European Union. Elements of sustainable design, such as double-paned windows, heavy insulation, and natural ventilation, were employed without sacrifice to the building’s history. In 2000 Palacio Belmonte received an award, presented by HRH The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, for its environmental and restoration efforts,
Palacio Belmonte opened with 10 suites of extraordinary architectural character and varied historic detail. There are 4 Terrace Suites including the Presidential Suite, 2 Family Suites, and 4 Belmonte Suites. All of the suites are quite spacious, and the bathrooms are well appointed and sympathetic in design to the historic building. Historic features of the suites vary and may include: terrace or patio, tiled floors, vaulted ceilings, arched doorways, deep- set windows with seating, painted frescoes, and the 18th century wall tiles.
Palacio Belmonte is ideal for private receptions and exclusive use. Catering is provided by Michelin Star Chef Jose Avillez, the chef for Palacio Belmonte as well as proprietor of his own restaurant.
Image Credits: Joe Condron and Jacob Termasen
Patio de Dom Fradique 14