Maria Adelia Carvalho

The favourite places of Adélia Carvalho

Adélia Carvalho, General Manager at the Valverde Hotel in Lisbon, is passionate about hospitality. She aims to bring her personal touch and sense of style to the places she works and loves developing and motivating her team. Having previously worked at renowned, high standard properties such as the Bairro Alto Hotel and the Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park she effortlessly combines impeccable attention to detail with a knack for customer service, which is part of her success. Born and still living in Lisbon she adores her city because of its magic, light and people. She talks to Mr Hudson about working in the hotel business, her love for travel and some of her favourite places.

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Tell us about yourself

I am a person who loves people and communication. For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for hotels and for enjoying the best moments in life. I love to learn about new cultures and sharing my best stories with people.

What do you enjoy most about working in the hotel business?

Welcoming guests, offering them the best service and exceeding their expectations never gets old! I love to create experiences that enhance the offering of our hotel and the way people feel about Lisbon. Creating new opportunities for my team and helping them develop their careers is a huge motivation.

Valverde Hotel has won many accolades - what is the key to your success?

It is all about the team, being passionate about what you do and leading by example. My professional mantra is ‘behaviour breeds behaviour’.

What makes Valverde Hotel such a popular choice for gay travellers?

The hotel is very welcoming, and the location is second to none. The architecture and decoration by Diogo Rosa Lâ and José Pedro Vieira create an exclusive atmosphere and an ambience that makes people feel at home, further enhanced by the unique art and carefully curated vintage furniture. We provide an informal yet efficient and attentive service that everyone loves when travelling. And the ability to cool down in our outdoor pool during Lisbon’s hot summer days is a big hit with as well!

Valverde Hotel Lisbon Terrace

Photo: Bastiaan Ellen

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What destination has lived up to the hype?  

What destination hasn’t?

None – I always try to make the most of the places I visit.

What is your favourite place in the world?

Ilha do Sal in Cape Verde is magical. The atmosphere is very relaxing, and the nature of the local people fascinates me.

What is it about travel that you enjoy most?

Experiencing different cultures. I was very impressed with Thailand, especially Phuket. The colours are amazing, and the hotel service is very delicate and pleasant.

What is the best hotel you’ve stayed at?

I loved my stay at Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana because of its remarkable history. It counts celebrities such as Fred Astaire, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne as its guests, which makes staying here a very special and interesting experience.

What does your ideal trip look like?

A vacation with family or friends, creating lots of amazing memories.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while travelling?

A few years ago when I was travelling to Argentina for business, I met the person in charge of operations at the iconic Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires. His long tenure in the hotel business has had him work with a large number of very diverse customers. Sharing our rich experiences was a very significant moment in my professional career.

What are your favourite places in Lisbon that people need to know about?

For the best views of the city while sipping a glass of Vinho Verde, make your way to Miradouro da Graça in the Old Town. Taking tram 28 through Alfama and Castelo, the historical part of Lisbon is a must. And I highly recommend a visit to Belém and its monuments (Belém and Jeronimo’s Monastery), enjoying a meal facing the river Tagus, and tasting the irresistible Pastel de Nata.

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