Bomporto Hotels in Lisbon: The Vintage & The Lumiares

Bomporto Hotels is a chain of friendly boutique hotels in the best locations in Portugal with excellent personal service without being stuffy. Fabulous rooms that make you feel at home, delicious local and international food but not pretentious, and merely beautiful old buildings that have been brought firmly into the 21st century with style and charm without losing sight of their heritage. Mr Hudson speaks to Nicolas Roucos, general manager of Bomporto Hotels about the brand, the properties they own, and a helpful list of some of their favourite places in Lisbon.

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Tell us about yourself

I am originally from Greece and have travelled around and worked in hospitality across many countries in Europe for a long time (I won’t say how long though!). I am also passionate about the industry, the fact that you have the chance to meet so many people from different walks of life. The opportunity we have to make a difference to our customers, to really impress and the rewards when we do so certainly outweigh the hard work, long hours and sometimes less glamorous aspects of the job.

“We showcase the best of Portuguese produce served in a fresh and modern way, combining tradition and innovation with the careful selection of local products”

What does the Bomporto Hotels brand stand for? 

Bomporto Hotels seeks to offer guests an original, authentic and indigenous experience. We create lovely, friendly boutique hotels in the best locations in Portugal. More than a comfortable place to lay your head, more than a “home away from home” more than a source of the best of Portugal or a great location in Lisbon we offer guests a unique lifestyle experience under one roof.

We strive to achieve exceptional service and stylish facilities, but in environments that feel relaxed and unpretentious. Delicious local and international food is also key to Bomporto’s properties. We showcase the best of Portuguese produce served in a fresh and modern way, combining tradition and innovation with the careful selection of local products.

Bomporto actively chooses to use and showcase the ‘best of Portugal’. Collaboration with a wide range of local businesses, artists and manufacturers in Portugal remains central to the group’s philosophy.

Bomporto Hotels - Nicolas Roucos

Nicolas Roucos

The Lumiares

What makes a great hotel? 

1. Service. The differentiating factor will always be the level of service. In our hotels, the service is professional, personalised without being stuffy. Guests deserve the best service. A great hotel will not just have friendly staff, but they will do everything they can to make your stay more comfortable.

2. Location: It’s essential to stay in a place that’s close to where you want to be. The Vintage and The Lumiares are located in the heart of the city close to restaurants, shopping, transports etc.

3. Amenities: Guests love details when it comes to staying away from home. At The Lumiares we have Claus Porto amenities, a company with an impressive 130 years under its belt and that is as famous for those stunning vintage designs as it is for the handcrafted soaps. Beautifully designed kitchens with all the necessary amenities are a crucial feature. All guests are welcomed with a bottle of Portuguese wine, beer, water, tea, coffee, milk, soft drinks and Portuguese chocolates.

At The Vintage, besides the Claus Porto Amenities, guests are also treated to complimentary Couto toothpaste in beautifully-designed vintage packaging. Each room’s fridge is also stocked with complimentary craft beer by Lince, brewed locally in Lisbon’s up and coming factory district.

All bedrooms feature different one-off vintage chairs and trolley bar carts with a ‘do-it-yourself’ complimentary gin and tonic kit. The cocktail trolleys also feature an eclectic collection of complimentary treats for guests, curated by Foster & Bloom and produced by local artisans and beautifully presented in a bespoke leather basket that was fashioned uniquely for the hotel by Lisbon’s artisan leather makers, Project 226.

4. Bar & Restaurant: Whether you’ve been out all day or stuck in an office having meetings you need a place that’s close and comfortable to find a bite to eat, a couple of drinks and relax. At The Lumiares we have a magnificent rooftop restaurant & bar – Lumi Rooftop – where you can take in the Lisbon views grab a bite and a drink or have a proper meal if that’s what you feel. At The Vintage our Blue Restaurant and Bar is open all day and our V Rooftop is ideal for drinks and light bites.

The Lumiares

“The competition is stronger which means we need to be much more flexible in offering added value to our guests”

How has hospitality evolved over the last decade?  

The selection of hotels (and apartments on Airbnb) has widened. Therefore the competition is stronger which means we need to be much more flexible in offering added value to our guests (early check-in, late check-out, upgrades, welcome drinks at our Rooftops, complimentary stocked fridge etc).

Can you talk us through each property in your portfolio and their unique personality?

The Lumiares is our first property, a 5-star boutique hotel & spa, that seeks to share the very best of Portugal with our guests. It is a love letter to Portugal. The starting point here was the location – an utterly 17th century rebuilt palace located on the bustling edge of Bairro Alto. Design & artwork evolved to reflect our local surroundings and to showcase the work of Portuguese and Lisboeta makers, manufacturers and artists. The menu at Lumi rooftop bar & restaurant features global favourites with a Portuguese twist. At the same time, Parada and Rebel cafe are perfect for a quick bite, a Portuguese “petisco” and fantastic coffee and ice-cream.

The Vintage has been refurbished but is a newer building where Bomporto sought to redefine the word ‘vintage’ in a contemporary way – adopting designs from a generation of architects and industrial designers from the mid-century up to the present day. Nestled between the commercial centre of Avenida da Liberdade & the Cosmopolitan design district of Principe Real, guests have the opportunity to curate their own unique lifestyle experience under one roof. A chance to be inspired, relax & play, as the mood takes you.

The Vintage, Lisbon

“The design, both interior and exterior, is also an effective way to make a first impression maximising a guest’s experience and setting ourselves apart from the crowd”

How important is design these days as part of the hotel experience?  

Design is paramount as it adds a particular dimension of comfort and wellbeing to the guest’s experience. The design, both interior and exterior, is also an effective way to make a first impression maximising a guest’s experience and setting ourselves apart from the crowd. Social media dominate our world, so design is critical in creating the right environment for our guests to communicate their experience on social media.

What makes Portugal such a great destination?  

Climate, scenery, culture, and gastronomy are fantastic and also so varied from one place to another in this country. Above all the predominant factor is the authenticity, kindness and sense of hospitality of the Portuguese people in general.

Lisbon Tram

Lisbon | Photo: Annie Spratt

Pena Palace, Sintra | Photo: Julia Solonina

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

1. The Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, a viewpoint to see Lisbon’s golden light right across the road from The Lumiares.

2. The Jardim da Estrela, an ideal place to stroll and feel the relaxed neighbourhood vibe.

3. Visit Feira da Ladra, which is Lisbon’s oldest outdoor market

4. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum has a world-class private art collection worth seeing, and the gardens are beautiful – a cannot miss!

5. LX Factory, an entire community of industrial cool on the riverbank, a thriving little village of cafes, shops, art spaces, design studios and restaurants.

6. A Vida Portuguesa where you can buy curated objects as souvenirs such as the Claus Porto soaps and Vintage amenities.

7. Foxtrot, Pavilhão Chinês and Red Frog – cocktail bars, each with its own personality and concept.

Lisbon City Guide

Photo: Hugo Sousa

Why are Bomporto hotels so popular with the gay community?  

Bomporto hotels are popular with most communities, and this is what makes them such a beautiful melting pot for all. Mostly our clients appreciate our hotel’s design and comfort, our fusion of local and international gastronomy and friendly and discrete service.

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