It had been a few years since my last Sheraton stay in Europe, so I was looking for a Sheraton property on this visit to Portugal. The timing of this trip was perfect for the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa in Lisbon, Portugal.
After a short taxi ride from the airport, which cost less than €10 (about $13), I immediately liked the location of the Sheraton. It’s not in the middle of all the Lisbon tourist sites and downtown, but close enough to make sightseeing a brisk walk away.
For my multiple night stay I used a combination of SPG points, cash and points, and cash. Cash rates were $196 a night and the cash and points rate for this SPG property is 5000 Starpoints and $75. SPG free nights are 10,000 Starpoints. Remember, if you book cash nights for your hotel stays, do what I do and let Pruvo monitor your reservations for price drops!
My check-in experience went smoothly and quickly. Thumbs up to the front desk staff! Since I am a Starwood Preferred Guest Gold level elite the hotel pre-assigned me a room. However, the room they had pre-assigned me wasn’t ready, so they gave me what they said was a better room on a higher floor.
When I got to my city view room, there was construction going on. A big crane was in full view, and construction workers could easily see into the room. I found this view unappealing and explained to the front desk that I was willing to wait until the other room was ready.
The room they had pre-assigned me was on the other side of the building, giving me the river view, one floor below (18th floor). It took them about an hour to get the room ready, but I liked this room much better.
The room was described as an upgraded room, I’m guessing because of the floor, and it came with a complimentary bottle of Port wine. If you read hotel reviews online, reviews of this hotel suggested the city view was the one to ask for, but I much preferred the river view. Especially from the higher floors. It gave me a view of the sunsets as well as a view of what Lisboetas (locals) call their “Golden Gate Bridge” (25 de Abril Suspension Bridge).
Using my Hotel Room Scorecard I broke down the individual elements of my standard room at the Sheraton Lisboa, which scored a 34 of 40 points.
The location of the hotel is what people seem to complain about the most. People say it’s out of the way and away from downtown/waterfront. It’s about a 20-30 minute walk or quick two metro stop ride downtown.
I actually really liked the location. First, as you know, I love to walk. The walk down the main boulevards, or side streets of Lisbon, that get you to the city center is lovely and for sure helps you walk off all the amazing Portuguese food and pastries. I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in the city center as it’s too touristy and crowded. As I mentioned, the metro is right out the door of the hotel and even the one time I chose to use a taxi to go downtown, it wasn’t more than €5 (~$7).
The room had some natural light from the windows, a desk lamp, bright lights by the bedside, and a hall light. This room was on the dark side though. I was told the rooms were refurbished about five years ago.
They were done in dark colors, mostly browns. Even the carpet was a dark brown.
Window Access (5/5)
The room had blackout window shades which were simple to operate. I always appreciate having great blackout shades in a hotel room. Another room feature I love and hardly ever see, is a window that opens! This room had a middle large window that opened, so each day it was wonderful to get some fresh air circulating into the room.
Bed Comfort (3/5)
I found the bed to be a bit too hard, but that’s often the case in hotels. I will say that I slept great, but attribute this more to all the walking around Lisbon than to the bed!
The bathroom was large, modern, and bright. There’s was a see-through bathroom window with blinds to close for privacy. The nice thing about these blinds was that the bathroom had excellent lighting and with the blinds open, it provided good lighting into an otherwise dimly lit room.
There were abundant hooks for towels, a single sink and a shower and tub combination. The toilet area has a door for privacy.
Interior Appointments and Furnishings (4/5)
There was no artwork on the walls, which I actually prefer. Just off the bathroom area along the entrance hall is a large closet. The desk is adequate and fully functional as a workspace. Instead of a couch in the corner by the window is a chair and side table. Though I do prefer a chair and ottoman or a couch, this solo chair worked well. Across from the bed and underneath the television screen was a long counter. I appreciate the extra counter space and good use of what otherwise would be wasted square footage.
As expected in a recently refurbished hotel room, plugs and outlets were plentiful and well-placed throughout the suite. There were outlets near the beds and universal plugs and USB charging ports at the desk.
Snack and Minibar (4/5)
The room came with a refrigerator and good sized counter top. There were also cups, glasses, plates and cutlery to use.
Both room service and housekeeping were excellent. I used them both, and they were always quick to respond. Housekeeping was very proactive in making sure I never needed anything. I appreciate when room service and housekeeping is above par, like this.
As a Starwood Preferred Guest Gold elite member, I was proactively given lounge access when I checked in. The lounge at this Sheraton is now right up there with my favorite Sheraton lounges! The lounge is on the 24th floor with the river-facing view.
The airport in Lisbon is only 6 kilometers from the city and the Sheraton is in its flight path. The lounge was amazing for plane spotting and I’ll admit to being mesmerized by all the planes I saw. I wouldn’t have thought Lisbon’s airport would be nearly as busy as it was.
The lounge keeps long hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The breakfast is a full European style breakfast with eggs, meats, cheese, fish, sweets, bread, yogurt, and fruit.
Coffee came from a Nespresso machine or you could get a pot of American-style drip coffee. There were fruit and snacks all day long and then from 5-7pm some small plate food items, as well as dessert and wines.
The one food glitch was that the eggs offered in the morning were scrambled eggs, but they allowed you to order eggs fixed any way you liked in a downstairs kitchen. I did this a few times and the service was really slow. Slow as in eggs taking an hour.
I appreciated that the eggs always came with a side salad of greens. I do think if the eggs take a long time from order to table, Sheraton really doesn’t need to offer this breakfast option. It’s a nice gesture, but not really necessary and I noticed very few people special ordering eggs.
The lounge itself had a tendency to get overcrowded and could be understaffed during the busy hours. I was at the hotel during the Christmas / New Years holidays. There’s no way to describe the few days before New Years and the few days after New Years at this lounge except to say it was crazy crowded. I know there are times of the year besides the holidays when the lounge gets packed and then there are times when it’s super quiet.
That’s just the natural ebb and flow of a hotel. One thing I can say is this lounge staff was amazing. They handled the crowds as best they could, they were incredibly hard working, and always had a great attitude about it all. Despite all the people and the hectic pace, they remembered what you liked to order and your drink preferences. My Port was always offered to me when I came to the lounge later in the evening!
Concierge service at hotels can vary widely. Over the years, I’ve had experiences with concierges that were memorable and stayed with me long after my hotel stay was over. That’s how it will be with the concierge staff at this Sheraton.
Armando has been at this hotel for more than 25 years and Ana Sofia for 10 years. They are both wonderful people and amazing concierges. From their suggestions, to how they responded to my questions (I asked a lot), to the stories we shared about my impressions of Lisbon, these two are world class professionals. Fun and engaged and doing their jobs with the best possible attitude, they both really enriched my stay in Portugal.
The hotel has a spa, which I did use. It’s a large, beautiful, peaceful space free for hotel guests. It has a sauna, steam, and jacuzzi, and I only saw one or two other hotels guests there besides me.
Whether you explore downtown Lisbon or explore the areas that aren’t in the city center, the Sheraton is very well positioned. There’s plenty of shopping, restaurants, and even a great art cinema all near the hotel, so please don’t let the location discourage you from staying here.
Even though the room decor was too dark for my taste, I was super pleased with my hotel stay at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa. You might think after reading all this I’m on their payroll or something! I’m a hotel guest who notices if the big things are done well. I also pay attention to whether the little things are done well, and at this hotel, it’s all done well.
Shelli Stein is a health and fitness entrepreneur who travels the world in search of culture, food, and fun! Besides contributing to PointMeToThePlane, you can find her at Joy in Movement.
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