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May 20, 2024

Inside The Ivens, Lisbon’s Maximalist Hideout Hotel

The Ivens, in true Lisbon fashion, adds yet another splash of color to the vibrant city.

By Grace Taylor

The Portuguese city of Lisbon is currently celebrating record levels of tourism. While steeped in history as Europe’s second oldest capital city, Lisbon has seamlessly blended its rich past with modern vibrancy. Many of the city’s neighborhoods are now awash with trendy boutiques, vegan-friendly brunch cafes and vinyl-playing wine bars (I’ll take a large glass of orange). With lively strips of nightlife, a thriving art scene and an efficient train system that whisks sunseekers to the Cascais coast in under an hour, the city attracts a true plethora of different visitors, offering, forgive the cliché, a little something for everyone. 

Aesthetically, Lisbon is marvelous. Rattling yellow and mahogany trams bring thousand-year-old cobbled streets to life. Visitors seek shade under blooming violet jacaranda trees. Intricately colored tiles decorate the most unassuming of buildings and the glittering blues of the Tagus River seem to follow you wherever you go, waiting at the bottom of each infamously steep path. The Ivens, in true Lisbon fashion, adds yet another stunning splash of color. Painted in a chic shade of pink and spotted with white, chapel-like windows, the 19th-century building melts perfectly into the capital’s timeless charm.

The Autograph Collection hotel is located on a quiet side street in the Chiado neighborhood, sitting at the crossroads of two streets named after famed Portuguese explorers, Roberto Ivens and Hermenegildo Capelo. This explorer theme carries throughout the interior decor, making the aptly nicknamed ‘Explorer’s Hotel’ a perfect base for discovering the ever-evolving city.

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Stay

The reception area at The Ivens Hotel Lisbon
Check-in takes place on the mezzanine, where jagged mirrored walls meet fern-printed carpets / ©Francisco Nogueira
Inside one of the suites at The Ivens Hotel Lisbon
The interiors purposefully create an ambiance of tranquility and purity / ©Francisco Nogueira

Inside The Ivens, an unexpected explosion of maximalist decor awaits. Animal-print armchairs, dark wood bookshelves, tall tropical plants and chunky chandeliers adorn a dimly-lit reception. Check-in takes place on the mezzanine, where jagged mirrored walls meet fern-printed carpets, in a unique interior decor combination that works when it shouldn’t. 

In a surprising contrast, the hotel’s 87 rooms are much more minimalist. Designer Cristina Matos intentionally dialed down the room and suite decor to purposefully create an ambiance of tranquility and purity and encourage the city’s explorers to seek well-earned rest. High ceilings and large windows bathe the beige and white rooms in sunlight. Crisp white linens, subtly layered textures, and Aqua di Parma toiletries give the rooms a premium, sophisticated feel. 

For the best views of the city and River Tagus, book one of the signature suites on the top floor. Outside, the terrace is the perfect spot for soaking up the views over breakfast or watching the sunset with a cocktail in the evenings.

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Dine

The Gastrobar inside The Ivens Hotel Lisbon
Designed by self-proclaimed creator of atmospheres, Lázaro Rosa-Violan, The Ivens’ multifaceted dining space is a top Lisbon destination in itself / ©Francisco Nogueira
The toilets of Rocco restaurant, Lisbon.
Before departing, all guests must make a trip to the Rocco bathrooms / ©Francisco Nogueira

Designed by self-proclaimed creator of atmospheres, Lázaro Rosa-Violan, the Ivens’ multifaceted dining space is a Lisbon destination in itself. Accessible through heavy wooden doors on the left-hand side of the lobby, the Gastro Bar takes center stage. A grand marble bar stands proud, surrounded by loud floral-print stools and illuminated with antique light fixtures. On Saturday night, the bar buzzed with well-researched tourists and impeccably dressed locals, clearly the place to be.

For seafood enthusiasts, the upstairs Crudo Bar offers a variety of Lisbon’s freshest shellfish, paired with a glass of chilled champagne.

Descending the red-carpeted stairs, the staggeringly cool, well-curated vibes continue in the hotel’s signature restaurant Rocco. A reddish light bathes the large dining room, creating an intimate, trendy atmosphere. The open-style kitchens provide a glimpse of grill-style cooking and well-dressed chefs in action.

We dined on the attached covered terrace. A striking shade of green, the space features flowing stone fountains, climbing plants and yet another stunningly illuminated bar. Specializing in Italian fare, we sipped chilled champagne, and house-style negronis, and enjoyed faultless European cuisine. The lobster with garlic butter and saffron risotto is a must, and, as every top-tier restaurant should, Rocco offers the option to add truffle by the gram to any dish.

Before departing, all guests must make a trip to the Rocco bathrooms, as the botanical decor and Calcutta marble sinks are not to be missed.

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Explore

Reception of The Ivens Hotel Lisbon
The aptly nicknamed ‘Explorer’s Hotel’ a perfect base for discovering the ever-evolving city / ©Francisco Nogueira
Reception of The Ivens Hotel Lisbon
Animal-print armchairs, dark wood bookshelves, tall tropical plants and chunky chandeliers adorn a dimly lit reception / ©Francisco Nogueira

Chiado is home to several theatres (including Teatro São Luiz and São Carlos), museums, galleries and the oldest operating bookstore in the world – Livraria Bertrand. And if you’d rather go on a night out, the city’s best party spots are just around the corner including Bica, Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré.

Those with a penchant for shopping can indulge in a spot of retail therapy at the plethora of nearby high-end boutiques. Just a stone’s throw from the hotel, you’ll find an excellent selection of fine dining restaurants including Balcanto and Alma – both of which have scooped two Michelin stars.

Perfect for those wanting to explore a little further afield, The Ivens is a short walk from the main train and ferry station, a gateway to surrounding towns and the stunning coastline.

theivenshotel.com

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