A beautiful hotel in the heart of Lisbon, featuring a warm, cozy and historic vibe, answered our Hotel Story questions! Read the article to learn more about the property and its background
The Independente Collective, located in Lisbon, features accommodation choices for all tastes and preferences; suites, hostel and a countryside property! We really liked the vibe of all three choices, however, The Independente Suites and Terrace is our favourite, due to its unique bohemian and palatial style! For this reason, we contacted the hotel’s Guest Relations Manager, Mr Rafael Mikkelsen, and asked our usual Hotel Story questions!
What is your role in the Guest Relations Department and what characterizes you as a professional?
As Guest Relations, my role is to ensure guests have the best experience when they stay with us. This might include anything, like recommending a restaurant, booking a tour with one of our partners, giving advice on the best sights in Lisbon or simply lending a mobile phone charger.
Where was this photo taken?
Behind me, you can see the hotel lobby, which is not only the place every guest sees when arriving but one of the liveliest spots at the hotel and hostel. Here is where we take care of check ins and check outs, but also where guests come to rest for a while, wait for their friends and just stop by to plan their days. I love this atmosphere of excitement and movement, and I usually take some time to chat with our guests and give them some tips on how to best enjoy the city.
Your favourite recipe or product in your hotel’s breakfast?
The breakfast at The Independente Suites and Terrace is served in our rooftop restaurant, The Insólito. For me, the best part is undoubtedly the eggs, which we cook according to your request, with bacon, mushrooms or tomatoes. There’s no better way to start your day!
Which room is your favourite and why?
My favourite room is definitely room #201. While it’s not the largest room in the hotel, it has an amazing outlook of the view across the street, and it has the best bathroom! Since it retains the structure of one of the original bathrooms of the palace, it’s larger than most, and it looks amazing, like a museum or an old dressing room.
Any favourite design object like a furniture for example?
I would say my favourite design object is actually the dinner table in the visitors’ lounge. It might not be the most sophisticated or eye-catching item, but for me, what makes it interesting, is that it was custom designed and made by our own maintenance department, out of a piece of recovered wood! Plus, it creates the perfect setting for guests to sit down next to each other and hang out, getting to know each other, sharing their experiences and stories.
If you could point out a specific dish for us to try at your restaurant which one would it be?
I would recommend the Carpato dish, which is thyme smoked Duck Breast with Orange and Pear & Port Jam, paired with a Smoke Me cocktail, with thyme infused bourbon, green apple syrup and lime juice, served on a smoked-infused glass. The smoky flavours of the cocktail and the duck balance perfectly with the sharp flavours of the orange and pear. And besides, it looks really cool!
Which is the best view from the hotel?
Our rooftop restaurant, The Insólito, where we also serve breakfast, is without a doubt the place with the best view. From there, you can get a full view of the Baixa area, as well as the river, the São Jorge Castle and Alfama neighbourhood.
What can I find in The Independente Suites and Terrace that I can’t find anywhere else?
The first thing that guests often notice is the decoration. We’ve used authentic vintage items, collected from several shops and markets around the neighbourhood, to decorate each one of our rooms differently. Our rooms are sophisticated and comfortable, but we’ve also tried to keep the original and historic atmosphere of the palace. This way, the guests have the sense of authenticity, almost like they were staying in the house of an old, eccentric Portuguese family, that has lived in the palace for centuries, leaving behind all sorts of objects and stories.
Although Principe Real/Bairro Alto is one of the main tourist areas, it is still one of the most well-known nightlife areas too. Several small companies and creative professionals have their offices here as well, so guests do get to see and interact with locals, and experience the real life of the city. I think you can get a better idea of this at our restaurants, The Decadente and The Insólito, where you can always find a good balance of locals on a business lunch or a dinner with friends, and visitors trying out Portuguese cuisine.
Name three places around the hotel that a traveller should visit
The Independente Suites and Terrace is perfectly located in the historical centre of Lisbon, and in one of the city’s best neighbourhoods, Príncipe Real. There is plenty to see around our area, and some of Lisbon’s main sights are only a couple of walking minutes away. Just across the street, you can enjoy one of the best outlooks in town, from the São Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint. Grab a coffee from the Kiosk and listen to one of the street musicians while you are planning out your day, overlooking the Baixa. Only 5 minutes away towards Rato, you will find the Botanical Garden, in which you will find, hidden away behind the buildings, one of the largest collection of subtropical vegetation in Europe.
In the opposite direction, towards the river, you will find the Rossio square, one of Lisbon’s main squares, where you can try a Ginginha at the “Ginginha sem Rival”. Finally, keep walking down Rua Augusta, enjoying the buildings and sights in this pedestrian street, until you reach Terreiro do Paço, and enjoy the unimpeded river view.
And the best period to visit your hotel?
The best time to visit us would perhaps be during late September or early October. Usually, the city empties at this time, since the large tourist groups have already left the country. The weather is still warm and clear, but not as hot as it is in August, so it’s nicer for sightseeing. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting bored, because there are still several events happening In Lisbon, such as film and music festivals you could visit.