Alex Tieghi-Walker

Hostel Independente

  • Where:Lisbon
  • Why:Attending the Lisbon Architecture Triennial.
  • When:September 2013
  • Who:Just me and a rucksack full of books.
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A tiled corner in the courtyard restaurant .

There were 76 stairs to get to the room, but it was worth the climb for the view and exposed rafters alone. While there were shared rooms for 6, 9 and 12 people, the Hostel also had 2 suites in the attic which essentially makes the place feel like a beautifully pint-sized boutique hotel.

The lobby of the hostel is a bright red that changes to a rich, port colour in the evening.

In my room was this cozy niche near the fireplace, complete with vintage furniture and an industrial-scale fan for the warm nights.

The view from the balcony of my room was pretty spectacular.

Worn exhibition posters and art memorabilia line the hallways of the hostel.

At the core of the hostel is this courtyard-cum-staircase… the light was incredible.

A collection of tins I picked up at Sol e Pesca, a fish bar near the waterfront.

Just behind the hostel is a network of cobbled lanes and alleyways empty by day but a-buzz with bars and music after 6pm.

An impressive top-lit stucco staircase spirals round the centre of the hostel.

Bonding with an Aloe at the Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens) right next door to the hostel.

Highs & Lows

  • No grubby hallways or sketchy common areas. This hostel is housed in the old Swiss Ambassador’s residence so it feels very special walking between the lofty rooms which have been filled with vintage furniture and art pieces.

  • Despite shared rooms, there are plenty of spaces to hang out if you need down-time. A large drawing room on the first floor has various seating areas and downstairs there is a network of sitting rooms, studies and alcoves.

  • The restaurant, the Decadente, stays open late and serves fresh and delicious food. Eating outside in the courtyard was a real treat and the city seemed a thousand miles away.

  • The hostel is on a hill overlooking the haphazard slopes of the city, connected to the main squares by an old cable car that meanders steeply down the hill.

  • Ultimately this is a hostel - so shared bathrooms, no towels, no mini-bar and you make your own bed. Not good for those used to luxury and pampering

  • I didn’t mind that the room was so hot because I’d left 10 degrees behind in London so it was nice to sleep with the balcony doors open, but I can see it would be a bit too sticky for some.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Mini Bar

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 38/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Hostel

  • Vibe

    Faded grandeur and vintage furniture… more museum than hostel!

  • Location

    Perched on a hill and just a 2 minute cable-car ride from the Grand Central Square.

  • Rooms

    11 shared rooms and 2 private suites.

  • Music

    Samba + French 60s pop.

  • Year Opened

    2012

  • Designed By

    A team of local aesthetes trawling the junk shops and furniture fairs of the city.

  • Pool/Gym

    No.

  • Restaurant

    Yes, in a small courtyard at the back of the house aptly named the Decadente.

  • Bar

    Yes, taking over several small lounges filled with vintage furniture and knick-knacks.

  • Children

    Probably a headache – too many breakables.

  • Price

    Cheap as hell!

Old-world architecture is combined with banana tree groves and palm trees - you could easily forget that you were in Europe...

The Jardim Botânico

Rua da Escola Politécnica, 58, Principe Real

Old-world architecture is combined with banana tree groves and palm trees - you could easily forget that you were in Europe...

Gorgeous bar in an glassed veranda... 60s furniture and cocktails made from freshly squeezed melon juice are a highlight

Teatro da Garagem

Teatro Da Garagem, Cooperativa De Responsabilidade, Lda. C. R. L., Lisbon, Portugal

Gorgeous bar in an glassed veranda... 60s furniture and cocktails made from freshly squeezed melon juice are a highlight

A fish bar filled with hundreds of sardine tins near the docks

Sol e Pesca

Sol e Pesca市场, Rua Nova do Carvalho, Lisbon, Portugal

A fish bar filled with hundreds of sardine tins near the docks

Hostel Independente

R. São Pedro de Alcântara 81, Lisboa, Portugal

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