That’s it. I’m packing my bag (just one will do) and moving into Lisbon’s newly-revamped The Vintage Hotel, just a few slippery cobblestone steps away from the liveliest neighborhoods: Principe Real, Bairro Alto and Chiado.
If only! I was uncommonly lucky to spend a few sultry summer days at The Vintage soon after their renovation completed, and have been thinking about the place—the invigorating color palettes, astute details, and enthusiasm featuring local artisans—ever since. The Vintage boasts the minimalist grace of mid-century with the luxe amenities of a five-star getaway with the comforts you wish your home had.
If we can’t live at The Vintage—fine, fine—then lets at least pay close attention to their ultra-thoughtful design details so we can incorporate them into our own homes. If only our homes had a view of the São Jorge castle. *Sigh*
Be still our art-loving hearts! This commissioned painting, above, by Margarida Fleming, starring a fado singer with a cigarette dangling from her mouth, overlooks the coffee and cocktail bar. Fleming describes her as “a strong woman, with tenderness in her eyes.” I describe her as “perfect.” Proof that if you can’t find exactly what you want, sometimes you have to turn to your ultra-talented artist friends to make it especially for you.
The Vintage’s rich color selections of deep green, navy, and terracotta correspond with their philosophy: inspire, relax, play. No matter the intent of your stay, there’s a palette for you, whether you want to unwind with a calming blue, spark creativity surrounded by green, or rev up a little heat in the terracotta suites. (I stayed in a terracotta room. Lemme tell you, it works.)
A round of applause for designer Daniela Francheschini of Quiet Studios, who handpicked all the décor and sourced bespoke 1950s and 1960s furniture from across Europe and Scandinavia, ensuring The Vintage stayed true to its name.
On each wall, in each common space, on each bar cart, The Vintage shows off its love for Portuguese makers. Ceramicist Anna Westerlund’s pieces (don’t let her last name fool you; she’s half-Portuguese and a Lisbon native), featuring hand-drawn lines and even fingerprints—a literal human touch!—are showcased in the common spaces, as are Portuguese artist Joao Rei’s prints, also pictured in the guest rooms above.
Each of the 56 rooms boast unique artwork, all graphic pieces, inspired by Lisbon’s vigor and complementing the city’s ROY G. BIV color palette. The coffee cups? A local porcelain manufacturer. The beer in the fridge? Lisboan brewers. The custom pencils? You guessed it. Look around you. There’s a good chance you have access to just about everything you need within your city limits; revel in your neighbors’ handiwork to boast a little hometown pride.
No $9 Snickers here. The Vintage completely revitalized the idea of the mini-bar, starting with the bar cart itself, each vintage, each one-of-a-kind, each sourced from Quiet Studios in collaboration with Foster & Bloom. Then The Vintage stocked the trollies with a trove of local products—some you need (locally-made toothpaste), some you didn’t know you need (handmade chocolates), and most complimentary.
The star of the bar cart is a DIY cocktail kit, the perfect antidote to cool you down in hot, hot, hot Lisbon, featuring a classic gin and tonic with a Portuguese twist. Lisboan cocktail master Nino Lopez paired Sharish premium gin and Castello, a Portuguese tonic water, with dried fig and lemon garnishes for a refreshing welcome into Lisbon. Now, how do you toast in Portuguese? A sua saúde!
Be right back, I’m headed to my local nursery to figure out how to install a vertical garden in my backyard. While I’m at it, I’ll find out where to buy geometric, mid-century-inspired sconces, like these lighting up The Vintage’s patio. And don’t get me started on terracotta tables…
Have I convinced you that The Vintage is Heaven on Earth yet? (If so, this Portugal travel guide could come in handy.) Until my next visit, you can find me splashing together a gin and tonic, painting my bedroom terracotta, and commissioning a moody painting. See you in Lisbon.
Megan is a writer, editor, etc.-er who muses about life, design and travel for Domino, Lonny, Hunker and more. Her life rules include, but are not limited to: zipper when merging, tip in cash and contribute to your IRA. Be a pal and subscribe to her newsletter Night Vision.
BY Megan McCarty - September 2, 2019
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.