Hotel Reviews

The Ivens, Lisbon, Autograph Collection – Sumptuous Luxury, Prime Location, and Incredible Interiors.

Located in the heart of Chiado in central Lisbon the Ivens is a relative new-comer to Lisbon’s burgeoning luxury hotel scene. Named after the explorers Ivens and Capelo, who also named the surrounding streets, the hotel occupies a historic 19th-century building where the former radio station Rádio Renascença was once housed and now offers 5-star accommodations, muliple stunning dining options and interiors that really have the wow factor. Read on to discover why we love this hotel in Lisbon so much.

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Background and Concept

Conveniently set in the centre of Lisbon The Ivens Autograph Collection is the perfect base for a city adventurer. Housed in an iconic building that encapsulates the spirit and culture of Lisbon, the hotel presents 87 unique rooms, of which ten are spacious suites including two signature top floor suites. Guests can choose to dine at the hotel’s three restaurants; Rocco Restaurant is an Italian-inspired restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Crudo Bar offers a gastronomic seafood journey and Gastro Bar presents light meals and an exquisite drinks menu. Guests can also make use of the gym which includes a range of cardio equipment and free-weights.

Inspiration

The hotel is at the crossroads of two streets named after Roberto Ivens and Hermenegildo Capelo, two men who traversed the world to find adventure. They departed from Lisbon on several occasions to discover the great lakes of Zaire and the Zambeze, to explore South Africa and to reach the Laca lands in Mozambique. For over a year, they risked their lives along unexplored trails and once spent 42 days lost in the jungle, bringing back drawings, sketches, charts, plants, rocks, fossils and unknown animals. In total, they travelled over 8,500 kilometres.

The hotel’s name, concept and interiors take inspiration from these two travelers and now the hotel welcomes “Explorers” from all around the world to the city.

Design

In the common areas and restaurants, a maximalist philosophy (think in your face glamour) applies thanks to Catalan designer and architect Lázaro Rosa-Violan, think warm woods and textures; velvet armchairs in the lobby, rattan and marble in the bar, and black-and-white checkerboard tiling underfoot.

In contrast guest quarters, designed by Cristina Matos, are models of tranquillity and purity that provide guests with the rest they deserve. Cristina Matos chose subtle tones such as beiges, whites, and greens with notes of colour in the wallpaper and carpets that allude to fauna and flora. Classical and sophisticated black-and-white flooring can be found in the bathrooms in the standard rooms, while marble is used in the suites.

The walls of the corridors are painted a deep blue and are decorated with period photographs and documents. Floors are covered in a long carpet with geometric motifs, and the tables and bookshelves are adorned with travel books, magazines, and histories of distant lands.

Carefully chosen lighting in the rooms compliments the natural light that floods in through huge windows that maintain the original appearance. Cristina also prioritised natural materials like wood, marble and straw in the guest rooms.

Location

The hotel is located in the centre of Lisbon, with a view of the Tagus river and the Chiado district just meters away. Surrounded by prestigious shops, restaurants, museums, art galleries, theatres, bookstores, and patisseries, along with the city’s nightlife areas of Bairro Alto, Bica and Cais do Sodré being a short stroll away.

Rooms and Suites

The Ivens Hotel offers 87 beautifully decorated rooms (ten of which are suites). With views of the city or river, they are all filled with Lisbon’s bright and remarkable light. Discover guest quarters where you can relax and recharge for your next journey.

Rooms

Premium Rooms

Premium Rooms are located in privileged spots around the building and are bigger than the other rooms with a lounge area incorporated into them.

Suites

If you’re looking for a little more space and luxury during your stay, the suites are the perfect option. With a separate living area and bedroom, there is plenty of room to relax, beautifully decorated with either king-size or twin beds, personalised check-in, two bathrooms, two televisions, Jo Malone amenities and private parking with free valet service.

Signature Suites

The Signature Suites are the hotel’s flagship rooms, located on the top floor with stunning panoramic views of the city and the River Tagus offering everything that the suites offer but with additional private terraces.

Food and Drink

Rocco the hotel’s restaurant and bar is one restaurant but encompasses three separate dining experiences. Step inside what is a decadently immersive space, pass a heavy velvet drape to the Gastrobar, a circular counter surrounded by chintzy Art Deco style decor and a suspended wine cellar, serving lighter meals and divine cocktails along with DJ. The destination Ristorante serves traditional Italian dishes – classics prepared according to authentic recipes – and has a terrace for outdoor eating. Then there’s the Crudo Bar, the venue’s most theatrical spot, where diners tuck into tiered platters of oysters, caviar, crab, prawns, tartare and ceviche while sipping on champagne.

Ristorante

Italian inspiration can be found in more than just the food in Rocco’s main restaurant. The wooden detailing, tiles, walls and ceilings (painted mustard and wine), the floral motifs, furniture and decorative elements, as well as the collections of decorative paintings, all match perfectly with the characteristic and inviting aroma of the Italian cucina típica.

As soon as you walk in, you’re hit with the intense heat coming from the grill. In the middle of the restaurant, there is a counter made of wood and marble with places for four people. This is where the perfectly cooked Octopus, Lobster and Loin are being prepared. The black-glazed handmade ceramic tiles give the place a cosy ambience.

Terrazza

Ristorante’s outdoor extension Terraza offers 56 open-air seats with the space decorated with bougainvillaea, iron tables, lemon trees and glazed Italian ceramic vases.

Crudo Bar

The bar is framed by an amphitheatre with nine chairs positioned around it. The amphitheatre is preceded by 25 seats arranged up the stairway in a way to remind you of the Italian coast. This is the cosiest part of Rocco, surrounded by photographs that relate to travel, the beach, long summer days, and good times. The menu here combines both land and sea options offering guests a gastronomic journey that goes perfectly with Sparkling Wine and Prosecco.

Gastro Bar

Walls are covered in hundreds of excellent wines arranged on shelves, from the chequered marble floor all the way up to the high and decorated ceiling. Large windows punctuate the walls and stream light into the room. Plants in the windows give the light a different dynamic, working together with the mirrors on the walls, behind the wine shelves and above the bar, in harmony with the omnipresent wallpaper and wood.

Above the central oval bar, there is another floating rack of wines. Around the bar, there are 17 seats. At the tables beside the windows, there are 16 seats with different patterns and textures based on floral prints.

The menu offers a range of classic international options, as well as a selection of Portuguese dishes for a more informal dining experience. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a classic cocktail or wine (Portuguese or otherwise), there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Bathroom

We don’t normally talk about toilets on TLE but this one definitely needs mentioning! Under a curved ceiling, lined in floral wallpapers, stands an imposing sink made of Italian Calacatta marble. At the ends, the mirrored doors of the cubicles add depth to the space, creating an interplay of illusory reflections. The coloured mosaic floral floor and the botanical motifs on the compartment walls perpetuate the surprise creating a truly unique bathroom.

Our Dining Experience

During our stay we dined in Crudo Bar, find a snapshot of our experience below.

Pre Starter and Cocktails

Starter

Mains

Dessert

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the main restaurant and is à la carte.

Gym and Wellness

A comprehensive fitness centre is located in the basement floor offering a full range of gym equipment and water and sports drinks to keep you refreshed.

Final Thoughts

Calm and mysterious The Ivens really is an oasis for the weary traveller, it is a place to swap the urban jungle outside for the human jungle inside. Its public spaces are all insta worthy, dining options are incredible, service is on point and guest quarters are places of calm where you are guaranteed to be able to recharge your batteries.