Sofitel Liberdade Hotel – one of the best values in Lisbon?

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01. Introduction: Why the hell is Edelweiss Air so expensive?
02. Condor 767-300 business class San Diego to Frankfurt
03. Hilton Frankfurt Airport
04. TAP Portugal A320 business class Frankfurt to Lisbon
05. Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade
06. 4 important things every first time visitor to Lisbon should know
07. TAP Premium Lounge, Lisbon Airport
08. TAP Portugal A330-200 business class Lisbon to Toronto
09. Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto International Airport
10. Air Canada Rouge A321 economy class Toronto to San Diego

One of the downsides of travel for me has always been arriving in a new city early in the morning, tired and weary, and not being able to check into the hotel. I’m generally a pretty light packer and I never have more than just a backpack with me anyway, but it’s hard to enjoy being in a new place if I have to lug that thing around everywhere. All I want to do is dump it so I can get on with my day, and not have to worry about ending up with tweaked back by early afternoon. This was exactly what I was thinking about as I walked into the lobby of the Sofitel Liberdade here in the heart of Lisbon at 9 AM.

Sofitel Liberdade location map

Location map of the Sofitel Liberdade here in Lisbon. Right in the middle of everything!

Sofitel hotel Lisbon Liberdade exterior

The Sofitel Liberdade is easy to miss if you’re not looking closely. The taxi driver dropped me off here and I was sure that he made a mistake.

Lisbon Sofitel Liberdade hotel entrance

The complete lack of a huge exterior sign threw me off for a second – but this was indeed the entrance to the Sofitel Liberdade. Props to that dude on the left for striking the perfect pose for this pic.

Lisbon Sofitel Liberdade main lobby

Interesting. Not what I was expecting at all (looks Chinese at first glance), but still quite nice.

Sofitel Liberdade check in

The check in desk. By the way, the woman on the right was the one that checked me in and made me feel like a rockstar for those brief few minutes. She deserves a raise!

As I stood there waiting, I was praying with all my might that they would have a room ready and available for me so that I could drop my things and freshen up before heading out and playing tourist all afternoon. As a matter fact, I thought for sure that was exactly what was happening as the very friendly receptionist was checking me in. She seemed very cheery and happy, very welcoming, and never once told me that there were no rooms available at any point during the check in process. It was only at the very last moment, just as she was handing me a map of the area, that she casually slipped in the fact that I could come back at 2 o’clock to collect my room keys. Darn it. So close, but yet so far.

Despite not having a room to go to at this early hour, I was still very much impressed with this hotel within those first few minutes. The location, as far as I could tell, was pretty much perfect and right in the center of everything. This being my first time in Lisbon, location was probably more important to me than anything else. The Sofitel Liberdade shines magnificently in that regard.

I was also very much impressed with the professionalism and kindness the entire front desk staff. They were all extremely cheery and happy, and very eager to make sure that I felt welcome and that I had everything I needed for a perfect stay. And even though they didn’t have a room available for me at that time, they were quick to offer to store my backpack and suggested a list of things that I (a first time visitor to the city) might enjoy doing for an afternoon. I very much appreciated that, and ended up having a very nice morning and early afternoon on the streets of Lisbon as I waited for my room to become available.

I arrived back at the hotel around 2:30 PM with sore feet and a slightly tweaked back, which made the anticipation of checking in seem all that much stronger. The room could’ve been a complete dump for all I cared – all I wanted was air-conditioning and a nice comfy chair to sit in for little while.

Sofitel Liberdade guest room hallway

Walking through the maze of hallways on the fourth floor in search of room number 435.

Sofitel Liberdade room 435

Jackpot.

Walking into Sofitel Liberdade hotel room

My first look as I was walking into the room. I give them bonus points for matching the room colors with those of the lobby downstairs.

Sofitel Liberdade room decor

I was certainly digging this. It definitely has an old world Spanish / Portuguese feel to it.

Sofitel Liberdade bed

A lot more bad than I actually needed, but I wasn’t complaining. That looks nice!

Sofitel Liberdade hotel room bed

I knew right away that I would be sleeping very well that night.

Sofitel Liberdade hotel room furnishings

Further proof that all uncomfortable chairs are upholstered in red. For those of you who don’t get that reference, the last hotel room I stayed in had a very uncomfortable red chair…

Sofitel Liberdade desk

The desk was placed right in front of the window, which I thought was actually kind of nice.

Sofitel Liberdade hotel room

Looking back towards the entrance. And another uncomfortable chair upholstered in red.

Sofitel Liberdade hotel artwork

I’m not totally sure what that painting is (laundry hanging out to dry?), but I kind of like it.

Sofitel Liberdade hotel room design

Looking towards the front corner.

Sofitel Liberdade furniture

One of the blandest bedside tables I’ve seen in a while, but I don’t make hotel choices based on this kind of stuff. It could’ve been a cinder block for all I cared.

Sofitel Liberdade wide angle room pic

Here are a few wide-angle pics. As you can see, it’s a small room but still quite stylish.

Sofitel Liberdade room darkness

A little bit dark too, but with the window blinds open it wasn’t so bad.

Sofitel Liberdade bathroom

Interestingly enough, the bathroom didn’t seem to match the overall style of the room. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I quite liked it. Definitely more on the “manly” side of the design spectrum.

Sofitel Liberdade hotel room bathroom

There’s something about the decor that made me want to grow a mustache and spend hours in here grooming it to perfection.

Sofitel Liberdade hotel bidet

God it was good to be in Europe again. Why the heck haven’t bidets caught on in the US?

Sofitel Liberdade shower

I still don’t understand the half door on the shower thing. How is it possible to take a shower without soaking the entire bathroom when there’s no door??

Sofitel Liberdade bathroom design

One last shot at this awesome bathroom. I think I like this one more than the one I had in the InterContinental New York last year.

As you can see from the pics, this was actually a pretty nice room with a strong Portuguese flavor to it. I can say that I honestly wasn’t expecting a room with so much local flair to it (this being a chain hotel and all), and I found it to be very comfortable and the perfect homebase for my first ever visit to this city. An added bonus was the fact that it was really quiet, despite being on one of the busiest streets in town. Thankfully I had a room on the opposite side of the building which overlooked a quiet alleyway didn’t see much action. Suffice to say, I slept like a baby that night.

Sofitel Liberdade room view

The view wasn’t all that interesting, but at least it helped to make the room quiet.

My only criticism of the room is that it seemed a bit dark and dreary. I’m not a big fan of dark and mysterious hotel rooms, but that’s kind of what this one felt like. Nothing will ever top the Park Plaza hotel in London for feeling dark and dreary, but this one comes a bit too close for comfort IMHO. At least I had a window to the outside world in this room and I could actually see the sky. Just slightly.

Sofitel Liberdade room service

By the way, room service was excellent here at the Sofitel Liberdade. This was my dinner that evening.

The verdict? The Sofitel Liberdade is an excellent choice for first-time visitors to Lisbon due to its proximity to a majority of the local sights. It’s also located on one of the main streets running through the city, which I enjoyed walking aimlessly up and down several times just soaking in the local culture. Bars, cafés, and restaurants are plentiful in this area and all within walking distance – and if you stay here, I’d advise you to bring a good pair of walking shoes. There’s just so much good stuff to see in every direction of this place and you’re probably going to want to see it all.

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