Lisbon | A Stay at Baixa House
Now, I've previously been one for cheap-as-chips, don't-care-what-it-looks-like accommodation when I'm travelling, considering that I barely spend any time in our room as I'd rather be out exploring. That attitude officially changed in Lisbon, after spending one night in beautiful i-escape property, Baixa House. I've now been fully converted to the pleasures of boutique hotels, in particular serviced apartments that combine the freedom of an Airbnb with the luxury and style of a hotel.
Located in the Baixa (downtown) district of Lisbon, Baixa House is discreetly tucked away behind a tiled facade on a busy shopping street with no signage or fanfare to announce its presence. Rather than being completely swarmed by tourists like one of the city's many high profile hotels, this block of beautiful serviced apartments is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. It's location is perfect for exploring the flattest part of the city and the busy shopping district. If, like us, you'd rather get lost in the traditional cobbled alleyways, Alfama is right on the doorstep, just a steep climb or quick tram ride away.
There are thirteen apartments overall, each one individually styled but maintaining a uniform bright and airy aesthetic throughout. As someone who works in interiors, I definitely have an appreciation for stylish decor and completely fell in love with the enviable collection of antique furniture that took pride of place in each apartment. The owner of Baixa House has spent years tracking down the perfect furniture and fittings for the rooms at antique markets and vintage shops all across Portugal and Spain with finds as diverse as Mid-Century coffee tables, beautiful green Bordallo Pinheiro majolica pottery and colourful rugs.
We were staying in Eduardo VII - apartment 4A - and couldn't have been happier. Our large, high-ceiling living space opened up onto a long balcony and invited the morning sun to shine through the french windows in the morning. The bedroom was cosy and comfortable with an acute attention to detail in the styling (fresh flowers and antique books will always get bonus points from me). We arrived to a fridge filled with breakfast goodies for the next morning and a freshly baked cake that we enjoyed on the balcony before heading out to explore nearby Alfama some more. When we awoke on our final morning in the city, a cotton bag was hanging from our doorknob filled with bread baked that morning to be eaten with cheese, jam, yogurt, juice and muesli. Delicious!
During our short stay, I was lucky enough to have a tour of a few of the other apartments that were empty at the time. It was impossible to pick a favourite! The attention to detail in each room was incredible and I returned home with my head spinning with ideas for redecorating our own home. The rooms sleep 1-7 people, and I particularly fell in love with a large attic apartment complete with original beams that has me wondering if I can recruit six friends to return with me.
I particularly loved how the apartments were predominantly painted white with original wooden floorboards and that the occasional flashes of colour came in the form of red, blue and yellow cushions, rugs, lampshades and floral wallpaper. The bursts of colour kept the rooms looking fun and interesting, but the carefully considered placement of colour wasn't overpowering, maintaining the airy ambiance throughout.
Sat at home now, scowling at my still-to-be-decorated hallway and dining room, I'm filled with inspiration!