Stepping into the posh lobby of the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade at seven am after an early overnight flight, I was surprised and delighted to find a room ready and waiting for me. Granted, my podcast partner Kim and I were expected early for our media visit of this luxury hotel in Lisbon, but the service we experienced throughout our stay has convinced me that this 5 star hotel strives to provide this excellent caliber of customer service to each guest.
After checking into our deluxe family room, we headed up to the ninth floor to enjoy breakfast with a view at Terraço Rui Paula. Terraço, Tivoli’s fine dining restaurant, is also available for breakfast for suite guests. The breakfast buffet offers yogurts, fruits, breads, pastries, cereals, meats, cheeses, and even dim sum and miso soup. If that isn’t enough, you can also order full breakfast off the menu, including English, American, and French breakfasts, eggs, omelets, and more.
The views of Lisbon from the outdoor terrace and adjacent Sky Bar rooftop lounge offer a beautiful welcome to Lisbon. You can gaze across the red rooftops, all the way to the Tagus River. It is nice to start off a trip on such a positive note, and I knew it would lead to good things to come.
Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Luxury Hotel in Lisbon
The Tivoli Avenida Liberdade offers luxury options for families including connecting rooms, suites, and deluxe family rooms. The family rooms are very spacious (around 45 square meters), with a large entry and dressing area and a spacious combined sitting and sleeping area.
The bed can be arranged as a king, or two twins side-by-side. The sofa opens up to a bed that can accommodate two small children. Unfortunately, with a room capacity of four, larger families or those traveling with teens will need to look at connecting rooms (guaranteed upon booking.) In addition, a suite plus adjacent room (non-connecting) is perfect for a family that wants extra space.
The Tivoli offers the amenities you would expect in a luxury hotel including bathrobes, slippers, turndown service with a complementary bottle of still water, and upscale bath products. It also offers some unexpected surprises, like the flip-down child toilet seat in the bathroom.
The bathroom in the deluxe family room is also quite large, with a large vanity and shelf storage underneath offering plenty of space. There is a full-size tub, as well as a walk-in shower. The half wall blocking the toilet offers some privacy if multiple people are getting ready at once, but the open shower probably means you will still be showering one at a time.
I found the beds quite comfortable, but even courtyard-facing rooms can be loud at night for light sleepers with the noise from the Sky Bar above (open until 1am and even later in the summer.) So you may want to bring earplugs or a sound machine if you have trouble getting to sleep. The Avenue view facing rooms overlook the tree-lined Avenida Liberdade for city views. These offer another option with double-paned windows.
Superior Guest Service sets the Tivoli Apart
From the doorman that greeted us warmly, to the front desk representative who didn’t just check me out but walked me outside to help me find my airport transfer, the service at the Tivoli was top notch.
Suite guests have access to the Executive Lounge on the ninth floor, with a private concierge. I was so amazed when the concierge in the lounge knew both my name and room number. He was eager to help us find the tours and restaurant experiences that we were looking for and took time to research, call on our behalf (helping us avoid both language barriers and expensive phone calls), and book reservations for us. Both suggestions of the Park Bar for a rooftop bar experience in the Bairro Alto, and O Faia for an upscale fado dining experience, were excellent and very well received.
The downstairs concierge also pre-arranged our airport transfers, tuk-tuk tour, and a private driver for a day trip to Sintra, making our stay stress-free. He was so happy to help and eager to hear about our experience, and even helped rearrange our spa appointments to accommodate schedule changes on the fly.
Dining at the Tivoli Aveninda Liberdade
Just off the lobby, the seafood-focused Café Liberdade offers both casual dining up front and upscale dining in the main dining room. As always, the service at the Café Liberdade is excellent and the atmosphere is refined without feeling stuffy. I’m not sure if families with young children would feel entirely comfortable dining here, but if they are used to restaurant dining and not picky eaters, I’m sure they would be quite welcome.
Although many restaurants in Lisbon will bring you bread, olives, and perhaps cheese and meats without requesting (if so these are not complimentary), you want to order it at the Café Liberdade. The ham was melt-in-the-mouth delicious and I couldn’t stop eating it, despite the good food I knew was coming.
We were also served the best goat cheese in Portugal, which was so creamy yet packed with flavor. I would happily make a meal of just the bread, cheese, and meat with a nice glass of wine.
But we had more on the way, including garlic shrimp and baked salt cod, a Portuguese specialty. I enjoyed my fish but I will warn you that I did end up with a mouthful of bones. This happened in a couple of restaurants during my stay in Portugal so I would warn visitors to eat slowly and carefully.
While not a dessert eater, Kim fell in love with the apple pie, so unexpected in Portugal! However this wasn’t like American apple pie, but more like a crispy and tasty apple tart with cinnamon ice cream. You see this on many menus in Lisbon but not all are created equal and the Café Liberdade does it just right. I also sampled one of their pasteis da nata, the ubiquitous custard tarts made famous by the Pasteis de Belem bakery. While I didn’t have enough during my stay to become an expert, I was not disappointed with my first sample of this local delicacy.
Terraço Rui Paula
For more inventive cuisine, head upstairs to Terraço, which transforms at night into a fine dining restaurant. Since we loved the ham and cheese so much the night before at Café Liberdade, we tried it again at Terraço. Even though that was more than enough for a light meal, we then moved on to share the grilled aged beef.
The beef had a nice crust and was cooked perfectly. It was accompanied by green beans and pan-browned gnocchi, which were also excellent.
Given the cuisine and the atmosphere, Terraço wouldn’t be a fit for many families, but I know my foodie teen would enjoy it.
Sky Bar is the Tivoli’s rooftop bar, adjacent to Terraço on the ninth floor, with sweeping views of Lisbon. There is a mix of high top tables and lounge furniture to create a comfortable hang out. Expect the music to be jamming so go early for a more laid back experience. The bar is open year-round and they do have some blankets to snuggle up on cooler nights, but expect it to be the busiest in spring and summer.
Relax in a City Oasis
The green swath of trees separating the two sides of Avenida Liberdade already provide a peaceful setting for the Tivoli. The quiet calm of the lobby brings the feeling inside, except perhaps when a large Viking river cruise group is arriving or departing. Yet even within the hotel, there are opportunities to relax.
The Tivoli Spa offers massages, facials, scrubs and water massages that sound heavenly. There isn’t a locker room, so it may be best to use the spa elevator to go directly from your room to the spa in your robe. However, there is a sauna to enjoy before or after treatments.
We were both treated to massages and my massage was quiet relaxing. I even felt myself drifting off more than once. A visit to a spa has become my favorite way to recover from jet lag.
Outside, you will find the Tivoli pool. The swimming pool is located behind the hotel, with trees offering shade and privacy. While the pool wasn’t open in April, it is available for guests of the Tivoli and its sister property, the Avani, next door. There is a pool bar, a limited number of chaise lounges, and there appear to be a couple of cabanas as well.
I truly enjoyed our time at the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade and recommend it to anyone looking for luxury hotels in Lisbon. They hit all the marks for a five-star hotel in Lisbon. For families looking for an four-star experience, the contemporary Avani next door offers upscale options at a lower price point.
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Note: As mentioned, our stay was hosted, as well as our meals, activities, and spa service, for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.