Visionaire Apartments Lisbon
In the heart of Lisbon and located at the feet of the infamous Praça da Figueira lies one of Lisbon's hidden gems. On inspection, the building looks like something from a storybook with a canary yellow exterior and the words VISIONAIRE emblazoned across. Most will pass the Square wondering precisely what lies behind the doors of this mysterious dwelling, and we were lucky enough to experience this whilst in one of Portugal's most beautiful cities.
The Visionaire is a collection of apartments with a boutique hotel service, allowing travellers the privacy and luxury of a dwelling away from the pressures of hospitality whilst also providing stellar service.
The building dates back as early as the 18th century and could possibly be older, thanks to archaeologists finding evidence that suggests a timeline prior to the proposed. Visionaire is built on the ruins of the Hospital de Todos os Santo, one of the biggest European hospitals in the 16th century before the destruction of the building following the 1755 Great earthquake.
Interiors pay homage to Lisbon's history as an early multicultural hub and trading epicentre. Spices, porcelain, animals, silks, and precious stones were imported and exported in its earlier years.
This is celebrated at Visionaire, which is undoubtedly influenced by King D. João, the mind behind these Portuguese navigations, whose statue sits elegantly in front of the building and the centre of the Square.
In terms of design, it truly is like stepping into a museum. A giant rhinoceros sits on the Persian carpets in the lobby and common area, a nod to the exotic wildlife once transported through the city. Creating an illusion in each space, every room is themed to tell a differing story, whether about the spice industry from the east of Asia or the silk merchants that passed through Lisbon. Expect to stumble across hidden treasures such as ceramics, tapestries, furniture and hardwood mahogany chests.
Eighteen apartments are housed in the building. In the Visionaire Suite, expect to find restored wooden flooring throughout, a spacious kitchen with an antique cabinet and all of the mod-cons one would expect in a luxury apartment.
The lounge is a treasure trove of multiculturalism and history, from the original exposed brick coved ceilings to a vintage Kimono that hangs as a centrepiece on the wall. There is ample space for those staying in the city longer, with storage reminiscent of an armoire from early 18th century France. It is a melting pot of culture and history with intricate details flittered throughout the room.
The four-poster bed allows some grandeur and is equally comfortable for a peaceful slumber. High ceilings and bay windows deliver tranquil energy and an abundance of natural light throughout. For those concerned about the noise level of the busy Square, fear not, the windows come with shutters, and it is impossible to detect the footfall when they are closed.
The views of the Square are equally prodigious; you will truly experience the charm and character of Lisbon from your lounge with a café preto made fresh from your own machine and press.
The bathroom is again spacious with a walk-in double shower; it is complemented with natural wood accents and a freestanding basin. Homely touches are observed throughout with personalised tote bags and little notebooks that encourage those travelling to unwind following an intense day exploring.
Other amenities include a concierge, complimentary wifi, wireless speakers, and an abundance of art scattered throughout for those wanting to learn more about the African, Asian and oriental influences embedded within Portugal's history. All apartments are accessible via lift access, have air conditioning, a laundry room and an accessible library for guests.
The nightlife in Praça da Figueira leaves travellers in the position of deciding which place best to visit - a fantastic position to be in. The subway is located directly outside of the building. The taxis and tram stations are conveniently located on the Square for those wanting to experience the city in a yellow cab or tram.
Nearby attractions include Lisbon's famed Castle, Cathedral, the Independence Palace, Santa Justa Elevator, and the National Theater. The apartments are conveniently located close to neighbouring Bairro Alto and Chiado for those wanting to explore the cosmopolitan essence of the city.
With so much history in one building, it is clear why Visionaire has stolen travellers hearts.
The Visionaire Apartments
Address: Praça da Figueira 5, 1100-240 Lisboa, Portugal
Phone: +351 912 769 797
For further information and rates, please visit HERE
Words by Jheanelle Feanny