Lisbon: Hotel Gat Rossio and the city lays at your feet by @inberlin.de Fátima Lacerda
The travelogue focus to the most beautiful city in Europe. It was not my first stay there, but the luxury of being able to stay there for so long, both professionally and privately, made it possible for me to better DISCOVER Lisbon. The stay was unforgettable and the choice of hotel played a very important role.
What was new for me this time: in the last 3 years, Lisbon has developed as a party city. The tranquillity, the tranquillity is still there, but it had to be found in the cul-de-sacs, on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens or at sunset on the beach of neighbouring places like Estoril or Cascais. The storm of tourists, especially from Germany and France, has had devastating consequences for the inhabitants and residents of the neighbourhood: The meteoric rise in rents is only one of them. The other side of the coin is that the income that results from tourism benefits the city’s infrastructure and the municipalities. Lisbon has lost none of its charm in a sensual dance between old and modern, even in 2021.
The motto of the documentary film festival “Doc Lisboa” (21 to 31 October) also applies to the whole year:
“Lisbon welcomes the world”. But receiving is one thing. We, from the service desert city of Berlin, are burnt children, but watch out: Lisbon makes being a customer blossom and offers the best example of hospitality and understanding of service. There, the customer, if not king, is a valued contemporary who is treated as an equal. At the Hotel Gat Rossio, all of these characteristics can be attributed in an outstanding way to the hotel manager, Andrea Zurrinho. The team leadership, the communication skills, a lot of sensitivity and empathy in dealing with guests and staff can be seen in the result. The guest, no matter where he/she/it is from and how many quirks may come to light, is met at eye level and with respect.
Choosing the right hotel for a holiday, in general but especially for Lisbon, should not be underestimated, because a lot depends on it: How well do I sleep? How good is the breakfast? How quiet is the room? How nice is the view from the window? How do I get that balcony feeling where you don’t have to be outside to feel the vibrancy of the city? How courteous is the staff? How prepared is the city of Lisbon with information and information stands to welcome guests from all over the world? For good preparation, check the multilingual website of Visit Lisboa: visitlisboa.com.
Hotel Manager Andrea
Elena /Head of Housekeeping
Mara from the Front Desk
The right attention
Those for whom the choice of a hotel is a secondary consideration will find something in Lisbon in any case. Even at astronomical prices, with a blatantly unequal price-performance ratio. But for those who are of age, who don’t shy away from the effort and have the ambition to perceive the hotel as a place of contemplation and pause after days full of experiences and impressions, will find the perfect choice at the Hotel Gat Rossio. In short: a carefree package. There, guests are not only formally received at the counter and the formalities are clarified. This is the difference to other middle-class hotels in the sunny city. Instead, the versatile team knows the art of welcoming, catching and always taking the guests’ moods into consideration.
For requests such as room changes, tips on restaurants serving traditional Portuguese cuisine nearby or tips for excursions; the front desk team is always approachable and always at your service. The housecleaning staff is remarkably accurate and discreet at the same time.
Nothing escapes the eyes of the head of housekeeping, Elena. Originally from Russia but at home in Portugal for a longer time, she scrutinises the rooms after cleaning. Then she sends the approval by radio to the reception and only then can the guest move into the room. Elena insists on high standards of cleanliness, thorough and daily disinfection, and does not forget the delicious chocolate on the pillows and the elegant bottle of mineral water and ice cubes for the Vip guests.
Rooms of all kinds
Lisbon has become a hotspot for all kinds of target groups in the last 5 years. Congresses and, as recently, the technology fair “Web Summt”, private holidays, business trips bring very different audiences to the sunny city with a permanent feeling of spring. In addition, the Hotel Gat Rossio offers a wide variety of rooms (in different price ranges and sizes) for business people, married couples, couples (gay-friendly), for singles who deliberately travel alone or also for groups of older people who come to Lisbon from all corners of Europe as a place of enjoyment.
During the Web Summit fair, which is an important economic factor, men and women came from all corners of the world. Also the nice Robert Smith from San Francisco, who missed his check-in by one day but (and to his relief) was received by the receptionist Mara in an understanding, courteous and result-oriented way. The man had been travelling for over 2 days and was completely jet-lagged. Confronting him with annoying bureaucratic hurdles would be anything but a welcoming gesture. When he then found out that he would get a room after all and also only had to pay for the one night (as a side effect for arriving too late), it was a load off his mind. It was hard to miss. I happened to be standing next to him at the time, checking my mails and struggling with a Macintosch calculator.
There is something for every stay at Gat Rossio. Rooms in the Superior category, of course, are more comfortable and therefore perfect for those who want to be more refined and prefer a larger room with plenty of space to relax, laze around, let time pass by. For business travellers, there are smaller rooms with a single bed and very spartan furnishings.
The front desk is manned 24 hours a day and those who don’t want to take their laptops with them can check their mails on the large computer (beware, it’s a Mac!!!) at reception. And if you have your darling with you and want to work in peace, you can either sit on the terrace, which is open 24 hours a day, or in the conference room.
Absolute peace and quiet is guaranteed there. Let’s not fool ourselves: Lisbon is noisy. You can’t escape the rubbish from the glass bottles here. At 6 o’clock the time has come. The sinphony of a big city. You have to know that. But instead, a morning and afternoon light to fall in love with, a sunrise to marvel at and when the moon appears, then it is finally beautiful to melt.
Enjoy the terrace
Here, smokers in the otherwise smoke-free hotel can indulge in lung pain as if there were no tomorrow. But even guests who book breakfast can enjoy the day outdoors and have their “Pequeno Almoço” there. Those who decide at short notice can also spontaneously let the reception know that they would like to have breakfast there at the hotel. Everything is very relaxed and according to the wishes of the guests.
Whether it’s Rubem, Ricardo, Mara or Edson, the front office all-rounders will welcome you with Portuguese cordiality and provide information if requested. With this dedication to service, your stay will be a pleasure of the highest order.
Inclusion and participation
Multilingualism (Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French) is a natural part of the Front Desk staff’s portfolio. Even I, with my special requests (you know the drill!), have never fallen on deaf ears. Even when it was a matter of getting a plaster for my damaged foot. No problem at all! Those who love high heels must know: The uneven cobblestones of Lisbon’s streets are a real challenge! Flat shoes are recommended here: sneakears or flip-flops. Anything else is a pain in the ass. I know that now!
The breakfast team deserves special praise. Odete, Ana and Ivanildo work there very early. From 07:30, the breakfast room on the 1st floor, is open.
The hotel’s staffing policy allows Ivanildo, as a deaf-mute, to participate in society. With gestures and his mobile phone in his hand as an aid, he confidently manages to communicate with the guests, who were all very understanding, even if this seems unusual at first.
Breakfast in Portuguese
In addition to the normal drinks, the range includes delicious Portuguese baked goods such as pastel de nata*, rice cakes or yoghurt cakes.
Guests can run the rolls through the roaster themselves and then, when they are nice and crispy, top them themselves. The traditional “tosta mista” (mixed toast) can also be prepared there on the spot. Cheese and sausage, tomatoes and cucumbers are always fresh and nicely laid out on the platter and are always replenished. The eye also enjoys. The seating is designed for young people. But if the seat is too hard, you can get a cushion in the next room.
Inexpensive culinary delights around the corner
Restauradores square is in the heart of Lisbon and the metro exit is almost on the doorstep. From there, guests can find connections to all the sights. The Lisboa Card (comparable to Berlin’s “Welcome Card”) is the smart option and offers many advantages. It is advisable to buy the “72 hours” model. There are also discounts at museums. https://www.lisboacard.org/de/.
Before taking public transport, however, visitors should take a look at the immediate surroundings on foot. There is a lot to see: The Coliseu Palace of Culture, the Dona Maria II Theatre, the São Domingos Church, the Padaria Portuguesa bakery, which offers a very tasty and inexpensive breakfast and lunch, and the tram, which acts as a lift and leads to the “Mirante”. There, a breathtaking view of the whole city awaits. As if this were not enough, the way to the heart of the city “Praça do Rossio” is a stone’s throw away from the Hotel Gat Rossio. In this square, too, the guest is overwhelmed by tourist offers. Also in terms of football.
The Hotel Gat Rossio stands out from the strong competition due to its outstanding location. This aspect is probably the number 1 feature.
Service with the pick-up service
Those who want to be picked up from the airport safely and, above all, without stress, can specify this when booking the Hotel Gat Rossio. This service also applies to the departure The Hotel Gat Rossio works with a reliable, small but fine team, which brings or picks up the guests to the airport for a very good price.
As a travel reviewer and hotel critic, I firmly believe that the choice of hotel on a holiday trip can contribute to the considerable success of the stay. In the case of Hotel Gat Rossio, the team’s care for the guests’ well-being, combined with the family ambience, can contribute significantly to making the stay memorable. The comfort of the superior rooms, the balconies overlooking the Lisbon sky complete the excellent portfolio.
*Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belém is a puff pastry with custard that was probably made before the 18th century by the monks in Belém, now a district of Lisbon.