Luxury Hotels


There are hotels that can claim, rightly, to be the world’s tallest – Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong – and, more controversially perhaps, to have the longest-ever dining table (the 110-seater at Taj Faluknuma Palace outside Hyderabad). But, nearly two years before it opens, it’s certain that Six Senses Lisbon will undoubtedly have the most glorious hotel ceilings, globally.

Look at the example above. It will apparently be all white when the remodelling is finished. The developers ARD Investment, headed by Madrid-based lawyer Jaime Ardid, 60, are doing something that will be spectacular. They are connecting two neighbouring palaces, centre and right in the photo below, and behind is a courtyard and, with masses of tall and healthy palm trees, a lush vertical garden similar to that behind Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Russie in Rome.  These two buildings will, being Six Senses, have a statement spa, and dining, and a three-bedroom Presidential Suite and other 110 bedrooms (not ‘presidential’ apart from the ceilings but elegantly suitable for history and location).

The two buildings, on rua São José, two small streets east of Avenida Liberdade retail heaven, are the 17th century Palácio Lavra and a youngster, Palácio de Pedrosas, built in 1764 for an Italian merchant and considerably later ignominiously deployed as a post office. Now both are being returned to the status to which they were born, and Ardid obviously has style. His real name is Jaime Ardid Martínez-Bordiú y Franco, he’s the son of the 10th Marquis of Villaverde, and his grandfather was a dictator.

What a pedigree this hotel will have.