This is without a doubt no ordinary B&B; a cool culture den of artistic flair and bohemian allure, the aptly named Casa Amora is tucked away in Lisbon’s famed creative district, Amoreiras.
Playful and stylish, Casa Amora’s frontage is exactly what you would expect from Lisbon architecture – wrapped in a covering of Portugal’s classic azulejo tiles, it hints artfully like a book in its binding at all that is hidden within.
Layered throughout in authentic Lisboa living, these classic tiles at the front are matched by a peaceful, leafy courtyard-terrace at the back, a perfect spot for soaking up the sun with breakfast.
A creative menagerie of designer eye-candy, salvaged mid-century pieces, flea-market finds and kitschy humour, this 20th century bourgeoisie home-turned-boutique hotel narrates the nuanced Lisbon style with effortless charm. Owner Luis’ graphic design background and incomparable understanding of what works bursts throughout each room in this salon-esque guesthouse with colour, a sense of humour and rare eclectic flair.
If the hotel as a whole is written as an ode to Lisbon’s cultural past, then each room is a chapter. From intimate cosy affairs to larger, double-levelled hubs with kitchens and terraces, each creative den is set against a backdrop of soft gelato tones and careful design, while nodding to one of Portugal’s cultural icons of poetry, film and music.
From the Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigues, to poet Fernando Pessoa, painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso and film director Manoel de Oliveira, here, the random is always compounded with the wonderful.
A boutique salon rich in cool creativity, there is simply no better place to live like a local, nor any better location from which to explore one of Europe’s coolest cities. Do as Lisbon’s legendary founder Ulysses would do, and go seek those famous seven hills.
Nestled in Lisbon’s creative cobbled neighbourhood, Amoreiras, just off a leafy square and 20-minutes from downtown, Casa Amora is surrounded by hotspot neighbourhoods and enviable shopping, from antique to young, modern designer. Mere minutes from the classic antique shopping off Rua de Sao Bento, Casa Amora is also near Rua da Escola Politécnica, particularly well known for the ultra-cool Príncipe Real, filled with new hotspot restaurants, young designer stores and trendy antiques, from Tapisco to Cevicharia to Less.
Casa Amora is also 7km from Embaixada - one of Lisbon's most iconic buildings and cool shopping hub - this new-Arabian palace turned chic innovative culture den is where Portuguese fashion, craftsmanship, design, gastronomy and culture is celebrated. Next door to Casa Amora are also hotspot neighbourhoods Bairro Alto and Baixa-Chiado, and within easy walking distance is nearby fashionable Avenida da Liberdade. Should the beach call you, it is only a 15-minute bus ride away.
For the culturally and art-inclined, the impressive architecture of eighteenth-century Águas Livres Aqueduct, as well as its museum, Museu da Agua, is not far, nor is the Arpad Szenes Museum, an art museum dedicated to international artists, Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva.
A holiday here is all about living like a local, and so is breakfast – so potter down in the morning, pour a deep cup of freshly brewed coffee and help yourself to a cosy cacophony of Portuguese delicacies and breakfast classics. Seated on the bright and cosy creative-cool leafy terrace and surrounded by bursts of fun ceramic kitsch, authentic live-like-a-local vibes are all around.
Grab a plate and pile it up high with freshly made tortillas, cured meats, cheeses, yoghurts, fresh pastries, jams, fresh organic fruit and of course a bottle of port and some homemade bedtime cookies just waiting for you 24/7… and ask for personal in-the-know recommendations for supper. This is undoubtedly the Lisbon good life.
Renovated in 2012 by charismatic duo João and Luis, Casa Amora sits in very good hands.
Bursting with energy, friendly enthusiasm and a knack for creating comfort, multilingual João de Azevedo Canilho - speaker of five languages and traveller extrordinnaire - travelled from a young age through Europe and the Americas, yet always cherished the cultural heritage of Portugal and Lisbon, coming home to finally co-set up the gorgeous Casa Amora.
Meanwhile art and design are ingrained in the genetic make-up of other co-owner Luis Miguel Kapinha.
Spending years as creative director at a small design agency Luis has a keen imaginative eye for curating, style, history and design, as well as an impressive eye for detail that is vividly apparent in every room throughout joint labour of love, Casa Amora.
He left his role two years into setting up Casa Amora, and boy are we glad he did.
They are both a pleasure to meet, greet and spend time with, two Lisbon-locals who can point you where to go in effortless style, with personal recommendations that flow oh so easily in a guesthouse where living like a local is just what comes naturally.
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