Lisbon’s paragon of luxury

Marbee Shing-Go

Amid the energetic avenues and scenes of Lisbon, the EPIC SANA Marques Hotel emerges as a paragon of luxury that seamlessly blends with the historic allure of Portugal’s storied capital. On my recent springtime sojourn to Portugal’s capital, I was fortunate enough to check in at this remarkable establishment, and it delivered an experience that was nothing short of “epic.”

WHEN in Portugal, enjoy egg tarts and Port wine.

The welcoming gateway

Upon alighting from the car, the warmth of the hotel’s bellman alluded to the premier service I was about to receive. Their welcoming charm and willingness to accommodate requests such as an early check-in, after a delightful breakfast at The Garden, were precursors to a stay punctuated by its distinct brand of hospitality.

The premier experience

THE Premier Suite at EPIC SANA Marques.

Immersing guests into a sanctuary bathed in sunlight, the Premier Suite’s strategic layout, emphasized by expansive windows, offers views that span the bustling city grid to the tranquil sea beyond. An exploration into the suite revealed welcome confections, a gastronomic greeting to the city with a collection of macarons, artisanal chocolates and a bottle of sparkling wine laid out expressly for us. The warm welcome encouraged us to stay at the hotel for a little longer instead of quickly heading out after we settled. The suite was more than just a room; it evolved into our sumptuous, private observatory of Lisbon life. Each interior facet was thoughtfully placed, highlighted by the ingenious inclusion of a dual-facing TV mirror serving both the opulent sitting area and the plush bedding arrangement.

Culinary marvels

The EPIC SANA Marques Hotel stands as a haven for gastronomes. The Garden’s continental breakfast buffet displays a perfect merger of selection and taste, appealing to a breadth of dietary inclinations. In contrast, Allora is widely celebrated for its authentic Italian cuisine that transports diners right to the heart of Italy with its interactive ambiance and house-made pasta wonders. It’s located near the elevators going up to the rooms, so we also noticed it was full every single time we passed it. 

THE Garden’s interiors.

Beneath the hotel’s intricately woven fabric lies a seclusive hotel bar, converging on an al fresco retreat perfect for an evening digestif, a rarity in the urban lodging nexus, marrying privacy with an inviting atmosphere.  I was so happy to find this secret spot in the hotel. 

Breakfast refined

Juices and Smoothies.

Each morning heralded a spread symbolizing personalized culinary luxury. The buffet featured everything from bespoke milk options — oat, soy, almond, skim milk and regular milk — to vegan sausages. This array was complemented by the bubbly option of sparkling wine-infused morning mimosas. I also thoroughly enjoyed their blinis, which I don’t normally see elsewhere and, of course, Portugal’s most popular pastry- egg tarts. The hotel’s epicurean precision permeated every aspect of the meal, even down to the egg preparations, personalized to exact specifications, a true testament to the EPIC SANA Marques dedicated and custom-fit approach to service. 

PURE Honey.

The Spa: Restoration of body and mind

Despite renovations limiting access to their standard offerings, the spa at EPIC SANA Marquez elevates the tired body’s plea to an art form. My encounter with a skilled Thai masseuse untangled the knots wound by Lisbon’s up and down, up and down steps. The massage transcended mere physical kneading to become a holistic revival (and reward!), perfectly timed and deeply appreciated within the travel itinerary’s demands.

The Concierge Service: Pulse of exceptional hospitality

Every hotel has a concierge service, but I’ve never enjoyed the service as much as I did at this hotel. What sets this establishment apart isn’t merely the prompt reply to requests, but the depth of their connections and the genuine intent to enhance your stay.

A day after our arrival, we wanted to ask if they could help us book seats at this popular local restaurant. Everyone we know knows this restaurant and all the foodies continue to recommend it. We tried booking a reservation, but nobody would answer.

The only way to book was through email but the response would not be as quick as we needed. We mentioned our dilemma to the head concierge Karim, and, without batting an eyelash, he quickly responded that he would take care of it, and he did. A sought-after reservation at a popular restaurant delivered with an effortless assurance.

As we were about to leave for the day again, they also offered us a visit to the Spanish department store El Corte Inglés. As it turns out, the hotel and the department store have an arrangement wherein guests who intend to visit will be transported via a complimentary ride in an Uber Black vehicle and back to the hotel again. We enjoyed this service so much that we immediately went back the next day (and again the following day).

The verdict 

EPIC SANA Marques Hotel is not just a place to lodge; it’s a narrative woven into the tapestry of Lisbon’s enigmatic allure. Each element from the epicurean breakfasts to the spa, even the scaffolding of renovations, contributes to a story — one enveloped in sumptuous sheets of elevated existence. When the endearing magic of Lisbon calls you to its sun-dappled shores, consider the EPIC SANA Marques for an experience that is truly epic.