One of Lisbon's luxurious five-star hotels, originally the vision of Portuguese dictator Oliveira Salazar, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz was built with the intention of promoting Lisbon as both a centre of culture and high-class tourism. With no expense spared, more than 40,000sq.m of rare marble was used to fill the modernist structure, which was finally completed in 1959.
Notable local artists were invited to contribute sculptures, paintings and tapestries as a legacy of contemporary arts. Following a post-revolutionary fallow period, the Four Seasons chain took over ownership in 1997. The original director's daughter still has heavy input in the design of the building and much of its character remains unsullied. The 10-storey building is set atop a hill, apart from the busy main drag and all 282 rooms command unparalleled views of the old city, Tejo river and Eduardo VII park (and all but 10 have private balconies).
Other notable features include the well-respected Varanda restaurant and a new feng shui-inspired spa - easily the best in Lisbon. Access to the fantastic facilities is restricted to guests and exclusive members. Luxury on a large scale for those who like to stay centrally.