Marlene Dietrich could have sauntered her way to Hollywood and back on the marble floors of this 1940s masterpiece of a Lisbon hotel. Designed by the famous Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco, much of this grand hotel has been restored to its former glory. Art Deco light fittings dominate the hallways, while works of modern art line the walls. A barber's room from the original hotel remains as an exhibition piece and hints at the exclusive gentlemen's set who once frequented this place.
The 24-hour self-service bar is a buzz of civilised activity, played out on a hand-crafted floor made with woods from Portugal's ex-colonies. But Britania is not a museum piece. As is characteristic of this small hotel chain, guests are invited to feel at home.
Rooms are spacious, with subtle lighting, and contain all the original furniture (although we're assured mattresses have been changed!). Set back on a street parallel to the busy Avenida da Liberdade, Britania enjoys both relative quiet and a central location. Remember to pack a twin-set or smoking jacket in your suitcase, and feel like a million dollars.