Mama Lisboa Review
Mama’s headed to Lisbon and it’s the hottest ticket in town
The Mama Shelter group is going from strength to strength, with hip new city outpostings popping up all over Europe. The latest? Mama Lisboa, right in the centre of Europe’s current favourite city break destination, Lisbon. So how does it measure up? Rebecca Cox checks in…
Mama Lisboa Hotel Review
Housed between the lively Príncipe Real neighbourhood and the monumental Marquis of Pombal Square in Lisbon, Mama Lisboa is all about location, location, location. You can access most of the city’s key areas on foot from the hotel, but it’s wise to hop on a passing tram for the steeper hills, especially if you made an unwise footwear decision. (Avoid flat leather soles, combined with steep hills and polished cobbles it’s an accident waiting to happen.) The rooms are small but perfectly formed; Mama Lisboa is a drop and dash city break base rather than a hotel for lounging in, although evening drinks in the hotel’s main restaurant and bar or the soon-to-open roof terrace are good reasons to remain on site. Enormous, comfortable beds take up much of the floorspace, while bathrooms are compact and chic. The rooms would benefit from an extra door to separate the bathroom (the toilets have only a sliding door and the shower wasn’t completely watertight, though we were assured a fix was in the works), but there’s plenty of light thanks to enormous windows. Quirky modern artworks occupy wall space alongside enormous televisions streaming free movie entertainment including XXX-rated entertainment should your romantic escape need a little kick-start.
The breakfast buffet is outstanding, served in the hotel’s bold and playful maritime-themed restaurant (pictured top) complete with marble island bar and hand-painted ceiling with fish motifs. Arrive early and stay until it’s cleared, piling plates with scrambled eggs, tomato salad, fresh bread and of course, local pastries. The passionfruit juice is the perfect antidote to late nights spent bar-hopping and wine tasting. Throughout the day and into the evening the restaurant is a French-brasserie-style eatery, with burgers, steak tartare and of course plenty of local seafood. The ceviche starter is a must, and the simple goat’s cheese and clementine salad is super fresh. You can also order pizza by the slice to take away if you’re in a hurry and hungry. The food is great, but the cocktails are better. Order one to start every evening of your stay, which you should extend to cover off the entire menu.
Lisbon is your oyster and Mama Lisboa is your base. Head out and explore all it has to offer, checking off Miradouro Das Portas Do Sol, Miradouro De São Pedro De Alcântara, Miradouro De Santa Catarina and Miradouro Da Nossa Senhora de Monte. For more ideas check out our Lisbon guide. Stop regularly for a shot of ginjinha and a fish pasty or a pastel de nata.
THE FINAL WORD
If you’re heading to Lisbon in search of no-frills fun, Mama Lisboa is the trendiest base in the city. Sure to attract a young, hip crowd with bars frequented by visitors and locals alike, check in and check out the city in style. And be sure to ask the friendly staff for their restaurant recommendations; they’re on top of the coolest openings in town.
Mama Lisboa room rates start at €89 per room, per night | mamashelter.com
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