The aristocracy was still very much in the ascendency when, in 1764, the Marquess of Pombal commissioned his architect Reinaldo Manuel to build a public park in central Lisbon. A century later and the nearby Avenida da Liberdade was constructed, 90 metres wide and modelled on the boulevards of Paris, and attracting residents from the higher echelons of Lisbon society. Royalty and their courtiers paraded the avenue in their finery, and the gardens were given to host frequent parties and shows.
Although significantly redeveloped since those days, the area of Avenida da Liberdade remains an exclusive Lisbon address. Now, thanks to the restoration and decoration work of José Pedro Vieira and Diego Rosa Lã, Hotel Valverde is injecting some glamour back into the neighbourhood by recalling the classic sensibilities of a bygone era. A mixture of antiques and mid-century furniture grace the expertly-appointed interior. Outside there’s a lovely tree-lined patio garden in which to relax while the hubbub of the modern city carries on without. A movie screening area, quirkily named The Reading Lounge, is among the facilities setting the Hotel Valverde’s public spaces apart.