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Travels in Portugal: Tivoli Hotel Lagos

LAGOS, PORTUGAL, Jan 1, 2013/ — The Tivoli Hotel Lagos is a veritable labyrinth with nautical design elements. It is a unique architectural creation designed by architect José Veloso with interior decoration by Maria José Salavisa.

The entrance features a grand curved stairway of stainless steel and rich colored hardwood, reflecting the essence of the harbor which is a short walk from the hotel.

Lagos is a seaside town which has a lovely harbor with private boats, and commercial fishing boats. Most mornings one can observe the arrival of freshly caught fish at the fish market.

The hotel chain is named after Tivoli which was a summer retreat during the Roman Empire.

The décor plays upon the summer retreat theme. In the reception and the first floor area there are wicker sofas with off-white canvas cushions; some hidden in cozy nooks, others beneath a skylight. They are set up for conversation, or if you chose a nice place to read a book, or even one corner to watch a game.

The Luna Bar is set up with a bit more formality – the chairs and tables have a Danish flavor.

A welcoming feature is that there are no TV’s blaring – one can actually have a conversation. Carvings of sailboats decorate one of the bar alcoves.

There is a menu of sandwiches such as tuna and smoked salmon plus lovely salads. They are available throughout the day.

The breakfast buffet is geared toward an international crowd. There are eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms. There is a section of cold meats and cheeses.

Another section features fresh and canned fruit along with different flavored yogurts. You can choose from croissants, muffins, or various breads for toast.

They have machines to create your custom coffee, or if you prefer there is a selection of teas. I enjoy sitting by the window where a friendly seagull will often visit.

The hotel has Mediterranean resort touches such as an outdoor pool area with plenty of lounges, and tables with umbrellas. There is an indoor pool as well.

The treadmills in the gym need to be upgraded. Transportation is available to their private Duna Beach Club during summer and warmer months.

Built in stages, construction was started in 1967. It now features 324 rooms, including 11 suites. Several of the suites have harbor and ocean views.

It wasn’t built in the days of personal computers and cell phones, so finding a place to plug in and recharge can be a challenge.

In Trip Advisor there was a complaint about the cost of internet. What they didn’t realize was if they joined GHA (Global Hotel Alliance) their internet would be free.

Another complaint at Trip Advisor was that there were too many stairs and some rooms are in a situation where you have to go outside in order to get back into the main area of the hotel.

If stairs are difficult for you it is best to get a room near an elevator within the inner sanctum of the hotel. Due to its maze like design, the porters are always there to help guests check into their rooms. It is unique in room placement to say the least.

The only rooms that have flat screen TVs are the suites. It is a major financial undertaking to switch out TVs. It doesn’t have down comforters or pillows.

What I noticed during my stay was that they were reupholstering the chairs in the rooms. One day my two chairs were slightly worn, the next day they were like new. The cleaning staff are “worker bees” who are always polishing the tile floors and wooden staircases.

In 1998 when I stayed at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays it needed updating….with any hotel there is maintenance and updating to be done.

One of the things that I love in the winter is being able to sit by the fireplace. Located in a sunken living room, it is usually lit around six in the evening. I have found the Hotel Tivoli to be a wonderful place to stay in the winter. The prices in the off season are very reasonable. By foot one can visit the harbor and the old town. By car there are many villages and oceanside treasures to be seen. The staff has always extended kindness to myself and friends.

[MARSHA BENTLEY HALE]
Photos by Marsha Hale