typical hilly street, a tree-lined avenue, an elegant early 20th century two-story apartment block and nine meticulously cared-for rooms: we’ve made it to Casa Fortunato, a small boutique hotel in the Amoreiras neighborhood of Lisbon.
A house with a story to tell, in its latest edition it presents itself in an eclectic mix of historical architecture, contemporary designer décor and iconic pieces, with unusual vintage objects discovered at street markets, Berber carpets and artwork collected by the homeowners over the years. It is a refined mix of décor from various styles and historical periods combined with great sensibility. However, what irredeemably grabs attention at first is the wallpaper, which fearlessly steals the show and…enchants.
With surprising colors, decisive contrasts and standard geometric forms, the various patterns create unexpected harmonies and, combined with the boiserie and boldly painted walls, give a unique personality and an abstract, romantic, rigorous and bold flair to the hotel and its nine rooms that never ceases to amaze.
Created by the couple, both of whom are architects, António Falcão Costa Lopes and Filipa Fortunato, Casa Fortunato has lived many lives transforming itself over the decades from a doctor’s bourgeois dwelling to an austere meeting place for the Japanese community, a trendy restaurant and finally into the gray headquarters of a financial company. Its destiny changed ten years ago when António placed his architecture studio inside and started with the first renovations.
The studio then moved elsewhere, and António and Filipa decided to stay put. They moved in together with their four children and the idea of creating a hotel for a few guests—brewing for some time but imagined for when the children would leave home—started to take shape. There is almost a familial atmosphere with the family upstairs and the guests on the ground floor. On Sunday morning over breakfast, they share stories and give suggestions on places to visit.
Casa Fortunato is not only a hotel; it is also a lifestyle. The food is macrobiotic and locally-sourced. The dishes prepared in the open-view kitchen are inspired by the Mediterranean diet reinterpreted according to the Japanese philosophy of shibui; in the morning it is possible to participate in an hour of yoga in the well-being room; and in the evening one can curl up with a book in the reading room. Attention to style also includes social responsibility, all the taps are by Fantini, the Italian company that launched the project 100 Fontane to bring fresh water to disadvantaged and rural communities throughout Africa. This is a subject that is especially close to the heart of António, who was born and lived for a long time in Luanda, Angola, where he still has a studio committed to the reconstruction of the country devastated by civil war.
We already know Lisbon is a wonderful city to be discovered and rediscovered. For full immersion in its beauty and daily life, along with the passions and commitments of its people, there is a welcoming and refined hotel with so thousands of stories to tell.
WHERE: Rua Marquês Subserra 10, Lisbon, Portugal
WHEN: Always open
PHOTOS: Courtesy Casa Fortunato, Credits Manolo Yllera