Our events team were out and about again, with Project Manager, Cherry Dalton visiting Lisbon at the end of last year. Cherry gives us an insight into what Lisbon has to offer for corporates looking for a location for an overseas conference or incentive destination.
Lisbon - The city of hills, bridges and a thousand selfie sticks!
We all met as a group at Heathrow to a lovely surprise of prosecco and antipasti boards at The Perfectionist’s Café which gave us all the chance to introduce ourselves and our backgrounds in events. The group was great, and it was soon time to embark on our trip to Lisbon….A city that I’d always wanted to visit!
The flight was great, some of the friendliest staff and a very nicely refurbished plane. Of course, there were snacks and wine too which is always a bonus 😉
When we arrived at Lisbon International Airport we were shortly on our way to our first venue visit which was the brand new, stunning venue SANA SUD. Located on the edge of the Tagus river (the longest river in the Iberian peninsula) the venue really did have the wow factor. Great open space for entertaining which could be converted into closed space with a retractable roof at the touch of a button – very high tech! The venue boasted modernism with interchangeable LED lights, an open plan restaurant and a DJ Booth.
Next, it was on to the SANA Metropolitan Hotel where we were greeted with canapés and cocktails and given a bit of time to check our bags in before heading to another hotel, the SANA Lisboa Hotel for dinner.
After an invigorating 7:30 am yoga session in the gym on the ground floor, it was time to pack our bags again to hop on the bus for our first real taste of Lisbon!
We were met with a tour guide and walked through the monumental district of Belém, a historical quarter charmed by its magnificent century-old monuments and mountains of the famous ‘Pasteis de Belém’ (imagine the best custard tart you’ve ever had and now times that by ten thousand and you’re almost close – they were incredible!).
Next, it was time for the very hilarious, very scary, very yellow and very fun Go Cars. This was hands down one of the best ways to travel around and see the city. A really fun alternative to a coach, I would definitely recommend this for small groups that are wanting to do something a little different.
We ended our exciting ‘Go Car’ experience at the doors of the SANA Malhoa Hotel where again we were greeted with champagne cocktails upon arrival and a great site visit of the spaces they had to offer.
After lunch, we travelled by ‘eco tuktuk’ to the medieval borough of Alfama where we walked through the winding streets and visited the charming São Jorge Castle which overlooked the City of Lisbon and had wild peacocks!
After all of that walking, it was time for a pit stop at a lovely little restaurant called ‘Aura’ which faced the emblematic Commerce Square right in the heart of Lisbon.
On to the next hotel which would be hosting us for the evening, the stunning 5* SANA Myriad Hotel which is located in the most beautiful setting. The bedrooms had a real wow factor about them… suspended chairs and open plan whirlpool baths, this was without a doubt my favourite hotel so far.
The dinner was outstanding, and the staff were incredibly welcoming and hospitable a real 10/10 experience!
A few of us ventured out to a bar in Pink Street which was great if you love cocktails and DJ’s. What struck me most was how friendly the locals were. They are extremely proud of their city and want you to love it as much as them. I think we made a few friends for life that evening, especially when a few of us knew every word to Amy Winehouse’s Monkey Man!
We were all sad to leave the Myriad, but a bittersweet feeling, as we knew that we were heading to our next hotel, the Epic SANA which really does live up to its name.
A grand marble reception with tall vases of flowers and a rooftop infinity pool, I mean again WOW. It’s hard to believe this one hotel had so much space to offer, including a spa, gym and meeting rooms with up to 1760m2 of flexible space. We were lucky to be in time for their famous brunch, which I am not sure I can put into words. Every single detail was incredible, trays of fresh oysters and seafood, deserts that didn’t look real and ample dishes of almost every cuisine you could imagine, it really was something special. It was also lovely to see and hear about local families regularly spending time on Sunday’s at the Epic for the ‘Epic’ brunches!
It was time to head home, back to the sunny UK, we could have spent a few more days exploring, but I am sure we were all grateful for the experience we were given in our short time in Lisbon.
It is a great City, and I will definitely be recommending it to groups in the future!
Thank you again to SANA Hotels & TAP Portugal for an amazing trip!