Lisbon-review

Relax and unwind at Lisbon's Corinthia Spa Hotel

Find out why Lisbon is the ideal place for a relaxing city break

Amy Brewster

Combining the buzz and excitement of a city break with the rest and relaxation of a spa, the Corinthia Hotel, Lisbon, has created your dream weekend getaway. Situated in the outskirts of central Lisbon, a convenient 15-minute drive from the airport, the Corinthia gives you the 'me' time you need during your time off from the real world whilst having the entertainment of a city on your doorstep. What more could you ask for?

Your experience at the Corinthia will live up to its 5-star name, however, its hidden gem is the spa. Once the elevator's doors open on the second floor it is like entering another world - the scents are calming, the music relaxing and the atmosphere is enhancing. Your thoughts are left behind as you are led to your treatment room.

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The spa’s Acqua Therapy room was perfect for relaxing at the end of a busy day

With over 12 treatment rooms and a vast list of treatments including the Portuguese Journey, Hammam Body Soother and Detoxifying Body Cocoon, it offers authentic, thorough and lasting treatments. I can highly recommend the Portuguese Journey, a body scrubbing treatment using Portuguese salt and oils – you will reach a whole new level of cleanliness.

It isn't just the options of treatment that are impressive, during my stay I began my days rejuvenating at the Acqua Therapy facilities which included a hot jacuzzi area, sauna, steam room and ice baths, it was the perfect wake up activity as well as the perfect way to end your day after seeing the sights of Lisbon.

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A welcomed addition to my time at the spa was the chance to spend some time with a personal trainer. Their trainers are qualified in a variety of sports and relaxation methods - we experienced an alignment class which focused on posture and adjustments. The 45 minutes identified any problem areas and the exercises improved balance, it was a perfect accompaniment to a relaxing weekend.

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The Chiado district is perfect for exploring

Lisbon's streets have it all; beautifully tiled, colourful buildings, cobbled streets and the tram is a thriving tourist attraction and worth a ride – even if it's just to give your legs a break. We wandered round the streets of the Chiado district, an area which nestles many of the cities bars and restaurants in its back streets and comes alive in the evening. The Chiado district is also scattered with boutique shops, perfect for afternoon strolling in the sun. Take home a piece of authentic Portugal with you and visit Claus Porto. Drawing on Portuguese ingredients for more than 100 years its handcrafted products are now stocked in the likes of Net-A-Porter but you can't beat the smell and experience of their store, just one of two in the world.

An attraction just as important as the sites in any city is the food – and Lisbon is no different. On our first evening we visited chef Jose Avillez's Bairro de Avillez Taverna. With a tapas menu inspired by the best Portuguese flavours it didn't disappoint. The flavours combined with the atmosphere and buzz of the restaurant, I really felt like a city local and for those with a sweet tooth the salted caramel dessert is a must.

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The fish at Mar do Inferno is loved by locals

Another Lisbon experience that can't be missed is Mar do Inferno restaurant in Cascais village. A half an hour drive from the city, sat on the coastal edge, Mar do Inferno overlooks the sea and offers a variety of fresh fish and sea food. It was clear the restaurant is loved by locals and it’s easy to see why. Our visit fell on a Sunday and a platter of lobster and crab seemed to be their equivalent of a Sunday dinner. Families filled the restaurant and spent their Sunday afternoons looking out to sea, perfect.

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