ROAM is about stories. The story of a place, the story of a journey, of culture and people. But we realise that travel is more than just about what you see and do. Part of that story comes from where you stay and staying in a unique place can be a huge part of the story you form from your trip. In this new series, Home from Home, we want to highlight some of the best places to stay around the world. From hotels, hostels, homestays, guesthouses, campsites, resorts or heck, you might even find a treehouse featured one day!
No matter what the type of accommodation, or where it is in the world, we want to show you places which truly stand out to us. This could be because of the amazing family or staff who run the place, the commitment to sustainability and local produce, or a location in the heart of the cities buzz. It could be anything which makes the accommodation add so much to our trip and aids us with the discovery of a place. We hope you enjoy this series, and we hope we can show you places to stay which will enhance and encourage your discovery of stories around the world.
First up, I introduce you to Casa Amora, a boutique guest house with a true homestay feel in the vibrant city of Lisbon.
Juan welcomes us to the Casa Amora in the warmest way possible with a wide open smile and a welcome to the city he calls home, Lisbon. It’s late in the evening, so he shows us quickly to our room before offering us a glass of Portuguese Port Wine in the Casa’s terrace. It’s our first night in Lisbon, and despite the late hour, we’re excited by the warmth we feel in the air and we of course accept. It becomes a nightly ritual.
The Casa Amora
From the front, Casa Amora looks like little more than a local house. Inside, it’s a boutique hotel with only 5 rooms and 6 studios. Founded by two Lisbon locals, Luis & Joao, they started the Casa after becoming tired of their busy corporate careers. They found the perfect spot in Lisbon and began creating a space for travellers to stay, enjoy and be inspired by. The size of the property and the location in a tree-shaded courtyard adds to the feeling of being at home which we come to adore during our stay here.
The next morning, the sky is clear and the ivy-covered walls of the courtyard flutter in the wind. Breakfast is served and it’s a complete delight. We fuel up on tea and coffee before feasting on the buffet cooked up by resident home-cook Nita. Her food is delicious, fresh and cooked from the heart. Fresh juices, local cheeses and bread, tarts and tortillas which change daily and of course, the sweet local Pastéis de Nata’s, which we eat far too many of on our short trip to the city.
Our morning feast is served in the hotel courtyard, which is filled with greenery, colourful tableware and tiles which give accents to the city which surrounds us. It’s a perfect start to the morning and fuels us up for a day of exploring the city of Lisbon.
Location & Getting Around
The location of the Casa Amora is a little outside of Lisbon’s main tourist drag in the Amoreiras district, a local neighbourhood where you are able to see how the locals of Lisbon eat, drink and play. Right outside the terrace, one of Lisbon’s oldest bars sits shaded beneath an overgrown tree and nearby there’s plenty of restaurants and bars if you don’t fancy the walk into the city in the evening.
The name of the area comes from the mulberry fields which once existed in the area, as it wasn’t made into a residential part of the city until the 18th century when silk makers moved into the district. There are lots of unique places to see nearby, that you might not get the chance to see if you’d stayed in more touristic areas. Only a short stroll away is the Rua da Escola Politécnica and Rua de São Bento, both bustling streets filled with antique shops and galleries.
The easiest way to get around is by the subway, as the casa is right by the Rato subway station which you can catch directly into the city centre. If you want to explore a little more, it’s around 45-minute walk to Alfama, the main tourist ‘old city’ district of Lisbon. However, the trendy and much more interesting Principle Real is much closer, about a 15-minute walk away. In Principle Real, you’ll find the cities best cafes, bars and restaurants, plus the beautiful views of the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara Park.
Lisbon is a city where you’ll often find yourself walking up and down hills all day, so it’s lovely to have a relaxed and comfortable room to come back to in the evening. We stayed in one of the Casa Amora’s double rooms which had a huge bed, two balconies and a big open bathroom. The decor of each room is designed differently and has personal touches from the owners and of Lisbon. Our room had double doors which opened up to the communal lounge where Juan would help us plan our day, and kitchen area, where Nita would be cooking up some of her delicious creations.
In our few days at the Casa Amora, I feel like I have found my home in the city of Lisbon. While the room, the food and the local location are all perfect reasons to stay, and the warmth and helpfulness of the staff which have made this stay one to cherish.
Rooms at the Casa Amora start from €90 a night, you can find more information about the property and book your stay on their website.
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT!
Annapurna Mellor is a travel photographer, writer and co-founder of Roam Magazine. She fell in love with Asia shortly after graduating and has since spent extensive periods travelling and photographing in India, Nepal, Myanmar and many more. She shoots regularly for brands and publications and her work can be found in National Geographic Traveller Magazine, Lonely Planet, Suitcase and The Guardian. When not on the road, she is based in Manchester, UK.