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Lisbon Party Time at the Bairro Alto Hotel

When we checked into our boutique hotel in the old part of Lisbon about a month ago, our charming dark eyed host greeted us with, “This is your lucky day.  We’re having a party tonight and you are invited.”

My ears perked up.  Hmmm.  I love a party.  The hotel, Bairro Alto Hotel, located on a very old square in the historic part of this even older city, oozed charm.  I immediately think, “This is going to be fun.”

The reason for the party?  The locally owned hotel was celebrating its sixth anniversary.  The owners invited friends, folks in Lisbon’s travel industry and all the guests like us to their soirée.

After getting settled in our corner room, freshening up a bit, we hit the button for the elevator, and imagine our surprise when these two characters greeted us when the door opened.  The fun started here.


The sparse lobby was filled with elegantly dressed people and a gorgeous Zen like floral arrangement.  The staff and the Charley Chaplin like characters, who meandered in and out of the space, twirling vintage suitcases and old brooms, welcomed us warmly.

Turns out they were kids from a local acting school, hired to delight and amaze us.  And that they did.


Pretty soon they led us out on the square, where they cavorted around the vents from the subway system, performed a charming dance routine that included juggling, gymnastics and a comic romantic interlude between the girls (some of them boys dressed like girls) and the boys (some girls dressed like boys.)

They swished their long skirts and aprons, twirled the hats and clicked and clacked their shoes in time to lively music.  Some one brought us all balloons, color coordinated of course, while local passers-by joined the festivities.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more fun, two guys, dressed in the black sleek costumes, “danced” yes, danced down the walls of the six story hotel, held horizontal to the wall with long mountain climbing ropes.


As the music blared All That Jazz, we marveled as they kicked their feet and legs chorus girl style and made their way down the building.  We released the balloons, cheered and headed inside for gobs of birthday cake, speeches and more champagne.

Later the Party moved to the top floor terrace with its expansive view of the water around Lisbon.  Stunning and fun.  Even though we knew no one we mixed and mingled, smiled and enjoyed a festive moment in time in clearly a party loving city.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Jun 20, 2011 Reply

    Some people just know how to live right, and the gods award them thusly. Great life’s moment, Susan!

  2. posted by
    Jun 22, 2011 Reply

    How nice.  I think we were just lucky.  

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