October 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)International Focus

Less than an hour north of Lisbon are the neighboring, picturesque seaside towns of Estoril and Cascais.

The Estoril Congress Center opened in 2001. The facility offers a large auditorium that accommodates 600, plus 70,000 square feet of exhibition space, 20 meeting rooms and a 2,420-square-foot terrace that can be used for private functions.

Construction of a large therapeutic spa and health club is under way in Estoril. The facility, being developed by the owners of the adjacent 162-room Hotel Palácio Estoril, will take advantage of the natural thermal springs in the region. The venue is scheduled to open in mid-2004.

The Palácio Albatroz, a charming stately home converted into an upscale inn, recently opened in Cascais. The property, across the street from the 46-room Hotel Albatroz (which is under the same management and ownership), has three small meeting rooms and six sleeping rooms.

Down the coast in nearby Carcavelos is the new 130-room Riviera Hotel, with meeting space for up to 180.

The Portuguese capital has seen a wave of hotel development. The 259-room Opera Hotel opened in July. The property, which has four meeting rooms, is in Travessa da Ponte, near such landmarks as the Tower of Belem and the Presidential Palace.

Scheduled to open in 2004 is the 178-room Hotel da Torre Vasco da Gama near the Parque Expo.

The 109-room Lapa Palace, an Orient-Express property, completed the addition of a new 14-room wing earlier this year.

The 282-room Four Seasons Hotel The Ritz Lisbon has added four meeting rooms, for a total of 16. A spa with four treatment rooms is expected to open by year’s end.

The 331-room Le Méridien Park Atlantic Lisboa recently completed a renovation of its guest rooms and meeting space.

Palácios Xebregas, an opulent 17th-century palace, opened in May, with several rooms available for private functions. The largest is the Tristan da Cunha, a covered courtyard, which accommodates up to 650 for receptions.

The 279-room Tivoli Tejo Lisboa has opened in Nations Park. The hotel offers 11 meeting rooms.

The renovation of the Lisbon Conference Centre, which has 108,000 square feet of exhibit space, finished last October. Three new auditoriums (for a total of eight) and three new meeting rooms (for a total of 22) will open in January. A yet-to-be named 250-room hotel opens near the center in 2004. TAP Air Portugal now has a code-share agreement with American Airlines for service to Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Raleigh, N.C. Passengers fly TAP to New York’s JFK International Airport or New Jersey’s Newark International Airport, then connect to the other cities on American. However, on Oct. 27, the airline will suspend service to JFK, citing rising costs and the travel slowdown following Sept. 11. The JFK flights will be restored when conditions improve.

Tivoli Hotels has opened the 317-room Tivoli Ocean Park Resort, complete with a Thalassothy’s Spa and 13 meeting rooms.

Also on the island, the 155-room Royal Savoy Resort has been renovated and reopened.

Overlooking the scenic Douro River, the 48-room Pestana Porto Carlton Hotel has been carved from a block of town houses dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Lisbon’s 194-room Pestana Carlton Palace Hotel, formerly the Palácio Valle Flor, opened last year. The main building, a national monument, was restored to its grand 19th-century ambience, and two wings were added to house the guest rooms. The property has 15 meeting rooms, a fitness center, formal gardens and an outdoor pool. (011) 351-291-209100; Back to NewslineM&C Home Page
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