Insider's Guide to Spas
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon


Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Lisbon

Rima Suqi

When you first walk into the dimly lit subterranean space that is the Ritz Four Seasons spa in Lisbon, you’re greeted by a sculpture of a pair of feet. The hotel boasts a fairly significant art collection, and apparently left no public spaces untouched. Unfortunately this sculpture doesn’t depict perfectly pedicured paws ready for their close-up, but rather two unattractive upturned soles, fashioned into a chair. Ostensibly one would sit on the heels. It’s an unfortunate placement of a not-easily-gazed-upon work that would perhaps be better suited to another part of this hotel—I’d suggest storage. That said, it was one of the only unfortunate things about the spa here, which, generally speaking, was absolutely fantastic and a must-visit for any spa-goer visiting this city.

I’ll get the second and final unfortunate detail out of the way up front. There is a gorgeous pool here, set in a glass-walled room with relaxation-inducing views of the plant-strewn patio outdoors. The problem is that the room is so warm (so swimmers don’t freeze when they emerge from the water) that anyone wearing a robe cannot sit there for more than a few minutes. It’s a shame—there are chaises that line the pool, with large drum lamps hanging above, and an elevated seating area with a nice selection of magazines and snacks—it would be the perfect place to spend several hours. If you’re in a swimsuit, you probably can. But since nudity isn’t allowed here, the minute you put on that robe, you’ve got to figure out another plan. The beautiful outdoor garden isn’t an option as it cannot be accessed from the pool.

Workout fanatics take note: the Four Seasons Ritz has, in my opinion, the most beautiful hotel gym I have ever seen.

That said, the very large locker room does have several relaxation areas, albeit without views. And the lockers? Huge! Taller than my 5-foot, 6-inch frame, and very thoughtfully designed with two top shelves, one bottom shelf, a jewelry shelf, and two hooks built into the door. There’s the requisite steam/sauna, and, in the showers, Ritz Spa shampoo (“champo”) and shower gel, with a logo done in a great retro font that reminded me of Old Vegas neon signs.

There are four treatment rooms here, and a post-treatment relaxation room, which is very dimly lit, has terry cloth-covered chaises, and the option to listen to music while you lounge.

Workout fanatics take note: the Four Seasons Ritz has, in my opinion, the most beautiful hotel gym I have ever seen. Most hotels hide their gyms, what there is of them, in a basement or down an odd hallway, and they’re cramped, smell funny, and generally not inspiring spaces.

Here, the gym is in a glass encased box (for lack of a better word) on the roof. You can be boxing, doing Pilates, or texting while on an elliptical—with incredible views of the city. There’s even an outdoor track, with surprisingly succulent landscaping. I was up there as the sun was setting, and the famous RITZ sign was lighting up—the juxtaposition was absolutely beautiful. If I’d had a drink I probably would’ve stayed up there for hours.















Rima Suqi

Rima Suqi

An avid world traveler raised in an international home, Rima has explored and covered emerging destinations in the Middle East and Africa, far-flung luxury resorts in French Polynesia, as well as those closer to home, and the burgeoning arts scene in Marfa, Texas. Rima has traveled to over 30 countries, writing about the trends and tastemakers for leading travel and lifestyle publications, and subjected herself to innumerable spa treatments — sometimes under very odd circumstances — all in the name of journalism. A weekly contributor to The New York Times Home section, Rima held the envious position of Best Bets Editor at New York Magazine for six years, and is regularly published in national magazines including T Magazine/The New York Times, Departures, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and American Way. Her last book American Fashion: Designers at Home (Assouline) in partnership with CFDA, sold out three printings.