Four Seasons Hotel Ritz

Renewal of the Hotel Rooms and Suites - Lisbon

OITOEMPONTO restores the original splendour to the rooms of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon.
The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon by the architectural duo OITOEMPONTOThe meeting was obvious. Between the Ritz in Lisbon and the interior designers Artur Miranda and Jacques Bec, there was already an invisible link. First of all, because Artur grew up with the most spectacular hotel in Lisbon, not to say Portugal. As a teenager, he discovered what decorative arts and contemporary creation could produce, when put at the service of luxury and the art of entertaining. He then returned regularly to meet friends at the bar or restaurant, always fascinated by this hymn to modernity. When Jacques Bec made Portugal his second home, he was then completely bewitched by the place. Opened in Spring 2021. It represents a perfect compromise between modernity and decorative luxury while paying tribute to 60 years of history.

The lift lobbies have been given back their large Royère-style wing chairs and neo-classical lamps. The effect is a perfect balance between evocation of the past and contemporary lifestyle. Once again, Artur Miranda and Jacques Bec have focused on harmony and coherence. “The idea was to recover the original essence of the Lisbon Ritz. Of course, it is not a strict reproduction, but an evocation with our eyes, our taste of today. We believe that new clients of this kind of hotel are lovers of decoration and will appreciate it.”

In the corridors, with a model of old wall lamp, but multiplied for a theatrical effect, walls covered with a textile that looks like Japanese straw and a carpet with an abstract pattern inspired this time by the Portuguese paving known as “calçada”.

These improvements correspond to a first phase of work that concerns three of the ten floors. Four other floors are underway, in a more classic, more Art Deco spirit, still using furniture recovered from the storerooms.

For the bedrooms, the period furniture has been redesigned, sometimes with new proportions. Chests of drawers have become night tables. Armchairs have been given more volume. The colour palette was designed to evoke the 1960s, with a cameo of beige, grey, tobacco, white, and a few touches of ochre, brick and duck blue. With the same aim, blond wood was favoured for the furniture. Oak for the headboard, varnished oak for the desk and the pedestal table. “We really like this kind of subtlety, the play of texture that a slightly sharp eye perceives.”

Another decorative detail is the ceiling, which ends in a curve and thus hides the curtain rod. “There was an example left in a room and we used it everywhere. It’s elegant, very period-related and also provides better acoustics.” The wave-like carpet pattern was found in Lino Antonio’s “Olisipo” tapestry, which hangs in the staircase. Of course, each room is equipped with the most advanced technology in terms of light, screen and sound.

Inside, the volumes have the excessiveness of this modernist manifesto. A multitude of lifts serve the 282 rooms, the lounges are of impressive proportions and the technical infrastructure is worthy of a New York establishment. However, Salazar asked that this radicalness be calmed, humanised, by a chic and warm decoration. To embody this, the famous decorator Henri Samuel (1904-1996) was called upon. He was then in full ascendancy, working on a series of Rothschild residences. He was precious because he was the first to embody a form of eclecticism in decoration. A lover of the decorative arts of the 18th century, he was also a fan of contemporary creations, as in his Paris flat, where a piece of Boulle furniture stands side by side with a coffee table by Guy de Rougemont, a painting by Balthus and a sculpture by Philippe Hiquily.

Embodying a perfect compromise between modernity and decorative luxury, nourished by Art Deco and Louis XVI style, Henri Samuel gave the Ritz in Lisbon a unique identity of great visual strength. He was helped in his task by Lucien Donnat, a French decorator living in Portugal. The 1980s and 1990s were to be a bad time for this stylistic testimony, but there was still enough left to revive the spirit. This is what Artur Miranda and Jacques Bec set out to do.

On the ground floor, the many specially commissioned works of art are still there: the superb tapestries by Almada Negreiros, the bas-reliefs by Margarida Schimmelpfennig and Salvador Barata Feyo, the fountain by Lagoa Henriques or the paintings by Maria Vieira da Silva. But in the rooms, there was nothing left of the flamboyant past. “The first thing we did was to go into the storerooms. A lot of furniture and lighting fixtures were stored there. We dug them out. That was our starting point to reconnect with the history of the place.”

Because the duo does not intend to mark its territory any more than that. On the contrary. “We proceeded with respect and even tenderness, as with an old lady to whom we had to restore all her elegance. For example, there were still some magnificent bathrooms that we tried to modify as little as possible. Their gigantic sinks, ordered from the United States, are extraordinary, ample and sensual, and the marbles are the most beautiful in Portugal because Pardal Monteiro’s father was a marble worker. We only intervened in the showers to extend them.”








“In most of our projects we invent a story, here we have extended a story. We took a step back, because the Ritz in Lisbon is a stronger monument than us.” – OITOEMPONTO

On the 6th floor, three suites united and treated as a private club, a lounge, which OITOEMPONTO has decorated with woodwork, Zuber panoramic windows and Fortuny fabrics, a rereading of the 18th century in the style of the 1960s.




















Rua Rodrigues da Fonseca 88 – Lisbon