Good value budget hotel in central location
I stayed at Residencial Roxi for 8 nights during a visit to Lisbon in March 2011.
I booked this hotel via www.booking.com and paid just 18 Euros per night for a single room with free in-room wifi, shared bathroom facilities and no breakfast. Having booked via www.booking.com, I paid nothing in advance and could have cancelled the booking free of charge up to 24 hours before arriving if I had needed to. I settled my bill in cash at the beginning of my stay as Residencial Roxi insists upon payment on arrival rather than payment on departure.
Location was one of the most important factors in determining where I would stay in Lisbon. I wanted somewhere within walking distance of the city centre and main sights and also close to public transport options. I was happy to forego a little luxury and book a basic room in a central location rather than a better room further out from the centre. Residencial Roxi offers a very attractive price/location combination.
Residencial Roxi is located on Avenida Almirante Reis, which is a busy and major road that joins Rua da Palma, and is a short distance north of Rossio Square.
The hotel is located immediately next to the Intendente metro station on the green metro line. Other stops on the green metro line include Rossio, Baixa-Chiado and Cais do Sodre (for trains to Estoril and Cascais), while the connections with the blue and red metro lines are both only 3 stops and a few minutes away. The journey from Intendente to Rossio (via a stop at Martim Moniz) is just 2-3 minutes, to Baixa-Chiado less than 5 minutes and Cais do Sodre less than 10 minutes.
A number of buses and trams stop on Avenida Almirante Reis right outside the hotel, so public transport connections to anywhere in the city are very good.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to Rossio Square and Restauradores Square, and a further 10 minutes to walk to Praca do Comercio and the River Tagus. There are cafes, restaurants and grocery stores in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
Quite a few of the reviews that I read prior to my visit suggested that the area around the hotel was a bit run down and felt a bit unsafe. It is true that there are beggars and homeless people sleeping rough near the hotel (I could see them in the doorways on the opposite side of the road from my window at night) and it's also true that there are often groups of immigrant youths around the Martim Moniz area between the hotel and the city centre, particularly after dark. I never felt unsafe or uneasy at any time though.
The hotel itself occupies only the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building in which it is located.
My first impression was that the room was tiny. However, over the course of my stay it proved to be of adequate size for my limited needs.
It contained a single bed (which was a little hard and uncomfortable, but I slept well nevertheless) and a marble-topped bedside cabinet with a lamp and telephone on it. There was also a marble-topped desk with further drawer space, an adequately sized wardrobe (with half a dozen coat hangers in), a wooden chair and a mirror. There was a small TV hanging from a wall bracket in the top corner of the room and giving access to around 30 satellite channels, including music, news, sport and film channels, some of which were in English with Portuguese subtitles.
A raised tiled area in the corner of the room contained a washbasin, a bidet and a small bin. There was a good sized mirrored cabinet above the washbasin and a power point to plug an electric shaver into.
As well as the power point for the shaver, there were two further sockets; one behind the bed which the lamp was plugged into (but more often my netbook was plugged into) and one in the top corner of the room which the TV was plugged into. So, you'll need to unplug the TV and lamp if you want to recharge mobile phones and batteries overnight.
There was no temperature control in the room, but the time of my visit meant that the room was never uncomfortably hot or cold. Daytime temperatures reached around 25C and overnight lows were still 10C plus. Each day, the cleaner left my window open to let air in and keep the room cool. In the evening, I closed the window and the room was a comfortable temperature. Had I been cold, there were two large woollen blankets in the wardrobe that I could have put on the bed.
My room was cleaned almost every day during my stay (7 of the 8 days if I recall correctly) and on each of those occasions fresh towels were also provided.
There are no safety deposit boxes, fridges or tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms.
I stayed in a single room with shared bathroom facilities. There are also twin, double and triple rooms available, some with private bathrooms.
There are two bathrooms next to reception and the communal TV room. Each bathroom is shared between males and females. Don't worry – they're only big enough for one at a time and there is a lock on the door.
Each bathroom contains a toilet, a washbasin, a shower and a bathtub (in one bathroom only).
I never had to queue to use the bathroom; in fact I never saw any other guests using them and always had a choice of two bathrooms when I visited. Both bathrooms were spotlessly clean at all times.
Having access to free Wi-Fi in my room was one of the main reasons that I chose to stay at Residencial Roxi. As I was travelling alone, I wanted daily access to email in order to keep in touch with my girlfriend and family back home.
The owner provided me with the WEP key when I first checked in at the hotel and it worked immediately with no connection problems. The connection speed was generally very fast, with just the occasional dropped connection and brief periods of slow speed.
There are no lifts in the hotel and reception (and many of the guestrooms) are located on the 3rd floor. This means that when you arrive with heavy luggage it is quite an effort to get up three flights of stairs. This was ok for me, but I'm sure that it would put some people off, particularly those who are less mobile.
Residencial Roxi is quite a noisy hotel. This noise comes from three main sources. Firstly, the road outside is busy with cars and public transport (and to a lesser extent people) until the early hours of the morning. Secondly, and particularly as my room was close to the reception area and TV room, I could often hear other guests talking loudly in those areas. However, this tended to last only until around 11pm. Thirdly, as all guests are requested to leave their keys with reception every time they leave the hotel, this means that upon arriving back at the hotel all guests must press the doorbell to get back inside. These ringing doorbells can be heard throughout the entire hotel, and can be quite frequent late in the evening. Despite the amount of noise and my apprehensions at the beginning of my stay, I must say that I slept remarkably well during my stay.
Having to leave your key at reception each time you leave the hotel is a bit of an inconvenience. Upon returning to the hotel, you press the external doorbell and the owner buzzes to let you back into the building. As you make your way up to reception on the 3rd floor, the owner makes his/her way down from their living quarters on the 5th floor to unlock reception and give you your room key. Usually, this works fairly smoothly. However, there were a few occasions where it didn't go quite as smoothly. There were a couple of occasions where I had to ring the doorbell several times before being buzzed into the building and a couple of occasions where I arrived at the hotel just as somebody was leaving, so entered the building without ringing the doorbell and the owners had no idea that I was waiting to get into reception. After a few days, I discovered that there is an internal doorbell outside reception to deal with such occurrences.
While the staff spoke very limited English, they were always very friendly. Upon checking in, the owner gave me a card with the hotel's website address on and told me that I could find further information about the hotel in English on there.
To be honest, I'm not a particularly demanding hotel guest and usually have no interest in most of the services that hotels offer. This trip was no different; I just wanted a cheap room in a fairly central location and with free Wi-Fi access in the room. Residencial Roxi satisfactorily met my limited needs and I would happily stay there again if I was ever in Lisbon.
Clean, basic rooms with free in-room Wi-Fi. A very convenient location close to the Metro and within walking distance of the city centre. I'd recommend this hotel to anybody looking for a centrally located budget hotel!
Directions: Located immediately next to Intendente metro station, on Avenida Almirante Reis, about 15 minutes walk north of Rossio Square.
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