Stephanie Holmes stays at Czar Lisbon Hotel, Portugal.
Getting there: I'd stayed a night at the end of a guided group cycling tour with Exodus Travels. As I was staying an extra day in Lisbon, I booked an additional night's accommodation via Booking.com. Through their app, I was able to message the hotel and request to stay in the same room I would be in the night before, so no need to check out and check back in again – this process was easy and communication from the hotel was fast.
Check-in experience: I'd checked in the day before as part of my cycling group, which was relatively stress-free, even with 10 of us arriving at the same time.
Room: A double on the fifth floor. It was spacious and comfortable, with twin beds joined together to make a king, a desk and mini Nespresso machine, fridge (empty), large wardrobe and decent bathroom. Everything I needed for a short stay.
Price: I paid $281.41, including breakfast but not including the €2 city tax, which has to be paid in cash on check-in. This was a non-refundable rate – there were also rates available that would allow me to cancel the booking up to 24 hours before the stay with no charges but I went for the fully locked-in rate.
What's so good about this place? It's affordable and close enough to the action – the historic Alfama district is only 30 minutes' walk away and there's a metro station 100m from the hotel.
And the bad? It's a generic, business-style hotel. If you want something with a bit more Lisbon character, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Toiletries: Body wash, soap, shampoo and conditioner, with a cute illustration of Lisbon's famous yellow trams on the label.
Food and drink: Daily continental breakfast served on the ground floor, with cereals, fruit, eggs, bacon, cheeses, fresh breads and pastries. Enough to set you up for the day – but don't eat too much - Lisbon is full of incredible food.
The bed: Far too low and hard for my liking and the pillows were thin and uncomfortable.
View: The back of old-style apartment buildings and out to a couple of Lisbon's hills.
Bathroom: The shower had excellent pressure but the door leaked, leaving a puddle on the marble-tiled floor.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes, however, you need a unique user number and passcode to log in. And you'll need to keep the code as you'll have to re-enter it frequently – like, every time your phone switches itself to standby, then you wake it up again - which is very annoying.
Noise: The walls were pretty thin between me and my neighbour – I could hear coughing and a bit of door-slamming. Mercifully, nothing else.
Exercise facilities: A small gym on the lowest level. I used the spin bike to keep up the good work from my cycling tour.
Perfect for: An easy stay in this excellent city. You're not going to be in your room much anyway, so it has everything you need.
The bottomline: A few annoyances, but generally a solid option for a short stay in Lisbon.