From Post-War Visionaries to 20th Century Refinement, a Brief History of Lisbon's Most Iconic Hotel
The ten inspired Portuguese entrepreneurs chosen to turn Salazar’s vision into reality formed the Sociedade de Investimentos Imobiliários (SODIM) on August 28, 1953. The untimely deaths of visionary Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva in 1955 and original architect Porfírio Pardal Monteiro in 1956 failed to deter the group’s creative enthusiasm. It was at this time that Queiroz Pereira, natural leader from the outset, secured his position as the group’s principal director. In the years that followed, it was under Queiroz Pereira’s legendary guidance and leadership that the original "idea for Lisbon" flourished into the Hotel that we see today.
Built with the aim of imparting upon the city a modern legacy, the modernist structure was complemented by façades, interior walls and floors clad with a colourful array of more than 40,000 square metres of the most beautiful and rare marble. Henri Samuel, the acclaimed French interior designer, was given the colossal task of conceiving the environment of the Hotel’s greatest areas of prestige. The effect of the overall concept, associating an art deco tendency with a Louis XVI style, was magnified by the choice of materials used and the unrivalled quality and finishing of the traditional Portuguese craftsmen employed.
With an enviable scale of space and refined interior concept, the Hotel offered the world outside its walls a chance to be immortalised within. A host of notable local artists, from painters to sculptors, were invited to bestow their own individual and vibrant legacy of decorative arts.
Representative of national values and the independence of the Portuguese spirit, the eclectic mix of sculptures, paintings and tapestries made the Hotel as veritable a museum of contemporary art as any found on the steep climes of the city outside. The room styles, originally entrusted to an array of decorators and designers favouring as large a diversity of tastes as possible, still, in many respects, hold true today. The slight differences in more refined details purposefully illustrate the cosmopolitan nature of society for which the Hotel was built, as well as demonstrating the newly embraced variety of style of the post-war period at the time of its original conception.
Just as the bond of family values transcends time, so too has the original spirit of
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon