I live in a new build flat. It’s perfectly nice and there are plenty of advantages.
Practical advantages like cheaper bills, things don’t break, modern fixtures and fittings… all far too boring to ever contemplate telling anyone about. So I apologise for telling you.
However clever and nice a new building is, it can’t compete with old ones. Especially when it comes to windows. I don’t know what has happened to windows but most of the new one’s I’ve seen are very dull and functional.
Yes you can see through them so that’s fine but they don’t wow me any more. Efficiency has taken over from grandeur.
Big tall old fashioned windows are a work of art in themselves. And since a major role for windows is to frame the outside world I feel that the frame needs to be as impressive as the view it surrounds.
Anyone building something new should be forced to visit the newly opened Pousada de Lisboa hotel in Lisbon. This former stately building is packed with preserved period features like chandeliers, vaulted ceilings and, yes you guessed it, grand windows giving far-reaching city views.
If you haven’t been to Lisbon you should pop it on your to do list. It’s a city-sized work of art and as such deserves a spectacular frame like those this hotel provides.
Now would be a good time to go actually as for the month of June Festas de Lisboa is taking place with street entertainment, festivals, cinema, music, theatre, parades, folk festivals… I could go on.
But don’t worry if this month is a little soon for you. There is no bad time of year to go to Lisbon and no bad time of year to enjoy this stunning old building that’s been spruced up for 21st century guests.
If you’re like me and prefer to move around a bit and try different hotels the good news is that there are many options with very fine windows.
How does Internacional Design Hotel sound? This is about as modern and trendy as hotels get with touches like graffiti art, bright orange bathrooms and zebra murals. And yet you’ll notice the cutting edge interior designer has gone for some classic-looking windows that let the view do the talking.
And how about a former aristocratic family palace with views of the river Tagus sound? Quite pleasant? I think so. The Hotel da Estrela is also just 500 metres from the Basilica in a tranquil part of the city, but don’t worry everything you’ll want is within easy reach.
I’ve just had a look out my window and I feel nothing, no excitement at all. Excuse me while I book a plane ticket to Portugal.