Discover Hotel Britania Art Deco
Mini Guided Tour
Hotel Britania Art Deco was designed in 1942 by the modernist architect Cassiano Branco. On the Reception wall, drawings of the façade, the door and neighboring buildings can be seen.
The marbles on the floor and walls, columns, doors, etc. are original. The entrance door was built in 1997 according to the drawing that can be seen on the Reception wall. The frescoes represent Lisbon and Porto and were partially destroyed in 1975. The table in the center, in marble, is also from the period. The armillary sphere was executed in 1997 by the sculptor Charters de Almeida, replacing another one in bronze that existed there and that disappeared. The two doors with the round glasses give access, one to the luggage compartment and the other was the access door to the Restaurant that has disappeared today. The photos show what the Restaurant was like.
The Hotel opened in 1944 and was called Hotel do Império. Therefore, on the walls of the Bar, you can see the coats of arms of territories that were part of the Portuguese Empire at the time. In addition to the coats of arms, the “The Protecting Angels of Portugal” and “O Adamastor” were painted in fresco, this one a mythical figure that symbolizes the dangers that Portuguese navigators faced at the time of the Discoveries.
The floor and all the furniture in the Bar are original, as can be seen in the photograph of actress Carmen Sevilla, sitting on a bar stool, in 1954, or in the photograph in the Siting Room, where you can see, in addition to the furniture, the paintings on the walls, etc.
SITTING ROOM / LIBRARY
The sitting room sliding door and those two giving access to the hotel pantry, tables and chairs are original. The stuccoes and the skylight were redone according to the originals, which were much damaged. On the walls you can see photographs from the time when the hotel was inaugurated and from the 1950s. At that time, the “poet” Natália Correia was married to Alfredo Machado, the hotel’s owner.
The tiny barbershop is also from the period as well as some of the objects found there. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, customers generally spent long periods in the hotel that functioned as a second home.
In the showcases are some objects that were in the old office and pieces from the Vista Alegre porcelain service with the symbol of the Hotel do Império. The glassware and cutlery items also had the “I”, symbol of the Empire.
STAIRS AND LANDINGS
The stairs and landings are all in lioz marble stone, the white stone of Lisbon.
On the first level there is a sculpture, symbol of the Hotel do Império. Initially it was above the entrance door. There is a photograph in the Bar where it is clearly visible.
The corridors and baseboards are in marble. On the floor you can see the same geometric motifs that exist on the floor of the Sitting Room and Hall.
Rooms are small apartments. The furniture is original (except for the mini bars) made on purpose for the Hotel do Império by the company Móveis Costa, from Porto. The floor is made of cork. Handmade in 1944 by Fábrica Mundet, it once again repeats the geometric motifs found in the corridors and floors of the Bathrooms, all of them also in marble.
The 6th FLOOR
On the 6th floor, in 2005, a floor with 3 bedrooms and a suite was built. The same materials used in the other rooms (marble, wood and cork) and some Art Deco furniture were used.
On each floor there will be a room dedicated to a special guest. For now, there are: Room Natália Correia (13); Room Vinicius de Moraes (24); Room Carmen Sevilla (44). The Suite recalls “A Tertúlia do Britania”: the hotel Bar was, in the 70s and 80s, the meeting point for many writers and journalists whose books can be read there.