Hotel Palácio do Governador — Lisbon, Portugal

Built on the site of a Roman fish oil factory, Lisbon’s newest boutique hotel was once the residence of the Governor of the tower of Belém, an iconic 14th century fortress facing the hotel at the mouth of the Tagus river. Now, after a meticulous restoration overseen by local architects Jorge Cruz Pinto and Maria Cristina Mantas as well as interior designer Nini Andrade Silva, the 16th century palace has been transformed into a plush hotel that smartly combines creature comforts and contemporary design while preserving and displaying historical elements. As such, fourth century walls, stone vats - or centarium - and amphorae, are still visible in the hotel’s restaurant, reception and spa, while timber choir stalls in the blue and white ceramic tiled reception lounge (a former church) have been enhanced by a modern steel sculpture.