A five-star hotel scheduled to open by the end of 2015 is being built at the doorstep of the Alfama district, near Campo das Cebolas. It’s on number 66 of Rua Cais de Santarém, by the Arco de Jesus gateway, where there’s the coat-of-arms of the noble Mascarenhas family on the edge of a ruined palace from the 17th century. The hotel will result from the reconversion of the old palace and a new construction, and will be a museum hotel. That’s because during the current works around the old building there have been some significant archaeological finds.
This is not the first time that archaeological remains were found on the site, as several were recovered in the 1940s after the palace was turned into a warehouse. Some of the pieces found at that time were sent to the Carmo Convent museum.
The Palace of the Counts of Coculim belonged to the Marquis of Fronteira, and was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake. Since it was still in ruins in 1858, it was decided that it would be used for the storage of iron, but was once again abandoned in the late 20th century. In 2008 there was a project for it to become a hotel, but it was rejected. After some minor changes, it ended up being approved.
The hotel (for which there will be a 22-million-euro investment) will have the Eurostars brand that already has a five-star hotel in Lisbon, the Eurostars das Letras close to Avenida da Liberdade. This new one will offer 91 rooms, views of the future cruise terminal, and one of the entrances will be a 17th-century portal that will be maintained.