Vila Galé Ópera is a wheelchair accessible hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. We visited Lisbon as part of a six-day press trip organised by Tourism For all and Turismo De Portugal. I had the most memorable experience exploring Portugal with a fantastic group of accessible travel bloggers.
Vila Galé Ópera Hotel was our base for two nights at the beginning of the trip and again for one night at the end after a short stay in Batalha at the Villa Batalha Hotel. Read this review to find out what wheelchair accessibility is like at Vila Galé Ópera – the wheelchair accessible hotel in Lisbon.
Location & Airport Transfers
Vila Galé Ópera Hotel is a four star hotel located along the Tagus River with the city centre around 5 km away. The 25th April Bridge runs overhead, and you can enjoy great views of it from the accessible rooms (although the noise from passing trains can be heard). This bridge is very similar to the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Despite not being the most central hotel, Vila Galé Ópera is one of the most accessible hotels in Lisbon in terms of the number of accessible rooms it has. There were seven in total, which was ideal for our tour group as we all required an accessible room.
Waiting for us at the airport were two lovely members of the Tourism For All team.
From Lisbon Airport, we enjoyed a comfortable 20 minute journey to the Vila Galé Ópera Hotel in one of Tourism For All’s wheelchair accessible vans.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
We stayed in rooms 101 and 501, which were both identical in layout and features. All the rooms were named after famous singers, so we had the pleasure of staying in Barbara Streisand’s and Aretha Franklin’s rooms.
The spacious rooms had twin beds pushed together, with space underneath for a portable hoist to roll in and out.
There was enough space on each side for wheelchair transfers if required, as well as bedside tables with a lamp.
Opposite the bed was a desk/work area with space to roll underneath. The flatscreen TV was positioned here, and the fridge was underneath behind a sliding door.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The bathroom was okay, but on the small side for carrying out personal care or toileting. We found it a bit of a tight squeeze to have my wheelchair inside the bathroom when carrying out these tasks, so we had to park my wheelchair at the bathroom door, which wasn’t ideal.
I borrowed a shower wheelchair from Tourism For All so that I was able to use the roll-in shower. There were fixed grab bars around the shower area and controls within reach. The floor tiles can be slippery, so extra care is needed.
The roll-under bathroom sink was solid marble with space to roll underneath. I found the height of the sink a little difficult due to my limited arm movement, but you may find this manageable.
The toilet was positioned in the corner directly as you entered the bathroom. Its low position (around 40cm) did make manual transfers tricky, but again, Tourism for All has a range of equipment including toilet seat risers if required.
An emergency cord did not hang from the ceiling to the floor. Instead, it was placed a foot or so off the floor and ran along the entire wall for extra safety.
Public Areas and Swimming Pool
All public areas throughout the hotel are wheelchair accessible including the swimming pool. Another piece of equipment that can be provided by Tourism For All is a pool lift, which is great if you wish to make use of the facilities.
JJust let the hotel know in advance of your stay and they will arrange for the pool lift to be available for your arrival.
A spacious accessible toilet can also be found in the hotel lobby area.
Dining in the Restaurant
We enjoyed breakfast and group dinners in the hotel restaurant throughout our stay. The buffet provided a range of options, and the friendly staff were accommodating, as they advised what the vegetarian and vegan options were.
On our last day, due to a later flight, we were the last to leave as all our group had already departed. We enjoyed lunch from the restaurant menu. We had a lovely time sitting in the spacious outdoor area and eating our delicious pasta dish while the sun was out.
The pasta dish may look very basic, but it was full of flavour. One of the best we’ve had. We have since tried to replicate it at home and failed. We would love to know what ingredients were used.
The Vila Galé Ópera Hotel has a lovely, spacious outdoor area with various seating options, both sheltered and unsheltered. Perfect for sitting out and enjoying the view of the bridge.
Vila Galé Ópera is a nice wheelchair accessible hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. The wheelchair accessible rooms are spacious, providing plenty of space to manoeuvre around. However, the bathrooms are small with low toilets, which makes it difficult to carry out wheelchair transfers. The hotel has wheelchair access throughout, and a swimming pool lift can be brought in for use during your stay.
The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. They made us feel very welcome during our stay and would chat with us, which was lovely. The food was good in the hotel restaurant, although it would be nice to see more vegetarian and vegan options on offer.
All in all, we had a lovely stay at Vila Galé Ópera. If the hotel’s accessibility and location meet your needs and requirements, then I would suggest you check out the Vila Galé Ópera Hotel if you are looking for a wheelchair accessible hotel in Lisbon, Portugal.
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Disclaimer: A special thank you to Tourism For all for organising this trip to Portugal. As always, all views and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.