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Back in the 1880s, the Count of Valenças made his palatial home the glittering center of Lisbon's high society. The city's best artists were invited to decorate the grand salons and ballrooms, and a lush tropical garden was laid out where the in-crowd could stroll beside streams and waterfalls. Since 1992, the count's palace has been transformed into one of the capital's most luxurious hotels, favored by royalty, presidents, and movie stars. The 109 rooms are all individually decorated in keeping with the building's heritage, with themes ranging from rococo to Art Deco. The palace is located among the embassies and mansions of the upscale Lapa district on a hillside with broad views across the city and the River Tagus. In touch with the period feel, all the rooms feature porcelain from Portugal's Vista Alegre company, founded in 1824. The outside pool set amid the tranquil greenery is kept at a constant 25 degrees celsius (77 F) from May through September, and there's a fully equipped spa, gym, and indoor pool center. The gourmet restaurant features five-star variations on Portuguese cuisine with specialities like turbot with veal sweetbread and chanterelle mushrooms, or quail with almond milk risotto.