Urban. Chic. Responsible.
Inspira Santa Marta Hotel
The next catch phrase, “engaging your senses,” pulls you into the Inspira experience a little deeper. The location, near Lisbon’s version of a broad, Parisian Boulevard, Avenida da Liberdade, is a surprisingly plain exterior as you drive up to it (it looks more imposing from across the street) with a doubly surprising reception. Entering the hotel from the street means one is entering into the top of a flattened “V” into the lobby/reception area that suddenly bursts upward toward a high ceiling. Oddly, it’s like passing through a birth canal. You are here. You are alive. There is a kind of “rush” you feel, just being here in the bright, cavernous reception hall. Soon we were given a warm welcome and a quick overview of the facilities by the cheerful staff.
We found our room on the second floor and saw that it was neatly divided by a half wall with a TV on both sides. In the living room portion one finds a fold-out sofa and sofa chair. In between these, in the corner, over a round table was a one-meter-in-diameter round lampshade suspended from the ceiling. (“One of the biggest lampshades I’ve ever seen!” commented my wife.) Within the shelves of the partition wall were the safe and mini bar. Complimentary water, tea and coffee are available along with a wide assortment of things to eat and drink (for sale) in the minibar. This portion of the room also had a work table area with a chair and a coffee maker as well as electric hot water kettle. It was great to have a cup of hot coffee in the morning in our room. During a weeklong visit to seven hotels in Portugal, the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in Lisbon was the only hotel to offer this feature. We were exceedingly grateful.
On the other side of the partition were the bed and another (swivel) easy chair with ottoman. The bathroom featured tons of extras—plenty of shampoo, shower gel, toothbrush, safety razor and cream, etc. So this is what they mean by “feng shui?” Inspira Santa Marta Hotel wants its guests to know that they’ve put a good deal of thought into the mood and environment of each room—hence, their passion to ensconce each room with “feng shui,” which they define as “a philosophy that we believe represents our position of harmony regarding what surrounds us.” It works.
So…now that you’re “in” the room…what’s next? Well, there’s a brochure on the table that educates on “How to use” the available technology within the room. “Inspira Santa Marta Hotel bedrooms are equipped and conceived for all technology fans. For your convenience, connect to the world effortlessly and in a sustainable way.” The following brochure pages tell the user, “How to use the coffee machine” (using the provided Nespresso pods or capsules), “How to use the telephone” (including features about sending email, the weather, CNN news, flight information), “How to use our wireless service” (free internet), “How to use the mediahub” (this is a multimedia connectivity panel that allows the user to plug in electronic devices through the in-room TV). Next to each side of the bed is another panel of options with instructions “How to choose the light mood.” (Lighting options for reading, TV, relaxing, using the WC or leaving a WC night light on). The brochure continues, “Your bedroom was designed with your comfort in mind and in accordance with our environmental concerns. We have also taken care to ensure, through various features, fittings and devices that we can contribute a small yet necessary part to a more sustainable planet.”
Wow. Yeah. They do. A “techie’s” dream.
For folks like us who believe in sustainability and want to do our part to aid our environment in a responsible manner, the stated policies and philosophy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel are simply affirming the things we already believe. They’re not preaching anything we don’t already know, nor are they trying to restrict our behavior. Rather, they are reminding us of our stewardship of the earth. Reduce. Re-use. Re-cycle. Respect.
Thus, you will find tips on brushing your teeth…flushing the toilet…and an encouragement to limit your shower time to just 5 minutes. “Water is the most precious natural resource on earth. Use it in a sustainable way.” Inspira Santa Marta Hotel provides a re-usable glass bottle of water, free in your room. “Try to reuse everyday. The world has limited resources.” A second bottle of water, for sale, is also available in the minibar.
Inspira Santa Maria Hotel wants you to know that 80% of their waste is recycled. They also invite you to relax with their variety of fair-trade tea flavors and to respect the local communities buying their products. In short, “The earth is a place to learn and grow. Respect your life.”
After checking out our room we decided to traipse about Lisbon a little before dining at the lovely Inspira Restaurant. (Please see our review of the Open Brasserie Mediterrânica located in the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in this section of the website.) We strolled about two kilometers down to the river, passing along the boulevard filled with shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, monuments, and lots of people. As we walked along the Avenida da Liberdade, also known as the Portuguese version of Champs Élysées, we passed the famous shops of Dior, Chanel, Versace, Gucci, Givenchy, Kors, Prada, Burberry and more. Liberdad is considered to be one of the more expensive avenues in the world. At the south end of our journey we found the Praça do Comércio on the Tagus River where it empties into the Atlantic, enjoying the aromas of sea air and the romance of couples sitting and gazing at the waves together. Then it was time to head back, past the sidewalk cafes filled with people-watchers and others enjoying the balmy afternoon.
In order to minimize the impact of ecological footprint, Inspira tries to reduce the use of paper by providing all guests and clients digital services such as free and unlimited access to over 2300 digital newspapers and magazines from more than 100 countries, including France, United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, among others. One can access their favorite newspapers and magazines through any computer, tablet, smartphone or eReader at any time in the hotel.
In addition to the 89 rooms of the 4-star hotel built in 2010, there are also meeting rooms, bar, game room, and spa. In the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, light, color, sound, shapes, movement and materials have all been carefully crafted to blend together perfectly, to arouse your senses and to provide sophisticated comfort and tranquility like none other.
Inspira Santa Marta Hotel
Rua de Santa Marta, 48
1150-297 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel +351 210 440 900
Fax +351 210 435 993