Trip to Lisbon, Portugal - May 2011
Review of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel

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Reception area Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonIt is always hard to pick a hotel in a city that you have never been to as you don’t know where things are happening. My search for a suitable hotel started with the Sheraton as I have a Starwood Preferred Guest gold card. But it turned out that they were a bit too expensive for my liking and I ended up choosing Inspira Santa Marta Hotel as it looked like a new and attractive hotel, with a pretty good location and the price was within my budget. So I booked the hotel via Expedia.no and 4 nights amounted to 4300 Norwegian kroner (or about 540 €) – 135€ per night in other words (including all taxes and excluding breakfast).

 

Outside Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonWalking into the hotel was quite relaxing – there were hardly any people around apart from the two clerks in the reception and there was lots of natural light shining in from various windows, the walls were in dark wood, there were grayish tiles on the floor and a long staircase led up to the second floor. The check in was fast and friendly and the person that checked us in also took some time to show us on a map where we were, places to go etc. We got room 405 on the 4th floor and a small elevator brought us to our floor. When we came out of the lift the lights in the hallway lit up – it shows there is a focus on saving energy and that is a good sign.

 

Bed at Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonThe rooms come in different themes and I think we had the Tree theme. The room looked pretty good at first glance when entering the room. The floor was in a bit of strange brownish color while the walls were painted in a light grayish color. The hallway included a small wardrobe (it would have been nice with more space) that also included a safe and a mini-fridge. The safe was large enough for a laptop and also included a socket in order to charge the laptop - always an appreciated feature. The mini-fridge only included a few bottles but it was all complimentary and it was refilled with the same items every day – I think there was a beer, non alcoholic beer, a bottle of water and a juice.  The wardrobe’s sliding door also acted as the door for the bathroom which is stylish but not always practical as the door could smash into the open door of the safe.

 

Shower at Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonThe main item in the room itself was of course the bed. Kingsize but maybe a bit too firm for my liking. It only had one duvet and there was a blue blanket on top of it as a sharp contrast to the rest of the mild colors in the room. The second thing that dominated the room was a HUGE lamp hanging over the desk. Apart from that there was a stylish chair in the corner and a chair with the desk. The wall between the room and the bathroom was sort of a mirror at least when looking at it from certain angles. But also note that there is actually an opening between the room and the bathroom (if you study the photo) and that makes it stylish. But again I don’t know if this is a great option as you can a cold draft right into the shower. The shower was very stylish indeed sticking up from the floor like a tree and the water just ran down in between the while large panels instead of the usual drain. The amenities included shower basics (shampoo and gel), slippers, bathrobes and shower caps. There was also a small separate room for the toilet with a door and that was a nice layout as the bathroom was so open. The bathroom also had lots of shelf space but it would have been great to also have some sort of shelf in the actual shower.

 

Nespresso machine at Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonDid I mention the Nespresso machine? I have one at home and it was fun to also find one in the room with three complimentary coffee capsules each day. The view from the room was not great as we look straight into the next building only a few meters away. There was a decent size flat screen mounted on the wall with international channels but I didn’t find the TV and remote control to be that user-friendly. A cool feature in the room was the light mode settings – you could have it on full or have a more relaxing light mode.

 

But there were also a couple of challenges and problems at the hotel. When we came to the room there seemed to be a wi-fi signal but we had not received any username and password. When we asked in the reception we got a sticker with the information on how to log on. But it was not an ideal solution as we had to log in all the time when we used the wi-fi on the iPhone and iPad. And it only seemed to allow one user at the time – I hope that they can come up with a better solution in the future.

 

Desk and chair at Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonWhen we checked in, we handed some clothes in for pressing as there was no iron in the room. We were told that this would be delivered at a certain time the following day. But we did not get the clothing on time and when we called the reception they said that this was a service that was outsourced and there were delays. This was not ideal of course as my wife had handed in most of her nice clothing and we were heading out to dinner. When we checked out the receptionist said that there would be a 300€ charge for the ironing. My wife was a bit puzzled by the numbers as it seemed very high and when she told this to the receptionist he had to agree. So he checked and it came down to 60€ and my wife paid this. But when we looked at the receipts for the ironing it should have been 30€ - to correct this was quite a hassle and hence the checkout process took a lot longer than expected. We did not get a chance to try out the spa/gym as we were out sightseeing/walking all day.

 

Sink and amenities at Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in LisbonThe hotel lobby also included a restaurant and bar but it did not seem to be much in use which is a shame as it looked really stylish. But we did not use it as the breakfast was like 12€ per person and when we went to dinner we wanted to check out some of the other neighborhoods in the city. This brings me to the location of the hotel. Located on Rua de Santa Marta it was only 5 minutes away from  the main avenue of Lisbon – Avenida de Liberdade. From there it was only a couple of minutes to the metro station Avenida. The metro station of Marquês De Pombal seemed to be equally close but a bit more uphill going away from the hotel. Walking to Restauradores/Rossio only took like 10-15 minutes (about 1 km from the hotel) and to the waterfront it is 2 km from the hotel. The local area around the hotel also included shops, pastry shops, restaurants and on Avenida de Liberdade you get all the name brand stores, e.g. TOD’s, Louis Vuitton, Escada, Burberry and all the other cheap brands ;-)

 

Conclusion
All in all I was quite pleased with the hotel. It was a comfortable, modern and stylish hotel with most of the services that we needed. The local area included what we needed – a small grocery store where we could get some water and restaurants where we could buy a small breakfast. The location of the hotel is decent enough – it would have been perfect if it was located a bit closer to Rossio. But all in all I would not have a problem recommending this to family and friends if they are heading to Lisbon. You can read more about the hotel on their website.

 

 

 
 

Click to see more photos from our stay in LisbonBack to index pageGet in touch if you have any questions