Lisbon’s Inspira Santa Marta Hotel – Green Comfort

Hotel's facade restoration preserves the historic feel of this part of Lisbon. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


If you too have traveled a lot and been dismayed by the proliferation of plastic water bottles across the globe, that sentiment alone might compel you to plan a stay at the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel when you visit Lisbon. 


Inspira has a reverse osmosis water purification system and then uses bottles made from recycled glass. It's not only sparing the planet of plastic but also sales of this water, above and beyond the water provided at no charge in rooms, has helped to support Pump Aid's installation of 5 pumps in Malawi. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


Pump Aid, an NGO that builds pumps for clean water in less developed nations, is the beneficiary of profits from sales of the hotel's bottled water


That they have an in-house reverse osmosis water purifier and then bottle water in recycled glass bottles is just one green touch among many. 


General Manager Nicolas Roucos says that the green and social cause emphasis in the hotel translates into a happy workforce


In fact, from the very conception of this restoration that re-opened the hotel in 2010, the impact it has on the planet has been front-of-mind. 


The lobby space has the feeling of numerous rooms you can plant in, created mainly by the orientation of furniture


Inspira's renovation was mainly done with environmentally-friendly and locally sourced materials. It has an active green certification program. These solar panels are one of the energy sources for the hotel and all its energy needs are provided with sustainable energy sources. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


Most of the materials used to rehab it were locally sourced, and/or from sustainable resources like cork. 


This intriguing staircase from the lobby to a second floor has the illusion of being tapered as it descends, or expanding as it ascends, but actually it is entirely straight


Inspira Santa Marta Hotel has conference rooms for corporate meetings


Live delicate orchids were a lovely touch in our studio room


That you feel luxury and not one of hardships endured for environmental correctness is also integral to the hotel’s plan. 


This teal and blue decor is found in rooms and suites with a water theme


Round bathtubs have little environmental benefit but they certainly are fun!


The suite's writing desk alcove with skylight above is very cozy and inviting


The colors of the metal themed rooms


They make a big point of the feng shui behind each room’s design, and the color schemes that evoke earth, water, fire, metal and wood. 


Water-themed double room. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


The red-toned wallpaper is a signature in the "fire" themed rooms. These cozy desk setups are ubiquitous. Photo courtesy ofInspira Santa Marta Hotel


An on-site spa,


The spa offers couples treatments. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


Chromotherapy therapy treatment room in the spa


These spa area ceramic decorations are made by members of an association for autism spectrum disorders. Inspira Santa Marta Hotel also sells mementos made by these artists to support this non-profit's work


restaurant with a long wine list,


The restaurant tries to source local and mainly organic food. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


An unusually quiet moment during the breakfast buffet


The light fixtures you see in the restaurant are made from recycled paper


Like every hotel we stayed at in Portugal, the breakfast buffet was bountiful and provided many options


The hotel restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is very popular and crowded with locals during the lunch hours


and a popular happy hour bar add to the luxury touch.


This comfortable bar lounge to the side of the main lobby has a very popular happy hour. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


The suites especially have the comforting feel of good modern design. 


Metal inspired color scheme in an Inspira suite living room. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


Metal color scheme bedroom in suite. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


Inspira suite living room. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


All have touches like energy-efficient LED lighting and water-saving devices in faucets and showers, but if you don’t take the time to read the room brochures about these green features you might just take them for granted and not notice.


Inspira fire themed suite bathroom. Photo courtesy of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel


If you are on a tight Lisbon tour schedule you may first be impressed by its location in the center of the city and just 10 km from the airport.  The neighborhood changes in various walking directions, each of which are fun to explore by foot.   Returning from these explorations to the hotel you realize that Inspira Santa Marta Hotel meets its goal of helping you feel like you are staying in an urban oasis. 


For bookings or more information visit the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel website.


Photos:  Peter Kachergis, unless otherwise indicated

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