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Hot List 2011

Hotel Inspira Santa Marta, Lisbon 
$$$$

48 Rua de Santa Marta

Lisbon
Portugal 1150-297

Tel: 351 210440900

From the outside, this 89-room hotel, located just off the capital's central Avenida Libertade, is all Portuguese gentility, with a classical facade punctuated with wrought iron balconies. But inside, it feels much more like a funky loft in San Francisco. From the long lobby lined with pretty wooden-slatted windows that let the Lisbon light stream in to the feng shui guest rooms made edgy with concrete floors and glass-walled showers etched with mod shapes, the interior is all West Coast hip. Service is professional yet warm, and the sustainability policy is flaunted to mostly good effect—witness the recyclable bottles of filtered water (although one would perhaps prefer a newspaper at breakfast to a sanctimonious lecture on the preferability of the computers available in the lobby). Which is not to say that the Santa Marta skimps on amenities. Rather, it has honed its list to the most appreciated ones: Rooms have Nespresso machines, for instance, as well as complimentary (if minimally stocked) minibars, and there's free Wi-Fi, an on-site spa and workout room, and a restaurant serving well-prepared Mediterranean cuisine—food that you might actually seek out rather than simply fall back on.
Which room to book: Request an exterior room—most overlook an interior courtyard or a neighboring building.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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