From Bali to Leersum
6 February 2017
You may remember my stays at Casas na Areia and Cabanas no Rio in Comporta of a few years ago. The owners of those beautiful holiday homes, Joao and Andrea Rodrigues, live in Lisbon and after opening Casa no Tempo they found a former 18th century palace at the famous Feira da Ladra (Lisbon’s Flea Market) site. Together with architect Manuel Aires Mateus, who’s a friend of the couple and worked on the other places as well, they transformed the gracious building completely. Santa Clara 1728 is now a small hotel with only 6 spacious suites, there’s a dining room downstairs where they will host delicious dinners and the owners decided to call it their home too and live with their children on the two top floors.
One of the most important things at all of their ‘homes’ is the respect they feel for nature. Not only in building and designing the sites, but most importantly in the experience you will have when staying there. All of your senses will be addressed. Imagine for example when you stay at Casas na Areia where the floor is made of sand. It does something to your mood, almost meditation-like you start to slow down. You start to whisper and your feet like the feeling of the cold sand after a warm day at the beach. The transformed fishermen’s huts let you experience the surroundings in an intense way – everywhere you look you will see nature. You experience the tides, see the birds. And the smell of the wood of the fishermen’s huts is really nice and something you remember, years after you stayed there.
Of course it’s harder to get the nature inside a beautiful building in the heart of a city, but they managed to do so. There’s a busy flea market going on on Tuesday and Saturday in front of the hotel, but when you enter, you will arrive in a place of silence. You feel respect for the old building where you will still see the old details like the staircase. In the dining room with a long communal dining table made of heavy wood you will start a conversation with the other guests, the owners or the chef. If not, you can read the beautiful coffee table books or independent magazines or stare at the impressive art work. The rooms have a wooden floor with heating in it, a bliss. The bathroom is made out of Lisbon marble just like the bath tub. There are candles in the bath room, the towels thick and soft and the bath room amenities smell good and make your hair foamy when you wash it. There are two comfy sofas in your room and when you look out your windows you’ll see the river Tagus and the National Pantheon. A beautiful view – specially during sunset when the sky turns pink.
The breakfast is served in the dining room on the ground floor and they make what you like including fresh orange juice, fresh fruit, granola with yogurt, eggs on toast with avocado: most of the ingredients come from their farm at Casa no Tempo. The hotel is only open for a few weeks now, but in the future they like to work together with chefs (like Seppe Nobels of Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp) to host special dinners. Stay tuned…
Check out: www.santaclara1728.com
Campo de Santa Clara 128 RC, 1100-473 Lisboa, Portugal