Thinking of the tiled walls and traditional Portuguese pavement envisioned amongst bustling cityscapes is typically what comes to mind when thinking about the Lisbon area of Portugal. Those thoughts can be the impetuous to planning a great vacation in Portugal, but there’s so much more to this diverse, yet compact area of the country. Here’s a little discussed place, just across the bridge from Lisbon…the city of Setubal, pronounced (shtoo-bahl), is historic and poetic in its own right and is home to RM Guesthouse…The Experience.
We love that the tagline for the name of this boutique hotel is “The Experience” because the hotel itself really is an experience, and worth spending some time getting to know. Besides all the city of Setúbal has to offer, being set upon the north bank of the River Sado and buffered by the Atlantic Ocean, the image of an busy industrial port city is the washed away from your mind when staying at RM Guesthouse. Situated steps from museums, and a market unlike any other we have visited, you’ll want to explore castles on hills and spy dolphins from a boat. That’s if you ever decide to leave the guesthouse.
RM is designed around fashion; from the LUXURY BAGS suite, where you find Hermes rugs, cushions and stacked luggage, to the No.5 suite, you’ll feel as though you are swaddled in the fashionable world of haute couture. The seven suites are found at the top of an original, fully restored, staircase are anchored by the SALA, an inviting common area and home to the well-stocked honor bar. Everything about the guesthouse seems a unique twist for any hotel but especially one in a city filled with a wealth of history, unrelated to such swank, this place is a refreshing splash of fun and color. The entire structure is a renovated 19th century edifice. With its original heavy wooden door, used as artwork in the common area, antique ironwork still adorns the exterior of the building on its balconies and along the staircase leading up to the suites. The other five of the seven suites are the Monogram suite, which needs no explanation as to its décor, the Angels master suite, based on the sexy styling of the lingerie shop that uses angels as the name for their models and customers… the GG suite surrounds you in a Gucci-feel, and Roberto suite drapes guests in a sense of Cavalli. The Designer Shoe suite is almost every woman’s dream, looks and feels very expensive and is ever so comfortable. Our favorite element in this suite is a single black Louboutin in a birdcage. Curious? You’ll need to check in to check out this unique slice of Portugal. The husband and wife team of Rita and Romeu Martins who created this gorgeous set of accommodations ensured that All suites benefit from large windows overlooking the city’s main avenue. Sheets and towels are 100% cotton and most definitely made in Portugal. The spoils of Nespresso coffee machines in each suite, Acqua Armani and a warm welcoming bottle of wine Ermelinda Freitas set a haute tone immediately upon arrival. Every detail was thought out to create the best sensory experiences for their guests. The quirks and charm of the pink dog sculpture sitting on a balcony at the end of the main hallway is almost as whimsical as the yellow pig and puppy up front by the oversized yellow-framed mirror at reception. Explore Setúbal from the warmth and luxury of this charming boutique hotel. They’ll curate the experience, just let them know your desires: helicopter tour, dolphin watching, hiking, horseback riding on the beach and more.