Is there a neighbourhood gem that tourists are not usually aware of?
Our street, Rua Miguel Bombarda, is known as the art galleries street and so there’s always a lot of special stuff going on. We wanted to contribute to the art scene so commissioned Tina Siuda, a Polish illustrator to paint the wall outside the house. We love seeing passers by taking photos of it. We’d like it to be considered a ‘jewel’ in our city in a few years time for it.
What sets your guests’ experience apart from other hotels?
Our guesthouse is different from traditional hotels because our priority is to make the guests feel at home, with all the comforts that a home provides. You can appreciate the beauty of the objects and enjoy the smell of the breakfast which hopefully will make you drool. We get a lot of compliments on our soft sheets and cozy beds.
What’s your favourite object in the guesthouse and where did you find it?
We do have a special one which is a bust sculpture of Camões (one of the greatest Portuguese poets) which lives in our office. It belongs to our shop ‘Museu de Estuque’, which we are responsible for. We like to preserve our culture and it’s yet another way to pay homage to this great poet.
You’re interior designers specialising in restoration. Was Mercador a project you had in the back of your minds for a while?
The Mercador Guesthouse project had been on our minds for 3 years before it happened. It’s something we thought about in detail as we wanted to offer our guests a memorable experience.
Did you see it as a chance of having some fun, like a blank canvas?
It was fun but it also involved a lot of work. We like being creative and always try to make work as enjoyable as possible which allows for the end result to be both something awesome and worthwhile.
What’s your favourite hotel worldwide?
One of our favourite hotels is the Bombom Resort in the Príncipe Island (São Tomé and Príncipe).
Have you visited many colonial houses abroad?
During our trips we have visited a few. We like to get to know the culture and the local traditions. It’s something we always try to fit in.