How Like Home by Madrabica was Born
How Like Home by Madrabica was born from traveling experiences and a building in ruins. How our guests helped in the revitalization of a neighbourhood!
I have several passions in my life and one of them is traveling. I do not usually stay in hotels. I like to rent an apartment near the city centre and use it as an anchor to see the sights and to feel the pulse of the city. I also love meeting new people and making new friends during my stays. Many of the friends I made abroad also visited me in Lisbon. And, during their stay, I often showed them the most hidden places and the best restaurants.
I have an apartment in Bica near the funicular, and I started renting it for short stays to friends of my friends who came to visit Lisbon. These guests have always loved their stay and have referred the apartment to other friends. By 2012 the apartment was almost fully occupied throughout the year.
At that time, I had the opportunity to buy a building in ruins in Madragoa. Madragoa is a truly authentic neighbourhood (bairro) in the centre of Lisboa. At that very moment, everyone was focused in another central bairro – Alfama, but it was clear that Alfama would quickly become crowded with tourists.
My friends said that I was crazy, putting my savings in the rehabilitation of a building in ruins located in a zone that was outside the main touristic routes of the time. From my experience with Bica’s apartment, I was convinced that many people were interested in staying in an authentic neighbourhood instead of following the crowd and staying in impersonal hotels. In addition, my guests and I could contribute to the rehabilitation of this beautiful neighbourhood.
With the help of Teresa who manages the apartments on a daily basis, the bet was a success, and the apartments were named Like Home by MadraBica, Like Home because we want our guests to feel the apartments like their home in Lisbon, and MadraBica is a name formed by the combination of two “bairros” that marked my life: Madragoa and Bica.