The Women of Sublime Hotels
The power of another person’s story is a unique power. It is one that, in its most powerful form, flows from one person’s experience to another in an almost physical rush. Perhaps a feeling of, if they did it, so can I. Or, a moment of clarity where, all of a sudden, a new idea appears, sprouting from the interaction.
For women, the voice of another woman’s story of perseverance, innovation, motivation, success, and so on can be oh-so-powerful. So, in this new Love Happens series, we celebrate “The Women of…”. It is a series dedicated to the women behind the brand. The women who bring a brand to life. Women who are living, working, and raising families. Through a series of questions, we delve into the minds of these women to share their empowering and uplifting thoughts and stories. First up, The Women of Sublime Hotels.
We first met Sublime Hotels, a Portuguese-based hospitality brand with a beautiful coast-side resort in Comporta and a cozy urban hotel in Lisbon, while working with them on a feature for the 6th print edition of Love Happens Mag. Our adoration for the brand was instantaneous! The 6th edition is all about Individuality & Authenticity, a theme Sublime radiates with its unique style and quiet luxury.
The White Shirt Contest
As you read through the words of each woman of Sublime in this article, you will notice they are all wearing white in their photos. A purposeful choice with its own empowering story.
Alexandra Henriques, Director of Marketing & Communication for Sublime Hotels, came up with the white shirt concept. “For me, the white shirt is a symbol of masculinity but also very versatile. Like a symbol of power in the working world,” explains Alexandra. “The idea was to reverse that power and make a feminine version that would fit and empower women of all sizes and shapes.”
For the perfect white shirt design, Sublime partnered with the fashion program at the Lisbon-based school Magestil. The Sublime Hotels White Shirt Contest directive was to design a white shirt for women inspired by Sublime’s first location in beautiful Comporta. The winning shirt design was created by 17-year-old Mariana Lucas Martins. And then worn by each woman for the series photo shoot by the talented Ricardo Santos and for the hotel’s corresponding upcoming documentary.
“My initial inspiration for this design was the definition of the white shirt by Carolina Herrera,” explains Mariana.
“They make me feel secure. When I don’t know what to wear, I choose a white shirt.” ~Carolina Herrera
“Carolina Herrera was a famous fashion designer who believed that the white shirt was an essential and amazing garment for women to wear because a white shirt can be used on many occasions and adapt to several daily base realities. This is, a white shirt can be professional, formal, comfortable, relaxed, festive, and chic.”
“My second main source of inspiration was Sublime Comporta,” Mariana tells us. “This hotel is a little paradise. It is well connected with nature, transmits a relaxing atmosphere, and is very harmonious and inspiring. I really wanted my shirt to transmit the same vibes as this hotel, and I wanted it to adapt to different occasions, different ages, and body types.”
With dreams of making the world of fashion a more eco-friendly and sustainable business, especially when it comes to textiles, talents like Mariana Martins make the future look bright!
Read on to meet The Women of Sublime! Starting with the brand’s inspiring co-founder Patrícia Trigo and on to 18 other inspiring women across the team. Individually, women shining in life. As a group, a powerful force within the Sublime brand.
The Women of Sublime
Co-Owner | Sublime Hotels
How did you come up with the idea for Sublime Comporta? 2001 was the year I fell in love with my husband Gonçalo and with Comporta; right away, I knew I had to have a house there. In 2003, we got married, and in 2004, in the middle of having our first son, Lourenço, we bought the property. During the construction of our vacation/ weekend house, we realized there was a lack of high-end hospitality. That’s when the dream of Sublime Comporta started.
When did you know that Sublime could be more than what you had envisioned? We opened in 2004, and a year or two later, we realized there was room to expand, so we went from a country house to a 5-star hotel. In 2016, we opened the new main building and the different villas.
Are you happy with the progress of the organization/group so far? I’m very satisfied. We have managed to professionalize, which helped us start dreaming about the group’s expansion to other destinations in Portugal.
What were the hardest moments you had to face at the beginning of Sublime Comporta? Gonçalo thought it would be best if I stayed in Cascais with our son and daughter, Lourenço and Madalena (they were 9 and 6 years old), because our home, schools, family, and friends were there. I decided differently. I felt we should be together as a family, so we all started living in the hotel when Sublime opened its doors. The kids went to a new school, and I left my job of almost 20 years as a flight attendant. We had only a couple of staff members, so I did everything from housekeeping, kitchen, reception, reservations, whatever was needed.
I remember one of the biggest struggles for me was driving the kids to school, which was 100 km away, returning to the hotel to work, and then driving them back home, just like a regular mother, to baths and dinner and bedtime. Then I would rush to the restaurant and sometimes attend to the guests until 2, 3 am…Then there was the accommodation issue. The hotel got fully booked in that first summer, so we had to transform a shack where we kept the firewood into a suite with three beds and a tiny toilet. We lived there for a few months…
Looking back, was it all worth it? I would do it all over again without blinking.
If you could have done something different, what would it be? I would have spent more money on good professionals, especially for high placements. If you think a professional costs you a lot of money, wait until you hire an amateur…
In the beginning, what helped you to move forward with this project despite the struggles? The feedback we would always get from the guests, to feel their satisfaction and warmth toward us. We are lucky to call a lot of our clients friends. Our very first guests were this lovely couple, Alicia and Stefano, who became one of our most cherished best friends.
Director of Marketing & Communication | Sublime Hotels
What do you consider your greatest achievement in Sublime? Besides being able to embrace a lot of new challenges like PR, my greatest achievement was this project. I was able to get to know more about these women and give them an opportunity to be recognized and shine. I love to be able to empower other women; the world is far too difficult for women in every area.
The project you will never forget. This one for sure.
Why do you get up in the morning and come to work? Because I love what I do, I really do, and every day is different. I never get bored, not here at Sublime and not at the school where I teach.
If this situation were to never change, what’s the one quality you need to truly enjoy it? Patience: sometimes, in order to get things done, I tend to be harsh. I want to improve that.
What’s next for The Women of Sublime? New challenges and new career opportunities. The group is growing, and there are endless possibilities to be whatever you want inside the organization.
Love happens when…I see happiness around me!
Ana Luísa Encarnação
Restaurant Manager | Sublime Comporta Beach Club
What do you consider your greatest achievement in Sublime? Knowledge. Professional or personal, that makes me grow as a human being.
Does it matter? Yes, the journey is what matters to me. Knowing how to overcome all the challenges and mistakes and come out of them stronger is what makes me a better and stronger person at all levels.
If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend it? I would take care of my family. I would have my business and help those who need it most. I will visit all the corners of the world. And I would buy a farm for myself.
Love happens when….you feel complete.
House Manager | Sublime Lisboa
Your favorite business tool or resource. My eyes and Google.
What makes it all worthwhile to you? When Love Happens.
If this situation were to never change, what’s the one quality I need to truly enjoy it? My optimism.
You only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.
Pastry Chef at Davvero | Sublime Lisboa
What would success look like? I will know that I have achieved success when I look back on my career path and think that all the extra hours I worked and all the effort I put in gave me the life I always wanted.
Why do you get up in the morning and come to work? I get up every day with the expectation to learn something new, professionally or personally, and because I love my job.
Love happens when…I see the faces of the people/clients that they are enjoying the desserts I made for them.
Barista | Sublime Comporta
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect is an illusion; starting each day with a grateful heart is an idea.
What would success look like? For me, success is having self-satisfaction, making happy those people who sacrifice their happiness for my success, and helping those who really need it.
Spa, Head Therapist | Sublime Comporta
Your favorite business tool or resource. The best business tool for me is good communication.
What life experience has most shaped who you are? It was to see my father work hard, with quality, responsibility, and efficiency. I have always tried to follow the model I admire.
If this situation were to never change, what’s the one quality you need to truly enjoy it? Perseverance.
Maitenance | Sublime Comporta
What makes it all worthwhile to you? A família. (Family.)
What would success look like? O esforço é o caminho. (Effort is the way.)
If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend it? Ajudava a minha família, comparava casa, construía um abrigo para animais abandonados. (I would help my family, buy a house, and build a shelter for abandoned animals.)
Restaurant Manager at Davvero | Sublime Lisboa
What is your idea of perfect happiness? For me, the perfect happiness is a balance between my personal and professional life. Love myself, who I am, what I do, and see it in our guests.
What life experience has most shaped who you are? Covid. It showed me a different way to value things, especially people. It made me see the strength and love that exist inside of me.
Love happens when…you accept who you are and believe in yourself. When you love yourself first, you are ready to put love in everything.
Former Director of Sales at Sublime Hotels
What makes it all worthwhile to you? A little bit of everything: family, work and friends.
Who do you want to be, and what experience do you want to create? I want to be a successful woman and a successful mom. In the end, I really want to be a happy woman. Most of the time, we actually forget; we just focus on jobs, kids, and friends, so I definitely want to be a happy person. That’s my main goal.
Reservations & Revenue Director | Sublime Hotels
Are you creating the results you want? Yes, I need to see results to keep my motivation, and I do see results. Some come faster than others, and sometimes, I have to be more persistent.
Does it matter? Definitely. Not seeing results in any aspect of your life can have a negative effect on you, even though sometimes they are slower than you would like them to be. We have to keep in mind that we need to work on a better version of ourselves.
Is it worth the effort? Well, this is a hard question. Most of the time, I do think it is worth it. But when I feel down or less empowered, I try to think nothing is worthless. And even the bad moments or bad days are teaching us something.
What life experience has most shaped who you are? Sair de uma relação abusiva de 7 anos na qual eu me perdi, perdi minhas forças, cai na depressão e quando achei que era meu fim eu saí do que me fazia mal e recomecei minha vida cuidando de 2 filhas sozinhas em outro país. E hoje sou livre e independente, e claro, muito feliz. (Leaving an abusive relationship of 7 years in which I lost myself, lost my strength, fell into depression and when I thought it was the end of me I left what was hurting me and started my life over taking care of 2 daughters alone in another country. And today I am free and independent, and of course, very happy.)
Are you creating the results you want? Sim, de maneira lenta porque não e uma tarefa fácil pra uma mulher mas me sinto capaz de ir muito além do que já consegui. (Yes, slowly because it is not an easy task for a woman, but I feel capable of going much further than I have already achieved.)
Who do you want to be, and what experience do you want to create? Quero ser referência para as mulheres, que elas se sintas seguras de si e que juntas podemos dominar o mundo. (I want to be a reference for women, so that they feel confident in themselves and that together we can dominate the world.)
Love happens when…Meu amor aconteceu quando dei a luz a duas meninas por parto normal, na dor eu aprendi o quanto eu era capaz de amar. E minhas filhas são o meu combustível para eu ir longe. É tudo para elas e por elas. E o amor também acontece quando ao se olhar no espelho você sorri, porque o amor próprio deve ser como um acessório, mulher não vive sem. (My love happened when I gave birth to two girls through natural birth, in the pain I learned how much I was capable of loving. And my daughters are my fuel to go far. It’s all for them and for them. And love also happens when you smile when you look in the mirror, because self-love should be like an accessory, a woman can’t live without it.)
Front Office Shift Leader | Sublime Comporta
Is it worth the effort? Every time. I like how the progress made through the effort can bring me self-confidence. Even if it doesn’t reflect immediately, it will make sense afterward.
If this situation were to never change, what’s the one quality you need to truly enjoy it? Being grateful.
Love happens when…I am my first source of happiness.
Human Resources | Sublime Hotels
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I believe that there is no such thing as perfect happiness. Life is made of happier moments and other less joyful moments. However, if I could have a perfect day, it would certainly include having contact with the people I love the most, as well as contact with animals (I love cats!), walks by the sea, and a typical dish from Alentejo.
What does success look like? From my point of view, success does not mean possessing material goods or lots of money and trophies. For me, success means being better every day and putting into practice everything we know and have learned from all the mistakes we have made. It also means valuing our achievements and accepting our defeats because better days will come. Helping others and being happy also fit into my definition of success.
Love happens when…You visit Sublime!
Spa | Sublime Comporta
Your favorite business tool or resource. My own imagination.
What life experience has most shaped who you are? Deciding that I want to do what I love to do.
Why do you get up in the morning and come to work? Because I can be at this beautiful place surrounded by trees, with nice people. I can grow in my profession, and I receive nice rewards for it.
Reservations | Sublime Comporta
What do you consider your greatest achievement in Sublime? My greatest achievement in Sublime is, personally, having found a job that I love and am happy to go to every day, an environment that I can identify with, and a project that makes me eager to stay and evolve.
Your favorite business tool or resource. I’d say my notebook/diary. It helps me organize my work, thoughts, and priorities. And since I adopted this method, I consider my workday more productive.
What makes it all worthwhile to you? How I feel about myself at the end of the day. If I’m closer to attaining my goals and if I like who I am becoming.
House Keeping | Sublime Comporta
What is your idea of perfect happiness? To me, the work that satisfies you is success, the work you love, the work you do may satisfy you daily, or the work that motivates you on a daily basis. Every morning, you wake up, and you will think, oh, I have to go to work. Yeah, that’s the things that make success. That’s the success you go through every day, and that motivates you. The feeling that I have to go further.
Love happens when…Love can happen about the people, about the things, and about the work you do.
Assistant Reception Manager | Sublime Comporta
The project you will never forget. I started working at Sublime in 2017, when the number of rooms was 67. Nowadays, we have 90. The place where the lake of the bio pool suites is located, when I started, was just an open field, and now we have the most beautiful and interesting pool in Europe. This is Sublime!
Are you creating the results you want? Absolutely! Every day that goes by, I feel that this is really the path to follow. And no, it’s not all perfect. But my father always told me what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and nowadays, I’m a fan of that philosophy. Growing pains are uniquely and exclusively positive if our main interest is improving day by day.
Is it worth the effort? Without a doubt. If I don’t do it for myself, who will?
Quality Manager | Sublime Hotels
The project you will never forget. The quality and environmental certification of one of the Sublime Restaurants. A starting point for the company’s future concern for the environment and sustainability.
What makes it all worthwhile to you? The people we will meet along the way.
If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend it? Traveling the world and helping everyone who I can improve their lives in some way.
Guest Relations | Sublime Comporta Beach Club
Your favorite business tool or resource. My favorite tool is the guest. They are different every day and are the ones whom we depend on.
What do you want to do? I want to advance vertically in my career. One day, I would like to have my own business.
Love happens when….when we share experiences, common values, and goals.
Restaurant Manager | Sublime Comporta
What life experience has most shaped who you are? Moving abroad, definitely. Leaving my comfort zone behind and being fully independent in a country where I had to start my life all over again.
What makes it all worthwhile to you? When I look back and compare the woman I was by that time and the one I have become, I feel proud of myself.
Why do you get up in the morning and come to work? To experience new, different situations every day, exchange knowledge, and interact with people in a very dynamic environment. There is not such a day equal to any other one.
The Women of Sublime Photography by Ricardo Santos
Hair and Makeup by Danila Hatzakis
Introduction & Curation by Anna Beck