Selina Secret Garden Lisbon Portugal

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon: Review

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I would imagine that most people looking for a review on Selina Secret Garden fall into a few categories: people browsing reviews on Lisbon hotels, people browsing reviews on Lisbon hostels, and those curious about Selina.

If you are new to Selina in general, the chain has hotels/high-end hostels in popular cities around the world. If you’re not specifically looking for a hostel, don’t let that scare you off! This was my first stay anywhere in Portugal so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but this Selina was a lot nicer than some similarly ranked hotels I’ve stayed at in other countries.

The guests of Selina are all kinds of people. This includes professionals who are digital nomads, early 20’s backpackers, and families traveling with children.

Selina differs from many other hostels in the sense that they offer various room types and have some hotel-style amenities.

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon Portugal

If you’re specifically looking for a hostel I don’t know how you could go wrong at Selina. I like the fact that Selinas are fall into the hostel category because it brings more of a social element than you might find at a hotel. As a solo traveler that can be a huge plus. But perhaps one of their greatest strengths is their coworking spaces. Which is really how I ended up learning about Selina to begin with.

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon is my second experience at a Selina. I went directly there from my first Selina stay, which was at London Camden. I was pleasantly surprised by the differences between the two locations and how much the Lisbon location offers.

My review of Selina Secret Garden is a positive one. I would return in a heartbeat.

The room at Selina Secret Garden

Selina Secret Garden offers everything from bunks in shared rooms to hotel-style suites. I opted for a private room which also had a private bathroom. The rooms are no frills but have everything you need.

  • My room had a clothes rack with hangers, a reading lamp next to the bed, and a desk.
  • The desk was super convenient to have—even though I also paid to use the coworking space.
  • There is free wi-fi throughout the property and it worked great everywhere the entire time.
  • The bathroom had a standing shower, free toiletries, and a pretty nice view.
The partial sea view from my hotel room bathroom at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon.
The view from my bathroom at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon.

Types of rooms you can get at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon:

Shared Rooms

At Selina you can opt for budget-friendly hostel-style rooms. They have a six bed community room, and all female six bed community room, a 10 bed community room, and an eight bed community room.

Private Shared Rooms

The private shared room option is a private room with a shared bathroom. If you’re looking for this option you would book The Micro, which can sleep two people. As the name suggests it is quite small. The room basically just holds a bed and your luggage. This also makes it more cost-effective than getting a completely private room.

Private Rooms

You also have the option to book completely private rooms at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon. The Standard Room (which was my choice for this stay) can sleep two people and has a desk and bathroom within the room.

Private Plus

If you’re looking for even more space, Selina Secret Garden also offers two Private Plus room options. The Suite offers a living area with a couch in addition to the normal things a hotel room might include.

Yet another step, The Suite + (opening soon) has even more space, might include a King-sized bed, and in some cases comes with a private balcony.

Note: there are not a lot of heaters in Lisbon, Portugal. This is not a Selina thing, it is a Lisbon thing. For most of the year, this wouldn’t even cross your mind. But during my visit in January, it certainly did.

My first night there I was so cold that I actually slept in a jacket. I’m SURE that Selina would have provided me with something had I asked for it, but I did not. So that’s (probably) on me. After the first night, I was fine. Without the jacket. Maybe I acclimated.

The coworking space

The coworking space at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon has it all. I spent a few days working there, and on one day I used the space for 12.5 hours. I don’t necessarily suggest that anyone works 12.5 hours in one day, but if you need to, it’s a pretty comfortable place to do it.

There are various seating options in the coworking space which include chairs at tables and booths indoors, as well as tables outside on the patio. They have lamps on the shared tables (nice for ambiance) and outlets in the center of the tables for easy access to charge up those electronics.

A dedicated work desk at Selina’s coworking space.
The cost of the coworking space:

To access the coworking space you do pay an extra daily fee, which varies in price by location. At the Secret Garden Lisbon a hot desk is 10 euros a day, or 240 euros for a dedicated monthly desk. You can also rent out a private meeting room for 300 euros.

When I was there they were checking coworking cards upon entry, but only on the first day I used the location. The same staff member was working there each day.

Some perks of the coworking space:
  • There is a kitchen in the coworking space that offers free tea and coffee. Sometimes people leave extra food in there with an “eat me” sign on it. That’s how I snagged myself half a banana one workday.
  • It’s a pretty big space so even when there were a good amount of people working in there everyone still had a table to themselves.
  • There are private phone booths that can be used to take calls or hop on Zoom meetings.
  • There are bathrooms in the coworking space, which is so convenient.

Other things to know:

  • The coworking spaces at all of their locations close at 11PM.
  • If you join their CoLive program for digital nomads, the fee to use the coworking space is included in your monthly rates.

The on-site restaurant

Selina has its own plant-based restaurant called Power Plant, and it is good. When you book a stay there you have the option to add breakfast to your rate or not. I did not go for that option, but I ended up eating breakfast there a few days anyway because it was so tasty. (Guests get a 10% discount at the restaurant either way.)

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon Power Plant restaurant
My go-to breakfast at Selina.

While Power Plant is plant-based, you can make swaps like eggs instead of tofu scramble, as I did in the photo above.

There are many seating options in the restaurant including both tables and countertops, but you are not allowed to set up office in there. Understantably they want to keep the working within the coworking space. So the restaurant is a no-laptop zone.

There is also a bar in Power Plant which you can walk up to and order tea, coffee, or alcoholic beverages. This is where you would collect your free welcome drink on the first day you check in. (All guests get a free welcome drink.)

The shared kitchen

Since this is a hostel, there is a shared kitchen on the first floor. Coming from the Selina in London which had a pint-sized kitchen, the Lisbon one felt massive. There are three sinks and three refrigerators, as well as plenty of space to sit should you choose to eat in there.

The public shared kitchen at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon.
The spacious and stocked shared kitchen at Selina Lisbon.

I tend to do a lot of local grocery shopping regardless of where I’m staying, and I love that you can leave food in these shared kitchens. They offer both cupboard space and refrigerator space, as long as you label your food.

The kitchen also has everything you might need to cook and eat your meals. This operates on a clean-up-after-yourself model. If you use a dish, you wash it.

The rooftop bar

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon has a bar in the restaurant as well as a beautiful bar on the roof. When I visited in January the rooftop bar itself was not in service (off-season), but the indoor/outdoor space was still open until 10 PM.

I meandered out there on my first night with my free welcome drink in hand and was immediately welcomed to join a table. There I met some travelers from London (where I’d also just come from), the south of France, Canada, and Finland.

For how beautiful the rooftop bar was in the coldest part of the year, I can only imagine how fun it becomes in the warmer months!

The location

I found the location of Selina to be a great area. It’s located within the neighborhood of Cais do Sodre, which is walking distance from many things you might like to see or do.

These days Cais do Sodre is a very trendy area with nightlife hotspot Pink Street, the beloved TimeOut Market, and proximity to the Tejo Estuary Waterfront. It retains a lot of its classic charm so it’s an interesting area to walk around.

The classic main street outside of Selina Secret Garden Lisbon
The main street outside of Selina Secret Garden Lisbon

There was one day while staying at Selina Lisbon that I took a Bolt rideshare to the Castelo de Sao Jorge and then just ended up walking all the way back. I saw so many intriguing areas on my ride that I figured I might as well get out on foot and explore.

One night while walking home to Selina I encountered a police demonstration which pretty much shut down the street I was meant to be walking down. I was able to navigate back to Selina just by going a block up and avoiding the crowd.

Transportation to and from Selina Secret Garden

When it comes to getting to and from Selina Secret Garden from the aiport, I opted for a Bolt ride. (This is an Uber alternative that’s available in some countries.) Coming from California I found the rideshare rates in Portugal to be extremely affordable and was more than willing to throw down over going for public transportation.

That being said it is possible to travel between Selina and the airport using public transportation. You can take a bus from the airport to either Campo Grande or Sete Rios, and then catch the metro or a rideshare.

Additionally, Selina offers transfer options for a flat fee of 24 euros from the airport. These can be booked in advance. They also offer direct transportation to other Selina locations, which is pretty cool. In this case, the closest Selina is Selina Boavista Ericeira, about an hour away in Ericeira.

If you happen to have a car on you there is a public lot near Selina, but no street parking.

A note on rideshares:

If you are booking a rideshare from Selina Secret Garden it is best to do it from the street to get the most accurate location. If you’re doing it from inside make sure and check the location of the pin.

I found that it was very easy and fast to book rides from this location, but also that some of the drivers had a hard time getting super close. One cancelled on me while another pulled into a driveway a bit up the street. The main street outside of Selina is one-way and it gets a decent amount of activity. Just keep in that mind if you’re in a rush somewhere, like the airport.

The cost of Selina Secret Garden

The price of a room at Selina is going to vary depending on what time of it is and how high the demand is. That being said, you will always save by booking in advance, and you can save up to 40% off monthly stays by becoming a member of their CoLive Program for digital nomads.

The cost of room will also depend on which room you choose. The shared rooms are considerably cheaper than the private ones!

Additional offerings

While I did not take part in any of Selina’s additional offerings during my stay, they do have a lot to choose from. You can sign up for group tours, join group activities like surf lessons, and take yoga classes.

Some of the tours they offer include a Pub Crawl, Half-Day Trip to Sintra, and a Lisbon Boat Sunset Tour.

Also…there’s a pool!

Note on Sintra: While I did not do a tour to Sintra through Selina I did opt to go through a tour with Viator. I would highly recommend going regardless of how you get there. This is where you’ll find popular attractions like Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleir.

Looking up at Pena Palace in Sintra Portugal
Pena Palace, Sintra Portugal

Being a solo traveler at Selina Secret Garden

As a female solo traveler, I do not have enough good things to say about staying at Selina. And really about Lisbon in general! Portugal is a generally safe country and I felt that way the entire time.

Even staying within a private room over the shared room options, there will still many opportunities to meet and converse with other travelers and digital nomads. Some of the shared spaces include the coworking space, the rooftop bar, the pool, the restaurant, outdoor seating areas, the communal kitchen…the list goes on.

This immediately offers a sense of community that I do not usually find while staying a hotel.

The location of Selina is also convenient to many grocery stores and restaurants. I felt totally safe walking in and out at night to get food.

The entrance to Selina Secret Garden is at the end of this short alley off of a main street.
The entrance to Selina Secret Garden is tucked back at the end of this short alley off of a main street.

Customer service at Selina

I found the service great at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon. The only time I asked for anything was the one time that my room card stopped working, which of course, they remedied immediately.

The front desk area also has a small shop that sells drinks (among other things), which is nice if you get in late and haven’t had a chance to stock up on water. Someone is working at the front desk 24 hours a day.

The entrance to Selina Secret Garden Lisbon is full of beautiful plants.
The entrance to Selina Secret Garden Lisbon.

Click here to read about more great coliving and coworking locations around the world.

FAQ’s about Selina Secret Garden

Is Selina Secret Garden a hostel?

Selina Secret Garden is both a hotel and a high-end hostel. It offers traditional hostel bunks as well as hotel-style private rooms, plus amenities like a coworking space, pool, on-site restaurant, and a rooftop bar.

Is Selina Secret Garden & Cowork very central?

Selina Secret Garden is in the walkable location of Cais do Sodre with close proximity to the city center.

Do all of the rooms at Selina have private bathrooms?

Some of the rooms at Selina Secret Garden have private bathrooms while others have shared ones. If you want a private bathroom, be sure and book The Standard Room or one of the Suites.

Is there parking available for guests at Selina Secret Garden?

There is a parking lot that Selina guests can use that is near the Secret Garden location. Contact the property for the most up-to-date info on that.

Is there a kitchen that guests can use at Selina?

There is a shared kitchen that all guests can use at Selina Secret Garden. You are welcome to store your food, cook there, and eat there.

Is there a bar at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon?

There are two bars at Seline Secret Garden Lisbon. One is within the on-site restaurant Power Plant, and the other is on the roof of the building.

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