Salvadoris the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the NortheasternBrazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil’s capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the country and in the New World. Salvador is the third most populous Brazilian city, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in Brazil’s Northeast. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. This reflects a situation in which African-associated cultural practices are celebrated. The historical center of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Salvador is located on a small, roughly triangular peninsula that separates Todosos Santos Bay from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay, which gets its name from having been discovered on All Saints’ Day forms a natural harbor.
A particularly notable feature is the escarpment that divides Salvador into the Cidade Alta (“Upper Town” – rest of the city) and the CidadeBaixa (“Lower Town” – northwest region of the city), the former some 85 m (279 ft) above the latter, with the city’s cathedral and most administrative buildings standing on the higher ground. An elevator (the first installed in Brazil), known as ElevadorLacerda, has connected the two sections since 1873, having since undergone several upgrades.
Pestana Conventodo Carmo Hotel
Convento do Carmo is proud to be the first historical and luxury hotel of Brazil. This former and notable friary construction started in 1586 and once restored became an extraordinary milestone of the area and a unique hotel in Salvador.
The outstanding colonial architecture of the PestanaConvento do Carmo Hotel blends with graceful furniture and artwork, recalling a more elegant age in every detail. In addition, the hotel has an eye-catching swimming pool, a complete library, a business and a fitness centre.
All rooms kept the same division they had hundreds of years ago, which result in different sized apartments, but all with a singular decoration and extreme comfort. The 79 rooms and suites are elegantly designed and equipped with special amenities such as LCD Cable TV, pillow menu, Egyptian cotton bed and bath linens and air-conditioning.
Located in the charming district of Pelourinho in Salvador, the PestanaConvento do Carmo Hotel offers plenty of tourist attractions and local festivities nearby.
The hotel has been awarded several times, among these are the American magazine “Travel+Leisure” award for one of the best new hotel units in the world, and the award of Guia 4 Rodas, 2007, for “Melhor Hotel em Local Histórico” (Best Hotel in a Historic Place) and the acknowledged “The Leading Small Hotels of the World”.
A super-stylish hotel in a buzzing but untouristy part of Salvador
Up a steep side street, behind a colonial facade, sits this swish, white-walled, thoroughly modern hotel, where attention to detail and cutting-edge design go hand in hand. Owned by 3 glamorous sisters, it exudes a cool, laid-back air, with all rooms looking out towards the ocean. Past reception there’s a small dining room which leads outside to a garden and the main part of the hotel containing the majority of bedrooms. There’s also a decked area, which is perfect for watching the sun go down over Praia da Paciencia below. On the roof you’ll find an infinity plunge pool with a fantastic view over the neighbourhood, as well as a spa area.
Its location, in the Rio Vermelhoneighbourhood, offers an authentic slice of middle-class Brazilian life. In the evening, walk down the hill and turn left past the strip of bars until you reach a small, buzzing square packed with outdoor bars and young, trendy and friendly Soteropolitanos (local Salvadoreans). Join them to drink beer and feast on acaraje – delicious deep-fried snacks that are a link to the area’s rich African heritage
CASA DO AMARELINHO
Casa do Amarelindo
A beautifully restored townhouse with roof-level pool, whose 10 rooms promise absolute peace despite being in the central Pelourinho district
Bump your way through the colourful cobbled streets, past capoeira dancers, hecklers and hippies, deep into Salvador’s Pelourinho district, once the Portuguese capital of Brazil. You’re bang in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage town, and you’d be mesmerised if you weren’t so hot and tired from the journey. Which is why the Casa do Amarelindo is such a glorious respite. Step through its tall archways into a tranquil reception area and let the cool terracotta floor, whitewashed walls and tropical courtyard soothe your mind.
Take the lift to your room and enter a totally quiet and sunny space. The vast kingsize bed promises hours of sleep; the air con blows out welcoming cool air. Soundproofed French doors mean you won’t be disturbed by the street noise below, but step onto your balcony and you’ve got the perfect vantage spot for vibrant Bahian life. What’s more, there’s a roof terrace with a panoramic view of Todosos Santos Bay, and a swimming pool to beat the heat. You’re at the heart of the action, yet one step removed.
A hotel like no other in Salvador da Bahia: two magnificent mansions with colonial charm, a journey through verdant courtyards, the pleasure of first-class gastronomy…
Nestled in the heart of Pelourinho, the historic quarter of the UNESCO World Heritage listed city; the Villa is comprised of two adjoining 17th and 18th century colonial homes, remnants of the Portuguese era.
Overlooking the colourful facades of the district, the 17 rooms have been carefully renovated to preserve their original spirit. The result is enticing: an authentic colonial atmosphere, enhanced by two garden courtyards, a refreshing plunge pool and a panoramic terrace.
Your host, Bruno Guinard, a Frenchman who has called Bahia home for 30 years, has proudly implemented genuine local participation and sustainable development practices within the Villa Bahia. It’s a wonderful place to soak up the days-gone-by atmosphere, and a great base from which to explore colourfulPelourinho.
Much like Salvador, the city it calls home, Aram Yami is an eclectic mix of colonial style and contemporary accents. Surrounded by the vibrant colors of the historic old town, the hotel is a boutique housed in a 19th-century residence, affording views of the Todosos Santos Bay that bring to mind a beachfront retreat. With only five rooms, guests can look forward to the personalized experience of an upscale bed-and-breakfast, albeit one where much of the décor is given over to Asian art objects, specifically golden Buddhist wall hangings. Somehow, the hotel still manages to feel wholly Brazilian — maybe it’s the multiple swimming pools.
One of those pools is private and located inside the bottom-floor guest room, a two-bedroom master suite that also includes a terrace, making it perfect for two couples or a small family. The other pool is on the roof, where the view of the bay is completely unobstructed — not something that can be taken for granted so close to the old city. Despite the aesthetic slipperiness, the rooms are thoroughly modern, with a proud green streak running through them. Solar energy powers the wi-fi and air-conditioning, while the organic bathroom amenities are derived from Amazonian herbs.
There isn’t a restaurant, but guests should expect a hot breakfast delivered right to their rooms every morning. The lobby bar stays open round the clock; a welcome convenience for guests whose nightcap is late in the evening and those who crave a breakfast cocktail.
- “Best Boutique hotel in Bahia, Brazil” The New York Times 2009
- “Great Charmming hotel in Bahia, Brazil” Vogue Magazine 2008
Baía de Todosos Santos-Photo by Jota Freitas/Bahiatursa