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“OK hotel in beautiful city”

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Pousada Casa Vila Bela
Ranked #19 of 111 Hotels in Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
Almere, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“OK hotel in beautiful city”
Reviewed 5 August 2013

Upon arrival at the Vila Bela we were welcomed by the guard who only spoke Portugese. The owners left a little note to tell about wifi and some other things. Gerusa, one of the owners, is a great source of advice but when she was not there, there was no other staff that spoke English.

Vila Bela is well located in an area that feels very safe day and night and is a short walk from the Pelourinho (one street downhill, one street uphill). It is almost opposite the Pestana Convento do Carmo. This area is patrolled by a lot of policemen and well lit at night. You can tell that they do a tremendous effort to keep the area safe. We really loved the colourful buildings, the cobblestone streets and the energetic atmosphere. For us Salvador was one of Brazil's highlights and we have really enjoyed it.

We booked the Bahia de Todos os Santos suite. The room was very large and clean. The view is on a lively commercial port. The decoration in the room was a little bit of everything, from beautiful old walls to very modern tiles with photo's of white pebbles in the shower area: its mixed styles makes the room look a little bit cluttered.

The breakfast was rather limited and lacked some refinement. With owners that lived in France, you would expect more.

Our transfer to the airport we arranged for BRL 108 through Casa Vila Bela which was even more expensive than coming from the airport. When the driver didn't show up, Gerusa took us to the airport. Another option may be the taxis in front of the Pestana Convento do Carmo. When we asked one of the drivers, we were offered a rate of BRL 80 but because we had a very early morning flight we didn't risk it.

We think the Vila Bela is OK but the real highlight was beautiful Salvador itself!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank TripleDutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We really enjoyed this pousada, and not least its location. One of our rooms had a great view of the bay. Very pleasant and helpful staff. Good breakfast served in a nice setting. Only minus was the fact that credit cards were not accepted. Who wants to travel around with that much cash or for that matter cheques in 2013... But otherwise certainly recommendable!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank thsbulow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leuven, Belgium
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

A good place if you want to stay in the old city center (Pelhourinho) of Salvador. We spent 2 days there upon our arrival and returned for another 2 days before returning home. The rooms were clean and spacious enough for 3 (we + our 18y old daughter). The most important things to see in Salvador are within walking distance from the Pousada, which is very convenient. It also gave us a little bit the feeling to be among the locals.
The hosts Geruda and Stéphane (both polyglots) are wonderful people and know what hospitality is all about. They gave us plenty of useful tips and advise. Breakfast is served on a nice terrace with great scenary on the local industrial harbour. The taxi driver didn't show up when it was time to leave to the airport, upon which Geruda spontaneously offered to drive us herself. Thanks a lot to both of you!
PS/ Don't miss the local folklore/dancing show when you are staying at this Pousada, and the local street band music on Tuesday evenings, these are at only a few minutes walking from the Pousada.
Happy travelers from Belgium

Room Tip: The Barocco room has the nice private roof terrace but is a little less insulated then the rooms on...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ariane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 July 2013

The Pousada was in a great location on the tip of Pelourinho, which is the ideal area to stay in. It's a short walk to virtually every good restaurant and museum/church. The best food we had in Brazil was in Salvador, beating Sao Paulo, Rio and Recife. 2 area restaurants that are WELL worth the price and going out of your way for: Uaua (lots of dishes for every taste, but the shrimp in coconut is to die for and Casa do Amarelindo (amazing steaks). They are easy to find and within safe walking distance.The breakfast in the Pousada was delicious. The owner was lovely and spoke excellent English, but we still tried our hand at Portuguese. The staff was very accommodating. I also recommend their car service. The price was lower than the cab from the airport and the driver is friendly and very engaging, even if you know minimal Portuguese. We were happy to have a seaside (actually, you are on a cliff overlooking an industrial bay, but that is what you have in most of Salvador) and in a room that had air conditioning. Air conditioning is a must because Salvador is hot. I highly recommend this Pousada.

Room Tip: You need an air conditioned room. Wi-Fi is currently only available in the lobby.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Baskervils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2013

We were recommended this pousada by friends and it didn't disappoint.
The rooms were clean and rustically decorated. Our room had a nice balcony with a sea view (warning the sea view is over the docks).
The owners are very friendly and very keen for you to get the best out of your trip to Salvador.
The location is safe and a short walk from the historic area (the Pelourinho) but you do have to negotiate two steep cobbled hills.
Couple of things worth noting: the wifi worked well in the common areas but not in our room; there was no complementary shampoo; early in the mornings you can hear noise from the docks; allow lots of travel time to/from airport as the traffic can be terrible.
If you are traveling to Salvador be prepared to encounter street vendors and some begging but personally we had no safety fears or problems but we did encountered other tourists who were very spooked by the safety issues. Just don't be stupid, keep your wits about you, don't engage with beggars and if a street looks non-touristy don't go down it.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back of the hotel overlook the docks and get the afternoon sun, rooms at the front over...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pandyand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 June 2013 via mobile

We spent two nights here in May and were not disappointed. The location is great - away from the noise and crowds of Pelourinho but within an easy walk.

Great views, great breakfast and we very much enjoyed meeting the owners, who were very welcoming and helpful and eager to share their enthusiasm for and knowledge of Salvador.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank suemon38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2013

All the praises of the Pousada Casa Vila Bela that made me select it for a stay in Salvador were proved to be accurate including the helpfulness of Stéphane and Gerusa.The stay there was most enjoyable, except for the fact that I need to use Internet when I travel. If free Internet is offered in the promotional material, the restrictions on its use should be mentioned. We were given a room at the end of the third floor. The inn's Wi-Fi system did not reach our room.
I had to go down to a lounge chair on the second floor or the first floor lobby to use the Internet. I explained to Stéphane that an inexpensive Wi-Fi range-extender would solve the problem, and that better still a powerline adapter that uses the electrical circuits would even be better if it their electrical wiring connections would work (this could be purchased, tested, and returned if it did not work, and if it did it would allow an ethernet type connection in every room). She told me that she will pursue this and if I returned next year I would have Internet in every room.
A second problem may be far more difficult to fix. Guests cannot always be relied upon to lock the front door when leaving the building, so the door is locked from the inside because there is not always a staff person on hand to watch the door traffic. At night,there is an attendant who admits guests returning from a night out. The inn has no exits other than the front door. If there is a fire, the guests will have to rely access to the front door and on the staff during the day or the night attendant during the night to unlock the door. What if a fire blocks use of the only stairs? What if no one is available to unlock the door? because he or she is not awake or is incapacitated by whatever caused the fire? I imagine that this is a problem with all such pousadas. I would have preferred to have known the statistics on this hazard for Salvador's pousadas before making the reservation.

Room Tip: If you need Internet in your room, do not reserve a room on the third floor
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank erwinek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pousada Casa Vila Bela

Property: Pousada Casa Vila Bela
Address: Rua do Carmo 64, Salvador, State of Bahia 40301-380, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Bahia > Salvador > Santo Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Salvador
#7 Family Hotel in Salvador
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Pousada Casa Vila Bela 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Vila Bela is a charming bed and breakfast guesthouse, settled in a fully restored XIX century house in the Pelourinho, historical area of Salvador classified by Unesco World Cultural Heritage in 1985. Ideally located in Santo Antonio district, Casa Vila Bela guesthouse enjoys one of the most fantastic seaview scenery over "all the saints bay". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Casa Vila Bela Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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