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“Not a Hotel, Toxic smell, #fail, PLUS PICTURES”

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Pousada Aquarela do Brasil
Ranked #21 of 158 Salvador B&B and Inns
Reviewed 17 August 2014

When i booked this place Aquarela Do Brazil, it was advertised as a hotel, which it is not, far from it, more like something in between a bed and breakfast and a hostel. They have a list of rules stuck on the back of the door, see pics. Located near the main square of Pelourinho in Salvador (I would avoid Pelourinho, as it is dangerous and stay in Barra instead, even the locals avoid the area). Taxi drivers cannot drive down the cobble stone alleyway where this place is located and unless you have a backpack, your luggage will get scraped along the way there. Wear sneakers too. There is no elevator to the rooms.

The rooms have an open grill on one side where light comes in so bring an eye mask. Also it is located under a flight path and close to a thumping nightclub, so if you go bring earplugs as well. The bedroom windows open and across you can see people who can look straight into the room from the museum across the alleyway.

The shower uses a pre-historic electric element that goes straight into the shower head, see pics,

The breakfast is very basic, and unfortunately there is no other option close by as an alternative. Pelourinho is just good for a day trip from somewhere else only if you are into museums.

There are many museums and churches around which most charge an entry fee to enter. At the hotel only one person speaks English well and the staff do their best to accommodate you. There is only wifi on the ground level and none in the rooms.

When I was there there was a toxic smell emanating from the bathroom the first few days, also ants and mosquitoes in the room as well, bring DEET if you go there, I considered leaving this place at one stage but I had prebooked and it would be a nightmare to find another place in a short time. There are random beggars around the area at night but usually harmless. But don't wander too far from lit areas at night as I met a guy that was held up with a machete to his neck and robbed. A few times there was a power failure and they would get an electrician within a few hours to fix the issue. The staff are ok but think the place is amazing, which it is far from. If you want an extra guest you have to pay an extra US$50-. I stayed there for 10 days, way too long. The place is in need of a major renovation. I would not recommend this place or location.

I hope this review is helpful :)

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank adelaidesurflifesavr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GutootuG, Gerente at Pousada Aquarela do Brasil, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

Thanks for sharing your experience, its very important to us to know what´s good and whats not so good about our place and service.
Your booking was not made directly with us. We provide full and truly information to our suppliers, but unfortunately we cannot grant that the third parties envolved are always working as they are supposed to be.
We are listed as Pousada (similar to guest house and Inn) and the service we provide is Bed and Breakfast. We have a small bar for water and beverages, as a standard we only offer the breakfast at our lounge. We are not a hostel as when we rent a room it is for a fixed price and for a fixed number of guests, determined by who is making the reservation and limited to the maximum number of beds available per room. We do not allow visitors in the rooms for obvious motivations, but the lounge can be used for meetings.
Pelourinho is as dangerous as Barra or as any other neighborhood in Salvador. We have 2 special policeman staing 24/7 in almost every corner of Pelourinho, and in the rest of the city it´s not possible. So I can affirm that, although it may not look, Pelourinho is one of the safest neighborhoods in Salvador.
The Taxi drivers cannot drive all time through it as the Militar Police / Traffic department recommends that they doesn’t´do it for some reasons:
The Buildings as very old, but not that bad old, they are a precious part of the history of Brazil, and heavy traffic may cause damages in the buildings structures, wich are protected buy UNESCO as World Heritage Site
Its supposed to be a leisure place where you can walk without so much preoccupation and having fun.
Most of the time, the narrow streets are poping with tourists so it would be also a risk for the pedestrians if the allow the traffic without restrictions.
The noisy during the World Cup Time was out of the boundaries, some places have opened night clubs (maybe) without permission, inside other installed facilities. I don´t want to say names but there was a restaurant in our street that has opened a night club with techno music and when the party was over, their customers used to spend many time hanging in front of it and they were very loud, as they were listening to loud music and drinking for hours long. We couldn´t do much, as they were out on the streets and in Brazil people are to come and go, as well as hang on out on the streets, even during the night. I am happy to inform that this night club no longer exists on this location, it was a seasonal business just made for the World Cup time. But anyway, Pelourinho is always a bit noisy. People who have problems to sleep may avoid hotels in Pelourinho for this reason, or pay more and stay on some of the Hotels in Pelourinho wich has acoustical treatment (double glass windows)
We have 3 languages spoken on the Hotel, French, English and Spanish.
The wifi is a problem, as our walls as so thick, the signal is hard to be spreaded. Even mobile phone signal is very small in some areas. We have two good Wi-fi Routers working, will try to get one more to see if the “ghost areas” are reduced, but anyway, we offer a good broadband internet wi-fi conexion for free, granted to be available for use on the lounge.

About the bad smell I don´t know what to tell, as you haven´t in any moment complained to us about it. About the ants and moskitos, we make periodic fumigation. Adittionally we have some special ventilators wich has an special compartiment for tablets of poison to insects, activated by temperature (provided by a small electric resistance). Also, you haven´t complained, if you had, we would happily provide either the tablet, or a tube of spray insecticide. Having an insect repellent lotion is also a good idea for travelers in Salvador and in Brazil in General.
If we have received your complaints in due we would have taken actions in order to minimize your troubles or even made an agreement for cancellation. I guess that you wrongly choosed the location for your stay, probably due to bad advice from the agency/tour operator who sold you our accommodation. I may be wrong, but I guess I remember that you had trouble with the transfers from the airport to the Pousada and also on the way back, from the Pousada to the Airport, and I even contacted the transfer company, wich we do not have ANY relations with it, speaking in your name in front of you to try to re-arrange your booking with the Airport Transfer Service, wich result in a response “We do not have this booking in our system”. This may be an useful experience for you and the community (even for me!), I would recommend any traveler to always try to make the booking directly with the Hotel/Pousada/Services you want to use/stay (this will give you cheaper prices very often). Visit the website, make questions before deciding, read about the neighborhood history and the day by day of the place. And always tell the hosts if something is going wrong, so they can try at least minimize the inconvenience.
I´m really sorry that you didn´t have such a great time in Pelourinho and at Pousada Aquarela do Brasil. Hopefully if you come again to Brazil you can visit us and see our improvements, as we try to always get better, step by step.
Thanks again for sharing your valuable opinion.

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Reviewed 12 July 2014

Comfortable spot, steps from the main square in Pelourinho. I really appreciated Cesar and Edina's warm hospitality. Don't miss the record shop across the street, and Geronimo's performance nearby on Tuesdays.

Simple rooms without A/C, but the breeze in the evening and a fan kept the room comfortable.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Jon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GutootuG, Gerente at Pousada Aquarela do Brasil, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

Hello! Thanks for staying with us and sharing! It’s a pleasure for us to have such a great opportunity of working with well-being of many good people coming from so different places. We always try to provide useful information when we see the person wants or need it.
On the future we may be installing A/C, but its a long way that must be walked step by step.
For the records, the Record Shop is named Canabrava Records, and the owner is Mr. Pardal who knows many many treasures of our Popular Folcloric Music.

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Reviewed 4 July 2014

The Pousada is very well located if you want to be located in the old part of Salvador. It's a couple of hundred yards from the Pelourinho square and close to everything you would want to see in this fairly compact part of the city.

The people who run it are very friendly, very helpful and easy to communicate with - Cesar speaks English and his wife French in addition to their native Portuguese.

The Pousada is kept clean and tidy. Breakfast was good with fruit, cheese, ham, bread, ham and juice, with eggs cooked as you want them - but ask for no salt if you don't want your egg covered in it.

We had two rooms - No 4 on the first floor and No 8 on the second. No 4 was a simple double with a smallish bathroom while No 8 had one double and two single beds in it, a shower and separate toilet. All was in good working order and, although a street runs along the back of the property, the rooms are quite quiet as most of the noise comes from the front which is a fairly busy street.

We all enjoyed our stay and would happily go back and recommend it to others.

Room Tip: All rooms look out on a street that is quite quiet. The ones on the top (2nd) floor are family room...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Julian I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GutootuG, Gerente at Pousada Aquarela do Brasil, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

Hello!
Thanks for sharing your experience with us and the community.
Sorry for the salty eggs! I had it too, thought it was just an error on mine, but we have warned Ninha again to avoid excess on salt and sugar. (By the way our juices are made from the fruit, with no sugar added).
Waiting for you next year! This time luckily will be 3 rooms just for you and your friends!

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Reviewed 24 May 2013

This B & B is right in the heart of Pelourinho and an easy walk (wear good shoes as it is all cobblestones) to all the attractions. Edina and Caesar were good and helpful hosts. Caesar spoke English, Edina spoke Spanish and French or we often used the translator on the PC which worked quite well. Our room was basic but bright and very clean - only a small double bed 4ft 6in but we had a good shower. There was no airconditioning but the fan worked well and we could open the windows wide when it wasn't raining. The breakfast each morning was good with juice, fresh fruit, eggs, ham, cheese, bread and tea/coffee.

When we were there the city was being given a makeover and the lovely buildings were being given a paint in some lovely colours. The square just up the road is very pretty and there are some quite good cafes in which to eat.

We visited the church of the Rosary of the Black Men of Pelourinho - built by slaves and also a very interesting museum where we learnt about the 4 million Africans who became slaves. You must also visit the St Francis Church which is literally a "gold church".

Also do make sure that if you are there on a Tuesday you go and listen to the drummers - it will definitely get your feet tapping and if you have time one evening you can go to the little theatre just down the street where you can see a live show of dancers.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank 2BISCUITS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2012

A really comfortable place in the heart of Pelo with caring owners and very reasonable rates, which are hard to find in this area if you wish to have a certain standard.
The beds are new and very comfy, room is clean, tv and fan available; though the decoration is quite simple, the room feels cozy. You can close the shutters to avoid the street noise (basically people partying and talking), which at the end was not an issue for a person who is quite sensitive to that... The owners are very friendly and speak very good english and french. Staff very attentive. Good breakfast. To recommend if you wish to have prime location, good service, good prices!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank zazabelle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pousada Aquarela do Brasil

Address: Rua Maciel de Cima 23, Salvador, State of Bahia 40026-250, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Bahia > Salvador
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 158 B&Bs / Inns in Salvador
Price Range: $60 - $80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Pousada Aquarela do Brasil 2*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Historic Center of Salvador, The Pousada Aquarela do Brasil is a warm and cozy place, with a real touch of being at home.Its an strategic place in the middle of Pelourinho, deep in the heart of it, where all takes place.We have 6 rooms, with TV, ventilators, hot water and free Internet Wi-fi. We offer a nice breakfast, wich is served from 7:30 to 10:00 A.M.If you´re staying in Aquarela do Brasil, you´re close to many touristic points in the city, and have many options of places to eat and to have fun without having to go far from it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Aquarela Do Brasil Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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