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Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Salvador, Brazil

Location - Casa do Amarelindo is perfectly located right in the heart of the UNESCO world cultural heritage site of the Pelourinho area of Salvador. The taxi from the airport took around 45 minutes and cost R$90 after a bit of haggling as the stated price is R$107. The hotel can arrange airport transfers for approx R$80 so its worth taking up the offer of this service when you book.

Some streets (or Ruas) of the Pelourinho area are pedestrian for part of the day and this was the case for our hotel. I was a little apprehensive at first as we had so many cases and had to cross a main square, which would have made us really stand out to any local thugs. This was not a problem though as the taxi driver called our hotel en-route and we had a porter come to the taxi to help carry the luggage. A short walk between two of the main squares and we arrived safely at the hotel.

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Check In - Upon check-in we were given a warm greeting by Gilles (one of the two owners) and Danilo the receptionist. The reception area seemed very cool and comfortable with its ceiling fan and beautiful art works, in particular, a fine selection of wooden hand carved sculptures of candomble orixas which continued throughout the hotel.

The hotels five floors were accessible by stairs and a lift, which was slow but handy for luggage. After a swift check-in and some welcome travel/valuables advice from Gilles, we were given a full tour of the hotel and its facilities before being shown to our room by Danilo.

The Room - The standard double room was a good size, clean and beautifully decorated in the colonial style. It also had a wardrobe, satellite TV with DVD and CD player and a programmable safe to store your passports and valuables. On the study table was a comprehensive welcome pack detailing services and local information.

The bed was a big king-size and the mattress high quality, very thick and moderately firm. The bed was dressed in good clean cotton linen with plenty of nice plump cushions for those who need them.

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The bathroom was a comfortable size, very clean and nicely decorated with hand made tiles. The shower was roomy with a dustbin-lid-sized ‘rainfall’ showerhead above and a smaller more powerful wall mounted one if you didn’t want to wash your hair. The water was warm if needed with good flow. Next to the toilet was a bide and the sink area had all the usual accessories with a good-sized mirror. The dressing gowns were good quality fabric and well fitted. There was plenty of fresh bath, hand towels and flannels.

The hotel supplied a welcome bottle of complimentary mineral water. The bathroom tap was also drinkable which the hotel double filters.

The room had a bedside operated silent ceiling fan and remote controlled air-conditioning. The windows were superbly soundproofed to the samba bands that may pass on the street below and had three layers of window fabric, net, blackout and curtain. Some of the windows in other rooms at the back of the hotel had balconies and sea views.

The hotel supplied free WIFI Internet access that was very welcome as my wife and I are both self-employed and could catch up on emails and texts.

The Restaurant, Pool and Garden - The main restaurant had two dinning areas, inside the building and outside in the courtyard. It was nice to see a decent sized area was allocated for garden plants and not given over to dining area as it made the space feel very fresh and tropical with its palms and banana trees.

This Bahian atmosphere was also enhanced by some nice Brazilian music being played in the background to the meals.

Breakfast can (amazingly) be taken any time of the day and consisted of tea or coffee, two tropical juices, three different sliced fresh fruit, yogurt, a breadbasket with a fresh fruit compote, sliced cheese and ham, plantin with scrambled egg and cake. Presentation was very good and the service ok although they could have been a little more attentive. I thought it was a shame that breakfast was almost the exact same the following morning (apart from a different juice and cake). Mainly because my wife does not particularly like eggs so she had no choice or was not made aware of one. It would have been nice to have a menu choice of two or three different set breakfast. The coffee was only warm and the bread too dry (cut too early) on both mornings. These were minor (but to some people could be major) issues that can be easily solved.

As the owners Gilles and Didier had kindly supplied us a room to review we felt it only fair to eat a meal in the hotel restaurant. Something we don’t usually do, as we like to explore areas. What a treat! We ordered the Moqueca (a traditional fish stew dish of the area), which came with Farofa (seasoned cassava flour), Pirao (a kind of paste-like fish sauce) and plain boiled rice. When the food arrived at our table, we thought the portions were on the medium to small size. We were wrong; the food was more than adequate and tasted delicious, leaving us both feeling very satisfied and ready to relax.

There were two bars, one next to the dining area which had a spiral staircase next to it leading up to the pool area, the other right up on top of the building, giving beautiful panoramic views of the harbour and All Saint’s Bay. This top panoramic bar was where we decided to have our two complimentary Caipirinha cocktails.

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The pool was a pleasant temperature to cool off from the sun with unique views over All Saints Bay. It had a very relaxing feel here with easy chairs to sunbath in and watch the sunset. Next to this was a small fitness room equipped with three different machines.

In Summary - It’s very hard to fault this hotel as it ticks so many boxes. The French owners, who, although admitting to not being professional hoteliers, seemed to be doing a fantastic job. As the owners live on site, one gets the feeling that they care very much about customer satisfaction and professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to stay in or to have an evening meal, which we found very good value for the standard served. All in all I would say it is a splendid hotel in the best location with a friendly feel and with a great attention to the finer details. Highly Recommended.

For more information on Casa Do Amarelindo, please click the link www.casadoamarelindo.com

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