Hotel Pestana Bahia
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Travel Blogs from Salvador
Awaiting us at Salvador (and other tourists disembarking) was an exceptionally large lady dressed in white handing out masses of ribbons in bright colours. We never truly found out the origins of these ribbons other than the fact that they are produced in a church and are wishing ribbons.
We took a kamikaze taxi ride to our …
Following on with the theme of slavery we were taking a tour out of Salvador to the city of Cachoeira in the heart of sugarcane and tobacco country and what once used to be Bahia's wealthiest and most populated towns. En route we stopped off at a little market town. Paula took us around the various market stalls to see the local fruit, palm oil, …
... and a nice improvement in the weather I got the bus down to Barra. Eventually I got off it, admittedly a couple of stops later than I had intended but it was easier said than done on a packed up bus with people sat in the doors. It wasn't a bad walk back anyway, its a pretty decent bit of coastline up there. Not much to see apart from high-rises on one side so just stuck to the coast. Theres a little Christ statue up on a hill which gave a nice view back on the town. The ...
... as the pictures and we got very lucky with the weather as they are entering the rainy season. With its beaches and harbors juxtaposed with the city, it reminded me of Sydney, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Rio is a ride to the top of Sugarloaf mountain on a cable car where you get a spectacular panoramic view of the city. I'd envisioned this view for years, with the city laid out before me and Christ ...
I waited in the rain for my bus. Half of me stayed dry, the other half wet. After an hour it arrived picking myself and the crowd next to me up...I would be the last stop.
I managed my way through the cobble-stoned streets in Salvador with my luggage slowly weighing me down. It´s always a challenge to keep my head up and enjoy the scenery when walking...trying not to fall, roll an ankle or land myself in a gaping hole in the sidewalk. Up ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Pestana Bahia Salvador
Verdaderamente disfruté este hotel; teníamos una habitación muy moderna en el 21er piso y la vista era espectacular. El personal era simpático y servicial (no fué siempre así durante el viaje) y el ambiente en el bar era agradable. No tuvimos cena en el hotel, por lo que no puedo hacer comentarios.
Este hotel no es un 5 estrellas de Gran Bretaña - yo diría que es sólo un ¡3.5 estrellas! La habitación era amplia y confortable aunque había sido diseñada de una manera minimalista/moderna lo que hacía que hubiera problemas de almacenamiento con muy poco espacio para poner tu ropa (a menos que colgaras todo). Las moquetas estaban viejas y anticuadas y parecían que necesitaban de una buena limpieza, y el baño estaba en la mismas condiciones. Todo funcionaba, sin embargo había un olor a humedad terrible que yo pensé provenía de la cortina de la ducha (aunque se veía limpia). El baño era muy pequeño (¡difícil cuando eres alto de estatura!). Aparte de eso, los desayunos estaban bien y la comida que ordenamos en el bar parecía bien - nada espectaular.
En general, pienso que este hotel alguna vez fue muy impresionante, sin embargo, está en una necesidad extrema de renovación, ya que está empezando a verse viejo y anticuado.
Lovely hotel, no beach, but a very nice pool with bar and restaurant. The room was very bright and comfortable, with lovely Bahian artwork in rooms and hallways.
Great buffet breakfast included in the price.
It's in Rio Vermelho, quite far from Pelourinho, but there are excellent buses that are very inexpensive and go direct to town. Unfortunately, the second day we were there, the busdrivers went on strike, leaving us to the mercy of taxi drivers who sometimes took a circuitous route. Even at that, taxis were very reasonable.
I would highly recommend that Salvador be included on any Brazilian itinerary--it's a unique and fascinating place--historic and tropical --you can sun and learn all in the same vacation.
Almost every review has commented on the view from this hotel, and I have to agree. We saw the Atlantic and just about all of central & southern Salvador from our window. We asked for a double bed, and - unlike other places - were given one. It turned out to be 2 beds wedged together, but not so you could notice, so that was fine.
The hotel receptionists spoke very good English, which was another pleasant surprise (it isn't always so).As for the problem of noise, I wasn't bothered by the constant music by the pool, but I was VERY bothered by the music that is pumped out into the lift (elevator) lobby on every floor. Firstly, it was frequently not even Brazilian music, just corporate rubbish like Celine Dion. Secondly, it wasn't really necessary - does anyone really want music while they're getting into and out of a lift? Thirdly - and most importantly - it was loud and played all night long. It was so loud that you could hear it clearly in our room, which was some way from the lobby. Loud music from the street at 4 am I can just about accept, but not from the lift lobby!! The only way to drown it out was to turn on the air conditioning, which we needed switched on most nights anyway. That was why we didn't complain, but I had a feeling somehow that nothing would happen.
Overall, the hotel is impressive in terms of its location, and comfortable, with decent but not excellent service. The restaurant buffet wasn't very good, but the pool bar was fine for drinks and snacks.
Decent-sized pool, too. We found a really good restaurant called Diogo's just around the corner that had live music most nights, so we ate there mostly. Thr Rio Vermelho district was described to us as 'safe, chic and bohemian'. Well, it seemed safe, but I'd take the rest with a big pinch of salt. Looked a bit grubby to me, and the fact that the main coastal road runs through it didn't make walking very pleasant, what with all the traffic hassle. If we'd stayed longer, maybe we'd have got to know and love it, but the area didn't make a great first impression. The staff in the shops were friendly, though.
Really enjoyed this hotel, we had a really modern room on the 21st floor and the view was amazing. The staff were friendly and helpful (which was not always the case on this trip) and there was a nice atmosphere in the bar at night. Did not have dinner in this hotel so can't comment.
This hotel is not a UK 5 star classed hotel - I would say it was more of a 3.5 star! The room was big and comfortable although had been designed in a minimalistic/modern way which meant that storage was a problem with very little space to put away your clothes (unless you hung everything). The carpets were tired and dated and looked in need of a good scrub and the bathroom was in a similar run-down state. Everything worked however these was a terrible smell of damp which I thought was down to the shower curtain (although it looked clean enough). The bath was also very small (tricky when you're tall!).
Apart from that the breakfasts were good and the food we ordered in the bar seemed to be fine - nothing spectacular.
Overall I think this hotel once upon a time was very impressive however it is in dire need of some redecoration as it is starting to look tired and dated.
Could be better, could be worst
I booked a room at the Pestana because all the other hotels I tryied to book were fully booked.
The Pestana was once the Meridien Hotel. You can see from its structure, it was once a great hotel. It is a bit worn out now, though, in need of a good scrub and some upgrade, but I'd say it is OK for Bahia.
The location is convenient, but allthough it is by the sea-side, there is not a beach in front of the hotel. You will need to get a cab to get to one, or use the hotel car that drives you to a private beach, exclusive to hotel guests, but that sometimes is closed because of the windy weather.
All rooms have breathtaking sea views, with sunsets that are the stuff postcards are made of. Rooms are very roomy and confortable, decorated in good taste, allthough my room was in desperate need of a new matress, and it killed my back. Rooms and bathrooms should be cleaner. There was quite a bit of dust, some hair on the floor, and only 3 hangers on the closet.
There is allways loud music playing at the pool that won't let you relax, but that is one of the things Bahia is about: loud music. The restaurant at the pool is to be avoyded: lots of fried, heavy dishes.
The main buffet/restaurant has good food though, and some quite exquizite dishes if you order a la carte. I dared ordering at dinner a pumpkin, pear and shrimp soup that surprisingly turned out to be one of the most fine dishes I had in my life.
The staff is kind allthough undernumbered. There is no concierge, for instance. The Pestana is not exactly what you expect of a 5 stars, but it is not as expensive as most 5 stars are in any case.
I would rather stay at another hotel in Salvador next time, but if I had to stay here again I wouldn't mind so much.
Not for chilling out!!
With respect intended to the last two reviewers, they evidently have not stayed in a 5 star hotel. Indeed, not only does this hotel claim on the sign outside the hotel to be 5 Star but "5 Star Luxury". I would rate this hotel perhaps 3 star maximum for the following reasons. When I booked I new that the Pestana was owned by a very reputable Portuguese Hotel group with some 45 hotels world wide of generally excellent quality. Indeed, the website makes the hotel most enticing. Unfortnately the actuality does not live up to the hype. Even the manager himself (who had been in charge for three days confirmed to me that he had spoken to his superiors in Portugal to say that they were mis-representing the quality of the hotel to Europeans although apparentlt not to Brazilians who represent probably 95% of the paying guests. I arrived on 5th January (having arrived from The Copacabana Palace in Rio ----amazing hotel!!) and booked in for 5 days. The average waiting time for the elavator to arrive to our floor was 7/9 minutes. I am NOT exagerating. I complained to the manager who confirmed that there were indeed problems and that a combination of a faulty lift motor and a busy hotel was making life very difficult for them. NEXT...I love music including rap and rock (surprising for a 50 year old man my children tell me!) However, there's a time and a place and if you are looking for a chill-out holiday where one can sit by the pool and read a book or three then this place AIN'T for you. From 8.30am thru 6pm the sound of blaringly loud Bahian Carnival music is screaming at you from the speaker by the side of the pool. Even when asked politely to turn down the volume somewhat the poolstaff quickly put it back to full volume after 10 minutes. To describe the food in the hotel as "mediocre" would be doing a grave injustice to the word. At breakfast there was ALWAYS a 20/30 minute queue to have a fresh omelete cooked for you by the overworked egg chef. Why they couldn't have two chefs for the busy period I simply don't know. Reminds me of my bank who always have three staff on duty at non-peak times and only one member of staff a peak times! The rooms were generally made up between 3pm and 4pm so if one wanted an hour siesta in the afternoon to get away from the heat you always came back to a dirty room. During our stay there were continual building works making one helluva racket! One thing this hotel DOES know how to do is to charge extortionate prices for it's laundry service which compared favorably with the prices charged at the Copacabana Palace...However, you expect to pay through the nse at a truly Deluxe Hotel but feel totally ripped off at the charges made by a three star hotel. We spent 3 days researching other hotels in the area and left to go to the Sofitel Costa de Saupe which is about 1.5 hours away by taxi (best 40 pounds I'd spent in Salvador) which was idyllic. NOT A HOTEL FOR CHILLING OUT!
Great views of the sunset/sunrise
I think postcard photos of the sunset and sunrise are taken from this hotel. If you can reserve a room facing the ocean you will not be disappointed with what you see. The rooms are very comfortable although our King Bed Reservation ended up being two twins beds pushed together.
The food was not good at this hotel to put in kindly. The free breakfast was the best of what the hotel had to offer. I would recommend eating out every lunch and dinner.
Additionally the "beach" at the hotel was closed for cleaning due to pollution. A cab ride to the "nice" beaches was over $40R.
I would return to this hotel.
Actually very nice
Upon first impression you would not believe Salvador possessed such a cool hotel - but it does!
The lobby is impressive and the bar relaxing.
The rooms are of a good standard considering where we were and the views in the morning simply stunning.
About 20 mins by taxi to the historical centre, but by far the best hotel in central Salvador