Mixed bag A review of Hotel Pestana Bahia
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.