Not for chilling out!! A review of Hotel Pestana Bahia
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!