By Alison McGowan Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While many people come to Brazil for the sun and world famous beaches, urban life also has its allure here. With wonderful opportunities to see historical sights and amazing landscapes, as well as enjoy arts and culture, shopping, nightlife and music, travelers often don’t make it out of the metropolis.
It is only in the larger tourist cities that you will find pousadas though, and in places like Rio de Janeiro and Salvador for example there is a wonderful choice of high-ceiling colonial townhouses, design mansions and chic apartment Bed & Breakfast’s- in all price ranges from budget to luxury.
Salvador, Bahia is one of the ultimate Brazilian city experiences, with its unique vibe and a wonderfully laid back edge. It offers a combination of culture and lively places for music and dance, with Bahian food as a highlight. Pelourinho is the historical center and the most popular tourist attraction and it is here that you will find the beautiful Casa do Amarelindo.
With all the charm and luxury of a boutique hotel this colonial house has been transformed to include internal tropical gardens, two bars and a roof top swimming pool with fabulous views across the bay. When you are done soaking up the atmosphere of Pelourinho, you can take a walk to Campo Grande, home to the theaters, and/or bus to the beach in the Barra area.
Olinda is one of Brazil’s most popular heritage cities, 6 km north of Recife in the state of Pernambuco, with a lively feel and with real character waiting to be discovered. There is plenty to do in Olinda and the city boasts no fewer than seventeen churches and four museums, alongside markets for crafts and local art and guided historical walks up and down the cobbled hills.
Pousada dos Quatro Cantos is a wonderful place to stay, located right in the heart of it all. The pousada itself occupies a grand mansion and listed building, dating back 120 years, and all the original features have been retained, from the high ceilings and huge floor to ceiling windows to beautifully tiled floors.
In a beautiful city like Rio de Janeiro where there are so many accommodation options, Castelinho 38 stands out. Like many pousadas in the Santa Teresa area of the city, this is a beautifully refurbished house, dating back to 1866; the difference comes in the style, the space, the tranquility, not to mention the amazing reception and art gallery space where exhibitions are frequently held.
Sitting in the garden you can feel miles away from the city, surrounded by coconut palms, fruit trees and tropical foliage, but just a stone’s throw away are the bars and restaurants in the center of Santa Teresa and only a short tram ride away is colonial Lapa, one of the best areas for bars, music and dancing in the city.