On Rua Afonso Celso—and only a block from the beach—is the low-key, attractive, and friendly Pousada Estrela do Mar (Rua Afonso Celso 119, tel. 71/3264-4882, www.estreladomarsalvador.com, R$120–140 d). The Scottish owners have transformed two houses into 12 apartments (the upstairs ones are nicer), decorated in maritime-inspired shades of blue and white.
Also located in a pretty refurbished villa is the appropriately named (it’s painted sky-blue) and very appealing Pousada Azul (Rua Doutora Praguer Froes 102, tel. 71/3264-9798, www.pousadaazul.com.br, R$120 d). Three of the eight rooms are lofts with double beds. Internet access and laundry service are available.
Pousada Noa Noa (Avenida Sete de Setembro 4295, tel. 71/3264-1148, www.pousadanoanoa.com, R$110–130 d) has a privileged beachfront location, in a hibiscus-colored mansion next to Barra’s lighthouse. Its 12 rooms—named after 12 European (mostly French) artists—are simple, but very nicely finished and accessorized. If you can’t get one with ocean views, toast your “bad” luck by adjourning to the terrace bar, which, libations aside, is an idyllic spot to watch the sunset. Be forewarned that during Carnaval and New Year’s, the place will be one big festa.
The Hotel Sol Barra (Avenida Sete de Setembro 3577, tel. 71/3418-7000, www.solbarra.com.br, R$190 d), formerly the Hotel Praiamar, is one of those big conventional hotels with 189 rooms (it’s part of the local Sol Express hotel chain). If it lacks personality, it has a few other things going for it, such as a great location facing Porto da Barra beach, excellent security, and modern conveniences (rooms feature cable TV, mini-bars, and wireless Internet). It also has a pool, solarium, and a penchant for odd shades of green as a decorative accent.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition