With a supposed 37,000 available beds, there is certainly no shortage of accommodations in Porto Seguro. Options range from very basic closet-sized rooms to mega-resorts dripping with amenities, and there is definitely something for every purse string. In off-season, there is lots of availability and discounts galore. Be aware, however, that as early as October things starting going up and by December even the prices of fleabags will have doubled. During New Year’s and Carnaval, prices are astronomical, and throughout the summer, it’s best to make reservations. Prices below are for off-season.
If you really want to cut corners and are happy with the simple combination of a bed and clean digs, there are many choices, although these same budget pousadas are also very tiny, often dark and a bit musty, not to mention totally devoid of any decorative attempts. One of the nicer inexpensive options is Pousada São Luíz (Av. 22 de Abril 329, tel. 73/3288-2238, pousadasaoluiz [at] uol [dot] com [dot] br, R$70 d). The small but spartan whitewashed rooms with marine blue accents have basic amenities such as TV and air-conditioning and are clustered around a garden with a swimming pool. Its prime location is close to all the action (and to a McDonald’s).
Another good pick is the Hotel Vale Verde (Av. dos Navegantes 679, tel. 73/3288-2255, www.hotelvaleverde.tur.br, R$40) with clean and comfortable rooms and amenities such as Internet access and a swimming pool and sauna. Also inexpensive—albeit quite cramped and dark (at least on the first floor)—is the Pousada Brisa do Mar (Praça Dr. Manoel Ribeiro Coelho 188, tel. 73/3288-2943, www.brisadomarpousada.com.br, R$40). What this pousada does have going for it is friendly service, and a strategic location on a small square overlooking the sea, a mere block from the balsa to Arraial d’Ajuda as well as the Passarela de Alcool.
Not too expensive, and a beguiling example of tropical kitsch, is the Hotel Solar do Imperador (Av. do Aeroporto 3117, tel. 73/3288-1581, www.solardoimperador.com.br, R$80). You’ve never seen an airport hotel quite like this family favorite. Nestled within flamboyantly tropical gardens are 100 (smallish) apartments as well as games rooms, a pool hall, a sauna, and a stone and wood “medieval” wine cellar, all named for princes, lords, and other figures that conjure up imperial stature. The heavy wooden architecture definitely makes an impression, as does the swimming pool with a stunning view of Porto Seguro, the ocean, and acres of lush green landscape. Free vans can take you to beaches and the Passarela de Alcool.
If you prefer something far from the madding crowd, a good upscale option favored by international tourists is the Villaggio la Torre (Av. Beira Mar 9999, Praia de Mutá, tel. 73/2105-1700, www.hotellatorre.com.br, R$200–230 d). At 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Porto, it’s somewhat in the middle of nowhere, but that can be a good thing if the “nowhere” in question happens to be the pristine sands of relatively deserted Mutá beach. Although no style maven, the all-inclusive hotel has spacious, soothingly neutral rooms and two pools, a sauna, and its own juice bar and pizzeria. It also has a private beach area with cushy lounge chairs.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition