Sadly, Estrela do Mar has closed, but we also love Pousada Papaya Verde and Barra has lots of other great housing options.
I stayed in Pousada Estrela do Mar my very first trip to Salvador so it will always have a special place in my heart. It is this pousada where I roomed with the woman who, as a result of that trip, is now one of my closet confidants and dearest friends.
It is also the pousada that I giddily returned to after taking my first-ever percussion class. Four years later I married that percussion instructor. Estrela do Mar is located in the Barra neighborhood of Salvador, just steps from the famous Farol (lighthouse) and the even-more-famous Barra beaches.
Reception and common spaces
The pousada is in a converted colonial-style building, painted white with bright blue trim. As you enter through the gates of the pousada, you pass over a small garden space with a beautiful mosaic tile floor and a welcoming seating area.
Immediately behind reception is the breakfast space with 4-6 tables, and past that is a larger community space with a handful of leather couches for relaxing. Wrapped around the side of the building is a narrow garden area with colorful hibiscus and two hammocks for relaxing.
There is even some bonus wildlife in the form of a family of monkeys that live in the eves of the building and like to climb around the treetops. They have become accustomed to the guests and will come down nice and close for photo ops — they are on a constant hunt for guests willing to give them a snack!
The guest rooms are clean and well-maintained, with working air conditioning, a television, cable, and a shower with hot water.
Each room also has a stocked mini-fridge with water, soda, and beer — all available for purchase at a reasonable price (prices posted on the fridge). All rooms have ample outlets for phones and tablets, and the WiFi works well throughout the property. And, I do mean the WiFi works quite well — I was able to take Skype for Business meetings with screen sharing without a problem.
You aren’t going to get a breakfast buffet here. Instead, you’ll be served a fully-plated breakfast that starts with a plate of fresh-cut fruit, bread, cheese, and ham. That is followed by eggs and breakfast tapioca filled with goiaba jelly and cheese — a combination known here as “Romeo & Juliet”. To wash down all of this goodness, a glass of fresh juice and table-sized ceramic pitchers of coffee and heated milk accompany breakfast. Can you tell we were fans?
Clientele & pricing
In low season, a single room starts at R$165, so you won’t find any true budget travelers here. Between the location, the larger-than-average room size, and the exceptional breakfast experience, the pousada attracts a lot of small groups and families that want to be in the heart of Barra and have an upscale, yet not hotel-sterile, experience.
What you need to know
- You can pay with a credit card or cash
- Reception is open 24-hours
- Electronic, gated entry
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the pousada — and it works really well
- Free breakfast
- 2-minute walk to the beach (100 meters)
You’re also a quick taxi ride to the historic center, the Pelourinho
The Pelourinho, the historic center of Salvador, is a true must-not-be-missed experience for every visitor to our magical city. It is the is the heartbeat of the city.
Discover the most important things to see and find your way around with ease using this handy, printable, and free map.
30+ historical, musical, and cultural attractions.Get the map
Thoughts on safety
Estrela do Mar is located on Afonso Celso — a well-lit and relatively busy street in terms of both car and foot traffic. However, there are many other pousadas nearby, as well as tons of restaurants and bars. As a result, until about 9 or 10 at night, assuming there was some car traffic, I wouldn’t think of going out alone to grab take-out, etc. As always, use your normal big-city common sense.
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