When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade — or, in our case, green papaya juice.
Our (mis)adventure started when we had our apartment painted and the strong smell of fumes drove us out and we had to find a new place to sleep while the fumes dispersed.
Since staying in a hotel or pousada isn’t something most people do in their own city, we did what any good tourist would do—we turned to Google to help with a recommendation.
After reading several online reviews, we booked a night at Pousada Papaya Verde (pousada’s are the Brazilian equivalent of a Bed & Breakfast), located in the prime Barra neighborhood of Salvador. We booked online and upon our arrival it was love at first sight. The building is set back from the street and the space is filled with trees, plants, and vines — making it a lovely, green oasis on an otherwise concrete-filled street.
Reception and common spaces
The reception space, which is staffed 24 hours per day, doubles as the morning breakfast cafe and is a well-kept space with five tables for four plus a padded bench. Check-in is quick and painless, and they will go with you to the room to verify that everything works as expected.
The thing that makes this pousada really special is their upstairs balcony. It is a large, covered veranda that has two hammocks, a couple of chaise lounge chairs, and a group seating area for four to five people that is made up of a pair of overstuffed chairs and a sofa. In short: a very, very lovely place to hang out at the start or end of the day (or to pass a rare rainy day reading and napping).
The rooms themselves are clean and well-cared for — a towel and small bar of soap was on the bed made up with clean sheets and a light blanket. The rooms themselves are painted and decorated to match the pousada’s overall colors of green and purple. Our room had a ceiling fan, air conditioning, and a television — and they all actually worked. I really appreciated that there was both a ceiling fan AND air conditioning — we used the air for just a short bit of time to air out the room and then slept with just the ceiling fan. The bathroom was clean and well-lit with a decent-sized shower that had hot water.
The room also had a mini-fridge, but my favorite bonus feature was the room safe. I wasn’t actually worried about theft, but I think installing a safe speaks to the consideration the management team has for their guests and the desire to ensure they — and their belongings — are and feel safe.
We’d read great reviews about breakfast, so I already had high expectations — and those expectations were met. There was a sizable spread of breakfast cakes, fresh fruit, ham, cheese, bread for toast, two types of juice, water, a variety of teas, and of course, tasty tasty coffee. The cook also made scrambled eggs and tapioca to order.
Clientele & pricing
The pousada is on a quiet street and they have signs up in English and Portuguese throughout asking people to respect the local noise ordinance, so this is not a party-all-night type pousada. We saw a very diverse mix of people of all ages checking in and out while we were there.
Starting at R$110 reais for a single room during low season, the pousada pricing is right in line with the rest of the mid-range pousadas in Barra.
Thoughts on safety
The pousada is not on a busy street, which is good for noise, but generally not great for walking alone at night. Having said that, there are at least four other pousadas on the same street — all within a few hundred feet of one other, including one directly next door. I would assume if safety were a real problem the pousadas wouldn’t all be here and wouldn’t have great reviews. The street is well-lit, so my general feeling is that as you use normal big-city common sense you are fine.
What you need to know
- Cash-only. They do not accept debit or credit cards
- Reception is open 24-hours
- Electronic, gated entry
- The website is in English, Portuguese, French, German, and Dutch and they say the offer information in English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Papiamento
- There is a 24-hour kitchen where they have water and juice for purchase, plus some small bites like tapioca 24 hours per day. They will even deliver it to your room — perfect for late-night munchies!
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the pousada — it worked relatively well
- Free buffet-style breakfast (eggs and tapioca made to order)
- 3-minute walk to the beach
Book your room here
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