The Pestana Convento do Carmo, originally built in 1586 as a convent, has now been carefully restored into the first luxury hotel in Brazil. There is a peacefulness to the corridors, a safety behind the stone walls. The outdoor living spaces, with their mix of antiques and art, made you never want to leave this timeless atmosphere. Each of the rooms, or apartments as they call them, have the original window seats that look over the center courtyard of the property, a view of history, nature and modern comfort.
It comes as no surprise a city as magical as Salvador da Bahia would have a boutique hotel just as enchanting in the heart of the old city. Two colonial homes, one from the 17th century and the other from the 18th, have been carefully renovated into the 17 room experience of Hotel Villa Bahia with two garden courtyards, plunge pool, panoramic terrace and one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Each room unique in decor, each detail as romantic as the last. If I were a novelist, it is here where I would stay to write as I felt nothing but inspiration between these walls….
The white walls call to mind the elegance of Paris…the tropical plants the sexiness of the Caribbean…and the location is one that could only be found in Brazil. No wonder this place is as famous as its name…it really does sparkle like a piece of coral washed up on the shore.
The famous “Copacabana” song, sung by Barry Manilow, was actually set at Copacabana nightclub in New York City…but was inspired by a conversation Manilow and fellow recording partner Bruce Sussman had at the Copacabana Palace.