Salvador da Bahia: Pelourinho's Pestana Convento Do Carmo
by, 05-15-2013 at 10:03 PM (1004 Views)
I stopped by Pestana Convento Do Carmo today. I couldn't help myself. I'm here in Bahia nearing the end of a three week stay in Brazil and I wanted to see this former fort turned convent turned luxury hotel in person, so I did what any curious traveler would do, and I went to The Pelourinho in Salvador da Bahia to find it.
The Pelourinho (also know as The "Pelô") used to be Salvador's city center during the Portuguese Colonial Period and is where slaves received punishment (Pelourinho means Pillory, which is a whipping post). It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and is a beautiful, colorful and gritty neighborhood with a tragic history. If those building walls could talk.
The taxi dropped me off at Pestana and I was greeted by a handsome gentleman who asked me my business. (You can't just walk in.) In super broken Portuguese (but mostly English) and with a smile, I asked for the concierge so I might have a look at the property. Josival was a delight. He asked the bellman Erivan to take us around with strict instructions not to photograph the guests. "Of course not," I told him. "Discretion is everything."
Josival (left) and Erivan (right)
Right before Erivan took us on our tour, Josival was kind enough to recommend and make reservations at a restaurant for my husband and I in town at Maria Mata Mouro Restaurante for lunch. You can read about that delightful experience here.
Moqueca De Peixe Com Camarão from Maria Mata Mouro RestaurantePestana Convento do Carmo is an award-winning property with 60 apartments and 19 suites, including one Master Suite. This former Convent was "initially built in 1586 by the First Order of Carmelite Friars, [and] has been throughout the centuries the stage of many significant events of Brazilian history, and is nowadays, after careful restoration works, the first luxury historic hotel in Brazil." Museu do Carmo is right next door, but it was being worked on and not open.
See also, Foodspotting.
While I wasn't able to see any of the rooms, the decor and grounds are quite lovely. Come. Let me show you.
It was a fort before it was a convent.
This former convent turned luxury hotel has held on to one of its old confessionals.
There is another partial outdoor dining area as well.
The spa is called Damani.
The door to the conference area.
Well, thanks for coming on my journey with me. My husband and I have both decided that this quiet luxury property in the center of Pelourinho has just made our list of places we absolutely must stay. What do you think? Nice, isn't it?
Photo Credit: @OneBrownGirl