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“Bait & Switch”
Review of Pousada do Pilar

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Pousada do Pilar
Ranked #59 of 110 Hotels in Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 December 2014

I am Brazilian, therefore quite positively biased towards anything Brazilian, but the way the owner runs this pousada is embarassing. The building has been very beautifully rebuilt and is a gorgeous property. The rooms are great, but the way it is advertised is deceiving. We booked the Bay View Suite...there is only 1 of these...but when we arrived we were given the standard bay view room, which is half the size. When we mentioned it to the owner (I do speak portuguese without a hitch), we were told that according to his paperwork...which turned out to be a scribbled sheet of paper taped to the desk...what we did on the internet was of no concern to him, or how the rooms are misrepresented on the internet was not his fault nor was he going to involve himself. We had booked the bay view suite for 3 nights and were more than willing to pay the full price, but this was only the beginning of the inadequate and very unprofessional treatment. We asked his wife to call a cab for us (safety at night in this part of Salvador is not good at all -- like I mentioned I am Brazilian and love my home country very much...but honesty is important here) -- we were told to call down again 5 or 10 minutes before we needed the cab...we did and her child picked up the phone (they are the prevalent members of the administration, in the lobby most of the day) and said he would call the cab, and that we should come right down. We stopped what we were doing and headed downstairs, only to find out 15 minutes later that no cab had ever been called. ONce again, no one taking any measure of addressing the issue, no apology or explanation, and no recognition that any inconvenience even existed. It seems to us the owners were either burnt out or just not meant to be in the service industry.

Room Tip: do not expect anything in the way of hospitality
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  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Carioca-Sailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 140 reviews

Reviewed 24 November 2014

Really loved this hotel, lovey character property. However, rooms at the front can be a little noisy very early in the morning. Cars start driving down this little road and sometimes tooting there horns as early as 4.30am. Also, we were right opposite the restaurant which the lady working there began setting up at 6am which could also be noisy, so if you have a choice, ask for a room at the back and maybe away from the restaurant area. That said, the restauarnt was lovely, open air with a view of the harbour. The lady working there doesn't speak any English but with a lot of joking about making chicken actions (which made her laugh a lot) in the mornings, we managed to get some cooked eggs, how you get them is a surprise shall we say! Maybe scrambled, maybe fried! There is a little bar just down the road and opposite the hotel where we had drinks in the evening but it does shut at 10.30pm

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2014

The Pousada is in Pelourinho which is a very good location for seeing the historical sights. The room was very spacious and the owner was friendly although only speaking portuguese. The breakfast was not that great but for the price still ok.

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank RicArt43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2014

There were many things that we enjoyed and appreciated about our stay here but also a few that we didn't. The pousada is well located to access the historical centre, it is well decorated and we had upgraded to a sea view room which was beautiful. It had a large balcony where we sat in the evening to watch the sunset over the bay and also had a very good ensuite. Breakfast is taken on the top terrace where again the views are good and the choice of foods fairly extensive but unusually on the 3 night's we stayed did not offer yogurt. Our stay included a Saturday night, we were pleased that we did not overlook the street as the noise was very loud until the early hours of Sunday morning. Our main complaint was that as previously mentioned noise does carry in the pousada and on Sunday evening for several hours there were children running up and down the staircase, this continued on Monday morning. The staff on reception were mostly very helpful apart from1 mature lady who was very offhand.

Room Tip: Pay extra for seaview
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Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Warks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2014

This is more along the lines of a guesthouse or bed and breakfast than a hotel. It is situated in the upper city of Salvador in the historic colonial district. I have never stayed at such an establishment; so, I do not have anything to compare against it. I did love the style of the home and decor of my room. My room faced the street, so plenty of natural light in the morning, but there was some street noise.

There are some pros and cons to staying in this establishment so I'll base my review on those.

1. It is located in the historic colonial city of Upper City Salvador.
2. Free Wi-fi is available
3. Beautiful view of the water front from the 3rd floor
4. Rooms are decorated in colonial Portuguese color style with beautiful tiled floors
5. Daily breakfast on the 3rd floor overlooking the water and city
6. Spacious rooms with the framed window doors whose panels open up for natural light.
7. Exercise facility not needed as walking up and down the cobble stoned streets are sufficient for burning off calories.
8. Has a small elevator so you don't have to carry your bags/luggage up the winding stair case.
9. Nearby restaurants and food shoppes
10. Can walk to Pelourinho
11. A/C unit in the room
12. Satellite TV
13. Mini-fridge with cold drinks for purchase

1. Winding staircase is iron so you can hear foot traffic even though it is carpeted.
2. Rooms still use door key which must be used to lock the door from the inside. To me, this is problematic because if an emergent situation arose, one could panic and be trapped inside. There is an energy efficient card attached to the key which must be placed in the holder to activate the room's electricity.
3. The framed doors of the room did not open up to the balcony or to allow for natural breezy air.
4. Although there was an A/C unit in the room, the remote control did not allow for the temperature to go below 30 degrees Celsius. I found the room to not be cool, especially at night.
5. Although the breakfast area is lovely, the small birds would take advantage of empty tables and eat from the sugar bowls. The bowls had a top on them, but the small opening for the spoon was big enough for them to stick their breaks inside and eat the sugar.
6. My bathroom sink did not have hot water, so you'll have to wash your face with cold water.
7. No dresser to store clothes. Only a wooden freestanding closet with shelves.
8. No throw rugs near the bed, so keep a pair of shoes by the bed unless you like walking on tiled flooring.

Just like my hotel I stayed in Rio, there are no face cloths, only hand and bath towels. Therefore, I recommend you take a couple of face cloths to use for your shower.

This is an establishment for someone who does not want to stay in the bustling city and to enjoy staying in a historic city. However, if you choose to stay in historic Salvador, you must have shoes that can handle rough, cobblestone streets. There are sidewalks, but they are very narrow. Also, there are steep hills and can be hazardous when wet even with good walking shoes. Also, I did not see a Chase bank or HSBC to exchange money. I'm not sure if the guesthouse offered money exchange. Typically, you'd get a better exchange rate at one of these banks opposed to a Brazilian bank or hotel. So, I recommend you exchange enough money before going up to the historic area as credit cards are not always accepted.

If you like the hustle and bustle of a city, then this is not the place for you. I recommend you find lodging in Barra area and take a day trip up to historic Salvador, Pelourinho area.

The only problem I had was little ants invaded one side of my bed. I did alert the owner so she could spray the room.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with bay view
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  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kayshelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pousada do Pilar

Address: Rua Direita de Santo Antonio 24, Salvador, State of Bahia 40301-280, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Bahia > Salvador
Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #59 of 110 Hotels in Salvador
Price Range: RM241 - RM466 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pousada do Pilar 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the historical centre of Salvador, this beautifully decorated inn overlooks Baía de Todos os Santos Bay. Its colonial building provides guests with spacious rooms featuring city and sea views. Rooms at Pousada do Pilar have all been restored. With high ceilings and traditional décor, each includes a TV, air conditioning, a minibar and a safety deposit box. Free Wi-Fi is provided too. Breakfast is served on Pousada do Pilar's rooftop terrace. Guests can enjoy regional items while admiring panoramic bay views. The hotel is right in front of the bay. The neighborhood Santo Antonio Além do Carmo is a great choice for travellers interested in architecture, history and old town exploring. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Do Pilar Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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