The colorful colonial town of Olinda is remarkably more low key than its big brother Recife, a quaint laid back village alongside a bustling modern metropolis. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn Olinda offers a number of boutique pousadas (homestays) with a distinctly local flair, in stark contrast to the brash luxury resorts of Recife. Here are the best in town.
Easily the biggest option on our list, the 44 room Hotel 7 Colinas is about as close as it comes to a resort in this small seaside town. Perfect for business travelers and families alike, the hotel lies just minutes from the ocean and features a large pool area surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Despite being relatively modern, it still manages to showcase some traditional regional style.
Featuring rustic dark wood and steel decor amidst colorful tropical inspired artwork, this funky little pousada is a stylish upmarket option in the city. Thick ivy covers the entire external wall to create a secret garden kind of vibe which is perfect for kicking back and relaxing in a hammock. It’s even got a small pool to cool off in during those sweltering hot afternoons.
Travelers who prefer more contemporary accommodation might consider Hotel Pousada São Francisco, a relatively modern boutique resort just meters from the fort of the same name. Many of the rooms have their own private balcony and there is an attractive garden and swimming pool to while away the afternoon.
Situated on a hill in the historical part of town with sweeping views over the sea, this elegant 17 room boutique is oozing with colonial-era charm. Expect to find tastefully decorated and spacious rooms throughout, each with high ceilings and a selection of local artwork. Outside, a balcony offers views of the Recife skyline while an intimate pool and garden lie below.
Another classic colonial style digs in a distinct regal style, this small traditional Pousada offers old-world elegance at an affordable rate. If possible, opt for one of the more expensive rooms as the economic options can be a little cramped and noisy. Their full buffet breakfast is particularly generous and an excellent way to start the day.
Spacious, whitewashed, and chic, this four-room B&B is one of the few true boutiques in the city. Travelers appreciate its mix of colonial and contemporary design, with the highlight being an attractive open-air terrace that affords spectacular views of the city.
Friendly attentive service is the name of the game here, with the Austrian and Brazilian owners going out of their way to make guests feel at home at their tiny yet tasteful two-room B&B. Set in an unmarked home in the middle of the old town, the entire complex is colorfully decorated in that distinct Olinda style. Highly recommended for travelers who like to avoid the crowds.