NAME: pousada Portas da Amazônia
WHERE: São Luis, Maranhão
IN ENGLISH: no
PRICES ON THE WEBSITE: no
LOCATION: right in the middle of São Luís, in the pedestrian rua do Giz. Very close to the Projeto Reviver, the restored historical centre of the capital. During the festas juninas, performances take place really close to the pousada.
THE BUILDING: the pousada takes up two restored buildings in the historical part of the city.
THE ROOMS: there are two types of rooms: the ones that face the inner courtyard, at the back of the house, are cheaper; the ones facing the street are bigger and more expensive. We stayed at the back of the pousada for the first few days. Though the rooms are by no means small, we didn’t think much of them: the shower, for instance, had no curtains, which meant that each shower was followed by the inevitable flooding of the bathroom. Then we spent three nights on a room facing the street. The room was bigger and better lit up. The only objection is that during the bumba-meu-boi festival it makes absolutely no difference whether you are on the street or inside your room: the sound coming from the streets penetrates the walls with such ease that you feel you are right in the middle of the party. All the rooms have television, telephone, minibar and air conditioning (São Luis is always hot and muggy).
PRICES IN JUNE 2006: the back rooms (standards), R$139 per room per night; the front rooms (masters), R$159.
BREAKFAST: included in the price. Average. The space where guests have breakfast is too small and uncomfortable. Long wait for food and juices whenever they run out – and they did so frequently.
MEALS: the pousada doesn’t serve meals. There’s a small bar next door where you can have some sandwiches and drink freshly-squeezed juices. In the evenings, there is an excellent pizzeria on the ground floor. The owner of the pizzeria (as well as of the pousada) is Italian, and it shows.
FRONT DESK: some of the best customer care we’ve seen in Brazil. The recepcionists where always ready to help with useful information on the tip of the tongue.
OTHER FACILITIES: four computers connected to the Internet – reasonable hourly rates. If you want to go to the Lençóis Maranhenses, ask at the front desk and they will book the van for you.
CONTACT BY E-MAIL: the best we’ve experienced in Brazil. E-mails replied within hours.
OUR JUDGEMENT: the pousada is a bit pricey for what it offers. In our case, it was worth it because we were in São Luís to enjoy the festas juninas, and the central location of the pousada made things easy. There are cheaper options nearby. Recommended if you want to stay right in the heart of São Luís.
GOOGLE MAPS [MY MAPS!]: Pousada Portas da Amazonia
destination: São Luís