NAME: pousada Erva Doce
WHERE: Arraial d’Ajuda, Bahia
IN ENGLISH: yes
PRICES ON THE WEBSITE: yes
LOCATION: right on the Estrada do Mucugê, the most charming thoroughfare of Arraial; the Estrada do Mucugê is where it’s at. The main entrance to the pousada is surrounded by a coffee shop and a few restaurants and shops. The location is unbeatable for those travelling to Arraial during the low season, but can turn into a nightmare during the high season, as the music from the street can be heard on most of the rooms.
THE BUILDING: the rooms are distributed in several two-storey houses around a smallish pool, surrounded by lush vegetation everywhere.
THE ROOMS: largish and quite different from each other. The first room where we stayed had no space for our luggage. Simple decoration. With a small TV set and a minibar.
PRICES IN MAY 2007: $130 each room per night.
BREAKFAST: included in the price. A bit on the dissapointing side, specially taking into account the room rates. Its saving grace are the crêpes prepared while you wait. Breakfast is eaten at a pleasant dining room by the pool.
FOOD: the pousada doesn’t serve meals. However, complimentary coffee and cakes are served every afternoon.
RECEPTION: friendly and helpful. They tried to sort out the numerous problems we had with the rooms.
OUR OPINON: the pousada is a textbook example of why reviewers should sleep at least the one night in the places they are reviewing. All the guides describe Erva Doce as one of the best pousadas in Arraial, at least when it comes to value for money. And to be fair, if you visit the common areas of the pousada you will be positively impressed. The problems are located in the rooms. As I mentioned above, the first room we were offered didn’t even have a shelf to leave our luggage, and the space for our clothes was minute – do bear in mind we were going to stay there for a week. Paint on the walls was coming down. The bathroom had a broken glass allowing anyone to see from the outside. The mosquito net had more holes than a Swiss cheese (and I’m sure you will agree that a mosquito net with holes is pretty useless). After a sleepless night, our matress had taken the shape of a valley. We asked for a change of room – got it right away. The second room was better, there was a sofa and plenty of space for our luggage and clothes. What a shame it was infested by a giant flying ant – there was an ant nest right by the window. When I opened the mosquito net there were about 50 ants on the bed. A new change of room. The third room in two days. Everything was normal on this room. However, the lack of a shower curtain on the bathrooms meant that every shower turned the largish bathroom onto a swimming pool. Never mind the fact that hot water would only come out of the tap after 10 minutes. 10 minutes wasting water. We mentioned the fact to the owner of the pousada, who seemed unconcerned.
All said, our opinion of the pousada is that, although it has some positive points, and the staff there were really friendly, we would never stay at the Erva Doce again.
Category: Reviews: accommodation