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Accommodation rating: Superior

In the heart of Salvador's historical centre, a step away from the Jorge Amado Museum, the celebrated Lacerda Elevator and the Praca da Se overlooking All Saints Bay, Villa Bahia is a boutique hotel that has been tastefully converted from two colonial homes (one 17th and one 18th century). It is 26km from the airport, 5km from the beach and a short stroll away from many shops and restaurants. Brimming with character, the hotel has the ambiance of a colonial Portuguese merchant's house circa 1700. The staff's period uniforms and memorabilia from Bahia's colourful history, scatted throughout the property accentuate this. The 17 large bedrooms are individually decorated and themed after Portuguese colonies including Cape Verde, Guinea, Mozambique, Goa, Sri Lanka, Malaga and Nagasaki. Beside the lobby there is a gourmet restaurant that extends to the back of the house and an outdoor courtyard with a plunge pool and loungers. The small spa, where you can have a traditional or holistic massage is located on the rooftop terrace. There are also living areas with deep couches and antique armchairs, which are lovely for relaxing in a warm, colonial atmosphere.

Please call 020 3813 2966 for more information or to make a booking.

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