Olinda is a pretty colonial UNESCO Heritage town next to Recife. If you are travelling to Recife, I recommend staying in Olinda. It’s quieter, far, far, prettier than Recife, and easily accessible to the major city Recife, it’s airport and bus station.
Don’t worry about not being on the beach – you can’t swim in the beaches in Recife anyway, unless of course you ignore the warning signs of frequent shark attacks and don’t mind polluted water.
We stayed at a gorgeous place, Pousada do Amparo. They have two buildings, the main one (no.199 rue do Amparo, PE Brazil) is where the restaurant is, and the second building where the superior rooms are, is diagonally across the road. Our superior room had a private little garden, and stairs from it that go directly to Restaurant Beijuirá, one of the best-regarded restaurants in the area.
We returned to Olinda during our World Cup trip to Brazil and stayed in a standard room, which was just as lovely as the superior room, but instead of an outside courtyard, we had a loft courtyard with an outdoor bath. I’d stay in a standard room if we were to ever return just because it’s better value for money.
Besides a comfortable place to stay, another reason to choose Pousada do Amparo is the helpful staff. For example, Tainah helped us book bus tickets to our next destination Natal by calling the ticket agency and arranging for tickets to be delivered. A huge relief for us as the thought of travelling in Brasil, of physically getting from one place to another, fills us with dread after our previous horrendous experience.
The breakfast at the Pousada do Amparo is awesome too – a huge selection of cakes, bread, fresh pineapple, guava, mango, and cooked banana which is my personal favourite. It was only on my last morning that I noticed other guests eating regional speciality, tapioca. Tapioca is a pancake made with tapioca powder, that when cooked forms a crust on the outside while the centre congeals, almost like a jube or jelly sweet. It’s folded in half and stuffed with melted cheese, chicken, meat, or dulce de leche, which is a caramel like sweetened condensed milk.
We ate dinner in the Pousada restaurant on three occasions during both of our stays. The food is good – the chicken with mushrooms was particularly nice – and it’s good value for money. Be sure to have a cairiprinha – they make a delicious one!
Pousada do Amparo was official accommodation for the FIFA World Cup, and I can see why.
Check out my post on our Top three restaurants in Olinda too.
Pousada do Amparo
Rue Amparo 199, Olinda
Tel: +55 81 3439-1740