By Alison McGowan
August 11, 2008

The Hotel 7 Colinas (7 Hills) is often referred to as a pousada and the atmosphere here is definitely more pousada-like than any normal hotel. Where the difference really comes out is in the extra comforts which come as standard. Bathrooms have great powershowers, and all rooms have fans and airconditioning, cable TV with good reception, a table to work on, telephone, and free wi-fi internet.

Situated in extensive grounds in the heart of the historical centre of Olinda, the 7 Colinas is a blend of well designed new buildings housing the accommodation wings, a fabulous high ceilinged reception in colonial style, plus the original 19th century mansion, where there is now a museum and small cultural centre. From the restaurant and breakfast room you look out over lovely swimming pools surrounded by palm trees and flowers and ceramic sculptures. Altogether it’s a perfect place to relax, read, and write, whilst still being within walking distance of all the sights and restaurants and bars.

About the location
Olinda is a world heritage city, 5 miles north of Recife which appears to have changed little since the 18th and 19th centuries. Like Tiradentes (Minas Gerais) and Parati (Rio de Janeiro) streets are all cobbled, but just to make finding your way around slightly more complicated, streets follow the contours of the hills, and the city is full of steps and nooks and crannies all waiting to be discovered.

Just in the historical centre there are some 17 churches, 4 museums, 2 markets and plenty of other things to see, so it would be well worth hiring a recommended guide, via the hotel, on the first day at least.

Not to be missed
– Festivals during the year, particularly MOMO in September (classical music)
– A guided tour around Olinda and Recife, including the Brennan ceramics factory in Recife
– Pumpkin dishes at the Oficina do Sabor; caipirinhas in the Bodega do Veio grocer’s shop; tapioca in the Praca da Se
– A visit to the hotel’s museum in the original 19th century mansion
– Relaxing by the hotel swimming pools

Getting there without a car
The easiest way is by air to Recife and then taxi (R$45) to Olinda. Arriving by bus in Recife you will have to pay more than R$50 for the taxi to Olinda, and spend an extra hour travelling!

Hiring a car at Recife airport may be a better option on this occasion, and the 7 Colinas actually has space to park your car for the duration of your stay.

Starpoints at the Hotel 7 Colinas
* Quiet location in the centre of the historical centre
* Airy, well appointed, and comfortable rooms
* Swimming pool and jacuzzi surrounded by trees and flowers
* Large car park for residents
* Free wi-fi which works first time!

Try a different place…
– if you like smaller and more personal
– if you don’t want the noise associated with children or small groups.
– if you would really prefer a “hidden” pousada

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on Visit her blog at

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

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