Paulista Lofted StudioJune 25th, 2014 | Posted by in Brazil | Lodging | Speedbumps | The Places We've Been
When our host for the month of June let us know days before our arrival that he was cancelling our reservation, a mad dash to find replacement lodging ensued. Were it not for World Cup tickets in Natal and flights booked to depart from Recife (two cities in the northeastern part of the country), we would have embraced the opportunity to spontaneously change our plans, possibly stay in Rio a while longer, or simply head back to the states a bit early. Instead, we dove into a pool of crazily inflated rental prices searching for a new place that would allow the dogs, offer workable internet, and not break the bank. When we found Marta’s listing on Airbnb in Paulista, a Recife ‘suburb’ on the coast, we held our breath in hope until she responded. Communications went swimmingly and by the next day, we were booked.
Marta’s family’s place in Paulista is a lovely compound with four lofted studio apartments opening to a nice yard, a refreshing pool, and a spacious community area. Though each private rental is fully outfitted with private kitchen, bathroom, dining table, living area, lofted bedroom, and small personal outdoor space, they also all share and have access to a washing machine, an outdoor kitchen, a covered pavilion with couches for lounging, and a big family-sized table for dining. The entire compound is clean and fresh and comfortable and wonderfully kept. Even better, the hosting family is absolutely delightful, kindly respecting our personal space in our apartment but also offering camaraderie, advice, Portuguese practice, food and drinks, and a welcoming Brazilian family in the shared space. Amid our normal work schedules, World Cup celebrations, and return trip preparations, we have still found time to cool off in the pool most days and make fast new friends with Rinaldo, the quiet and lovable homeowner and host-father, Rosanna and Ayla, Rinaldo’s English-speaking daughter and her three-month old little girl, Aziz, grillmaster and Rosanna’s partner, and Charlotte, our madly adored English neighbor. As travelers with a car who weren’t looking to be in the city center (the home is about 45 minutes north of Recife in a neighborhood with unpaved roads), this was a perfect place for us to land by accident, and we can’t help but feel whole-heartedly that our lodging fire drill has made our final month in Brazil even better than it would have been without.