The SpaceI live in a quiet residential street just around the corner from the neighbourhood's largest avenue. Location is the best asset: this is an old neighbourhood that has maintained its status, so it is much safer than average. Casa Forte maintains some of our beautifull colonial and art nouveau houses. There is loads of things going on within walking distance from the house: bus stops, cab stops, atms, supermarket, boulangeries, good restaurants, great bars, trendy shops, malls, drugstore, parks, heritage sites, you name it. Continental breakfast is included: toast, butter, jam, coffee. Best bread and ice cream of town are a couple blocks away. Walk another two blocks and you'll find an architectural ensemble called Poço da Panela and Praça de Casa Forte, designed by Burle Marx, Brazil's most reputable landscape designer.
My street is quite calm, green and you can hear singing birds at all times. The apartment is on the top floor of a two-story, 4-apartments building. It has 75m2 and 3 bedrooms. I'd like to add that this is a house from the 60's and is still being cosmetically renovated. You should not have to worry about practicallities, though, as everything is fully functional, clean and thorougly fumigated. Old tile flooring you see in the pics has been replaced. Guest room, bathroom, kitchen and walls should be done by june, 1st.
I have only one bathroom, which is why I wont list the third room. Please keep in mind I have A 2 PEOPLE PER ROOM LIMIT, no more than 4 people at the house. This has been asked time and again, so its worth stressing. Wanna keep it comfy. =]
The balcony is my friends favorite place to spend an afternoon having tea and chilling.
I do have a small dog that is the epithome of friendliness, she just loves everyone, but it is a calm shi-tzu and definetely not a barker. My cat is rather shy and usually confines herself to my bedroom most of the time.
It is very likely that both rooms will be booked during the world cup, in which case the animals and I won't be around the house. I might show up on occasion to see if things are running smootlhy.
Cleaning lady comes twice a-week. Bed linens provided and changed whenever you check-in/mondays/thrusdays. If need be, we could arrange for her to do laundry, for whatever she charges. Guest AccessGuests will have access to all areas of the house, save my bedroom.
I have a fully equipped kitchen, but it is not meant for extensive cooking. Fridge, microwave and grill are available for guests at all times. Interaction with GuestsI love having people over, so I have had lots of friends stay with me, and also friends of friends and even couchsurfers of friends.
I love Recife, its history and traditions, which makes me a host that can pinpoint you where to go and what to look for.
I can also point you whats going on in town.
There is a chance there will be days during the world cup and when both rooms will be booked, in which case me and the pets will leave the house. Odds are I'll be in Recife and will come to check you in and out and show you around a bit.
=] The NeighborhoodI'll get to the shouth side of town later, but this is the north side of Recife, and its hard to feel that beachy vibe. Casa Forte is more of a upscale, old money zone that is deeply marked by our colonial past. On the upside, you can hardly see tourists around here.
There are all kinds of services within walking distance from the house: bus stops, atms, supermarkets, trendy shops, nice restaurants, cool bars, sea food places, gas stations, drugstore, brasseries, coffee shops, parks, malls, you name it. We even have an organic fair in the neighbourhood on saturday mornings. Sundays are great for renting a bike and riding about town, as there is a bike-exclusive lane running across the city and it runs just around the corner.
Least, but perhaps most importantly,this is probably the safest neighbourhood for a person to walk around in Recife.
Getting AroundAvenida 17 de Agosto is a major commercial avenue that is just around the corner. There you will find most everything, including cabs and bus stops. Driving or taking a cab is, under normal circumstances, very easy.
We are a 15mn ride away from Recife Antigo and 20mn ride from Olinda. Both are must-sees. Aside from the architectural ensemble that is a World Heritage site, top 5 state's restaurants are in Olinda. Recife Antigo is another major destination when it comes to historical sites, museums, entertainement. Sports arena is also on a northern suburb 15km outside Recife.
Please keep in mind that finding a cab during large events is quite a task anywhere in the world. That goes for carnival, world cup, whenever there is a big concert or - yup - when it rains. Having said that, there is a cab stop two blocks away. It doesnt get any easier than that.
Other Things to NoteEach room takes two guests. Full appartment takes four people. No exceptions. Cleaning lady comes twice a week.
Quick heads up for foreign visitors: If you've done your homework, you should know by now that we have a beautiful urban beach on the south side of town where one should never, ever go swimming. No, seriously. I mean, world capital of shark attacks. Really.
So, south side is has a distinct beachy-touristy vibe. Bits and pieces of beachfront avenue are good and expensive. Avoid anything but the good and expensive: the area is also a major destination for sexual exploitation of children and street-level prostitution.
It is always worth underlining what seasoned travellers know by heart, and that goes for every single town in Brazil: avoid flashing items that could attract unwanted attention. Keep little money on you, use plastic money whenever you can. Do not walk around wearing watches, jewelry. If you must carry valuables, use an underbelt.
Avoid displaying your phones, cameras, gadgets - doing so is the easiest way to draw unwanted attention from pickpockets, muggers and the like. Ladies: if you'll be walking around, avoid carrying large purses. If you can, carry your belongings in your pockets or use a wristlet.
Keeping that in mind will safeguard you from unpleasant circumstances during your trip. "Oh, but I've beeen around." Good for you, buddy, but take security concerns up a notch, this is Brazil and we DO want you to have a great experience.