Casa Lavinia is a typical low-key and welcoming Brazilian pousada (guest house) right in the historic centre of São Luis, set on a street lined with restored Portuguese colonial residences. Expect no frills but plenty of atmosphere: this is an unassuming yet characterful place with a brightly painted nineteenth century façade, the evocative interior lovingly adorned with a collection of arts and crafts acquired by the proprietors during their travels. The family-run property is well appreciated for the helpfulness of its English-speaking hosts: it only receives up to a maximum 12 guests at a time, so you can be sure of personal attention.
There are just four air-conditioned guest rooms, all simply designed and furnished but each with its own nostalgic, individually conceived décor. Beamed ceilings, decorative mosaic-tiled bathrooms recalling traditional Portuguese crafts, and wooden or flagstone floors create an almost rustic look in this urban environment. There's a cosy book-lined lounge stuffed with sofas, and a breakfast room: eating options for other meals and the main attractions of old São Luis are just a few minutes’ walk away.