Hotel Cocoon & Lounge
The contrast couldn’t be greater between the self-styled “first spaceship hotel in the world,” the retro-futuristic Hotel Cocoon, and its setting: it’s more or less right at the seaside, but rather than condo complexes and luxury hotels for neighbors it’s bordered by a busy avenue (under which a passage leads from the Cocoon to the beach) and an ordinary residential neighborhood that’s anything but designed.
Salvador is a rough-edged and unpretentious city, a busy port city, not at all the sort of place you’d expect any kind of modern design hotel, much less one like the bizarre and whimsical Cocoon. Imagine something from a slightly campy Sixties sci-fi film come to life in 3-D and dropped to earth at the edge of a wild bamboo forest - at reception you wouldn’t be surprised to see Barbarella herself hand over your room keys.
The exterior is fanciful enough that it’s possible to enter the Cocoon with no idea at all what the rooms are going to look like. In fact it would be quite a letdown to walk through the doors of a spaceship only to be shown to a tasteful monochrome international-style loft bedroom. The interiors don’t disappoint; though calm enough to sleep in, the rooms are fairly bold, in gray concrete and light hardwood, with curvy transparent tubs beside softly glowing platform beds dressed in silk sheets.
A cocktail lounge opens onto the pool deck, which serves as not just the public centerpiece of the hotel but also, more poetically, as something of a mission statement. The Cocoon is inspired less by the charmingly dated science fiction films of the Fifties and Sixties and more by the 1985 Ron Howard film of the same name, in which a group of elderly Americans are rejuvenated by some alien life force at the bottom of a swimming pool next door to their retirement home.
This is a concept that, if anything, gains something in translation. In the United States (maybe anywhere in English-speaking world) a place that’s equal parts hip hotel and Ron Howard reference would be just plain bizarre. In this setting it only deepens the mystique - there’s really nothing else like Hotel Cocoon in Salvador, in Brazil, or anywhere in the world.
• 27 rooms
- DNA Hot List
- retro & vintage
- swimming pool
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