In November 2017, Kaja and Michael from HI Norway visited the charming HI Aju Hostel & Pousada in Aracaju, Brazil. Besides from being decorated with local cultural art, and serving a great breakfast based on local food, it is by far the most redesigned hostel we have encountered in Brazil. We were so amazed by what we saw that we really want to share it with you! Continue reading to join us on tour de Aju Hostel!
Just to give you an idea, the hostel is located some 8 kilometers from Aracaju town, which is actually the capital of Brazil’s smallest state Sergipe. The hostel’s neighborhood is the beach promenade Atalaia, known for its long and wide beach, many bars, cafés and restaurants, and the very symbol of the area showing the local cuisine: a large crab statue. A 5-minute walk from the beach side is the hostel that has existed for about 5 years.
From hotel to hostel
Until the hostel was opened 5 years ago, the building had lacked the infrastructure to receive guests. Thus, the hostel manager Rogerio Wichi was in need of materials, and eagerly looked for ways to reduce the costs of renovating what was going to become his new hostel. He was in luck, because right there in Aracaju, there was a hotel being demolished, creating a perfect opportunity to obtain cheap, reusable materials.
Rogerio and his team spent a month at the hotel, and filled as many as 10 truckloads of materials for a very reasonable price. They collected mirrors and doors, various pieces of wood and construction that they wanted to use to furnish the hostel. After months of hard and creative work, the result was ready: Almost every piece of what you can see of the hostel used to have another function in the hotel before!
Decorating the wall is an old staircase banister and now it serves as a climbing point for plants. Tables made from cable rollers, and the bar is constructed with pallets and pieces of wood from the hotel. The roof of the bar is completely recycled and the bar itself is decorated with hip, green lamps made of wine bottles.
The decorative door and windows in orange and blue are original parts from the original house, but have been given a new purpose. Also the flooring is completely constructed with wood gathered from the old hotel.
The beds are constructed with recycled wood, using materials that originally were doorframes and such. Also most of the mattresses in this hostel were salvaged from the hotel.
The chairs, TV section, sofa, as well as the ceiling is all made from recycled wood. The mattresses on the sofa are of the same sort as the ones from the guest rooms, which were salvaged from the hotel.
This beautiful furniture was all constructed with recycled materials such as window shutters and leftover pieces of wood.
Kaja Knutsdotter Fjørtoft and Michael Aune participate in an exchange project between HI Norway and HI Brazil. The project is funded by FK Norway.