Ackee Pousada is one of the few Black-owned hostels in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Opened in 2008 and located in one of the most beautiful cities in São Paulo— Olímpia, Ackee Pousada offers guests a unique Afro-Brazilian hospitality experience.
Founded in 2008, the hostel is owned by Carol Damiá. Ackee was inspired by the unique experience of an Afro-Brazilian guest house in São Paulo and aims to bring a Black Brazilian vibe to its visitors.
“Ackee is a place where you can go and feel like family instantly. We created a place that is exciting, special, luxurious and also affordable. We also wanted to create a place that supports our Black community and showcases all the beautiful landscapes that Olimpia, known for its complex of parks with thermal waters, has to offer,” Carol Damiá told Travel Noire.
Proud of her Afro-Brazilian heritage, Damiá has been working to make Ackee a safe place for Black tourists bringing an Afro-Brazilian hospitality experience.”I noticed that we were receiving a very low percentage of Black guests, and this situation bothered me a lot. I started to promote the hostel on social media so that I could align my personal values with the hostel,” Damiá said.
This initiative worked, and now she is seeing an increase of Black families who find Ackee as a safe place. “Here, they can relax, interact with each other and connect with the values linked to our Black roots. It is beautiful to see this space filled with children, adults and elderly people sharing their leisure time,” she revealed.
Although racism was very prevalent, she managed to survive and thrive within Brazilian society, ultimately becoming a Black woman entrepreneur.
“There aren’t many opportunities to stay at Black-owned businesses in Brazil (and even around the world), but there is such an appetite within the Black community to support each other. We can’t wait to welcome members of our community with open arms.”
Considered one of the most important tourist spots in the State of São Paulo, Olímpia is located in the region of the Guarani Aquifer, a privileged area in the northwest of São Paulo. Olimpia has an estimated population of 54,406 inhabitants.
Based on agribusiness and commerce, the tourism sector stands out thanks to the hot springs in its Water Parks, such as Thermas dos Laranjais and Hot Beach, two of the ten most-visited Water Parks in the world.
According to Carol Damiá, each room at Ackee Pousada is like a piece of art. “The hostel has 19 accommodations, all equipped with air conditioning, minibar, TV and individual bathrooms. In our living area, we have swimming pools, a whirlpool, a pantry, hammocks, and an orchard that provides us with delicious fruits that are served for our breakfast. The colorful plants and design make the hostel a happy and lively environment that connects with our ancestry,” she said.
In the future, Damiá plans to bring Ackee more cultural manifestations related to Afro-Brazilian history and legacy.