ISSUE 78  |  Heading South

From 19th Century Villa to Destination Hostel in São Paulo

June 27, 2013 7:00 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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Inspired by his own stays in design hostels during his backpacking travels through Australia, Guilherme Perez imported the concept to his beloved hometown of São Paulo, taking a 19th century villa in a historic neighborhood and converting it into We Hostel. Enlisting the help of his friend Brazilian architect Felipe Hess, Perez embraced the challenge with creative enthusiasm, setting a new standard for budget design travel. For more information, see We Hostel

Unless otherwise note, photography by Fran Parente via Yatzer.

Above: The grand entrance with the original stained glass over the door to the 19th century mansion.

Above L: A welcoming red desk marks the reception area under the grand staircase. Image via We Hostel.  Above R: A midcentury sound system occupies the corner of the common room. 

Above: The midcentury furniture was all sourced at flea markets and then restored.

Above: A vintage mirror is paired with purpose-built plastic laminate and plywood shelves.

Above: The bookshelf is filled with tomes about São Paulo. 

Above: Midcentury furnishings and accessories update the 19th century fenestration and stained glass. 

Above: In the entertainment room, the ceiling has been painted with chalkboard paint, allowing visitors to leave messages. 

Above: The contrast of black and white adds drama. 

Above: The kitchen surfaces are durable and easy to maintain. A wire rail attached to the ceiling provides a framework for the hanging pendants. 

Above: The plastic laminate and plywood material used for the bookshelves in the common room are also used for kitchen storage.  

Above: The hostel’s creative director, Rodrigo Marangoni, designed simple signage while embedding smartphone-compatible QR codes, in order that guests can download everything from subway maps to music.

Above: Simple dorms and lockers provide a place to rest for young travelers. 

Above: A bedside lamp with shelf for every bed offers luxury in a hostel.

Above: The bathrooms are tiled in cheery colors. 

A map below shows the location of We Hostel in São Paulo. 


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Interested in seeing other ‘Design Hostels’ around the world? See Hotels & Lodging: Danhostel in Copenhagen and The Ultimate Dorm Room: The Independente Hostel in Lisbon