Selina Vila Madalena Tour + Review

Surrounded by lively bars, the world’s best restaurants, and a real life Batman Alley, guests will find the Selina Vila Madalena on one of the safest corners in all of Sao Paulo. The perfect base for any guest looking to discover the wondrous city of San Paulo, Brazil. 

We’re taking an in-depth look at the Selina Vila Madalena Sao Paulo including a sneak peak into the cafe, rooms, and coworking spaces. I spent 3 weeks at this Selina location and am here to share all the insider info with you. And wait till I tell you about the rooms here!

Let’s take a look! 

Overview of the Selina Madalena

The Selina Vila Madalena is located in the safest neighborhood in Sao Paulo. An energetic neighborhood full of bars, world renowned restaurants and limitless amenities like gyms and salons at every turn. 

The building is a six story story loft building with trendy decor and endless windows on each floor. guests enjoy the industrial loft feel on each floor with exposed concrete flooring and white walls. Pops of color in the signage and art reflect the vibrant energy of the neighborhood. 

The loft building is a newer build making is super easy to keep this building clean and management has every shared room detailed cleaned regularly. The cleanliness is apparent in every space and adds to the trustworthy quality guests notice from the moment they walk in the door.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent Natural Light
  • Detailed Cleanliness
  • Great Shared Kitchen
  • Safe and Wonderful Location

Cons:

  • Limited Shared Seating Spaces
  • Difficult to Meet People
  • Noisy Surroundings on Weekends
  • Cafe Breakfast is Expensive

Cafe + Bar at Selina Madalena

The cafe at the Selina Madalena is a wonderful space with its open air feel, walls of windows and warm colorful seating. Decor is trendy hipster meets modern loft. A warm and inviting, yet uplifting space. 

Outside there are three types of seating, three cafe tables and chairs, three high tops with backless metal stools, and two concrete fixed tables with short stools. 

On Sundays, the outdoor space is full of local coffee and pastries vendors and the local School of Rock puts on a free concert. A perfect balance of energetic and chill for your Sunday.

Insider Info:

The cafe is open earlier than most Selina cafes, 7:00a. Which is nice for those who want an early start and easy access to coffee. Coffee doesn’t start till 8/8:30a in the coworking space. 

Cafe drinks include Americans, espresso, and lattes with milk, oat milk, or almond milk. Many of the cafe beverages come from the shiny Nespresso machine behind the bar. Which makes wonderful latte, but there are no free refills here.

Breakfast is available with a variety of bites and combos. A single avocado toast, with no sides is around R$22 ($4-5 USD) and a breakfast combo of fruit, avocado toast, and pancakes with both a latte and juice runs about R$35 ($8-9 USD). 

Coming from other Selinas in Brazil I was shocked at the steep price of breakfast here. Nearly double the combo price of the Selina Paraty for less food.

The breakfast is an amazing value compared to prices back home, but not budget friendly at big city prices. Thankfully, the shared kitchen at this location is a wonderful one. 

The cafe closes at 11:00a and then opens again at noon for lunch. Guests working from the space may continue enjoying their table during the midday close time, there is just no service during the hour break.

The lunch menu is less inspiring than the breakfast menu consisting mostly of sandwiches and Brazilian staples like Feijoada, BUT lunch prices are 30% cheaper than breakfast!

You can get a pork sandwich for R$22 ($4-5) and Brazilian favorites are larger portions than breakfast- nearly by double. A worthwhile value for all guests.

The Garden cafe closes at 4p each day and then opens as a nightclub on the weekends. There is no dinner available at the Selina Madalena and guests will want to try one of the amazing restaurants or bars nearby for a wonderful dinner or post work cocktail.  

Wellness and Social Events at Selina Madalena

Wellness

The Selina Madalena really delivers on the wellness activity schedule. Wellness at the Selina Vila Maddalena occurs 2-3x a day on weekdays and are a variety of differet types of yoga- hatha, acroyoga, and flow classes.

Yoga classes are held in the back patio area under the hanging plants. The area is well shaded and gets a cool breeze on hot mornings. 

Insider Info:

If guests are lucky, they may get to take in a morning yoga session on the secret rooftop. 

Local laws prohibit regular use of the rooftop because it is not wheelchair accessible. A lucky guest may get the chance to feel the warm morning light while taking in the beautiful view if the back area is unavailable. 

Wellness sessions are held Monday – Friday. Monday and Wednesday there are three classes, Tuesday and Thursday, two sessions are available. Friday has one session. There are no wellness activities on the weekends. 

Yoga classes are led in English or Portuguese based on the attendees preference by a local named Suzana. 

Social Activities 

Social activities were starting to make a comeback during my stay. The Selina Madalena did’t have a social resident on site yet, but that didn’t stop them from hosting social events.

Each Friday a caiprihana mixology class is taught in the second floor coworking space where guest can create their own cocktails using local Brazilian ingredients.

On Sudnays, the back terrace hosts walk up food, clothing, and vintage vendors. A wonderful opportunity to interact with Sao Paulo locals.

A live rock band from the local School of Rock comes in plays in the cafe area filling the space with vibrant energy and music.  The experience is a casual and laid back Sunday that is wonderful. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening the cafe turns into a club environment. Guests can dance the night away to a live DJ under the disco lights. 

Ready to Book at Selina Vila Madalena?

Movie Night + Cinema

Movie night matters at the Selina Madalena and guests are in for a treat if they attend the Tuesday evening event. Movie night is the only event exclusive to guests of the Selina Madalena.

Located on the third floor, the cinema is well stocked with stadium lounge seating and a large screen with solid audio so guests can be comfy. 

Movie nights include free popcorn and soda for Selina guests. A poll goes out each Monday to decide what movie will be selected.

While the staff work hard to keep guests engaged and ongoing imprevemtns are made on the social offerings, in my humble options, this Selina location is not good for travelers looking to meet people and enjoy shared experiences.

It’s just not. 

A majority of the attendees at the events, and those on sight at the Selina are locals and other Brazilians. The largest group on-sight are local companies that use the coworking space as their daily office.

Selina guests who do not speak Portuguese are at a disadvantage and can feel isolated. There are not enough English speaking guests or interactive opportunities for non-Brazilian guests to meet and connect.

The overall social experience is a wonderful local experience for those guests wanting to deep dive into Brazilian city life, just not a good way to meet new people. 

Shared Community Kitchen

There are so many wonderful things about the kitchen at the Selina Vila Madalena. My favorite may just be the the ease of use and management’s effort to keeping it clean.

Management noticed that having the kitchen open late led to a dirty kitchen each morning. To give guests a better experience with a cleaner kitchen for breakfast and coffee, management decided to close the kitchen around 8p. The difference is notable and I appreciate it greatly.

The cleaning crew is in the kitchen every day, too, keeping is free from dirt and clutter. They even did a number of regular deep cleans during my stay. 

The kitchen layout is also delightful. There are two sinks and two stoves, along opposite ends so it is easy for multiple guests to cook, clean and prep food simultaneously.

Along the wall is a shelving area of pantry items and a series of community tables down the center.  There are two fridges that actually get cleaned out each week- not just a sign claiming they get cleaned.

The cooking space, dish cleaning area, and community areas are well laid out to truly be a functional kitchen for multiple guests simultaneously, and the cleanliness make this a pleasant and welcoming space.

I cooked in here more often than I do at other Selina kitchens.

Dining Area + Added Seating

Insider Info:

Take in the best indoor views from this six story building while sitting in the spacious 7th floor loft above the kitchen. 

Technically, this is a six story building, but guests can work their way to the secret dining and community area above the 6th floor kitchen. Access to the extra seating area is via a narrow stairwell near the kitchen refrigerators. 

There are a variety of tables, chairs and outlets for coworkers to use the space or work during you meal.

Coworking Space

I enjoy working in natural light and the coworking space at the Selina Vila Madalena has wonderful windows and a private balcony for digital nomads and remote workers to enjoy. 

There are three primary spaces of hot desks, then additional spaces for meeting rooms and a wall of phone booths. 

During your break, you can swing on the two indoors swings!

Cowork is premium space available on a daily, weekly, or monthly rate unless guests are staying as part of a colive package. 

Library at Selina Madalena

For a relaxing space open and free to all guests, check out the library space lit by the warm glow of industrial lighting. 

Located on the third floor, the interior library section has a wonderful selection of lounge seating. A hanging bean bag chair in the corner is the perfect place to chill after a day out, or kick off your hoes and put your feet up on the couch.

Guests can participate in the Selina book exchange along the shelves by taking or leaving a book for future Selina guests. 

Selina Reception

The reception area of the Selina Madalena may have the best grab and go variety I’ve seen at a Selina. 

The options include the standard offering of water, beverages, and snack, but also bottles of hard alcohol, local crafts, and clothing. 

Selina guests can shop the locally designed clothing, classic Brazilian Havaianas fly flops, and handcrafted purses, bags, and figurines created by the sister of a Selina worker. 

I fell in love with the cuteness of these little bunnies, and named them Becca and Batman for the Becco do Batman Alley around the corner here. I did have a wonderful time in Sao Paulo and these two are my souvenirs.

Reception has a great seating area for guests waiting for friends, Ubers, or food deliveries (Rappi). The front desk is also where guests can drop off their laundry for same day service Monday – Saturday and grab their yoga mats for their wellness sessions.  

Guest Rooms at Selina Madalena

The loft style rooms are both modern and minimal here at Selina reflecting true city design. Each room has great windows, often an entire wall, allowing in bright natural light and giving wonderful skyline views.

Yes, even the micro rooms here at Selina Madalena have a wonderful wall of windows!

The windows are all equipped with blackout curtains with velcro to ensure you get that deep sleep.

The Selina Madalena offers all levels of rooms types, from large and small dorms, to suites, and Executive lofts.

Insider Info:

The best room value best value comes in at the micro/ semi-private room or and the deluxe and executive rooms.

Dorm and standards rooms guests may find themselves at a disadvantage in space and offerings compared to the other rooms levels that aren’t any more robust than similar priced options.

Dorm Rooms

In terms of quality and decor, the dorm rooms are wonderful at the Selina Madalena. Most dorm rooms have a modern wall of windows for natural light and the bunks are the updated wood bunk equipped with privacy curtain, private outlets, and storage space. 

While the furnishing are wonderful in the dorms, the building has higher ceilings on the top floor where the dorm rooms are located. The ceiling up there is high enough for a third row of bunks. 

The bunk beds run three high, as opposed to the normal two beds high. 

Dorm guests on the top bunk may find themselves climbing two sets of ladders to get in and out of their bunk each night instead of one. Those guests with a middle bunk may feel Oreo’d between other bunkers. 

Dorm rooms all share the common restrooms on the floor. There are 5 stalls on one Sid eof the hallway, and 5 showers on the other. 

Micro + Private Shared Rooms

Micros rooms here are wonderful for being micros! My favorite micro spaces by far. 

The square footage of the micro rooms here ate Selina Madalena run small like most Selina locations. What makes these micro rooms wonderful is their efficient and updated decor and the large wall of windows. 

Micro guests at other Selina locations are lucky to have a single window into the hallway. Here, they have a full wall of windows overlooking the city. 

The windows do open for guests who want fresh air. There is also an air conditioner in each space. 

Another thing that makes the micros great at this location is the shared bathroom situation. There are 5 micro rooms on a floor. Three in one section, and two in another. Each section  of micro rooms has its own bathroom!

Or put another way, there are 2 restrooms for 5 micro rooms per floor. That’s almost twice as many micro room bathrooms as other locations! That’s double the showers, double the toilets, and double the sinks! 

I loved it! I think the micro room value here is better than any other Selina I have stayed at. 

Standard Room

After a look at the Micro rooms at this location, the standards rooms fall short. Other than having a private attached bathroom, the standards do not have any additional amenities, furnishing, or comforts than a Micro space. 

A standard room at the Selina Madalena, has the same bed, end tables, and closet set up at the Micros. They also have a similar wall of windows. 

There is a size increase in the room. Standards rooms have about 5-10 more square feet in addition to the restroom. This is nice for any added luggage. 

The micro room only has the pace for a single person’s luggage where a standard room has the square footage for two sets fo luggage, 

If traveling solo, I recommend saving your money and reserving micro room here or upgrade to the deluxe or executive rooms!

Deluxe Rooms + Suites

Deluxe Rooms at the Selina Madalena offer a more comfortable balance of space and natural light. They also have more colorful decor compared to the standards rooms. Standard rooms can feel plain with their white walls.

Deluxe rooms have more colorful furnishings and murals on the walls. Seating can be a padded cafe style seating ro even a couch like bench.

Executive Rooms

If you like outdoor seating, you will want an Executive room here. 

The deluxe rooms at the Selina Madalena each have a massive private balcony overlooking the courtyard. These private balconies are the best outdoor space on the property spanning nearly half the building.

Executive rooms also have a dining space, and additional couch seating. Guest staying in an Executive Room can expect their own complete city loft!

Insider Info:

This location has limited outdoor seating- which was one of my biggest disappointments because the building could feel claustrophobic at times. 

All Selina Madalena guests have access to the outdoor cafe seating along the public walkway which s spacious. However, the cafe seating is noisy at times, along the public sidewalk, and occupied by live music and vendors on the weekends. 

To cure my desire to get out, I’d have to walk to a cafe, where guests in Executive rooms could head to their private balconies. 

Review of the Selina Vila Madalena 

Cleanest Selina ever! The Selina Vila Madalena here in Sao Paulo reflects all the trendy, cosmopolitan vies of city loft living surrounded by excellent restaurants and wondrous city sites, like Becco do Batman (Batman Alley) right around the corner.

The safety of the neighborhood is apparent the moment you step inside this cosmopolitan bubble. This Selina location is a wonderful base for reconnecting with your city routine and enjoying urban amenities like shopping, great food, and self care like spas and salons. 

The great cleanliness, accessibility, and safety are countered by the fact that this Selina is not great for meeting people.

The Selina location’s manager talked to me about the goal of making the location a social hotspot again soon. Once they get a social resident onboard and into a rhythm on social activities, this could be a really fun location- it’s just not there yet.

The best value for the rooms here is in the Micro rooms or the Deluxe or Executive rooms.

Micros are the best economy value due to the wonderful skyline views, limited shared bathroom capacity, and compete furnishings. Deluxe rooms and Executive rooms have the best decor and seating. Executive rooms have the large balconies which are helpful to have private outdoor space during your stay.

And if you’re ready to book your stay, you can find great deals and discounts (maybe even get a free daily breakfast) by booking here:

Ready to Book at Selina Vila Madalena?

This has been Acacia for Adventure on the Side. Hope to see you out in the world soon! Have a great day.