Running off to a convent was never an option. First, I'm Jewish. Secondly, I don't deal well with authority, even from above. But when I walked into Hotel Convento do Carmo in Salvador, Brazil, I thought, "Oh, my God! I could get used to this!"
The former cloister, now a 5-star hotel is located in the historic Pelhourino section. Outside, the streets seeth with African drums, art galleries, cafes and shops. Inside, in an air of hushed elegance, guests lounge around the courtyard pool and sip high octane cocktails at the bar like characters out of a Bogart/Becall film.
Rooms are HUGE, beautifully decorated and offer charming views of candy colored houses or the bucolic courtyard. If you must seek absolution - there's a spa, free Internet and a tantalizing breakfast buffet. (Their coconut cake is so moist it is positively sinful!) http://www.pousadas.pt/