“A serene and contemporary guesthouse with light, colourful rooms and a central location in one of Brazil's most charming towns”
Inside Casa Turquesa's Portuguese-blue doors, a haven of calm, cleanliness and care awaits. Just 9 rooms wrap around the leafy courtyard and deck-lined plunge pool. There's a library of art books and a colour scheme of snowy white and vibrant brights. Sao Paolo-born owner Tete spent 5 years perfecting her hotel, applying interior design secrets gleaned during many years in France. It was a true labour of love. Today this care and attention is evident in the team's outstanding service and the hotel's homely atmosphere. A true gem.
- A colonial building with a funky facelift - beautiful rooms, homely touches and an outdoor Jacuzzi plunge pool (a welcome relief after a hot day exploring Paraty)
- A fabulous location, right next to the harbour and 2 blocks from Party's best restaurants and bars, yet the street is very peaceful
- Tete and her team are fantastically welcoming, displaying that rare combination of friendliness, approachability and utter professionalism
- Taking boat trips around the bay, snorkelling in crystal clear waters, swimming with turtles, hiking through tropical rainforest to hidden waterfalls - so many activities on your doorstep
- We left feeling refreshed and revitalised, fully appreciative of why Casa Turquesa is so renowned
- It is expensive, but the service and detail offered is incomparable - we left thinking, yes, this is worth the money
- The hotel is kept so admirably clean and tidy - no mean feat given the muddiness of the surrounding streets - that the more laid-back visitor may feel obliged to tip-toe around a little
- There’s no restaurant, but eating out is part of the Paraty experience
- Paraty's drains are as old as the architecture, so at low tide you may get an unpleasant whiff
- Strict cancellation policy
Best time to go
The most famous local festival is FLIP - the International Literary Festival (July). The Festival da Pinga (or Cachaça Festival) is a celebration of sugar cane liquor featuring samba and food stalls (August). The Festival of the Holy Ghost is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday. And the spectacular Bloco da Lama (mud festival), coincides with Carnival (February).”
Our top tips
We'd also recommend packing comfy shoes (for coping the cobbled streets), plus plenty of mosquito repellent and sun cream (it gets extremely hot). Upon check-in you'll be given a pair Havaianas to wear inside; it's a Paraty tradition that no shoes are worn in the home.”
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast only (+ restaurants nearby)
- Over 14s only
- Open all year
- Plunge Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Each of the 9 immaculate suites is named after a different colour, and all reflect the vibrant shades seen in the streets of Paraty (coloured shutters, doors and windows). No expense or attention to detail has been spared. The décor is a blend of snowy white and the suite's namesake. Finely varnished hardwood flooring runs throughout.
The Luxury Suites are more than adequate, with top-quality queen beds, discreetly-placed plasma TVs, walk-in showers and sheets of Egyptian cotton. If budget allows and romance dictates, the Master Suites are fantastic. We really couldn't fault ours. Expect spacious rooms with kingsize beds, white sofas, Jacuzzi tubs and Juliet balconies overlooking the bay.
Homely touches prevent it from being clichéd - rattan chairs, striped rugs, small oil paintings, simple brass lamps - and it's this level of detail that really impresses. The beds are extremely comfortable, with plumped pillows. The minibar is free (apart from alcoholic drinks) and is filled with an array of snacks and soft drinks. Tete even sourced her mosquito nets from Bahia; cushions and runners are handstitched.
Ensuite bathrooms have little wicker baskets full of Granado toiletries and thick towelling dressing gowns. The intensive power showers are an invigorating highlight.
- Air conditioning
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Mosquito net
- Plunge pool
- Safe box
Breakfast is either served in your room (you can fill out a form selecting what you want the night before) or in the guest lounge, a vibrant room with zesty leather sofas offsetting the exposed stone walls. A large round table is set with blue and white china; guests can eat communally or take their plate to a sofa or outside. The food was some of the best during our trip - courses of fruit, pastries, tapioca pancakes, muffins, cooked eggs, cakes, juices and great coffee.
Although there's no on-site restaurant as such, the kitchen can prepare delicious light snacks (ceviche, carpaccio and salads) to have by the pool, in the bar or in your room - wherever suits you. They are also happy to prepare lunch hampers if you are heading out for the day. Afternoon tea with fresh homemade cakes was served every day during our visit.
There are a wealth of good restaurants and bars within a minutes walk of the guesthouse - one of the best is Banana da Terra. It's pricey but has a great atmosphere and fabulous food. We also enjoyed great carpaccio and excellent ceviche at some of the small informal local bars. Paraty has some excellent eateries but there are also some overpriced tourist traps so ask Tete for her latest recommendations.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Wander around the cobbled streets of UNESCO-listed Paraty. Its colonial architecture, emblematic of the 17th-century gold rush, is wonderful. You'll find pretty coloured houses, art galleries, artisan shops and quirky cafes. Street music and artists will keep you entertained; linger over a coffee and people-watch
- No visit would be complete without a boat trip around the beautiful lush bay of Ilha Grande. We chartered our own boat to swim with turtles and discover awesome beaches and coves – unforgettable. Casa Turquesa fixed us up with Andre, an English-speaking captain - ask for him and you won’t be disappointed
- Visit Paraty’s 4 churches. Capela de Santa Rita (built 1722) was used by white nobility and freemen; the rustic Igreja de Nossa Senhora was used by African slaves; Capela de Nossa Senhora das Dores acted as the church for rich nobility; and Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora do Remédios, the largest church, was funded by a local woman but never finished
- Hit the beaches - regular boats go from the nearby port. Meio and Trinidade are postcard perfect; Fora is a hub of bars and restaurants; Cachadaço's rock formations form a vast pool of water in which you can swim with the fish - a natural aquarium!
- Paraty's Casa da Cultura (House of Culture) houses a permanent exhibition on local history and culture, with photos and videos illustrating the lives of citizens. Art house films are sometimes screened, too
- Paraty is surrounded by national parks. Head inland to hike through the Serra da Bocaina National Park and see its prehistoric cave paintings and waterfalls
- Further afield (25 minutes), you'll find the stunning Praia Fazenda beach - a 4km stretch of white sand - and Picinguaba, a lovely fishing village village
- Hike a section of the Caminho de Ouro ('Gold Trail'), which slaves once carried gold along. Local guides will walk with you and explain the history
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures