Fazenda Santa Vitoria

Queluz, Sao Paulo & South, Brazil Book from Book from £261 per night

A working farm on 1000 acres of picturesque land with an organic kitchen, 13 rooms and unspoilt views of the Mantiqueira Mountains
If it wasn’t for the caipirinha in your hand and tropical leaves swaying in the mountain breeze, the views from Fazenda Santa Vitória could be mistaken for a dramatic Swiss landscape. The Mantiqueira Mountains frame this Brazilian 19th-century farmhouse, which has seen its pastures produce coffee and sugar cane in years gone by. Today, 300 dairy cattle gently graze the land, which is permeated with nature trails, protected by a stream and has its own waterfall for wild dips.

The Paraíba Valley, meandering near the state border between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, is the setting for Fábia's fabulous farm. She and her team welcome couples, friends and families on a full-board basis to their farmhouse and kitchen like old friends. We absolutely cannot wait to pay a visit and become part of the family. Step inside and feel echoes of Brazil’s colonial past through the furniture and artefacts adorning the 13 rooms and mountain houses. If you can tear yourself away from the rolling hills and charcoal mountains (the views are enough to stop you mid-conversation) there are pure linen bed sheets to spread out on, a welcoming organic restaurant, a pool to cool off in, and a wood-fired sauna and caldarium waiting to melt away the last of the modern world’s tensions.

Highs

  • If you’re looking for peace and tranquillity, you’ve found it here. Streams, waterfalls and mountains – the ideal setting to meditate on life
  • Or if you're feeling more active, there's tennis, horse riding, bocce, wild swimming and more
  • Mariza’s organic farmhouse cooking has been winning guests over, and we can’t wait to try it
  • Discreetly perceptive host Fábia will ensure every serene moment blends flawlessly. Feel slightly chilly? She’ll bring blankets and light the fire before you’ve even asked
  • Despite feeling a million miles from anywhere, the farmhouse is actually quite close to the main BR-116 road linking Rio and São Paulo

Lows

  • Fazenda Santa Vitória is closed Monday-Wednesday, with some exceptions in January and July
  • No TV in the rooms and guests have noted patchy WiFi, but this is a chance to digitally disconnect for a while
  • Be aware that it's 2.5-3 hours' drive from São Paulo or Rio airports, but transfers can easily be arranged if you don't fancy the drive
  • The Mountain Houses are 800m down a road, so you'll need to make the small trek back to the main house for all your meals

Best time to go

There’s no better time to embrace the brilliance of Brazilian culture than around Carnaval (Feb-Mar for 1 week; dates change) but prices generally soar across the country. No doubt you’ll need a breather from back-to-back block parties and parades, so decompress in the Paraíba valley – 2.5-3 hours’ drive from both major carnival cities São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Or if you prefer to explore the mountains in cooler, calmer months, then July to September is your best bet.

Our top tips

Look a little closer as the gardens darken at sundown and you might see the shy twinkling of fireflies. Don’t worry if you wake in the night and need something either – there are always members of staff keeping watch over the farmhouse.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique hotel
  • 13
  • Organic farmhouse kitchen
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: Every Monday-Wednesday
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Pool Table
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The Main House Suites have maintained the character of the original farmhouse – open deep cobalt wooden shutters to let the gentle mountain breeze waft through the room. These can be made up with double beds instead if you prefer a cosier sleep. These are also closest to the pool, caldarium, games room and dining terrace.

The Family Suite in the main house comprises two connecting rooms with 1 double and 3 single beds sharing a bathroom. If the sweet mountain air isn’t enough to stimulate your senses, bury your head in the fragrant bed linen and towels (the goose feather pillows are especially comfy).

Those looking for a little privacy from the community spirit of the main house will prefer the four Garden Suites (exclusively for couples). Each has its own private terrace protected with jungle leaves and a hammock.

There are also two Mountain Houses with sweeping views over the valley. They’re 800m from the main house and have a full kitchen, wood stove and private sun deck.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Toiletries

Eating

Wake up each morning to breakfast from the traditional farmhouse kitchen, with every dish enjoying the magical touch of Mariza – her use of seasonal, local and organic ingredients is praised by all who stay (apparently her homemade natural yoghurt from the farm is a must).

Lunch and dinner will vary each day, but you can expect Mariza to whip up a host of homemade delights. Guests have been enjoying gazpacho, salads, moist duck risotto with orange zest, corn polenta with sausage ragu, feijoada with farofa (stew with crumbled cassava), milk pudding with lemon zest, dulce de leche and Romeu and Julieta (an unusual snack of sweet guava paste and salty, white cheese).

If the barbecue's on, try the grilled tilapia or pacu, or you could choose a fresh pizza from the clay oven. And what better to wash down this feast? Someone from the team will make you a delicious caipirinha or take your taste buds on a tour of local cachaças. Sip and watch the sunset.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take some time to bathe in the glorious nature that surrounds Fazenda Santa Vitória: listen to the creek, wander around the farm and pause on its pastures
  • Explore nearby Itatiaia National Park, admire the Pico das Agulhas Negras, head to the Waterfall of God and take a scenic trek with 9 waterfalls along the way – perhaps you’ll spot a rare muriqui monkey, toucan or Atlantic royal flycatcher along the way
  • Play tennis on the courts, or head to the games room for table tennis, pool, gym equipment, bocce and foosball
  • Take to the nature trail on horseback, there’s plenty to see on the farm
  • Borrow a bike and cycle around the hacienda's 1000 acres of land – head to the waterfall for a refreshing dip in its glassy waters
  • Fazenda Santa Vitória’s vision of a hot tub is a wood-heated caldarium. Submerge yourself in its warmth and feel the tension fade, or head to the wood-fired sauna (if you’ve been partying at the carnival, this detox is a must)
  • Cool off in the unheated outdoor pool – it doesn’t contain any chlorine

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Pool table
  • Tennis
  • Waterfalls
  • Wildlife

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, although there's only a maximum of 6 allowed at Fazenda Santa Vitoria at any one time, so check when booking. The owners invite families to enjoy the farm with their children, but there aren't any specific activities put on for their entertainment.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The owners direct those with kids to the Main House Suites, as they are closer to the pool, games room and other communal spaces to rest, relax or burn off that excess energy. The Family Suite is also ideal for those with older children as there are two connecting rooms.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Waterfall
  • Tennis court
  • Swimming pool
  • Milking
  • Trails and walks through pasture, by the river and the farm

Families Should Know:

The Mountain Houses have an unfenced deck. The pool and wood-heated caldarium are also unfenced, so keep an eye on kids wandering around the grounds

Distances:

  • Airport: 2.5-3 hours
  • Hospital: 25 minutes (Queluz)
  • Shop: 25 minutes (Queluz)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Fazenda Santa Vitoria is located in the Paraíba valley, between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and close to the border between those states. It's 200km (2.5 hours) from Rio, 260km (3 hours) from São Paulo and 500km from Belo Horizonte.

By Air:
Fly into either Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. Transfers can be arranged. There is also a private helipad homologated by ANAC.

From the Airport:
Fazenda Santa Vitória has easy access to the Presidente Dutra (BR-116) and SP-054 highways.

By Car:
If you want to hire a car please see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Rio de Janeiro (Galeão) 200.0 km GIG
  • São Paulo (Guarulhos) 260.0 km GRU

Other:

  • Beach 174.0 km
  • Shops 24.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

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