“Beautifully restored home turned boutique guesthouse, in the heart of the historical centre”
A friend suggested she open up the house's 3 suites to paying guests, which to our delight she did in 2010. Later, in 2017, she added 2 further suites - mini-apartments really - in a second building in the outlying Caboré district. Jô's expert eye and exquisite taste have created a relaxed home for guests who appreciate the comforts of rain showers, high-thread-count linens on blissful beds, bountiful breakfasts, and white-on-white uncluttered interiors. There's just the right amount of shabby-chic; everything is immaculately kept. Step through the blue front door into the living room, which flows out to the patio with its plunge pool, pergola and tropical plantings. Venture out into Atlantic rainforest to slide down waterfalls, visit cachaça distilleries, hire a boat to sublime beaches and swim in turquoise seas. Gorgeous.
- The Pousada is close to the historical centre and the boat pier (for trips to islands and beaches), but being on one of the quieter streets is very tranquil
- Great value for money
- The Pousada is flexibly set up for couples and families alike
- Lovely details include the shutters, the Main Suite's balcony, fresh flowers everywhere
- If staying in the Guest House Suite, you get a kitchen for self-catering
- No meals served other than breakfast, so you'll have to eat out, although there are plenty of options on your doorstep
- No suites can be configured as twins
- Don't expect the full amenities of a hotel:the Pousada provides a more informal experience, and Jô's English is limited
- The Caboré annex (which we have not seen yet) is in a less characterful part of town, 20-30 mins' walk from the main Pousada and the historical centre; but it does have gated parking
- Book early for High Season, as there are only 5 suites
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Guesthouse
- Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Plunge Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
The main Pousada has a homely, welcoming ambiance with a wonderful lightness of touch. Expect white interiors with pops of colour in armchairs and a few pictures, but no extraneous bric-a-brac. From wide floorboards to copper sinks and beautiful antique side tables, you know you're in the presence of a master decorator.
Jo's original bedroom is now the Main Suite, up a little staircase from the living room. Here you'll find a kingsize and single bed, cobalt and scarlet armchairs, a long ensuite bathroom with rain shower and tub, and a small balcony which overlooks the patio and rooftops and banana fronds towards the sea. There's space for an extra bed, too.
The Garden Suite is the smallest (and not strictly a suite) with a queensize bed and charming shower bathroom. Just outside is the patio and pergola where breakfast is served; your alfresco living room.
Across the patio is the 2-storey Guest House Suite. This is a spacious affair benefiting from shuttered windows and a private entrance to the street. A small kitchen has fridge, hob, copper sink and microwave; there's a dining table and armchairs to the other. A bathroom with a sunken tub plus rain shower leads off the main room. Upstairs, the bedroom has a kingsize bed, a day/single bed and views over rooftops towards the sea from its dormer windows. There's plenty of space for an extra bed, too.
The Caboré Annex contains just 2 suites: a vast Main Suite of 90 sq.m. with its own living room and kitchen, and a slightly less huge Pool Suite with a living room and direct access to the rooftop pool. Breakfast is also served here (until 11am), which is handy because it's 20-30 mins' walk to the main Pousada and historical centre.
Whichever suite you book, you'll find 400-thread count linens, fresh flowers, beach/pool towels, a fan and air-con (much needed in the summer). Bathrooms have robes, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. As often in Paraty, you're asked to remove outdoor shoes once inside - but i-escape guests will find a free pair of Havaianas awaiting them for indoor use.
- Air conditioning
- Beach towels
- Central heating
- Extra beds
- Honesty bar
- Plunge pool
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is the only meal available - but what a feast! Served at the time of your choosing in your suite or out on the patio, you get trays of fresh tropical fruit (sometimes served as a fruit salad), ham, cream cheese, a basket of freshly baked breads, yoghurt, squeezed OJ, granola, condiments such as local honey and jam, eggs cooked to order and plentiful tea and coffee.
For other meals, if staying in the Guest House Suite or the Caboré Main Suite, you'll find enough cooking utensils to rustle up a meal on the hob; there's also cutlery, pots and pans, microwave and a kettle. For guests in the other suites who want to prepare a quick sandwich or make a cup of tea, just ask and you can use the kitchen in the main house.
Dining out is a treat in Paraty. Stroll around the cobbled streets to find a cuisine of your fancy - the Pousada provides a map of the town with restaurants highlighted. We dined at Margarita Cafe one night - delicious cocktails and great specials. We also really liked the innovative fusion cooking at the more pricey Banana de Terra, which gives a contemporary twist to local ingredients especially seafood - think fish with bananas or tapioca puree or their own take on traditional moqueca. At the other end of the scale, there are a number of Thai and pizza takeaways. Paraty is home of cachaça; there's even a shop in town selling nothing else so be sure to imbibe.
For lunch, you'll most likely be out on an expedition, so try the eateries by the beach or near the waterfalls. We had a memorable fish and chips plus beans and salad lunch in a little shack by the water, which we were taken to by our skipper on our boat trip. If in town, try Galeria do Engenaho or Pizzeria de Cidade.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Stroll around enchanting Paraty, taking in its restored colonial architecture, boutiques and shops, art galleries, 18th- and 19th-century churches, and colourful boats
- Take an unforgettable boat trip around the coastline. We loved the Dona Geralda schooner ably skippered by Cléberson and Daniela. Either potter about the local islands, clamber up to the fort, try your hand at fishing, visit a jungle-swamped old cachaça distillery, or laze on a (nearly empty) beach
- Good hiking is possible in the Atlantic rainforest along the coast
- Hire a car (and driver if you want) and head up to the Tobogã da Penha waterfalls where you can swim in fresh-water pools or slide in the stream down granite slopes; dry off at the nearby cafe and visit the Engenho D'Ouro cachaça museum and distillery
- Paraty Tours, just a few streets away, can arrange riding, sailing and kayaking (summer only), scuba diving, jeep tours, mountain biking and surfing expeditions
- Paraty is renowned for its Contadores de Histórias puppet theatre, whose expressive puppets have a big following; shows Wednesdays and Saturdays 9pm (not aimed at children) and have a September festive
- Birding is good along this coast; look for hummingbirds, black vultures, herons in the creek opposite the Pousada, and caracaras
- Walk up to Forte Defensor, an 18-century construction, which still has British-made cannons atop its ruined walls. The Powder House has been turned into a small museum about the local indigenous peoples who still live in Paraty Mirim and inhabit the Atlantic rainforest hereabouts
- For yoga, massages and treatments, visit Shambhala spa about a 3-minute walk away; a masseur can also come to your room, see Rates
- There are some tennis courts nearby, and there's a cooking school in the parallel street
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Puppet theatre
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
Children are made very welcome here. Several suites can sleep 3-4, but you'll need to bring a travel cot for babies. There are plenty of family-friendly activities around Paraty, from boat trips to excursions to waterfalls. As the historical centre of the town is pedestrianised, it is safe to wander around, although the ancient cobbles aren't great for pushchairs. There's a small grocery shop near the main Pousada, and bigger ones 500m away; the fruit market and pharmacies are about 300m.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Caboré annex suites each sleep 4 in comfort, using either 2 double beds or 1 double and 2 singles. Both have a living room and the larger suite also has a kitchen. In the main Pousada, the best option is the 2-storey Guest House Suite, which is slightly separate from the main house and has its own small kitchen/living room. It has a kingsized bed, single bed, and space for an extra bed so can sleep 4.
On request - note that the 'sitter is unlikely to speak much (if any) English.
A complimentary basket of toiletries for babies and toddlers is provided on arrival. If you're staying more than 2 nights, you are also given a bowl of tropical fruit.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- Splash around in the plunge pool
Kids Activities nearby:
- Boat trips are always fun for the whole family
- Kids will love the nearby beaches: those at Trinidade are pretty safe with shallow inlets, and rocks for clambering over, plus a river heading through the sand to the sea to build dams on
- The waterfalls and river inland are fun for swimming in too
- If you're here for a festival or for Carnaval, the colourful sights and costumes are mesmerising, and many kids would love to dress up!
Families Should Know:
The plunge pools in both buildings are unfenced. The local streets flood at high tide when there's a full moon (though temporary bridges and ramps are provided), and Rua Fresca (where cars are parked) is close to the water's edge, so keep an eye on small ones. Don't expect cruise boats to provide life jackets. Plug-in mozzie repellent is provided. Tap water is unsafe to drink, but both houses have a water dispenser.
- Airport: Around 4 hours
- Hospital: 10 minutes
- Nearest shop: 2 minutes