“One of Brazil's best small hotels, set in a private nature reserve 3.5 hours' drive (or a short helicopter flight) north of Rio”
The main house, Engenho, has 8 large suites which are decorated uniquely, with a large dose of rustic flair. They’re spilt into Engenho Suites, a bigger Reserva Suite, and the largest, the Gran Reserva Suite. They bring together local handicrafts and culture in wall hangings and wooden furniture with modern-day treats like iPod Bose SoundDocks, L’Occitane toiletries and personalised Havaianas.
Beds are super-kingsize, or 2 singles if you prefer, made up with 100% Egyptian cotton linen. You also get comfortable armchairs, bathrooms with underfloor heating, showers and a freestanding Victorian-style tub. One has a stunning bath in the main bedroom hidden behind long green drapes; another has a colourful wall hanging. Some have views from their baths, towards the hills and countryside beyond.
There are also a couple of private houses, which we haven’t seen yet, set away from the main lodge. The closest is Carlinhos (100m), renovated in 2013, and houses the Carlinhos Suites and the Luxury Carlinhos Suites which has its own outdoor hot tub and is the largest suite at Reserva. Viradouro is a kilometre away, and is powered solely by alternative energy (solar thermal); it is also located by some beautiful and secluded natural pools, ideal for swimming. Within are 3 cosy, rustic Viradouro Suites with wood burning stoves. All the houses are ideal for independent honeymooners or groups, they are more private and have more of a wilderness appeal, being very close to the river.
Take this as a chance to explore the best in authentic Brazilian cuisine - all meals are included, and the food is delicious. Breakfast is a spread of warm corn bread, homemade cakes, platters of sliced fruits, and meats and cheeses. Juices are just squeezed; the coffee is freshly ground. Lunch and dinner make use of the restaurant’s wood-burning stove and include the likes of suckling pig, chicken in brown sauce or polenta with sausage and salads, along with fruits and vegetables from the garden.
Meals are served around one big table in the dining room, by a window for spectacular views, but if you'd prefer to be private, you can. We'd recommend a meal under a Jabuticabeira tree, or more cosily on one of the balconies. There's a good wine list to accompany your meal, and staff can recommend food and wine matches if you ask.
There are some lovely extras, too: a small café at the stables where you can be refreshed with tea and cakes after a riding tour, and the bar by Engenho’s Waterfall, where staff can whip you up an excellent caipirinha.
Children are welcome at all times, and the reserve is a wonderful place for children to explore and learn about the environment, flora and fauna, as well as the farm. Each suite can fit a rollaway bed, one can fit two, and cots can be supplied.
Children (4-12 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available