“An exceptional country inn located in the delightful historic village of Tiradentes”
This colonial-style manor house with its 18 rooms, all elegantly furnished with antiques, local artworks and fresh flowers, has been nurtured over the last 30 years to become the very best of its kind. It's deeply civilized: afternoon teas are a highlight, whilst its gardens with orchids growing in the trees and visiting marmosets never let you forget where you are. A good excursion from Rio.
- Located in one of South America's most perfectly preserved colonial villages, with film and culinary festivals in January and August respectively
- The owners are a great source of local information and will help organise excursions, hikes and riding
- Comfortable, tastefully decorated bedrooms
- Delicious breakfast and afternoon tea
- Pretty garden and swimming pool
- The wonderful scent of ylang ylang flowers as you enter the gates
- No children under the age of 8 (a bonus for some!)
- The rattling of trucks over the cobblestones can be heard from some rooms
- There's no restaurant in the evenings, but there are many good eateries within walking distance
- It's popular with Rio folk so getting availability at weekends can be difficult
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast only (+ restaurants nearby)
- Over 8s welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
The 18 rooms offer a high standard of accommodation. Each is furnished with antique furniture, wooden beds dressed with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and pretty fabrics. Some have wooden floors reclaimed from old fazendas, others coir carpets. Fresh flowers and original paintings by local craftsmen add to the charm.
The Superior Rooms are spacious and mostly overlook the garden. The slightly cheaper Standard Rooms face the old stone bridge that leads into the village, so you may hear the carts and trucks rattling over the cobblestones. Of the 10 rooms we saw, our favourites were Room 14, with a gorgeous four-poster bed and a sitting area leading onto the garden, and Room 7, with its delightful hand-painted blue furniture. Of the Standard Rooms we especially liked Room 5 with its Toile de Jouy fabrics and view of the river.
Most of the bathrooms feature local stone - arenite, sandstone and granite - plus white fluffy towels and walk-in showers (no bathtubs). Simple toiletries are provided, as well as hairdryers. Some also have windows overlooking fabulous trees with brightly coloured flowers.
Since our visit, 5 large Massimo Suites have been built in an annexe, sharing a veranda entrance and with windows overlooking a private garden. Similar in style to the other rooms, they have the additional benefits of more space, kingsize beds, high ceilings and comfy sofas. Room 15 has an impressive soapstone bathtub.
- Central heating
- Extra beds
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is served in a delightful first-floor room with full-length windows overlooking the lawn, which is frequented by tiny marmosets. It's a homely affair with checked tablecloths, fresh flowers, distinctive pewter coffee pots and blue ceramic crockery made by a local artist. Freshly-squeezed orange juice, papaya, watermelon, yoghurt, granola, creamy scrambled eggs and gooey cakes were all delicious, and the warm home-baked corn bread, fresh cheese and invigorating home-roasted coffee all added local flavour.
The hotel doesn't serve an official lunch or dinner, although they do offer soup, sandwiches and light snacks throughout the day. There are also lots of restaurants within 5-10 minutes' walking. Most menus are in Portuguese but the hotel provides a translation sheet. Viradas do Largo is highly recommended for lunches, serving dishes such as Caipira chicken and Tropeiro beans with bisteca (grilled beef steak). We also particularly enjoyed our dinner at Tragaluz: stylish and atmospheric with delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
Solar's pièce de résistance is its complimentary traditional afternoon tea - don't miss the tea, cakes and sandwiches served at 5pm each day. Drinks are also served by the pool during the day and there's a bar offering a selection of fine wines.
- Restaurants nearby
- Wander around the cobbled streets of Tiradentes, with its beautifully restored colonial architecture, Baroque churches, galleries, cafés, restaurants and shops (particularly good for handicrafts, antiques and local pewter)
- Keep your eyes peeled for dragonflies - the bio-diversity of the nearby forest and savanna ecosystems have produced an abundance of the pretty insects in the streams and lakes
- Go horse-riding at a local farm - you can even take a night-time trek, by the light of the full moon
- Take the old steam train from Tiradentes to São João del Rey - a scenic 13km route, along a narrow 76cm gauge, which has been running since 1881 (currently only Friday and Sunday); at São João, you can listen to Brazilian church music in the old Baroque style
- Drive around the various villages and fazendas of the region, some of which date back to colonial times. Other attractions en route include an 18th-century distillery, a collection of ancient cars, saddleries, wood carvers and traditional weaving displays
- Laze in the lush gardens or unwind in the sauna, then cool off with a dip in the pool
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children over 8 years are welcome - Rooms 1, 10, 14 and 15 can each accommodate one extra bed and Room 9 sleeps up to 4 people. There are few facilities specifically for children, but there's a swimming pool and lovely gardens where they can play with the marmosets.
Family friendly accommodation:
Extra Beds Available
Solar da Ponte is situated in the historical village of Tiradentes, which lies in the state of Minas Gerais. Located inland on the eastern side of Brazil, it's 230km from Belo Horizonte, 300km from Rio de Janeiro and 480km from São Paulo.
There are daily direct flights to São João del Rey Airport (12km away) from Rio's domestic airport, Santos Dumont (a 40-minute flight) or from Belo Horizonte (a 20-minute flight). The hotel can then arrange a transfer from the airport to the hotel (a 30-minute drive) - see Rates for prices.
Belo Horizonte Tancredo Neves Airport (180km) is served by domestic airlines from Rio and São Paulo. From here you can hire a car for the 4-hour drive to Tiradentes or catch the bus to the domestic airport to fly to São João del Rey.
If you want to hire a car, please see our car rental recommendations. The drive from Rio to Tiradentes takes 4-5 hours, along a very scenic route. It's a 3-4 hour drive from Belo Horizonte, and a 6.5-hour drive from São Paulo. The hotel has secure parking.
Brazil has an excellent network of long-distance buses, with air conditioning, bathroom facilities and reclining seats on board. If you'd like to travel by bus from Rio, the hotel can book your ticket for you then arrange for a taxi to meet you at the international airport and take you to the coach station, and for someone to meet you in Tirandentes. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com
More on getting to Brazil and getting around
- São João del Rei 12.0 km JDR
- Belo Horizonte Tancredo Neves 180.0 km CNF
- Beach 300.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km