“Stylish beach villas overlooking an unspoilt bay - ideal for families, surfers and whale-watchers alike”
Vida Sol e Mar gorgeous 14 beach villas (sleeping 4-10) are carefully positioned on a grassy slope between the hotel's main restaurant-reception-pool area and the sea, blending in with the natural surroundings but also come with a large dose of style and comfort.
Named after local birds, each villa has 2-5 double/twin spacious bedrooms and numerous sleek bathrooms. All are a mere stroll across the dunes to Praia de Rosa and have different views of the sea, some spectacular (Itadega), some more distant (Cardeal); some offer greater privacy (Sabiá, Gaviao and Itadega). Some have pools (Itadega), others hot tubs (Coruja, Sabiá, Fragata, Tucano, Atoba, Gaviao, Beija-Flor, Piru-Piru and Baleia), but whichever is chosen, their large floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the coastal surroundings and we would be happy staying in any.
There's much use of local river stones and Brazilian hardwood, colour-washed furniture, contemporary halogen lighting and spacious living rooms. Villas wouldn't be complete without large barbecue grills (the owners are Argentinian after all!) and all have fire places, WiFi, phones, and very well equipped kitchens with washer-driers, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, and even blenders and sandwich makers. Rooms have AC and the living areas come with TV, CD and DVD players. From all first floor rooms you can walk out to wooden decks where there are hammocks, teak rocking chairs or loungers to laze in. There's also a daily maid service.
No matter the size of your group, there is a villa to suit you: Villas Golfinho and Coruja sleep 4, Villas Piru-Piru, Sabiá, Jerivá and the Vida Sol E Mar villas (Fragata, Tucano, Atoba, Gaviao, Beija-Flor and Cardeal) all sleep 6, Villa Baleia sleeps 8, and Villas Itadego and Gavota sleep 10. Villas Baleia, Jerivá and Itadego, as well as the Vida Sol E Mar villas, can be booked by the suite, too, and guests are able to share all of the living areas.
To take the edge off your journey, look beyond the welcome fruit bowl in your villa to find a complimentary shot glass and mini bottle of cachaca. Not just any type: this comes from the need-to-know bar, "Box 32" in Florianopolis, (said to be the best Cachaca you can buy).
If you're in a villa or suite, you're able to be self sufficient: the spotless kitchens have all you need (cooker, microwave, toaster, blender, dishwasher and plenty of crockery and utensils etc). Ask beforehand and they will stock up the fridge for you (it will already come with soft drinks) or arrange a cook - ideal for larger groups or families. But most visit the hotel restaurant and breakfast is included in the rates.
The main restaurant and bar (as well as reception and TV/library room) are set beneath a soaring wood and thatch roof at the top of the hill. An old wooden manoic press and 2 huge whale bones hint at local history. In low season they just use the smaller poolside restaurant but both have panoramic views over the bay. Sit outside on the deck when the moon rises from the sea and you won't forget it.
For breakfast there's a buffet. Catch owner Enrique holding onto his traditional mate tea canteen as he shuffles between tables. They lay on fresh juice, tropical fruit, hams cheeses, breads, pastries, jams, cereal and yogurt. Help yourself to coffee and tea and there's a hot tin with eggs. We loved the homemade chocolate cake and became addicted to making our morning misto quentes (simple traditional South American ham and cheese toasties).
Dinner and lunch are informal no-fuss affairs with a choice of dishes from Moqueca de Peixe (Bahian fish stew) or filet steak served with fries and fresh veg to a selection of simpler pasta dishes and healthy salads (grilled chicken with mango and palm heart hit the spot). They should be proud of their puddings - the hot chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, passion fruit mousse and flambeed bananas with dulce de leche were all sufficiently decadent. The food, as well as selection of wines and cocktails, are all reasonably-priced but if you are staying a while in low season, you may find the menu rather limited (it's the same every day for lunch and dinner).
If you want to eat out, it's a 5-minute drive or 10-20 minute walk over the hill and along the village dirt track to a handful of local restaurants offering simple Italian, Brazilian and Asian options. During the day you can get snacks and drinks down on the beach at the nearby wooden shacks.
Children of all ages are welcome here and there's easy access to the beach and plenty of space to run around in. The transfer from the airport can take 2 hours, so be prepared, but we think it's a great spot for a unique family holiday.
Children (4-12 years)
Villas range in size from 2 to 5 bedrooms, and most have at least 1 twin room. All can fit baby cots, too.
Babysitting is available by arrangement. English-speaking sitters can be arranged with advance notice. See Rates.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The restaurant has a kids menu with spaghetti, chicken and rice and tenderloin and fries and half portions of adult mains are on offer. Villa and suite guests have spotless kitchens at their disposal, with blenders and microwaves, and can order takeaways.
The pool isn't fenced and there are some stairs so tots need to be watched. The hotel can put netting around balconies for safety if needed. There's a pharmacy 1 km away that sells baby food and essentials and delivers; you can buy beach toys nearby.