Though there’s no shortage of accommodations on Morro de São Paulo, be aware that high-season prices are much steeper than off-season. Rates listed are for the off-season. Although Morro is famed for its beaches, you’d be forgiven for trading an ocean view for one of the fetching rooms at Pousada O Casarão (Praça Aureliano Lima 190, tel. 75/3652-1022, www.ocasarao.net), located in the village. Choose from one of six rooms (R$170 d) in the early-17th-century main house (where Emperor Dom Pedro II reputedly stayed) or from one of the ten exotically decorated bungalows (R$200 d) set amidst a lush green garden with a swimming pool. Pousada Aquarela (Rua Porto de Cima, tel.
75/3652-1202, www.pousadaaquarela.com, R$80–130 d) is simpler, but the rooms are brighter and breezier. Built upon a verdant hillside, it offers guests the luxury of panoramic views from their verandas.
If you want to be right in the middle of all the action on Segunda Praia, Pousada Villa das Pedras (tel. 75/3652-1075, www.villadaspedras.com.br, R$160–220 d) is surrounded by boutiques and bars. Its rooms are well equipped and comfortable, though fairly minimalist. The more expensive ones boast sea views.
On Terceira Praia, it’s hard not to be seduced by the laid-back vibe given off by Hotel Fazenda Vila Guaiamu (tel. 75/3652-1035, www.vilaguaiamu.com.br, R$210–240 d, closed in May and June). Seven whitewashed chalets scattered amidst rustling coconut palms are home to 22 light-filled rooms. The conspiracy to relax includes a massage and yoga room on the premises.
The most secluded and upscale hotels are on the 2-kilometer-long (1.2-mile-long) Quarta Praia, among them Porto do Zimbo Small Resort (tel. 75/3652-2030, www.hotelportodozimbo.com.br, R$350–590 d). Though neither luxurious nor terribly stylish, this 16-room hotel in the midst of a former coconut plantation—and right in front of inviting natural ocean pools—offers lots of creature comforts at a very affordable price. Moreover, its eco-policies—recycling all materials (with profits going to the staff)—are admirable.
For an even more remote locale, walk another few kilometers to Praia do Encanto, where the Anima Hotel (tel. 75/3652-2077, www.animahotel.com, R$210–240 d) was the first hotel to be built, in 2005, on this utterly dreamy “Fifth Beach.” Its nine seductive and fully equipped eco-chalets are the epitome of back-to-nature chic. The only drawback is you might get to feeling a little isolated. On the upside, the hotel offers snorkel masks and binoculars so that you can commune with the exotic fish and birds sharing your ecosystem.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition