Most accommodations in Ilha Grande are located in or around Vila Abraão, although some more exclusive pousadas are hidden away in secluded natural settings. Aside from camping sites (which abound), pousadas tend to be fairly simple, although not always that cheap.
Less expensive than many beach pousadas and more tranquil due to its luxuriant hillside setting,
Pousada Naturália (Rua da Praia 149, Vila Abraão, tel. 24/3361-5198, www.pousadanaturalia.net, R$100–200) is an enticing option. Double, triple, and quadruple suites are handsomely finished with lots of polished natural wood and wide terraces where you can settle into a hammock and gaze out to sea.
Also welcoming is the cozy Pousada Mara e Claude (Rua da Praia 333, Vila Abraão, tel. 24/3361-5922, ilhamara [at] ilhagrande [dot] org, R$120–180 d). The friendly proprietors, Mara and Claude (a former sausage-maker from the south of France), have decorated the modest rooms with homey touches that will make you feel like a house guest.
For complete Edenic isolation, with lots of comfort and shades of Zen, it’s hard not to succumb to the spell cast by Sankay Pousada (Enseada do Bananal, tel. 24/3365-4065, www.pousadasankay.com.br, R$270–370 d full board, reservations essential, closed in June). Located on Ilha Grande’s northeastern shore, the only way to get here is by boat (pickup and return from Angra dos Reis is included in the price). A dozen individually decorated chalets (for double, triple, or quadruple occupancy) overlook a very private beach, making this enchanting pousada ideal for small groups and families as well as couples. A multilingual library, a swimming pool, and sauna complement the natural relaxants offered by waterfalls and a crystalline sea full of brightly colored fish.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition