Accommodations and Food
The majority of the most appealing hotels and restaurants in the region are located in the countryside surrounding Nova Friburgo, meaning that in most cases you’ll need a car to get to them.
In town, a simple and comfortable option is the Hotel São Paulo (Rua Monsenhor Miranda 41, tel. 22/2522-9135, www.hotelsaopaulo.com.br, R$90 d), located in a pastel-colored old house. Despite the abundance of natural wood fixtures, the decor is somewhat somber and spartan. Amenities include wireless Internet access and a small pool.
If you want to be surrounded by mountain greenery galore, there are multiple options in the surrounding area. By far one of the nicest is Akaskay (Estrada Norge Hamburgo, Mury, access at Km 71 off RJ-116, tel. 22/2542-1163, www.akaskay.com, R$240–280 d), some 9 kilometers (6 miles) from Friburgo. Its comfortable Swiss chalet–style lodgings are entirely outfitted with cedar wood and feature stone fireplaces (unfortunately, electric). The surrounding area is equally alpine with stunning mountains crisscrossed by babbling brooks. A natural spring-water pool, a Jacuzzi, and a temple where Saturday morning yoga classes are held are all conducive to unwinding.
One of Friburgo’s finest and most centrally located restaurants, the small and charming Crescente Gastronomia (Rua General Osório 21, tel. 22/2523-4616, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Tues. and Thurs.–Sat., 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun., R$30–40) has an eclectic menu that runs the gamut from steaks and chicken to duck, rabbit, and local trout. Sauces and side dishes change according to the season, and the wine menu is nicely varied.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition