Location in a tiny, unspoiled fishing village — a welcome escape from Sao Paulo or Rio
The farmhouse kitchen–style dining, featuring homemade bread, zingingly fresh fish and local produce
Sweet, solicitous service by the 100 percent local, pousada-trained staff
What To Know
Rooms are on the small side and simpler than you might expect, with no room service and only basic amenities
Access to the village is via a winding, steep, pedestrian-only path
Get ready to get off the grid: no Internet, cell phone signal or TV on the property
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Artfully simple seaside sleep between Rio and Sao Paulo, with beach access, homemade food and a charming staff
Seaside simplicity in a Brazilian country house style, with white walls brightened up by royal blue trim, and red tile or wooden floors. Candles bring a gorgeous glow to the main lounge at night, where a fire is kept burning on rainy or cold days. Fine old maps, traditional craft art, and Brazilian photography and painting adorn the walls, but they’re all outshone by the richest color accents of all: the lush green of the garden and the changing blue of the sea beyond.
Bed and Bath
The pousada’s setting within a state park means there’s no room for expansion and space is at a premium in the simple bedrooms. But the owners make a virtue of that simplicity, decorating the rooms in a mix of white walls with tile floors and cool blue accents. Petite bathrooms are stocked with Natura toiletries in tropical scents, with powerful showers that can leave the floor a bit awash. The kingsize beds have canopies with brilliant white mosquito nets, while the generous verandas feature hammocks and are cleverly shielded from one another by lush greenery.
Dinner is served around 8 p.m. every night, and pre-dinner drinks (not included) offer a chance to chat with fellow guests. Or step in and join the bartender as he shows you how to make the perfect caipirinha. The staff is fiercely proud of the fresh fish and local produce here — much of the vegetable and dairy produce comes from sister hotel Fazenda Catuçaba — and the bread and cakes are all made on the premises. The buffet-style dinner might be a rich, savory coconut and seafood stew or roasted fish with a rainbow of colorful vegetables. Massages and beauty treatments can be arranged, or just flop down by the pool, in the well-tended garden.
In the Area
The point of the Picinguaba is its Zen-like simplicity, set in an unspoiled, still-working fishing village. Take a stroll to the beach to watch the catch being brought in, or take a dip in the ocean. Or stop for a beer or a juice at the friendly Picinbar, where they serve a spectacular camarão na moranga: pumpkin filled with shrimp in a creamy sauce. You can catch a WiFi wave here, too, if you’re in need of a connection. The long, deserted two-mile beach visible from the pousada can be reached by kayak or via a 20-minute walk that includes fording a river; there’s no bridge, so the only way is through the water (the hotel provides water-resistant bags). Tag along with the staff on a trip to buy fish, or to collect fresh, sustainable hearts of palm from a nearby settlement. Or book an organized hike to a waterfall or a boat trip to the nearby islands, or head for the historic, cobblestone town of Paraty, 30 minutes away.
Rua G, 130, Vila Picinguaba
How to Get There
Flights are available to Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) via connecting flights from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Helicopter and car transfers to/from GRU, about 102 miles away, can be arranged through the property (inquire with them for more details). If you’re renting a car for the transfer, free self-parking is available.