By Brazil Nuts Director ADAM CARTER
Now about the accommodations: While they – like the airfares! – are not cheap, there is a nice selection to choose form, and my top picks are as follows: The most famous is of course Maravillha, the celebrated pousada owned by several Sao Paulo celebrities. Nice guest chalets and an invisible edge pool dropping to the sea make it as exclusive as can be, and the service is hushed and almost oriental in its nature. While its stunning views and location almost right on the beach makes it a top pick, it is very pricey. Is it worth it? I’m not so sure. It has the name and cachet, but may not be the best overall value .
That distinction probably goes to Pousada Ze Maria, named after its colorful owner. While not on the water, it also has great views as it is set at the base of the iconic finger mountain (visible from almost every point in Fernando). A series of chalets circle the inviting pool area, and they offer privacy and a very classy ambiance. Another plus is the sensational restaurant which once a week offers a gastronomic event that is not to be missed Perhaps the best value in terms of price, location, style and features is Solar do Ventos. Owned by a delightful family headed by an Army Officer from the south of Brazil who was stationed here and never left, it is situated behind Maravillha, within walking distance to the beach. The cabanas are decidedly simpler than the above two options, and there is no pool. But what it lacks in snazzy facilities it more than makes up in a homey environment which is – again – in a great location.
Rounding out my top picks is the Pousada do Vale, located – of course, in a valley – in Remedios Village. It is a pousada, no chalets, and the rooms up and down the hallway have an almost dormitory like feeling to them, but the energy is great. Very friendly, a younger decidedly more budget crowd. And it is in walking distance to everything you cold want in Remdios, making it a rather happening place. Final note: To go much cheaper in the official hotels or pousadas is – in my mind – not worth it. Either choose one of these caliber options, or really drop in price – and style – and stay at a “familiar”, or bed and breakfast run by locals (often with partners form the mainland. Simple, funky, but a god way to see Fernando on the (relative) cheap.
Bottom Line: If you are an adventurer and love beaches, this is a must visit, time and budget permitting. Especially great for Honeymooners looking of that get-away-from-it-all experience. There is nothing like it. I suggest 3 nights, perhaps 4. Combine Fernando with Recife and Olinda – and maybe Porto de Galinhas– and you have a fantastic 7-9 day Brazilian experience that has it all.