Planning a trip to Ilha Grande? If you are in Rio, Ilha Grande is an easy weekend get-away. To get there hop in your car (or take the bus) to Angra. Normally you have the option of taking a ‘faster’ catamaran (45mins-hour) or the schooner (which takes about 1.5-2hours). Unfortunately when I went to catamaran was broken so the schooner was the only option. It leaves at 11am, 1pm and 5pm so plan accordingly as there is usually traffic. Note: GPS really needs to come up with a “Avoid the ghetto route” option… the drive is supposed to be very nice along the water, however our GPS chose a different-not as pleasant route… For the boat, bring sea-bands it can be a bit choppy out there!
Once you arrive you will be surprised at how cute the little town appears nested in between the mountains. Normally, the hotel will have a boat waiting to take you over to the hotel (its about 20mins walk from town), since it wasn’t there when we arrived we walked it. Hotel Sagu (shown above) is perfectly secluded and private yet close enough to town so you don’t feel stranded and its easy to walk to. The rooms are really nice with ocean views; each has its own private terrace area with table and chairs as well as a hammock, great for enjoying a bottle of wine while watching the sun go down.Our room was three levels, which was nice and made it feel like we had our own house for the weekend. First floor had the bathroom, here was a bedroom on the ‘second’ floor and the top floor was the main bedroom and terrace area. Overall it is nice and very spacious, surrounded by beautiful greenery and you can enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the shore from your room.Looking for some R&R? Make sure you reserve the jacuzzi ahead of time (it costs R$25 per person for them to turn it on etc). Then head up the stairs into the woods, tucked away in the hill you will reach the jacuzzi area. It is very secluded, quite and has an incredible ocean view. There is an outdoor shower, two chairs positioned to get the best view of the sunset, the piping hot jacuzzi and melting candles scattered around to set a romantic ambiance. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy the hot tub as it was scolding hot (feet still burning), maybe when you go you will have a different experience then we did!
Like all hotels in Brazil, there is a nice buffet breakfast of fresh fruits, breads and eggs served on its side restaurant terrace (below). With beautiful ocean views it is a wonderfully relaxing spot to start off your day… or end it here with a drink while you play pool or darts (FYI they are missing a 9 ball!). The hotel is also home to Restaurante Toscanelli one of the more upscale restaurants on the island.When packing, don’t forget to bring a flash light (the walk to town at night is VERY difficult if you don’t have one) and bug spray! I put on beg repellent every day and still managed to get covered in bites… thankfully I remembered to bring cortisone (if you have it bring it!)
I would recommend hotel Sagu with its great location, huge rooms and relaxing atmosphere we had a wonderful stay. Planning on doing one of the many boat tours (which I will cover in a future article- stay tuned)? The hotel will arrange to have the boat pick you up from their private dock!Check back for more posts on Ilha Grande!!