Luxury Hotel FlorianopolisThe Insider's Destination: The Ponta dos Ganchos
Every once in awhile, a place comes along that is a destination unto itself. Enter the Ponta dos Ganchos, a haven in the Santa Catarina region of Brazil, outside of party central Florianopolis. The epitome of chic, the Ponta is a retreat set in a simple fishing village, where if you never left the property for your stay, you would get still have a huge dose of culture, gourmet cuisine and good old-fashioned detox from every-day life. This is the vacation away from your vacation.
Good For: Couples. This is the place that cranks up the romance factor.
Recommended Stay: 3 nights
Why to go:
· This is a destination for the well-heeled, and well-traveled. You’ve been to all the big names, but the Ponta attracts those with a high level of expectation in service, experience and accommodation. It will impress even the most jaded, seasoned traveler.
· Recharge your batteries. Let’s face it; most of us run right above the empty line in our tank of gas. This is a place where sleeping in is guilt free in your sedately elegant and lavish suite, and lighting a fire on your private deck overlooking the bay while taking in the sunset with a glass of wine is a must on the itinerary.
· The food. All we can say is the morning starts out with a tasting menu. Seriously. And breakfast runs all day, because the Ponta puts you in such a relaxation mode that sleeping till one like your college days is perfectly acceptable. The presentation is off the charts during breakfast, of everything from mini croque monsieur, terrine of fruit salad and up to 6-7 other courses that you have to experience to begin to comprehend. All the meals are incredible; a favorite is also the seafood grill at lunch, where you get a taste of huge prawns, lobster, fish and other seasonal creations right off the grill along with healthy side dishes. No one is going hungry at the Ponta.
· Natural beauty. Even the drive from Florianopolis airport is picturesque, as you wind through hillside landscape with stunning views on the way to the resort. The boat excursion from the Ponta is also breathtaking, where you imbibe on oysters and champagne on a traditional fishing boat and explore the coastline of Santa Catarina. The area is stunning, whether you’re sitting on the beach or touring one of the oyster farms and eating fresh oysters right out of the ocean.
You’ve stayed in some pretty impressive accommodations, but nothing really prepares you for the deeply luxurious and comfortable suites of the Ponta dos Ganchos. While every accommodation is a home run, this is the place to splurge on the room, where the Esmeralda, with its outdoor Jacuzzi and fire pit overlooking the bay, or the Especial Esmeralda with all of the above and private plunge pool, are just what the doctor ordered. Especially when the prescription includes your own personal spa in the room, where you have a full-size sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and double shower heads in a bath bigger than most apartments. So settle in, and get ready to be a better person when you emerge from your stay at the Ponta.
Things to do:
· Paddle Boarding;
· Scuba diving;
· Exploring the deserted beach of the Praia de Fora Trail;
· Tour of the area with a private guide, including the oyster farms;
· Excursion into Florianopolis to explore the city;
· Private boat excursion along the bay with oysters and champagne;
· Spa – they know how to do a killer massage;
· Helicopter tour;
· Dining experience on the private island next to the resort, where you have the whole run of the place to yourself;
· Cooking class where you pick your own ingredients from the garden with the chef and learn just a few of their secrets;
· Take in all of the food experiences, from the never-ending breakfast, seafood and steak grill at lunch, traditional Brazilian food and gourmet dinners. Three days is barely time to feel like you’ve experienced enough of the team’s culinary skills.
In other words, if you need a multitude of diversions, the possibilities extend to creating a longer vacation with the Ponta as your base. They also now have direct flights from Florianopolis to the Iguacu Falls, so you can spend a night at the Belmond as part of your Brazilian experience.