Hotel Review Blog | World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Ganchos

As the new year is just around the corner,  I’m reminded of  Ponta Dos Ganchos, which could just possibly be one of the most gorgeous destinations in the world. If you are looking for a great sunny destination, why not try Brazil?

Our family visited this dream destination last year. We celebrated New Year’s Eve in the Brazilian tradition, complete with sending off candles into the ocean.  This 35-room hotel is an idyllic hideaway nestled in the hills near Florianopolis, a tropical island off the coast of Brazil and a short flight from Rio de Janeiro.

Best Luxury Travel | Luxury Travel Hotels | Hotel Review Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Ganchos

Breathtaking views of emerald green and blue waters can be seen from every private bungalows built into the hillside.

Hotel Review Blog | World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Ganchos

Lounging on the beach is the order of the day. Stress? What’s that?  No worries here!

Hotel Review Blog | World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Ganchos

The hotel beach is private, as is the small island accessed by a wooden bridge from the beach, used for romantic dining and sun bathing. The photo above shows dinner on its way to the island the first night of our trip. Or, if you just want to enjoy sumptuous appetizers, such as the hotel’s famous fresh oysters and grilled mussels, these too will be served on the island. Guests are encouraged by staff to take off their shoes (sandals provided), leave the world behind, and settle into island life.

Hotel Review Blog | World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

The Gourmet Review

The number of romantic options for dining, whether in the beautiful restaurant, on the island, or  on the scattered white lounge beds, seems endless. The fresh, healthy food selections each day are worthy of their own post, but suffice to say, the culinary genius of Chef Luiz Salvajoli was reflected in every meal.

Luxury Travel Blogs | Top Food Blogs | The Gourmet Review

The Gourmet Review

Each day tables were beautifully set. The atmosphere was one of luxuriating for hours with family and friends while savoring multi course meals.

Hotel Review Blog | World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Ganchos

As to be expected from a Relais & Chateaux hotel, the food, which is inclusive for the resort, was simply extraordinary  – “like a miniature gourmet festival.” Breakfast was served until 4:00 in the afternoon and consisted of a nine course tasting menu – small tastes of fresh ingredients. A sample breakfast might include a kale, apple, lemon and ginger shot,  a plate of strawberries and mango or fruit assortment, fresh yogurt with grapes, quinoa and honey, an assortment of freshly baked breads (including croissant au chocolate), a sliced cheese and meat platter, as well as a main dish – perhaps a baked miniature french toast sandwich with ham, a quail egg with spinach cream or a stuffed pancake!

Hotel Review Blog | World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Ganchos

Salads were made with fresh greens picked from the hotel garden that morning. These beautiful salads were the first course for every lunch and dinner.

Top Food Blogs | Gourmet Food Blog | Best Travel Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Gonchos

Seafood was caught hours before serving. For lunch, once a week, fresh grilled fish was featured on the day’s menu, accompanied by a selection of grilled vegetables, with farofa, garlic chips and arugula vinaigrette.

World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Ponta Dos Gonchos

Once a week an assortment of meat selections was grilled to order. One day our selection featured ancho beef with grilled vegetables, chorizo beef and lamb.

World Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog | The Gourmet Review

Courtesy Ponta Dos Gonchos

Dessert might be mango crumble with grape sorbet or freshly sliced fruit. Whatever it was, the plate was as artistically pleasing as the food.

Gourmet Food Blog | The Gourmet Review

The Gourmet Review

Best Luxury Travel | Gourmet Food Blog | The Gourmet Review

The Gourmet Review

Whether paddle boarding, snorkeling, canoeing or surfing nearby, there was always plenty to do. When returning to the room, one might find a plate of chocolates on the nightstand or red rose petals framing the bed. The outdoor hammock was a magnet for stepping on the deck to enjoy the view and possibly a quick jacuzzi.

We flew a long way to experience a Brazilian New Year’s celebration and we were not disappointed. The staff provided world-class service.  As you can see, guests were given their own bottle of champagne with sequined PDG (Ponta Dos Ganchos) 2012 as s souvenir..

Luxury Travel Blogs | Top Food Blogs | The Gourmet Review

Courtesy Liza Rodriquez

We began the night with champagne and  a six-course meal for dinner. The dining room was transformed with hundreds of white flowers and sparkled with candles and live entertainment in the background.

Best Luxury Travel | World Travel Blog | The Gourmet Review

Courtesy Liza Rodriguez

After dinner, we moved to the beach, complete with leather sofas (white, of course), a dance floor and a stage for the band. Music was played from around the world and we danced until we couldn’t stand a moment longer.

Hotel Review Blog | world Travel Blog | Gourmet Food Blog

Courtesy Jennifer

In Brazil, the Orisha (New Year’s) festival enjoys great popularity. According to Yemanja Tradicion, thousands of people show up on the beaches in Rio de Janeiro and throughout Brazil’s coastline to deposit offerings to the goddess of the sea. It was fun participating in this tradition.

Each guest at Ponta Dos Ganchos was given a blue boat with a white rose, a candle to light at midnight and the traditional story  of ringing in the new year. At precisely midnight, we lit our candles and walked into the water to cast off our boats to make our wishes for the next year. We will never forget ringing in the 2012 New Year  in Brazil. Try this dream destination anytime of year!

 NOTES

A special thanks to Gustavo, holding the champagne bottle in the photo above, and Eva, who made sure we had everything we needed seemingly every minute of the day!

Ponta Dos Ganchos  has justifiably enjoyed such awards as Conde Nast “Most Excellent Romantic Hideaway,” as well as awards for  “South America’s Leading Boutique Hotel, “ and Tatler Magazine Travel Guide’s, “101 Best Hotels in the World” awards.

– The Gourmet Review

Print Friendly
Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks