Set on a peninsula between two sleepy, brightly coloured fishing villages and an hour’s drive from fashionable Florianopolis, lies one of my favourite Brazilian honeymoon hotels, Ponta Dos Ganchos.
Everything at this oh-co-chic Relais & Chateaux hideaway is geared towards romance and relaxation; there’s no time limit on breakfast, the gorgeous Christian Dior spa is housed in three ocean-view pure white tents and there’s a state-of-the-art private cinema. Even the beds are a treat; the resort has joined forces with A-list favourite Cia do Sono mattresses to guarantee you the best night’s sleep of your life due to infrared rays which work with your body shape (we don’t get the science but believe us, it works!).
It’s hard to imagine how large and sprawling the resort is when you sweep up the driveway, so well hidden are the ochre-coloured, bougainvillea-clad bungalows nestled into a hillside. Stay in a Da Vila bungalow and you’ll discover a vast, modern wood-and neutrals-filled space with exciting extras like swivel flat screen TV, log fire, sauna, double hammocks, plunge pool, Nespresso coffee machine and outside shower. Each bungalow is so far from the next that you really don’t have to mingle and, with a maximum of forty guests at any time, it only ever feels peaceful.
Time to dine
At the bottom of a winding hillside path there’s a rustic restaurant serving gourmet food and a strip of white sand beach lapped by emerald green water. When it’s time for an afternoon snooze, head to the giant daybeds on the terrace above the beach (top tip: take your after-dinner drinks up there at night too when it’s candle-lit).
A honeymoon highlight is dining on the resort’s tiny private island, which is attached to the mainland by a wooden walkway. Tucking into delicious dishes like octopus rice and basil (a local speciality), at a petal-strewn table beneath the stars with not a soul to break the peace makes it one of the most exclusive dining spots in the world.
Back to nature
Nature is an important part of the Ponta Dos Ganchos experience and there’s a well-marked trail to wander; iguanas scuttle into the undergrowth, exotic flowers bloom everywhere and you can take a boat to nearby uninhabited islands for a dive or snorkel.
However, the reason Ponta is really head and shoulders above other honeymoon hideaways are the staff, who second guess your every move: favourite drinks are remembered and served without asking, candles lit when you return to your room at night and your initials drawn inside chocolate hearts on top of your coffee at breakfast. Honeymoon heaven indeed.
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