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Sometimes, reality collides with the wildest of dreams. Casa do Mar brings together a well preserved coastline, bountiful and lush nature, and a refined house filled with ostentatious luxury and the colours of a warm and peaceful Brazil far from mass tourism. Set on wooded slopes that plunge down into the water, accessible only on foot, this Portuguese colonial-inspired villa overlooks gardens scattered with a multitude of plants and the ocean below. The property seems dedicated to the simple and yet rare joy of living in total harmony with its environment. Cradled by all kinds of wonderful sensations, guests will feel transported to another world so close to paradise.
I lived in Sao Paulo for three years and often spent my weekends in the Paraty region, the most beautiful region along the Brazilian coast, in my opinion. In 2000, I had already understood that city life and working for a company no longer interested me. I wanted to live in nature and was on the lookout for a solution. It was love at first sight when I discovered the preserved natural paradise of Picinguaba. I resigned from my multinational company, bought this building with plans to renovate, and came to live here and develop the place of hospitality in the middle of nature that I had dreamed of. Halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo, it was an ideal spot neither too close nor too far from the big cities. Above all, it was within a strictly protected natural park that cannot be built on, which guaranteed that nothing would move. Picinguaba offered the extraordinary possibility of a life surrounded by nature within a traditional fishing community protected from mass tourism. Very little has changed since I arrived.
It was built in the 1970s in the middle of the Atlantic Forest in a Portuguese colonial style typical of the region. It was something of an architectural feat as the materials had to be brought up a small dirt road in the forest. There is still no car access today, which guarantees seclusion and absolute silence. In 1986, it was declared that the site could not be built on. It is an enormous privilege to be able to reside with so much comfort despite the wildness of the surrounding nature. The complex has nine bedrooms and a suite facing a magnificent garden with large trees, lounges, a dining room decorated in an original Brazilian style, a spring water swimming pool with a breathtaking view of the bay, and practically no other traces of human activity in sight.
The community of Picinguaba, which is home to 350 inhabitants, was founded around one hundred years ago by a mixture of descendants of the indigenous people who lived here, slaves who worked in a sugar cane production mill a few kilometres away (which still exists) and European immigrants. This mixed coastal population, which was largely cut off from the world until the road was opened in the 1980s, has developed a unique lifestyle in harmony with nature. They are known as “caiçaras”. Their culture is highly protected today, and Picinguaba has undoubtedly been their most emblematic place since the 1980s. For this reason, the location has mainly attracted artists and intellectuals in search of an authentic Brazil close to Sao Paulo.
The experience of life as it was before. Access to sumptuous and overwhelming nature, from ocean and deserted islands, to immense beaches, forests filled with extraordinary biodiversity and cinematic waterfalls, all right on our doorstep. A powerful return to nature. Everything is organised with a focus on the outside. The hotel is where guests then come to rest and enjoy 100% local food made with products from the sea and the forest, or grown in our nearby farm (the Fazenda Catuçaba) where guestss can also spend a few days. Depending on the wishes of our guests, a large number of well-being and adventure activities can be organised such as therapeutic massages, yoga, hiking, fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding, and tours of the historic village of Paraty (a UNESCO world heritage site just thirty minutes away). The layout of the hotel, which consists of two houses with a total of thirteen rooms, allows us to frequently organise exclusive all-inclusive stays for groups or families. The extraordinary kindness of the people of Brazil is an integral part of this experience which is always filled with joy.
On site, visit our slow-food restaurant which can be reserved for lunch and dinner to try the catch of the day, or enjoy a very local lunch right by the water on the beach with Dona Rosa, a local figure. Visit the historic site of the old cane sugar factory. Go for a swim in the nearby river and forage for your lunch with Cirilo who will cut up your heart of palm right then and there. Spend a morning in Paraty, a small colonial town by the sea which seems to have remained unchanged since its foundation in 18th century, and whose Tupi name is that of a small fish from the coast. Stay there for lunch at the Banana da Terra restaurant.
15000 € - 25000 € per week
5000 € - 7000 € per week-end
The Pousada consists of Casa do Mar and Villa Casa Verde which can be rented together or separately. La Casa do Mar has nine bedrooms, one suite, ten bathrooms and can accommodate twenty guests. La Casa Verde, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, can accommodate up to six guests. A home theatre, a wood-fired sauna and a swimming pool complete the package. Breakfast and dinner are included, as well as well as full house servicing. Lunch is optional. Many activities are offered on site.
270 € - 450 € per night
The hotel has thirteen en suite bedrooms divided into two separate houses: Casa do Mar and Villa Casa Verde. Guests have access to the living rooms, a home theatre, a wood-fired sauna and a swimming pool. Breakfast and dinner are included, lunch is optional. Many activities are offered on site.