Florianópolis, an island state capital and one of the top summer destinations in Brazil, has several hotels, pousadas and guesthouses with charming traits all their own. Scenic locations, integration with nature, special themes, and upgraded comforts are among the best features of these places to stay.
The décor at a given charm pousada or hotel might not appeal equally to everyone, but there's enough variety to increase the chances of finding a getaway that feels just right.
Adding to the charms of each place to stay is the local vibe. Floripa's safe atmosphere and the islanders' welcoming attitude make it a top destination for family vacations, solo journeys, and romantic travel. There are attractions for everyone, from young surfers to senior travelers. The city is also one of the gay-friendliest destinations in Brazil (read more about it in Brazil Ecojourneys and read an interview with co-owner Marta Dalla Chiesa).
Here's a roundup of charming choices in several areas of Florianópolis, in a wide range of prices.
To get your bearings, see this Florianópolis map on the city administration website.
Old World inspiration permeates this boutique hotel near the lovely Lagoa da Conceição and some of the island's best beaches.
Besides having cozy guest rooms, Quinta das Videiras has nice amenities such as ofuros and breakfast served in the guest rooms.
Beachfront Pousada da Vigia, on the island's northern end, is the only Florianópolis member of Roteiros de Charme, Brazil's charm hotel association.
The décor takes a seat back to the views from some of the guest rooms, the restaurant or the deck. The pousada keeps up several sustainable and inclusive practices, such as the use of green cleaning products, and community projects.
The 24 suites at Villas del Sol y Mar are spread over four towers with design inspired in the Emerald Coast in Sardinia, Italy.
English and Spanish are spoken at the hotel at the end of Jurerê Beach known as Jurerê Tradicional.
The suites have mini kitchens, Nespresso machines, a pillow menu, and LCD screen TVs.
At the other end of the beach, Jurerê Internacional is Floripa's posh summer party center.
Villas del Sol y Mar is particularly appealing to upscale family travel or trips with a group of friends because the hotel also comprises the stunning Villas Residências, houses with two to five suites for up to 10 people.
Tea (chá) is the theme at this pousada, once its owner's summer home in Jurerê Tradicional. The guest rooms at Pousada dos Chás are named Ginseng, Peppermint, Anise, Chamomile and so on; afternoon tea is served every day (a silver tea set is used), with some tea made from herbs grown in the pousada garden and homemade cakes.
Though one of the coziest places for couple in Floripa, some of the rooms have twin beds and can fit up to three guests. Box spring beds and Egyptian cotton towels, a small pool and a hot tub are some of the comforts.
With broad beach views and comfortable suites, Pousada dos Sonhos is great for romantic travel - but it's also one of the top places in Florianópolis for family vacations thanks to its roomy two-story cabins and the quality of the beach (Jurerê Tradicional).
Travelers looking for upscale summer partying are a walk away from Jurerê Internacional, at the other end of the beach.
The beach is very simpática and so is the pousada: Praia do Campeche, with just the right mix of natural beauty, summer party vibe, and casual hospitality to make it one of the top beaches in Floripa, is home to pretty Pousada Vila Tamarindo Eco Lodge.
Surrounded by tropical gardens and just a ten-minute walk from the beach; colorful and with a free carbon seal; welcoming to international guests (English, Italian and Spanish are spoken), the pousada is what a lot of travelers associate with island life.
Every year the pousada closes during part of the winter for improvements and renovations.
Not only is Pousada Pénareia a toes-in-the-sand at one of Floripa's most beautiful beaches, but it's also a departure point for several other attractions, including the secluded Lagoinha do Leste, Matadeiro Beach and Campeche Island.
Owner Klaus Greiner, an avid Brazil and world traveler, enjoys sharing his deep knowledge of the island and organizing tours, as well as helping guests with tips about everything local, from ecotourism to bistros.
Breakfast rich in homemade items and cozy ambience are other perks at this pousada which is particularly suitable for couples with a love for adventure travel.
Though not fancy, Pousada Colinas da Lagoa wins the guest with its comforts and colors and a quiet location a short walk from the best points at Lagoa da Conceição.
News of Márcia's hospitality have traveled far via word of mouth. Janela de Márcia, her whimsical B&B with en suite rooms - each with its own entrance from the garden - is one of the best-loved places to stay in Florianópolis among international travelers and featured by pousada pro Alison McGowan on Hidden Pousadas Brazil.
English, Spanish, Italian and German are spoken at this small pousada with a very international vibe on the border of Jurerê Internacional and therefore close to all the area's best summer party and nightlife scene at lounges such as Café de La Musique.
In Mediterranean style, the pousada has lots of nice corners for reading and chatting with friends; the terrace with a view of the ocean is one of the best. The guest rooms have box spring beds, hair dryers, mini refrigerators and wireless internet access.
Five apartments on the shores of Lagoa da Conceição: here's a good choice for travelers who really want to make themselves at home in Florianópolis.
A kitchen, a balcony, a living room with a fireplace you'll be happy to have on chilly winter nights; a sauna or a spectacular view are some of the perks awaiting guests - email the owner for more details about each apartment. In the common area, there's a pool overlooking the lagoon.
Perched atop a hill overlooking Lagoa da Conceição and on the way to Joaquina and Praia Mole, compact and cozy Studio Formana is owned by Dieter and Annemarie, a European couple with a great love for Florianópolis.
This home away from home has quaint accommodations for a couple or a single traveler.
The retro decorative scheme in the living areas speak of a lived-in history: Quinta da Bica d'Água, opened in 1996, is a converted residence still owned by the family. Recent expansion brought the number of guest rooms from seven to 30; the new wing contrasts with the original construction in its almost stark gloss.
However, the top attraction in this centrally located hotel (5 minutes from the town center, 15 minutes from the airport) is the 4-acre garden, planted and tended over nearly three decades and home to several species of tropical plants, such as palm trees and bromeliads, and birds. That and the captivating hospitality make Quinta da Bica d'Água a popular venue for weddings and parties.
A beauty salon is available for guests; café colonial (afternoon coffee with several types of cake and pastries) is served Wed-Sun from 3:30p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (optional and open to non-guests). English is spoken.
With eight rooms - some with king size beds, others with twin beds - often occupied by guests who arrive at the guesthouse via personal recommendation, Rosa dos Ventos is open seasonally only. It's located in a quiet street a few blocks from a scenic stretch of coast on the island's southeast, about 18 miles from the town center. Email or call the cell phone for available dates.
On the northeastern side of Florianópolis, Pousada Rio Vermelho has a main house, suites and bungalows with the rustic touches of a ranch. The setting is beautiful and preserved: Moçambique, the longest beach on the island (nearly 5 miles) is part of the 98-acre Rio Vermelho Forest Reserve.
Pousada Rio Vermelho is listed on Pousada Hotel Brasil, part of Hidden Pousadas Brazil by Alison Mc Gowan.
English, Spanish, French and Italian are spoken.
The bungalow and the five suites at Pousada das Palmeiras each have a theme - Air, Bamboo, Sea, Palm, Garden, Lagoon - which influences its color scheme and choice of decorative objects.
The location is Canto da Lagoa, a corner of Lagoa da Conceição that has several restaurants.
The one suite at Bistrô Isadora Duncan, one of the best bistros in Florianópolis, has a comfortable bed with 500-thread sheets, a home theater and a covered balcony with a hot tub and a spectacular view.