Southern Brazil is off the radar of many tourists, perhaps because the southern states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul lack the prestige and excitement of Rio de Janeiro. But this region is already a destination for tourists from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay who come for the beautiful beaches, nature, culture and more. It is here in diverse Southern Brazil that you can experience German culture, including Oktoberfest, thanks to the large number of German immigrants who settled here. This region is also home to the Museum of Oscar Niemeyer--Brazil's best known architect--and the Serra Verde Express train ride through the Mata Atlântica (the Atlantic Rainforest).
For travelers who wish to experience a relaxing stay in Southern Brazil, these three luxury hotels/resorts are sure to please.
Ponta dos Ganchos, Santa Catarina
The luxury hotel Ponta dos Ganchos is a remote retreat surrounded by crystal blue waters and hidden among tropical woods and oyster farms in the state of Santa Catarina. This retreat boasts secluded beaches, an infinity pool, and complete services for its guests, which include meals at anytime and a restorative spa. Guests can also relax at the game room, cinema, tennis courts, and gym. Due to the rugged location of this hotel, it is not suitable for small children.
Ponta dos Ganchos offers 25 free-standing suite bungalows. Each bungalow has a king-size bed, walk-in closet, Jacuzzi or infinity pool, and, in the Brazilian style, a hammock on the veranda. All rooms also include an LCD TV, DVD player, bottled water and Nespresso coffee machine, and guests are provided with their own pair of Havaianas (Brazilian flip-flops). Rates start at about $2000 BRL (Brazilian reais) per night, and guests receive a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival when they book through Mr. and Mrs. Smith Hotels.
Costão do Santinho, Florianópolis
The state of Santa Catarina is known for its beautiful, pristine beaches and laid-back lifestyle. The capital, Florianópolis, also called Floripa, is located on Santa Catarina island. Known for its excellent surfing conditions, the city is popular among beach-loving travelers. Near the city is the resort Costão do Santinho, which offers guests a family-friendly experience of beaches, golf, and spa at the resort and stunning nature nearby. Located at the foot of a forested morro, the resort faces the sea, providing guests with stunning views of the ocean and a clean beach to enjoy.
The resort was recommended in the New York Times for families traveling in Brazil because the beach is safe, the resort is family-friendly, yet it's still off the beaten path.
The resort has been named the best beach resort in Brazil several times. Its aim is to provide a stress-free environment for families and couples to enjoy time among some of Brazil's most beautiful nature at Praia do Santinho (Santinho Beach). The resort offers hundreds of year-round activities, with recreation for children, shows, six distinctive restaurants, heated pools and a spa. In addition, the resort offers several types of rooms. The Azorean-style villas sleep two to six people and offer comfort with the rustic charm of a beach house, but each is decorated independently, so it is recommended to stay in the hotel. The Hotel Internacional offers rooms of varying sizes, all suites with balconies with a view. Hotel rooms sleep between two and four people, and all can accommodate children in extra beds.
Saint Andrews, Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul
The Saint Andrews hotel is a stunning property located in Gramado in the mountainous countryside of Rio Grande do Sul. The hotel is about an hour's drive from the Porto Alegre International Airport. The exclusive hotel prides itself on offering a peaceful retreat and therefore has just 11 different accommodations and does not allow children. The rooms are beautifully decorated with European-style touches. Summer in Gramado is considered the low season, but the town of Gramado is one of the best places to experience Christmas in Brazil.
During their stay, guests can enjoy biking, wine seminars, and cooking classes. The hotel also includes a well-stocked wine cellar and a sophisticated restaurant which serves international cuisine. Rooms run about $2800 BRL per night.