Casa Turquesa is an elegant and luxurious guest house right at the heart of the colonial town of Paraty, Brazil. On the edge of the sea and virtually pouring directly out of the area’s lush, green tropical forest – Paraty is a dream for those who love peace, relaxation, history and art. Casa Turquesa is owned by Tetê Etrusco, and she runs it like it’s an extension of her home.
I was a guest recently here and fell in love with the hotel and the place immediately. Arriving on Paraty’s bumpy cobblestone streets is an experience, but it’s fairly easy and only a three to four hour journey south of Rio de Janeiro. I planned to stay in Paraty two nights, and, by the time I left, wished I had stayed longer.
As soon as you arrive Casa Turquesa you’re greeted with a friendly welcome and offered help with your bags. The subdued lobby is composed of stone, tile and soft linen fabrics – making it breezy, warm and relevant to the hotel’s surroundings. Art fills the walls and, in a moment, you have an espresso in-hand and you’re ready to explore. Upon arrival, Casa Turquesa provides turquoise or white sandals for you to keep. This is to encourage guests to take off their shoes when entering, as Paraty streets can get wet, dirty and sometimes flooded when it rains. While inside, you can traverse the grounds in your sandals, leaving your outdoor shoes in the front baskets.
A renovated aristocratic building with just a handful of suites, Casa Turquesa is a dream for anyone who loves history and design. Paraty has been an important city in Brazil since the 1500s and, today, it’s been transformed into a paradise for artists who love the sheer beauty of the area and the colorful colonial buildings that line the cobbled streets.
My room was very charming. It consisted of a cozy bed, television, desk, table and chairs, coffee area, walk-in closet and large bathroom. It’s a great place to write, draw or paint – and you’ll love the serenity that naturally fills each nook here. My windows looked-out onto the well-manicured courtyard, which offers a pool, lounges and lush landscaping.
After arrival, two turquoise cocktails were brought to my room with mixed nuts and olives, a beautiful touch.
While exploring Paraty, you will undoubtedly realize it’s not just a haven for art galleries and antique stores, but for phenomenal dining options. Restaurants spill-out onto the streets, lit by candlelight. Or, you can journey down to the beach area where you’ll find stunning food options along the shore. No doubt, you’ll have incredible Brazilian and international cuisine while visiting.
Afternoons at Casa Turquesa are quiet. I chose an old book from the in-house library and relaxed on a lounge chair by the pool. At 3 pm, daily, the kitchen offers a selection of tea, coffee and freshly-made cakes to choose from…a little pick-me-up. Breakfasts are an affair with beautifully set tables and many options on the menu from eggs, local fruits, homemade yogurts, Brazilian tapioca and pastries.
For anyone visiting Paraty, Brazil, this is the place to stay. Casa Turquesa is timeless, so much so that you’ll forget time even exists and never want to leave.