Fasano Angra dos Reis is not your typical island hotel. Just three hours south of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, this property is a part of the famed Brazilian hotel and restaurant group’s growing repertoire. Angra dos Reis, or Bay of Kings in English, is a chic archipelago of 365 islands with 2000 beaches where wealthy Brazilians from Rio and São Paulo vacation to get away from the city. There is everything here from beaches and bays, golf courses and fabulous restaurants. But, what people really come for is the sun, sand and peace and quiet that is much needed in today’s hectic world.
I was a guest at Fasano Angra dos Reis recently and absolutely fell in love with the area and the property itself. The best way to arrive Angra if you’re coming via Rio is to hire a private driver. The road is windy and will take you approximately three hours to reach the hotel, but the drive is beautiful. I made my way through the lush, green rainforests and found myself pulling into a gated community of sorts where a wood and concrete architectural masterpiece rose mightily out of the green plants and azure water that lies just in front of the front door.
Fasano is famed for using Earth tones in the decor of all their properties. The hotels seem to blend seamlessly into the surroundings and they always know how to use local, raw materials to build something quite fantastic. Upon check-in, I was offered an espresso and cookies. I was greeted by a warm reception and promptly shown to my room, which was on the third floor. Rooms at Fasano are large, with views of the beach, surrounding hills and property. There are only 60 rooms, so each one has been well-designed and showcases the fusion of Brazilian and Italian design, offering sumptuous beds, coffee stations, spa-like bathrooms, smart tvs, coffee stations and more. I was welcomed with two freshly cut coconuts and my favorite, brigadeiros (Brazilian chocolate and dulce de leche spheres).
Fasano Angra dos Reis offers a true paradise that you’ll never want to leave. There are indoor and outdoor pools, a huge spa with a phenomenal array of services, dining options – including the Italian restaurant, Restaurant Fasano. There’s even a small line of boutiques and shope where you can stop to order Italian gelato to take with you to the beach.
One of the best activities that can be arranged by the property is a day on a private boat exploring the islands and waters of Angra dos Reis. Fasano will pack you an elegant lunch that might consist of wine, caipirinhas, fish, pasta and salad – and shuttle you from secluded beach to secluded beach.
The waters here are very warm, some are emerald green and some are electric blue. No beach is the same.
You can stop to swim amongst coral reefs, swim to a local floating bar and just sunbathe on a stretch of sand that no one else knows about for miles around.
While on property I was taken on a short walk nearby. I expected to see beautiful forests, trees and, possibly, wildlife. But, I never expected the stunning waterfalls I encountered – especially those with swimmable pools beneath them. I was able to swim in the pools beneath the falls and spotted colorful birds, capybara and even a small jaguar. It was magical.
Angra dos Reis is a beach destination, one can’t help but indulge in the Brazilian and Italian flavors that Fasano offers on-property.
I dined with the hotel two night, one night at nearby Nobu, and was in love with what they offered from the kitchen. Fresh fish, homemade pasta and rice dishes – all with international and Brazilian influences.
The staff at the restaurant and in the hotel were beyond kind and attentive, catering to every need and making sure our experience was the very best it could be. The wine cellar is populated by both Brazilian and Italian wines, thousands of bottles to choose from. I indulged in a Barolo, my favorite from Italy and sank into the peacefulness that flows freely here.
I loved every dish that was served.
As I wrapped-up two nights here I was already planning my next trip. More islands, more beaches and more nights tucked into bed at the Fasano with popcorn watching Netflix. You simply can’t do better.