Tamsin Wressell paddles through Brazilian mangroves to a private island on a wellness trip in Paraty
Inside a colourful, colonial-style, whitewashed facade with turquoise frames and shutters, Casa Turquesa is all exposed brick and traditional style mixed with luxury and artistic touches. Ten coloured baskets line the front door — one for each suite — containing indoor flip-flops for each guest. An open-plan living area spreads out into an outdoor Jacuzzi pool hidden among palm trees and plants, before leading on to a glass-fronted library.
Exposed beams, white walls and a turquoise bathroom keep the design theme running through the small hotel. Our sizeable room was decorated with colourful pictures of parakeets and macaws. A queen-size bed draped with a mosquito net and pure white chaise longue and sofa sat beneath a row of windows overlooking the pool, with a forested mountain in the background. A separate dressing area offers umbrellas, straw hats and wellies in our sizes for use during our stay. The mini bar was stocked — and regularly refilled — with complimentary soft drinks and snacks.
A welcome kiwi caipirinha was followed by the hotel’s afternoon tea — freshly baked marble cake with a selection of refreshing fruity teas. Breakfast was a continuous stream of delicious small dishes served private buffet-style. Freshly squeezed juice was followed by a pot of coffee, yogurt, granola, a selection of local fruits (including persimmon, mango, kiwi, papaya and avocado), baked banana, hams, cheeses, homemade pastries and cakes, cheesy buns and eggs cooked to order.
The wellness programme
Tete, the owner, believes that wellness can be found in the surrounding town of Paraty. The hotel works with Paraty Explorer to provide relaxing excursions for guests. I choose a sea kayaking trip, which takes me and my partner out on a solo trip with our guide, Michael, through the bay of Paraty and Mamangua Tropical Fjord. We paddle through mangroves out to a private beach, where we stop to refuel before heading back. Going above and beyond after our tour, Michael takes us into the rainforest to a natural pool, a waterfall we can slide down and a traditional cachaca distillery.
The kayaking trip was one of the most peaceful trips I’ve ever experienced, with Michael perfecting the balance between providing historic information and interesting facts and allowing the space and time to soak in the natural surroundings. As fish jumped in the sea, tropical birds skimmed the water’s surface and the rainforest’s trees gently moved in the breeze, no single other person was in sight. My mind felt rebalanced after our previous stop in bustling Rio de Janeiro nearby.
Kayaking through the mangroves where the rainforest meets the ocean, dotted with vibrantly coloured crabs scuttling along the overhanging branches.
The suites are ideal for couples, with a family suite also available. Suitable for leisure travellers looking for local experiences laced with luxury.
A one-night stay in the Brown Suite at Casa Turquesa on a B&B basis starts from R$1625 (£315). A half-day sea kayaking trip costs from R$142 (£28), including bottled water and snacks.
How to get there Easy Transfer Brazil offers transfers from Rio de Janeiro to Paraty for R$95 (£18).
Share this post