Ponta Dos Ganchos: A Hedonist’s Hideaway Dream
Santa Catarina Island is home to the city of Florianópolis, which is full of fashionable bars,
restaurants and shops, however the island’s main attractions, for Brazilians and tourists alike, are its beaches. Steer clear of the northern resorts in the summer, such as Jurerê and Daniela, as they tend to get very busy. For peace and quiet and excellent stretches of sand, head east to Morro das Pedras, or south Brazil to Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados, which can only be reached on foot.
Set on a peninsula between two sleepy, brightly coloured fishing villages, and around an hour’s drive from fashionable Florianópolis, is our favourite Brazilian honeymoon hotel, Ponta Dos Ganchos. Everything about this oh-so-chic Relais & Chateaux hideaway is geared towards romance and relaxation. There’s no time limit on breakfast, a gorgeous Christian Dior spa consisting of just three oceanview white tents and a private cinema. Even the beds are a treat: the resort’s young general manager Nicolas Peluffo joined forces with A-list favourite Cia do Sono mattresses to guarantee you the best night’s sleep of your life due to an infra-red ray (whatever – it works!).
It’s hard to imagine how large and sprawling the resort is when you sweep up the driveway, so well-hidden are the 25 ochre-coloured, bougainvillea-clad bungalows nestled into a hillside. Stay in a Da Vila bungalow and you’ll discover a vast, modern wood and neutrals-filled space with exciting extras like a swivel flat-screen TV, log fire, sauna, double hammocks, a plunge pool, Nespresso coffee machine and an outdoor shower. Each bungalow is so far from the next that you really don’t have to mingle and, with a maximum of 40 guests at any time, it always feels peaceful.
However, the reason Ponta is head and shoulders above other honeymoon hideaways is the staff, who second guess your every move. Favourite drinks are remembered and served without asking, candles lit when you return to your room at night and your initials drawn inside chocolate hearts on top of your coffee at breakfast.
Top Tip: When it’s time for an afternoon snooze, head to the giant day beds on the terrace above the beach, and take your after-dinner drinks up there at night too when it’s candlelit – no one else thought to do this when we were there so we had it to ourselves.
Honeymoon Highlight: Dining on the resort’s tiny private island, and tucking into delicious dishes like octopus rice and basil (a local speciality), at a petal-strewn table beneath the stars. Making it one of the most exclusive dining spots in the world.