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All reviews actual town small hotel relaxed atmosphere sao paulo municipality specialties eduardo stray immigrants stretch praia surfers beach brazil
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Reviewed 11 November 2017

This past September was the third time my wife and I have stayed at the Hotel Porto di Mare on Praia Enseada, Ubatuba, Brazil. Why do we keep returning? The hotel and the beach at its front door offer the best of everything, from genuinely courteous service to an immaculate beach that, on most days, is thinly populated.

The hotel was built by an immigrant couple from Italy in the 1970s. Now 94, Dona Alba, the matron, is constantly on the move through the small hotel, still checking on details to make sure all is up to speed. The hotel is still in the family -- grandson Eduardo and his Italian wife Inti are in charge today -- and the experience is much like being in a welcoming private estate. Yes, it's a three story hotel with more than 20 rooms, but the charm of the place is its relaxed atmosphere and the cheery disposition of the owners and their exceptional staff. Bruno, one of the staff members, is an English teacher and has a jazz program on a local radio station. Gustavo, another staffer, sells restaurant equipment on the side and is interested in political philosophy. And, Joao, the stray dog that's part of the family, has become a fixture around the hotel grounds (I take credit for naming the pooch during a trip two years ago!).

Ubatuba, about five hours from Sao Paulo, is a municipality that boasts dozens of beaches that stretch for miles along this section of Brazil's "Costa Verde, including some that are popular with surfers. The actual town of Ubatuba is but a 10 minute ride by bus or car from the Hotel Porto di Mare, and offers a bit of sightseeing, some shopping, and a good range of restaurants.

While at the hotel, don't be afraid to do a little exploring by foot. Winding roads behind the hotel snake up into the mountain that overlooks the beach, affording some spectacular views. An even more adventurous excursion is to follow a very primitive trail that leads from the beach over a small peninsula to a remote beach on the other side. Hardly anyone makes this trek and it is filled with memorable scenes of tropical nature at its most vibrant.

Back at the hotel, enjoy Italian specialties in the dining room or a caipirinha cocktail in the garden overlooking the beach. It's hard to imagine anywhere more pleasant.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

My wife and I spent a few days, and we had a great time, the staff is nice and friendly, and the place is clean with a laid back feel. The beach view and proximity is fantastic without being to luxurious, a great deal for the price, we are looking forward to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank SanPablo75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2016 via mobile

We stayed here for 3 nights. The beach was super chill. It's perfectly suited for families with small children due to the calm, warm waters & powdery white sand. Other than stand up paddle boarding there aren't any other beach activities. If you're looking for a party beach atmosphere, this is not the place. Staff were nice, some English spoken. Chair & umbrellas were provided as well as food & drink service right on the beach. The pool wasn't as inviting as the pictures made it out to be. There were no umbrellas or padding for the chairs. This is the best hotel on the beach in Ubatuba, however it's very average in comparison to international standards. One downside is that your dining options for the area are limited to the hotel. Breakfast was average, otherwise the food from the restaurant was poorly executed. Rooms were basic but comfortable with some modern upgrades.

Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank jonnylava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2016

We stayed at hotel porte di mare for 1 night. Service was very nice. Everybody was super friendly. Even though our booking was for 2, we went as a part of 3, and employees did a great job managing the issue when they were fully booked. Breakfast was pretty good. Rooms are decent size, location is nice. The only thing I would say, pool seemed dirty but no one was using it anyways.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sedayakamercan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2015

A peaceful paradise summarizes my visit. I stayed for 5 nights at the end of June-beginning of July as a solo English-speaking female traveler. A taxi from Sao Paulo is about 3.5 hours and so worth the trip! The ride is very scenic. I felt complete happiness & peace when arriving here, surrounded by the forest, ocean, and kindness of the hotel. Everyone from the owner, management, the front desk, waiters at the restaurant, to the maids, were friendly, wonderful, and accommodating! So many names to list, so I will just thank everyone all at once!!!! I felt safe, welcomed, and very much at home. I'm vegetarian and the restaurant had many delicious options. I was lucky to be visiting during low season and often had the hotel to myself. My room was clean, quiet, and had a beautiful view of the calm ocean, which is steps in front of the hotel. The beach makes for a lovely walk and connects to paths to other beaches on each end.

The highlight of my stay was surfing! When I emailed the hotel to ask about a surf guide, Diego was extremely helpful & put me in immediate contact with André, who owns Alaia Tourism. I cannot say enough positive things about Alaia Tourism. André, the owner, was my individual surf guide for three days, and was also my driver back to the airport in Sao Paulo. He is honestly the best surf guide I have ever had in my surf travels! He has clear passion & expertise in surfing and the local area. We visited several gorgeous breaks, and he took the time to scientifically explain to me the details of each break that contribute to favorable conditions. That kind of knowledge is rarely provided by surf guides. I appreciate how he selected breaks that suited my ability level, always making sure that I was comfortable and safe. He also gave me key surfing tips to improve my surfing and took fun pictures of me surfing too. Regardless if you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced surfer, I highly recommend contacting André!

  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Sea-to-mountains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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