Secluded hideaway in a Brazilian nature reserve 3-hours 30-minutes north of Rio surrounded by stunning scenery
Highly personalized and attentive service
Delicious regional cuisine using fresh local ingredients
Gorgeous suites in a wonderful rustic chic style and in keeping with the traditional ranch atmosphere
A fantastic place to relax and unwind but plenty of activities too such as amazing horse riding
Great spa - enjoy a range of indulgent treatments
Minas Gerais is a year round destination, but generally hotter, with heavier rain and higher humidity from November to March. Autumn/winter (May to September) is drier, but it gets much colder here than in neighbouring states, with temperatures sometimes dropping to 5C. April, May and June are the best months, when everything is green but it's drier with cool evenings.
Get away from it all and experience wonderful Brazilian hospitality at the unique and very personal Comuna do Ibitipoca. It is an authentic countryside retreat set at the heart of a scenic 3,000 hectare reserve 3.5 hour drive north of Rio de Janeiro.
A truly unique destination, Comuna do Ibitipoca (formerly Reserva do Ibitipoca) is without doubt one of Brazil’s most charming properties, full of character in every corner and with a wonderfully serene setting amongst rolling hills.
The Comuna do Ibitipoca is the centrepiece of Ibitipoca Reserva, a 3,000 hectare preservation and sustainability committed to reforestation and protecting wildlife corridors.
The original farmhouse dates back to 1715 and was rebuilt from 2006, using all recycled materials and furnishings, thus preserving the original character of the property. Accommodation comprises eight individually designed rooms, furnished with local handicrafts and with sublimely comfortable beds! The characterful bathrooms featuring Victorian style claw-foot baths and rain showers.
For those looking to relax and indulge in some pampering there is the rustic-style spa barn, where gentle yoga classes and wonderfully soothing massages are on offer.
The service at the Comuna do Ibitipoca is truly personalised and the warmth of the local staff, the majority of whom come from the nearby villages, will make you feel like you’ve arrived at a home from home. Meals are freshly prepared in the traditional kitchen, with most of the produce coming from the land. Breakfast on warm pao de queijo and home cooked pastries overlooking the lake and enjoy afternoon tea by the hearth. Meals are often served under the stars, perhaps in the hotel’s central patio or in one of many hidden spots around the reserve.
The Comuna do Ibitipoca is perfect for those who want to get away from it all who enjoy the fresh air and the outdoors. There are some great trails for hiking and the Comuna do Ibitipoca has its own stables, with wonderfully cared for Mangalarga and Anglo-Arabian horses, making for some great riding. Visits can also be made to the nearby Ibitipoca state park, with very dramatic scenery of waterfalls and spectacular rock formations.
Accommodation at Comuna do Ibitipoca is in eight beautifully decorated guest rooms in the central converted farmhouse Fazenda do Engenho, each individually designed and furnished with local handicrafts. Rooms feature iPod docks, sumptuous beds with Egyptian cotton linens, claw foot baths, Havaianas and L'Occitane amenities.
There are 4 separate houses made up of: Carlinhos (with the best 3 suites on the Reserve, 100m from main house – perfect for families / small groups of friends), Viradouro (more rustic, 3 suites, located 1 km from main house, powered by alternative energy) and Casas das Montanhas (Benjamin & Zico, higher up on the mountain side 2km from main house and 200m apart, offering even more privacy. Small and simple mountain cottages with 2 suites, powered solely by alternative energy).
Children over the age of 14 years are welcome at Comuna do Ibitipoca. This is a great destination for families with older children, with wonderfully welcoming staff and many soft adventure activities on offer including hiking, riding and 4X4 excursions.
Comuna do Ibitipoca has various dining areas, both indoors and al-fresco, a rustic-style spa barn offering gentle yoga classes, facial wine therapies and massages and an sauna and outdoor hot tub, perfect for relaxing under the stars. There is also a cosy TV room, perfect for curling up with a good book.
There are many trails on the Ibitipoca reserve and guests can enjoy 4X4 excursions, hiking and riding with the reserve's own thoroughbred Mangalarga and Anglo-Arabian horses. Visits can also be arranged to the nearby town of Ibitipoca and to the Ibitipoca National Park.
I was lucky enough to spend a couple of nights at Comuna do Ibitipoca in September of this year and I can honestly say it's one of the most amazing places I've ever stayed. You really feel as if you've taken a step back in time as even though the farmhouse was rebuilt in 2006 you would never imagine it - all the features are traditional and in keeping with the original character of the fazenda.
The staff are so incredibly friendly and nothing is too much trouble for them, they will do everything to make your stay as comfortable as possible - when we were having breakfast outside on the terrace they brought blankets to warm us from the morning chill, when we went down to the tv room they promptly brought us fresh juices and popcorn and at the end of a long walk they were waiting with champagne and snacks in a cave with a warming log fire! There is something supremely calming about the setting, surrounded by hills and overlooking a tranquil lake. And the massages were some of the best I have ever experienced. There are various hikes you can take through the reserve and the property has its own stables with fantastic horses - ideally they do prefer riders with at least some experience.
Without doubt this is a true gem in Brazil's largely undiscovered Southern interior, where you will receive a warm welcome that is second to none.
Enjoying the landscape and beauty of the surrounding Atlantic Forest is a highlight of a stay at Reserva do Ibitipoca and there are numerous trails which are ideal for exploring, either on foot or on horseback.
from £7800 pp
inc flights & transfers for 14 nights
Comuna do Ibitipoca is set at the heart of the 3,000 hectare Ibitipoca Reserve, in the state of Minas Gerais.
Comuna do Ibitipoca is 3-hour 30-minutes by road from Rio de Janeiro, 1-hour from Juiz de Fora airport. or 4 hours from Belo Horizonte.
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