Solar da Ponte
Situated in the picturesque town of Tiradentes, Solar da Ponte, meaning “house on the bridge” is a beautiful colonial-style manor house located only a few minutes walk from the main square.
The 18 rooms are traditionally furnished with antiques and local artwork. Set behind the hotel, the lovely gardens boast orchids which grow in the trees as well as a large swimming pool and sauna.
Due to its central location, the hotel is in walking distance from the leafy squares, cosy restaurants and stunning baroque churches typical of colonial town. Tiradentes town is set against the Sao Jose mountains, and one of the best ways to explore the surrounding areas is by horse back which can be happily organised by the hotel.
Why We Love It
Solar da Ponte is actually a landmark of the town and is owned by an Englishmen - (hence why tea is served every afternoon).
Reserva do Ibitipoca
The Reserva do Ibitipoca consists of 7,500 acres of hills, forests, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, just 3.5 hours from Rio.
The main Fazendo do Engenho lodge was originally built in the 18th century and completely renovated in 2006. There are just 12spacious rooms across the property, overlooking a lake, and all individually decorated with local handicrafts and have ipod docks, kingsize beds, balconies and delicious underfloor heating.
Minas Gerais state, where the hotel is located, is famed for its cuisine, and the restaurant at Ibitipoca serves meals using fresh local ingredients. Guests can choose to eat at several locations around the hotel, including under the branches of a magnificent jabuticabeira tree.
There are sofas and hammocks dotted around the property - perfect for relaxing with a good book and caipirinha, and for the indolent at heart there is also a wooden sauna, a small hydro-massage pool and a 'relaxation barn' where a number of treatments and massages are available, alongside yoga classes.
For anyone looking to be a little more active (and we really mean only a little) one of the main highlights of Ibitipoca is Engenho Waterall, 15 minutes walk away, with white sands around natural pools where guests can relax on sunloungers and order appetizers from the bar after the terribly strenuous walk.
Another highlight is to explore the reserve on foot or horseback, and the hotel has its own stable of Mangalarga and Anglo-Arabian horses. All the tours are taken by local guides and include excursions through the State Park, visits to traditional villages in the area, and more swims in nearby waterfalls and natural pools.
The use of local guides is all part of the reserve's sustainability programme, and the management are committed to reforestation, and the reintroduction of indigenous flora and fauna.
Why We Love It
All the rooms come complete with havaiana flip flops.
Pousada do Mondego
The Pousada do Mondego is located on an attractive square near the St Francis of Assisi Church in the historic mining town of Ouro Preto and oozes historical charm.
The hotel is an elegantly converted mansion with just 24 rooms spread over three antique furniture and painting-filled floors. The best bets are the suites and deluxe rooms which overlook an attractive square and the town beyond, and have beamed ceilings, hardwood floors and four-poster beds.
There is a bar serving light snacks and drinks, and a library where guests can relax in the evenings after exploring the town, and good restaurants are plentiful in the surrounding area.
Why We Love It
The Pousada has developed a reputation for serving excellent breakfasts with fresh fruits and pastries.