Experience Brazilian island life on Guarujá. It’s under 100 kilometres from the hub of Sao Paolo, yet provides an escape from the urban sprawl — hence many city dwellers have second homes here. There are 23 white sandy beaches around its coastline, some catering best to couples, others to families and others to singles, so whatever your age or stage, you’ll find one with just the vibe you’re looking for. Surfing and swimming are popular pastimes, at what is known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. But Guarujá is arguably best enjoyed within one of its luxe seaside resorts.
Casa Grande Hotel Resort & Spa
Set on Enseada beach and backed by tropical gardens, the Casa Grande is part colonial mansion, part palm-fringed resort. A large freeform pool leads down to the ocean, plus there are tennis courts, an area for billiards, ping pong tables, a fitness centre and mini golf to stay active. Guests have plenty of space to spread out in the suites, apartments and private chalets — the latter suiting families well. Kids have their own activities, pool, play area and menus, while adults can take advantage of the peace afforded by the spa. Casa Grande has six restaurants and bars.
Hotel Jequitimar Guarujá Resort & SPA by Accor
Previously the Sofitel, this five-star Accor hotel is a few minutes walk from the Shopping Jequití, the island’s golf club and Mar Casado Beach. It has a full-service spa and a casino. But three appears to be the key number in terms of amenities; Hotel Jequitimar Guarujá Resort & SPA has three outdoor swimming pools, three tennis courts, three bars (including one by the pool) and three restaurants serving international, French and family-friendly fare. 301 bedrooms feature Egyptian cotton bedding and private balconies and some of the suites provide hot tubs on the balcony. And a flashy lobby overlooks a pillared indoor pool.