We stayed at the Villegaignon Resort for seven days during January 2003. The hotel was in general nice and the staff was very friendly, like in the rest of Brazil. The guests were mainly Europeans, but there were a few Americans and Brazilians, too. I had no problems with the language as my native tongue is Spanish and I also speak Portuguese fluently. However, English speakers may find it difficult to communicate because not many people in Morro de São Paulo speak English.
The grounds of the resort were lovely. There were palm trees everywhere and the swimming pool was big enough. Dancing lessons were taught by the pool and there also was a volley-ball court nearby. A big pond was being built next to the restaurant and it seemed nice.
The rooms were very simple - just a bed & a frigobar - but they were big and air-conditioned. The bathroom was quite small though and we were afraid of using hot water, as the bath seemed to work on an electric device.
The food at the restaurant was not to die for, but it was ok. We really enjoyed the theme dinners held at the beach bar, specially the Hawaiian luau. But apart from that, there was no nightlife at the hotel.
The hotel lies on Morro de São Paulo's third beach. The sand is white and the water is warm and crystal-clear. The main problem is that the reef is too close to the beach, so it is difficult to swim among lots of rocks. The best beach in Morro is the Fourth one. That beach looks endless - you can see nothing in the horizon more than sand and palm trees - and the sea is not rocky at all. There isn't enough people either, mainly because that beach is far away from the city centre.
The city of Morro de São Paulo is tiny, with just 3 or 4 streets, none of them paved. There are some shops and decent restaurants along the main street, and at night there is a fair at the town's square in which handcrafts are sold.
No cars are allowed on the island, so you have to walk to get anywhere. We loved doing so at night, with the lighthouse showing us our way through the dark beach. Morro is still a safe place, so don't worry to walk alone at night.
Walking during the day can be painful though, because the place is extremely hot in January! It never rains in summer and you get burnt easily. I think I've never been to a hottest place in my entire life.
There are some interesting sights you should visit during the day, however. There are two paths that start near the old church. One of them leads to the lighthouse, from where you'll get a fantastic view of the island and its beaches. The other one starts at the docks and takes you to the old Portuguese fortress. That place is magnificent, and the little beach next to it is beautiful, as it looks like a natural swimming-pool. One piece of advice: don't spend money going on an excursion to Boipeba island... it's not worth the money.
All in all, I found the Villegaignon acceptable, but I feel there are better places to stay in Morro de São Paulo. It's a nice resort if you're travelling with young children, but don't go there if:
1) you're a disabled person
2) you are looking for a superb beach... you may want to stay somewhere else along the Fourth beach
3) you're looking to party. Then, the Second beach is for you
I hope you find this review useful. Good luck and enjoy Morro!
- Also Known As:
- Provence Villegaignon Resort Morro De Sao Paulo, Brazil