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“Even Better Than Expected (& I expected a lot)”

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Hotel Pousada Guarana
Ranked #9 of 28 Hotels in Paraty
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 March 2013

I have to start off this review doing something I've always meant to do but never did before--thanking my fellow reviewers. Had it not been for the detailed and overwhelmingly positive reviews for the Pousada Guarana I might have been inclined to overlook this mid-range pousada tucked away in a quiet residential part of town. Having just spent 5 nights there (again, influenced by the fine reviews not only of the pousada but of Paraty itself) I would now consider that a great loss if my wife and I would have missed out on this unobstentatious gem.

First, the pousada itself. Run by American ex-pat David and his lovely wife Jimena, the architecture was designed by Jimena's father and incorporates a lot of simple, rustic elements like wood beams and high ceilings. The ten guest rooms are spacious and airy, each with a private garden and hammock, lots of room for bags and such, and the superior rooms boast air-con, which if you visit in Brazil's summer is a must. The bedding is soft and the room was always immaculate.

At the end of the hallway there is a common area of some couches and tables featuring an eclectic decor with a strong Asian influence. Nearby is the pool area with comfortable seating (especially the ornately carved couch with piles of cushions that I commandeered every evening to write my refelections), as well as the open-air seating where breakfast is served each morning. Breakfast was consistently a collection of tasty fruits, cakes, pastry and eggs along with various fruit juices and addictingly delicious Brazilian coffee. In fact both coffee and water were available 24 hours a day complimentary for guests.

There is an enclosed parking area that also houses the complimentary bicycles available for guests to use, which was a very appealing alternative to walking everywhere. There was also a yoga/massage room that I took advantage of for the latter, enjoying a wonderful massage from a local therapist the pousada uses for about $60 US.

Now, for the best part. Not only is breakfast available every morning, but David and Jimena make themselves available as well, dispensing advice as to what to see or do, which boats or tour operators to use or even just to engage in pleasant conversation. They will also gladly make arrangements for you, leaving you time to relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. My favorite moments of our stay were our breakfasts chatting with David, learning about the area and culture, and knowing that whether it be which schooner to book a tour on or which restaurant to visit or where to get a horseback ride, you could have complete confidence that it was going to be great--and it always was. In fact, the hospitality was so complete that on the last day David even personally drove my wife and I to the bus station so we wouldn't have to take a taxi. Try to get that in a chain hotel.

There are only two caveats I feel compelled to mention and for me neither was a negative--in fact I regarded them as positive. First, David and Jimena very admirably rescue animals with the result that there are a number of resident dogs and cats that roam the grounds. We found them to be both well-behaved and endearing, not to mention affectionate. Of course, it helps that we're both animal lovers, but if we weren't--or were severely allergic, it might have been an issue.

Second, is the location. There's no doubt the main draw of Paraty is the historic center and surrounding bay, and if you're someone that absolutely MUST be in the middle of it all, you might find Pousada Guarana's location at the very edge of town inconvenient. Apparently the walk between the center and pousada takes most people 20 minutes. Those people must be of brisker pace or longer stride than I, as it consistently took me 30 minutes. But if you're in Paraty then you're probably looking to relax and take your time, so instead of looking at the location as an inconvenience we took our time and enjoyed the stroll along the riverside and the quiet at night.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and recommend it wholeheartedly. If it were possible to give it 5+ stars I would. Kudos to David & Jimena for the job they're doing and I hope this review will convince others to visit Paraty and the Pousada Guarana, as others' reviews convinced me.

Room Tip: By all means take teh upgrade to AC rooms
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SirVerity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 March 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Pousada Guarana back in September 2012 for two nights and truly wished we could have stayed here longer. The owners, David and Jimena, were very accomodating, friendly and helpful. The time we spent there were kind of slow days for the pousada, but I doubt that would make any difference in the amount of attention and care we recevied:) There were several occassions where David went above and beyond to help make us feel welcome:

- he readily suggested restaurants and activities around town and how to best to get to them so we could maximize our short time in Paraty
- he supplied me with an extra bottle of shampoo when I mentioned I was running low on my own
- he chatted with us about his life, Paraty, and Brazilian life while we hung out around the pool area between activities
- and he gave us a ride to the bus station when we left (we had some heavy packs so this afforded us time to relax a little longer)

During our stay we were provided two very lovely breakfasts by the lady who worked in the kitchen. Normally the breakfast is buffet-style, but since it was just us at one point, we received a private breakfast. However, we could tell this meal was always the same high quality for everyone because when we left they did the buffet for us and two other patrons. My boyfriend particularly liked the cheesy eggs that were made for us and David actually gave him the spices that they used to take home!

As others have noted, the grounds are lovely and relaxing, and reflect the calm attitude and personality of the pousada's owners and their artistic tastes. The pousada is about a 20 minute walk from the historic center of town (and the bus station), but this is good since it provides quiet and solitude from the surprisingly bustling town. We also used the bikes provided for free by the pousada to get around, and really enjoyed biking along the canal that stretches down to the historic center. Don't bother with taxis from the bus station if you can help it - they are overpriced and unneccesary.

We also loved the presence of all the animals that David and Jimena keep on the grounds (Jimena runs an animal shelter that takes in dogs and cats and is trying to promote responsible pet ownership in Brazil). It was so nice to swing in the hammocks with puppies running around and it was nice hanging out on the big couch near the pool petting the cats that roamed the pousada. Although all the pets seemed friendly, if you are not into dogs and cats or have allergies, then you will want to reconsider staying here.

The rooms are spacious, clean and have simple but lovely decorations. We traveled with backpacks so we didn't really need drawers, but there was an open unit with hangers, shelves and a mini fridge in our room. The shower was big (compared to other places we stayed in Brazil) and the water was always hot. Exactly what we needed:)

I should also mention that David and Jimena were very responsive to emails and our questions when we were planning this trip and when we reached out to them while in-country before we arrived. That helped put my mind at ease about this place and I would definitely recommend Pousada Guarana as a place to stay in Paraty. Thanks to David and Jimena for your hospitality and we hope to return one day:)

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlohaGirl84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights and enjoyed it. we were unfortunate in that it rained heavily for 85% of our stay- very bad timing. However, we still had a great time. We used the bikes they let you borrow for free, these were handy since the Pousada is on the edge of town. we had a great walk up in the hills and did some sliding down the rocks- ask David he'll tell you about this little local phenomenon.
The beach isn't great, so don't plan on going there unless you want to hire a canoe like we did. we had a fun morning in the rain canoeing around the bay.
The Pousada has a great DVD collection, this was very relaxing especially since we needed to dry out every so often and just chill after a busy time in Rio.
Restaurants are expensive in Paraty, so don't expect to find a bargain.
David will recommend a good place to go for a Caiparinha! where the guy makes his own Cachaca don't miss out, but stick with the lime one- classic is best :) it's worth it.

We took the local bus along the coast after our stay to get the boat over to Ilha Grande, this was very easy as the bus stop is just at the end of the road and this a very cheap way to travel.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Britishgoabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2013

My wife and I with 2 friends stayed at Pousada Guarana for 5 nights in February and found it very relaxing with David, the owner going out of his way to make sure everything was perfect for us. The rooms were clean and very well kept, the breakfasts were the best, with various fresh fruit, cereals, egg, fresh bread and cake with juices and coffee. They rescue local dogs and cats so they are wandering about the Pousada but are very well taken care of and are no nuisance at all. They also have an on-site massage therapist who is probably the best in Brazil, and very reasonably priced. Great experience and wouldn't hesitate to go back if we're in the area again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank TwoGoGlobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

I was recommend this pousada by some friends and am so happy as it was just perfect.
David and his wife are the best hosts ever and spent a lot of time making sure our stay was perfect and helping me book the next legs of my trip.
The rooms are lovely and the pool area is so relaxing. Breakfast was amazing and there was also cake and coffee available all day. There were bikes to ride along the river into town and the restaurant recommendations were excellent
I can't recommend this place more.....please go!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank abby_1234_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2013

From its thoughtfully designed interior to the quiet setting, Pousada Guarana is a hidden oasis even in beautiful Paraty. Despite its distance from Old Town (15-20 minute walk), it never really felt far away from the action (esp. with the bikes David kindly lent us!) and provided a relaxing atmosphere, making it feel more like a home away from home than a hotel.

But what makes this place really five stars are the hosts -- whose warmth and recommendations make you feel instantly at home. David will gladly draw up maps of nearby restaurants and is always ready with suggestions of what to do given the amount of time you have. When we were in a jiffy after realizing ATMs closed after 10 p.m., he was even kind enough to lend us 10 Reals to make sure we were able to catch our bus back to Sao Paulo in time.

Delicious (and locally-sourced organic!) breakfast, comfortable rooms, tastefully decorated property, and wonderful hosts in a beautiful sea-side town makes Pousada Guarana a five star stay and one we look forward to returning again to soon.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank cloverdust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2013

A beautiful and stylish pousada. Breakfasts are excellent and the owners go out of their way to ensure a great stay. Hint: ask David for restaurant recommendations, every place we visited was superb.

It's a little out of town, but not too far (probably a 10-15 min safe walk down a well lit path next to the river) and and there are some bikes available to borrow for the day.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Chris E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Pousada Guarana

Address: Rua 5 13 | Portal de Paraty, Paraty, State of Rio de Janeiro 23970-000, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Paraty
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paraty
#1 Best Value Hotel in Paraty
#5 Spa Hotel in Paraty
#5 Family Hotel in Paraty
Price Range: £50 - £60 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Pousada Guarana 2.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pousada Guarana a place of quiet and beauty For the past ten years we have tried to create a place for traveler's to get away from the hustle of daily life, or a place to relax and recharge after traveling through the big cities of Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Our hotel caters perfectly for small groups of friends, honeymooners, or couple's getaway. Here you will find quiet corners to chat or relax surrounded by lush gardens and hummingbirds sipping flower to flower. There will likely be a furry friend to keep you company as well should you desire. We want our guests to have the best experience possible. From beaches to waterfalls, fine dining to outdoor adventure, we can help you to the best our lovely town has to offer. Your hosts, David & Jimena ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Guarana Paraty
Pousada Guarana Hotel Paraty
Hotel Pousada Guarana Paraty, Brazil

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