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“Beware booking via their website, it’s a “bait and switch””
Review of Toca da Coruja

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Toca da Coruja
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Praia da Pipa
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level Contributor
89 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Beware booking via their website, it’s a “bait and switch””
Reviewed 9 December 2010

A very memorable stay: extremely negative prior to arrival, very positive after arrival.

The place is great but you need to be extremely wary of the reservation process because they tell you one thing but do something entirely different. They will take your money without authorization, refuse to give it back and then argue with you about it in a very aggressive way.

Specifics: the website specified that a credit card was needed to <guarantee> the reservation and that the cancellation policy was 2 days prior notice. This was throughout the reservation process and in a confirmation email following the reservation. However, Toca da Coruja had actually <taken payment> of 50% of the total stay and informed me that the cancellation deadline was 30 days (which then meant that I was tied in and could not get any of the money back). We all know that “guarantee with card” does not equal “pay up now”. In addition, the paperwork clearly said I had 100% remaining to pay on arrival. When I questioned them on this process they simply said their policy is different from their website and dismissed my concerns. I believe it is not the traveller’s problem if their own website does not reflect their own policy; acting under different terms and conditions than those disclosed to the purchaser is dishonest at a minimum (and usually illegal).

This drama made us really concerned so I asked to shorten our stay, which they allowed me to do. One would think, however, if their policy is to take 50% payment, they would adjust the 50% but, NO, they refused. They retained the initial payment (which was by then much higher than 50% of the stay) and did not refund the excess.

Based on this aggressive behavior, we checked in with trepidation, fearing further improprieties and sleights of hand but encountered no further problems. The staff are actually really helpful and friendly. The pousada itself is magical, tranquil, stylish and comfortable. At breakfast you must try the tapiocas made to order – we liked tomato, cheese and oregano. And the creamy avocado pudding. Don’t miss the sagui (funky little monkeys that cavort in the trees). We enjoyed caipirinhas and evening bonfires by the pool. Free wifi throughout the property was fab. Many special touches.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank superdeluxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2010

Wonderful, romantic place to stay away from the world with your love. Deluxe bungalows are large, perfectly furnished. Everything here is perfect "bon gout". Just a dream ... One of my favorite hotel. Unfortunately, children under 12 years old are not accepted.

Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Beinush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2010

We stayed at Toca da Coruja during the first week of our honeymoon. The service was impeccable at all times, the restaurant was excellent - particularly the breakfasts - and without doubt the best in Pipa. The grounds are beautifully kept and very secluded. The bungalows (which are not necessarily bungalows depending on whether you book a special bungalow or deluxe) are spotlessly clean and very spacious and all the pousada's structures have been designed to blend harmoniously into its surroundings. Breakfast is delicious, with many local and homemade produce, and is shared with hummingbirds and little monkeys. We took two buggy tours during our stay in Pipa - one to the north and one to the south - and on both occasions asked the hotel to book them. Both are highly recommended and the guides chosen by the hotel (Rodrigo and André) speak good English (André also speaks Italian) and seemed far far nicer than the buggy drivers in the town. Without a doubt the best place to stay in Pipa!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank satonamat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2009

I echo the comments made by other people offering positive reviews. Regarding the walk to the beach - if a walk around the block to the beach upsets you then probably Pipa is not for you. It's a rustic beach town with nuggets of luxury, but you are going to walk and share the road w/ buggies and the occasional bus.

We stayed in a deluxe bungalow and were immediately impressed. Each bungalow has two hammocks on a wrap around porch and in the rear an outside jacuzzi which is completely secluded from the other bungalows. I can't say enough how it feels like you have your own little estate on the expansive grounds (also regarding the grounds, the photos on the Toca's website are to be believed, the place is beautiful). There are two gorgeous pools, but we did not ever make it to them, because the beach is so close and so beautiful.

The service is amazing - personal without being obtrusive. Also it was my wife's birthday while we were there and the manager (Andrea - thanks!) conspired with me to surprise her with a homemade birthday cake. The cake, like all food at the Toca's restaurant, was simply delicious.

We went to Pipa for our honeymoon and were not disappointed, I cannot imagine a better hotel than Toca.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank twogrape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights and absolutely loved it. Set on acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, and with only 23 rooms/bungalows, this pousada is private and very friendly. We booked a bungalow, but were upgraded to a deluxe bungalow. It was a wonderful room filled with antique colonial furniture, and wonderful outdoor space complete with 2 hammocks. If I had known how special the room was, I would have paid for it when I reserved. The pousada's layout provides lots of beautiful spots to relax in, including 2 pools, a stunningly romantic restaurant with excellent food and service, a charming bar and many spots to just sit and relax. But, what makes this place so special (and is a great reason to visit Brazil in general) is the wonderful people who work there. The service was top notch, but always delivered in a very friendly and personal way. We knew most of the staff by name. They also provided great advice on what to see and do in the area. I saw some comments on the walk to the beach, but it is litterally a 100 meter walk from the resort entrance to the beach. There are no choices that we saw in this part of Brazil that are directly on the beach. It means you walk a bit, but it also preserves the beaches as beautifully natural.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Edf1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
1 review
Reviewed 8 October 2009

We stayed at Toca da Coruja for our honeymoon. We spent seven amazing nights in one of the luxury bungalos which was absolutely amazing. The property is brilliantly layed out and gives the guests a real sense of privacy everywhere you go. There is a very sweet rustic charm that is elegant but also understated. The staff was very accomodating and efficient, the meals from the restaurant were all delicious, and being right in town was also a plus. The location is perfect - we walked to several different beaches, each with their own character. But the pool at the hotel is so amazing it could be tempting to stay there! Pipa is a great beach town, a little sleepy during the day but all of the restaurants there were also fantastic. We are already talking about going back. Highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JKTZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2009

After 24 hours of traveling it was so good to arrive at this beautiful pousada. The grounds are amazing with tropical plants and animals surrounding the complex. It was also nice to hear from the manager about all the steps the pousada takes to maintain the environment around it.

Our deluxe chalet was huge! When we arrived we had petals on the bed and a welcome caipirinha - the perfect start to the honeymoon.

The beach is literally a 5 minute walk across the main road of Pipa. There are other beaches to explore which are a bit further away.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank claireyaries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Toca da Coruja

Property: Toca da Coruja
Address: Avenida Baia dos Golfinhos 464 | Pipa Beach, Praia da Pipa, State of Rio Grande do Norte 59178-000, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Rio Grande do Norte > Praia da Pipa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Praia da Pipa
#2 Family Hotel in Praia da Pipa
#2 Romantic Hotel in Praia da Pipa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Toca da Coruja 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pousada Toca da Coruja is located in a paradisiac beach in the north-east of Brazil. The hotel was built in a Portuguese architecture style located in 25000 sq m property surrounded by beautiful gardens and moments away from the beach. There are plenty of trees, palms and plants native to this region of Brazil in a harmonious environment for your relaxing or romantic holidays. Our sophisticated and elegant decor was carefully sourced by the owners in antique shops. Our comfortable rooms are in bungalows each with its own whirlpool. 12 of our spacious rooms have a private solarium where the whirlpool is located. Our staff is happy to prepare the whirlpool for you where you can enjoy a tranquil bath. During your stay with us, you can hire a buggy or a bicycle to enjoy sightseeing the beauty of the region and its many beautiful and unspoilt beaches. If you are more adventurous this is a paradise for surfing and kite surfing. If you prefer to have a quiet time, you can enjoy the ionized water pools in the garden, a perfect place to read or have a nice drink by the pool bar. There are fantastic beaches around us! We are a few metres from Praia das Minas where you can swim alongside dolphins. Now, if you like a well balanced combination of partying and relaxation, Pousada Toca da Coruja is strategically located near restaurants, bars, shops and night clubs. When the time comes for some peace and quiet come back to Pousada Toca da Coruja to enjoy a sauna or just lay in a hammock and watch the birds and the marmoset monkeys play or just contemplate the vegetation. Restaurant Oca Toca - is a delicious gastronomic restaurant set in within our premises. Our chef Wagner Aguiar will present you with the best in culinary in contemporary Brazilian and regional gastronomy while Isis Ribeiro, our sommelier, will harmonize with the wines she so perfectly chose for our cellar. She will add a little mystique to your senses! The ambiance is completed by lights, music, flavours and scents in of nature. Beach Bar - Yahooo! - Enjoy our beach bar at Praia das Minas. We provide transfers to and from in our cars. Minas Bistrot - Pousada Toca da Coruja has a bistrot at Praia das Minas, one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. Bistro das Minas is an exclusive and charming restaurant overlooking the sea, where the landscape is unforgettable Our cars will take you to the restaurant and bring you back to the hotel comfortably after you have enjoyed your meal specially created for the place. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Toca Da Coruja Hotel Pipa
Pousada Toca Da Coruja Pipa
Toca Da Coruja Praia Da Pipa, Brazil

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