In first place, I would like to say this was quite a surprise my wife and I had during our stay. I can definitely say that this resort is very close to "international standards" five star resorts we have stayed. If there would be a 4.5 stars... this would be the perfect "positioning" for this place.
A few mishappenings took place, but nothing that would take the merit of a delightful week we stayed at the Iberostart Praia do Forte. Lets go into the details:
Front desk/Reception: We were very welcomed when arrived. Doormen came to pickup our bags and had no problems. While checking in, we had our welcome drink twice and received many explanations of the hotel, its services, meals, dinner reservations, activities, etc.
Room: Very nice room. Large, clean and bright. We did not get an ocean view, since most of the time we would spend outside the room, so it was not wirth paying extra. The "standard" room is already quite good. The only downside was a smell in the bathroom (moldy beach smell)... but it was very weak, so it did not bother much.
Cleaning: Room was clean. Bathrooms were clean. Hotel ammenities were also quite clean. No problems there. Only once we found a cockroach under a door, since they were disinfecting some areas.. and I guess this one escaped!
Food: Was awesome. Always penty of it. The main restaurant is the "Pelô"... where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. There are other 4 restaurantes available. 3 of them are "thematic" restaurants where you need to reserve in advance (oriental, gourmet, and Bahia food). They were all delicious. Just remember to wear long pants for the gourmet restaurant. The fourth restaurant (Maresias) is located close to the pools and beach. This is the least "sophisticated" of them.. but it does the trick (its common sense.. you are not going to put a fancy place close to the pools and the beach!).
Service: 100% everywhere we went, smiles, smiles smiles. The most important issue in our stay was the "welcome feeling" that the staff gave us. We felt at home! It was one of the reasons we will be back for sure! A special thanks to Luana (drinks lady) and Emerson and Edson (chefs) for making our stay so great!
Entertainment: we were amazed with all the activities that were available. We didn´t do half of them. Close to the pool, many things take place, like dancing classes, aerobics, beach volley, water polo, etc. Too many to state each of them. During the night, we went to the Theater shows (10pm). We didn´t have many expecatations, but I have to admit.. some of them were small "brazilian off Broadway" productions. They were awesome! On thursday, since staff get their night off, there is a more "interactive" production called "Mr. Iberostar" which was ok.. not so great as the others.
Close to the hotel (around 10km by car, 4km walking in the beach) there is the small town of Praia do Forte, where the Tamar project takes place (turtle project). I definitely recommend everyone to reserve a day there. During the morning, you can stay at the natural pools in the beach (go in the low tide, from 9am to 4pm)... and during the afternoon, you can visit many local stores, restaurants, etc. Very nice day we had. (not included in the hotel).
Other things like the gym (very nice gym.. one of the best gyms I have seen in hotels here in Brazil) and Spa (not included in the hotel price, but has some very good services that we did and recommend) are part of the things you can also do in the hotel.
We did not play tennis, golf nor squash, so we will not comment on these services.
We can say that we really enjoyed our week in Iberostar Praia do Forte.
One last recommendation is: Iberostar has two resorts beside each other.. Iberostar Bahia AND Iberostar Praia do Forte. We were confused in the beginning on where to stay and what was the difference between them.
The Bahia resort was more for the "young generation" that wants to have fun and go wild... where the Praia do Forte was more of a family/couples getaway. More quiet and relaxed. This is the impression we had, since we could go to both places. If you prefer a family/quieter place, stay in Praia do Forte. It has also some "extras" that Iberostar Bahia doesn´t have! Also, Praia do Forte has more pools with various shapes, while Iberostar Bahia had more of the "large pools and everyone crowded there" style. We were happy we chose Iberostart Praia do Forte... but that was our taste... it might not be what everyone is looking for!
In general, this was a VERY pleasant experience that we would recommend to friends!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 5 star hotel located in Praia do Forte, only 60km away from Salvador (Brazil). Sea–turtles reserve. 5 restaurants. Tennis courts. SPA and Golf course. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Praia Do Forte Hotel Mata De Sao Joao
- Iberostar Bahia Praia Do
- Iberostar Mata De Sao Joao
- Iberostar Bahia Brazil
- Iberostar Brazil
- Iberostar Praia Do Forte Brazil - Bahia