The Best Hotels to Book in Natal, Brazil

Palm-lined white-sand beaches await you in Natal, Brazil
Palm-lined white-sand beaches await you in Natal, Brazil | Courtesy of SERHS Natal Grand Hotel and Resort / Expedia
Alex Robinson

Natal, meaning nativity, is so named because it was founded on Christmas Day in 1599. The tiny capital of one of the smallest states in Brazil crouches behind the Forte dos Reis Magos – Fort of the Three Wise Kings – baking under the tropical sun. It’s slightly disheveled, but the surrounding beaches are magnificent and backed by dunes. The most idyllic of all is Ponta Negra, now a fashionable coastal suburb home to some of the best hotels in Natal. Book your stay on Culture Trip.

1. Wish Natal, for a family-friendly stay


Hammocks strung between wooden posts and palm trees on a lawn at Wish Natal
Courtesy of Wish Natal / Expedia

Backed by dramatic dunes and overlooking a scenic stretch of the Atlantic, this family-friendly hotel in Natal certainly scores highly on its setting. Besides the beach, there’s nothing within walking distance, but this self-contained resort gives little reason to stray far. Swish contemporary design creates that upscale holiday vibe, while a great kids club leaves you free to sip caipirinhas at the swim-up bar or find your bliss at the dreamy spa.

2. Mirador Praia Hotel, for incredible sunsets


An outdoor pool and deck at Mirador Praia Hotel, with loungers, wicker chairs, tables, parasols and ocean views
Courtesy of Mirador Praia Hotel / Expedia

Overlooking the promenade that runs the length of the long sandy shore of Ponta Negra, this laid-back resort-style hotel has a prime beachfront position – and is close to most of the action. You get great views of the Morro do Careca sand dune from the rooftop pool, plus incredible sunsets. Apartment-style accommodation makes self-catering an option – though splash out for an upgrade if you want a decent view.

3. Manary Praia Hotel, for boutique-hotel beauty

Spa Hotel

A shaded terrace at Manary Praia Hotel, with cushioned seating, blue-and-white accent pillows and ocean views
Courtesy of Manary Praia Hotel / Expedia

Manary is as close as Natal hotels get to a beach boutique hotel. Rooms are decorated in earthy colors, lent extra pizazz by yellow-and-white-striped wallpaper. Lambent bedside lighting adds coziness as night falls. Lacy hammocks hang in the balconies – clamber into yours at dawn to look out at daybreak over the Atlantic. Breakfast is served al fresco on a deck next to the pool, delivering the same sea views. The hotel has one of the best restaurants in Natal, with a menu based on ​​tapioca, pumpkin, shrimp and butter among the many Brazilian ingredients, as well as a bar serving icy caipirinhas all day.

4. Rifóles Praia Hotel and Resort, for kid-friendly fun


People enjoying the beach-facing pool with seating and parasols at Rifóles Praia Hotel and Resort
Courtesy of Rifóles Praia Hotel and Resort / Expedia

Bigger beachside hotels in Natal cater to Brazilian families jetting in on wintertime packages. As a result, they offer plenty of activities for children. At Rifóles, the fun includes a suite of swimming and paddling pools, a kids club and organized activities. Young ones under the age of eight don’t have to pay to stay, and adults get to indulge in the spa and the bar. Rooms are small and simple – built for sleeping in – with expanses of rough brick and plain tile. Ask if you want more – some have small balconies and ocean views.

5. Natal Dunnas Hotel, for a stunning setting


A lush garden at Natal Dunnas Hotel with stone elements and a shaded sitting area with colorful accent pillows
Courtesy of Natal Dunnas Hotel / Expedia

The best thing about Natal Dunnas? Location, location, location. The finest stretch of Ponta Negra Beach – right under the Morro do Careca dune – is just beyond the lobby, as is the restaurant strip. The hotel has a decent pool with a sundeck, and super-helpful staff will be happy to organize tours as well as windsurfing and kitesurfing excursions. No wonder very few guests spend much time in their attractively compact rooms; with their nautical palette of whites and beiges, they look the part, decorated with photos of local scenes and pops of color in the form of scatter cushions.

6. SERHS Natal Grand Hotel and Resort, for activities aplenty


A private balcony part of a suite at SERHS Natal Grand Hotel and Resort, with a small pool, loungers, flowers and ocean views
Courtesy of SERHS Natal Grand Hotel and Resort / Expedia

This huge Natal hotel rises like a procession of concrete cliffs behind a long, almost-empty stretch of beach, 30 minutes on foot south of Ponta Negra. The resort does all it can to keep guests in its confines – with suites of restaurants, swimming pools and non-stop organized activities for all age groups. If you want to practice your Portuguese, you’re in luck – SERHS is usually packed with vacationing Brazilian families.

7. Hotel Ponta Negra Beach Natal, for tip-top views


A suite at Hotel Ponta Negra Beach Natal, with white-tile floors, tan armchairs and a ocean-facing balcony
Courtesy of Hotel Ponta Negra Beach Natal / Expedia

The rooms to book in this Natal hotel are the super deluxe suites. They’re appealingly decked out in swathes of surgically white tiles and furnished with taupe vinyl armchairs. The best bit? Some have balconies with wonderful beach and ocean views. The hotel has a large pool and sundeck right on the sand, and it’s in a good location. The restaurants and bars in Ponta Negra and the liveliest dance bars in Natal – be sure to check out Rastapé Casa de Forró – are an easy stroll away.

8. Hotel Marsol Beach Resort, for amazing sands

Spa Hotel

Exterior of a two-suite villa at Hotel Marsol Beach Resort, with terraces with hammocks, loungers and hot tubs
Courtesy of Hotel Marsol Beach Resort / Expedia

The best thing about the Hotel Marsol Beach Resort is the location; this Natal hotel enjoys its setting on a long stretch of beach, a 10-minute cab ride north of Ponta Negra, that it has to itself. Four pools, including two for young ones, and a restaurant overlook the sand, and there’s good paddleboarding to be had immediately out front. The hotel is aimed squarely at vacationing families here to relax on budget-friendly package trips. As a result, the rooms – simple whitewashed affairs – are often booked well in advance.

9. Vogal Luxury Beach Hotel and Spa, for big feasts


A large one-bedroom suite at Vogal Luxury Beach Hotel and Spa, with wood floors, a huge bed and a white sofa
Courtesy of Vogal Luxury Beach Hotel and Spa / Expedia

This Natal hotel in northern Ponta Negra breaks from the standard taupe tile and whitewash interior decor. Instead, rooms feature modern, warm woods, muted creams, grays and peppermints, polished hardwood furnishings and leather lounge chairs. Most have sea views through wall-high windows as well as from balconies. Also, the hotel has a spa, a palm-shaded patio with a bar and a scattering of sinuous swimming pools. Make sure you don’t oversleep – your stay here includes an excellent, substantial breakfast.

Planning to see more of the Brazilian coast? Travel south and discover our guide to the best boutique hotels in Trancoso, Bahia, bookable on Culture Trip.

Leon Beckenham contributed additional reporting.

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