The Unesco-listed volcanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is an eco-destination unlike any other. It comprises 21 islands off the northeast coast of Brazil, with a marine park and ecological sanctuary offering pristine snorkeling, marine-rich scuba diving and deserted beaches. We’ve rounded up the best places to stay – bookable with Culture Trip.
The protected national marine park, which makes up two-thirds of Fernando de Noronha, is not only a sanctuary for sea turtles, it is also home to a large number of resident dolphins. Daily visitor numbers are restricted to keep this Eden-like landscape intact, so make sure you reserve your spot and book your flights and hotels well in advance.
With its stone walls and cork chairs, Pousada Maria Flor showcases the natural surroundings of Noronha via its standout interior design. The main slatted wooden building rises above rainforest around an infinity-edge pool, and 12 rooms each have their own sitting area and balcony for enjoying fresh island air. The hotel is in Floresta Velha, a few minutes from the central (and very Brazilian-sounding) Flamboyant Square, walking distance from both Cachorro and Bimboca beaches.
Set in the heart of Vila dos Remédios, the main hub of the island, is the bright and welcoming Pousada da Germana. It’s just steps from restaurants like Edilma, a laid-back seafood haven; and for the adventurous, the hotel can organize diving trips with a local operator. There’s a communal decked area, and the promise of rest and privacy in the rooms. Breakfast is something to write home about, including regional delights such as tapioca, fresh cakes and tropical fruit. There’s also afternoon tea for a post-excursion recharge during the day.
Pousada Triboju has four luxurious bungalows, each vibrantly decorated with African, floral and Provençal themes. It’s also located in the central area of Vila dos Remédios, so you’ll be right in the middle of the action and only a short walk from Meio and Cachorro beaches. There’s a pool to soak in after a day of underwater exploration, and rejuvenating massages on offer in the comfort of your room if you’re really looking to unwind.
Set on an expansive property surrounded by flourishing nature is Pousada Lua Bela. Choose between a bright and elegant room or bungalow for your stay and enjoy a dip in the infinity pool that overlooks the verdant garden. Whether your day ahead involves a coastal hike or some snorkeling, you can fuel up with an enticing breakfast of baked goods and seasonal fruit juices, or reward yourself with the hotel’s afternoon tea on return.
Pousada Recanto Noronha is just a few minutes from the sandy cove and rock pool of Cachorro beach, and is equally close to surfer-beloved Meio beach. Natural colors and woods feature throughout the hotel and its stylish rooms, making for a serene atmosphere despite its conveniently central location. Relax at the pool or on the lounger-lined wooden deck to unwind after a day at the beach.
Pousada Maria Bonita Noronha is a design-forward hotel where natural materials and artisan crafts showcase the best of Brazilian island life. Set in the heart of the town, with a small centerpiece pool and a wooden deck for fresh tropical breakfasts, nothing is too far away – whether it’s smart evening meals at Xica da Silva or the lush sands of Conceição beach.
After falling in love with Fernando de Noronha, artist Silvana Rondelli decided to stay, and in 2003 opened the serene Beco de Noronha Pousada. To make you feel at home, you’ll be treated to a cooling drink and calming foot massage on arrival. And the pampering doesn’t end there, with a dedicated zen area for you to relax in after exploring all the islands, and colorful rooms adorned with fresh-cut flowers to further enhance the welcoming vibe.
Centrally located Pousada Corveta got its name from one of the most famous shipwrecks in Brazil, the Corveta V17, whose remnants can be found just 60m (200ft) below the water – accessible via must-try diving trips. Far from being a wreck itself, the hotel’s deluxe, contemporary rooms all have large windows that let in floods of light, and blackout curtains to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Sustainability and respect for the natural surroundings of the island are at the heart of Pousada Zé Maria. The hotel has its own hydroponic garden, cultivating fresh vegetables for the restaurant, and takes a conscious approach to consumption. It’s also a lot of fun: every Saturday the hotel hosts a Gastronomy Festival that showcases seafood and impressive paellas. Indulged too much? Spacious rooms each include wooden decks or hammocks for wiling the day away. If you’re interested in fishing for your own catch of the day, the hotel will organize an epic deep-sea expedition for you.
Noronha 350 is simple yet stylish, showing that sometimes simplicity is the ultimate luxury. There are four elegant suites featuring minimalist design and two dorms, one for women only, the other mixed. The communal kitchen is a convivial place to whip up a meal in great company, and the wooden deck overlooking lush surrounding greenery is an ideal spot for lazing around. For beach time, head to the remarkable Boldró and Conceição stretches nearby.
The eight-roomed Pousada Maravilha, located in the north of the island, has an outdoor pool with jaw-dropping views over the turquoise ocean of Fernando de Noronha, and some of the most beautiful beaches on the island just a short stroll away. The rooms are immaculate, with crisp white sheets and wooden terraces with sea views, and the daily breakfast is served in a fresh, high-ceiling dining room with pine beams and outdoor seating.
With large modern rooms, two outdoor swimming pools and a fully equipped spa, Dolphin Hotel leaves no stone unturned in its quest to provide everything its guests could possibly need. The spacious rooms lead out onto the sunny tropical gardens, where guests can enjoy drinks and nibbles from the hotel bar and lounge. The hotel is surrounded by nature, with some of the best Noronha beaches just around the corner.
Guests can wake up every day to the sounds of nature at the Teju-Açu Ecopousada, which is surrounded by forest and close to incredible untouched beaches. The airy rooms come with a terrace complete with jungle views and a large hammock, and the restaurant is one of the few on the island that has an outdoor garden, providing guests with the option of open-air dining. It’s pricey, but try to dine in the restaurant one night – the dishes are divine.
The decor is wonderful at Pousada Mar Aberto, with bamboo divides and blue furniture, which brings a mixed nautical and forest theme, perfectly complementing the natural surroundings. It’s hard not to feel at home here, with quirky rooms and friendly staff, yet the holiday buzz of being on a tropical island is never far away. Wild, untouched beaches can be reached within minutes, and local activities – such as hiking and diving – can be organized from the hotel.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Sarah Brown.
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