Beachy northeast Brazil makes for the perfect holiday getaway. Book your ideal resort with Culture Trip.
Up in the northeast of Brazil, where the outback desert of the sertão meets the wild Atlantic, is Natal: a small state capital surrounded by long, dune-backed beaches with great kite- and wind-surfing. The most popular is Ponta Negra, a mile or so from the city center. If you’re considering traveling in the area, these are the best hotels to book in Natal.
This is a vast family resort – kids’ clubs are just part of the entertainment, which also includes live music, bars and restaurants. Rooms are in giant concrete ziggurats overlooking sinuous, palm-shaded pools. It sits on a lonely stretch of golden beach backed by the protected Parque das Dunas reserve. Rooms in creams, dark woods and floor tiles have floor-to-ceiling windows. Pick the ones facing east for balconies with breakfast tables and ocean sunrise views. Others face the forest and dunes in the reserve.
This huge seafront resort does all it can to keep guests on site: there are palm-shaded gardens with suites of pools – featuring waterfalls, waterslides and toddler-friendly paddling areas. Fancy a fitness class? There’s a range, plus there’s live music, kids’ clubs, restaurants, bars and barbecues. Rooms span the spectrum, from simple apartments with basically just a bed, to plusher, granite-floored suites of slinky linens. Insist on an ocean view – and if you want a change of scene, the bars and restaurants in Ponta Negra are a 10-minute cab ride away.
Manary is a close as Natal gets to a boutique property, with a breakfast sundeck and a pool overlooking the best stretch of Ponta Negra beach, the ocean and distant dunes. Guests have one of Natal’s best hotel restaurants to enjoy, as well as a spa. Rooms come in plush terracottas, with playful pink, pinstripe wallpaper and warm bedside lighting. Ocean-facing balconies have hand-crafted, lacy hammocks, the bar serves superior caipirinhas – Brazil’s rum-like party in a glass – and with fewer than 20 rooms, your time here will be tranquil and intimate.
If you want to holiday here en famille, this is the place: this is great-value beachfront resort accommodation – children under eight stay free – with a small spa, a suite of swimming and paddling pools, plus great views of Ponta Negra beach and the loping sand dunes. Part of the bargain is in the enormous buffet breakfasts. The hotel has its own restaurant – step out and you’ll find a whole range of alternatives to see you through your holidays. Rooms are small and simple, in raw brick and plain tile. Some have bonsai-sized balconies and the best have ocean views.
Suites – with kitchenettes and bathrooms with walk-in showers – are nicely pared-down in this beachfront retreat: decked out in acres of whitewash, they open onto big balconies with whirlpool tubs and views of the foaming green Atlantic. The hotel has a pool with a paddling area for young ones, and an impressive beachfront location that puts you in easy distance of Ponta Negra’s lively bars and restaurants. You’re a windsurf-flick away from the beach’s photogenic Morro do Careca hill: a dramatic, scrub-covered dune that plunges to the beach.
It’s not right on the beach, but Natal Dunas is in the perfect place: Ponta Negra’s restaurant strip is on the threshold. The best stretch of sand – at the foot of the giant Morro do Careca dune – is two minutes’ walk from the entrance. Rooms are simple but decorated in contemporary warm neutral tones, with dashes of color lent by photos of local scenes and scatter cushions – and they open onto balconies and a decent pool sundeck. The hotel is small enough to feel intimate.
If you want the beach, it’ll take you 20 minutes on foot from this business-minded downtown hotel. The city’s convention center and artisan market are a leisurely stroll away, and there are plenty of restaurants and shopping centers nearby. Rooms, with ensuites, are designed for tranquility – decorated in Natal’s standard combo of cream walls and hospital-white floor tiles. Plan to laze away at least one day by the pool, with lunch at the al fresco restaurant.
Want to explore more of Brazil, while staying relaxed and well-catered-for the entire time? Then see the best hotels and best resorts in the entire country – they’re bookable now via Culture Trip. Try the best Brazilian desserts during your stay and, if you find yourself in hotspot Rio de Janeiro, you’re primed to experience the best natural trails in the entire country.
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