By Alison McGowan
August 17, 2009

Fazenda Santa Marina came very highly recommended by good friends, so we were expecting something special. We just didn’t realise how special. A 19th century farmhouse, lovingly restored to its former glory by the Bernardi and Capistrano families, this is gracious living at its best. Surrounded by rolling green hills, Fazenda Santa Marina offers guests the total luxuries of space, beauty, gentleness and hospitality, combined with kingsized beds, solar heated showers, and designer toiletries. Add this to the fabulous home cooked food, the pool, the sauna, and the wonderful Indian spa treatments, and you will soon consider the lack of internet and mobile phone access an advantage rather than a disadvantage. I, for one, could quite easily forget the world for a while in a place as magical as this.

About the Location
The Fazenda Santa Marina is situated at the foot of the Serra do Espinhaco (Espinhaco hills), 180 kilometres south of Belo Horizonte near Cristiano Otoni. The route past it is part of the Camino Real or Royal Way” which leads up to the beautifully unspoilt sleepy colonial town of Solar dos Montes. There are a number of fazendas like the Santa Marina all built around the same time in the early 1800s, originally to produce food for the local gold mining community, and although the gold is long gone, much of the food consumed in the fazenda is still locally produced and cooked on orignal woodburning stoves. This is a truly hidden part of Brazil where you won’t find banks, supermarkets, restaurants or bars. Just hills, lakes, waterfalls, birds, butterflies and a very rich historical heritage.

Not to be Missed
– horseriding
– walks around the lake and over to the waterfalls
– visit to Santana dos Montes down the “Caminho Real”
– vists to other local fazendas
– massages and treatments in the spa

Starpoints
* luxury and tranquility
* free horseriding
* spa, massage and treatments
* organic food cooked on wood stoves
* family hospitality

Try a different place if…
… you don’t like the sounds of cocks crowing, or you can’t manage without a mobile phone or internet

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on alison@hiddenpousadasbrazil.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casarão da Amaznia, Soure, Ilha de Marajo, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Mila, nr. Ubatuba, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Beleza, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

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