Tucked away in a picturesque cove in Brazil’s southern region of Santa Catarina lies a slice of paradise. Almost a well-kept secret, Ponta dos Ganchos Resort is an exclusive oasis defined by its understated luxury, serene natural setting, sumptuous culinary offerings and exceptional service. But there is so much more to experience at this award-winning Relais & Châteaux property.

Located only thirty miles from the Florianopolis International Airport and accessible from both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, with fifty-five and ninety minute flights respectively, Ponta dos Ganchos is an ideal destination for both a honeymoon or a destination wedding. While the honeymoon lends itself to postwedding bliss and relaxation (and the property certainly offers that), it also offers the infrastructure to host an intimate ceremony and reception—private island included. Either choice would reveal the well thought-out philosophy of hospitality, service and unpretentious luxury that distinguishes the experience.

In perfect harmony with the area’s abundant natural beauty, the resort with its twenty-five meticulously appointed bungalows—ranging from 860 to 3,210 square feet—is built around its natural elements instead of intruding upon them. An unmistakable aura of tranquility infuses the senses accompanied by the smell of ocean, the sound of birds and the refreshing breeze flowing through towering bamboo trees. 

Nature trails that lead to discreet outposts with panoramic views of the bay provide a sense of adventure. The white-sand, private beach is a perfect accompaniment to the setting and provides a relaxation haven. Guests can flirt with the warm rays of the sun, take a dip in the cool, pristine ocean water or take a stroll around the picturesque bay on complimentary kayaks and paddle boards.

When it comes to culinary offerings, being breakfast, lunch or dinner, Ponta dos Ganchos has perfected the art of dining. Under the creative talent of head chef Luis Salvajoli, menus change daily based on what is available from local food purveyors. Most of the produce comes from the on-property organic garden. The nearby fishing villages are a source for the freshest seafood including oysters—a specialty of the region.

In addition to always having new options on the menu and an impressive wine selection, guests can make special requests any time and enjoy what they want, prepared how they want it, served where ever they choose, being in the restaurant, their room, the beach or better yet arrange for a romantic candlelight dinner on the resort’s private island. The idyllic setting of the Cantinho da Veleza area where lunch is often served, features an outdoor grill with tables under the thick shade of trees that overlook the deep blue of the ocean.

To further indulge, either before, during or after an exhausting day of relaxation, the resort’s Wellbeing Center offers a wide range of selections such as single or couple’s massages, Dior, facial and body spa treatments in an outdoor private setting.

An array of activities will satisfy anyone’s appetite. On property, there are culinary courses with the chef, an outdoor movie theatre, fitness center and a clay tennis court.

Venture off property and there are organized tours to the city of Florianopólis with upscale shopping, (or a helicopter tour over Florianópolis Island), local distilleries, the picturesque Azorean village Ribeirão da Ilha and boat trips to the local oyster beds. Horseback riding, paragliding at Santo Amaro da Imperatriz, windsurfing, sailing and even whale watching between June and November are also popular choices. Campeche Island, with its Atlantic rainforest and emerald-green waters ideal for snorkeling, is a great place to visit on a day trip.

As the romantic honeymoon may approach its end, couples will certainly have many reasons to plan their next visit to their newfound slice of paradise.

> Written by Yanni Tzoumas

Location: Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil