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“Detox heaven” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Island Experience

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The Island Experience
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Estrela da Ilha | Praia de Freguesia de Santana, Lagoa Azul, Ilha Grande, State of Rio de Janeiro 23900-060, Brazil   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #40 of 81 Ilha Grande B&B and Inns
Nyon
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Detox heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2011

Beautiful lodge with great detox program that makes you feel like being reborn after a week (or preferably two to really get back in great shape). Perfect "no frills" service, very comfortable rooms, great amenities, all on a beautiful island with amazing beaches and fantastic hiking trails. A way to detox and have lots of fun at the same time.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Powell River, Canada
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

Before we came to TIE, we read all the reviews. As world travelers, always read tripadviosr reviews with some caution. This place had so many long wordy reviews, so many worded over the top positive, so we had some doubts, come on it can't be that great.

Well it is ... Plain and simple ... We travelled from the west coast of Canada, 12000 k's each way for a week at TIE. Well worth the effort and cost.

As a man, shocked to hear only 15% of the guest are men ... Don't understand that one. Guys don't let the women go alone ... Lol ... You will miss out on some great stuff. The exercise level is as hard as you want it. The daily massage is awesome ...

The food ... I am no light weight, arriving at TIE around 225lbs, not sure what I have lost but close to 10lbs. The food was more than enough. Quality was outstanding, and more available if you needed it, tried hard not to give in to the "want more please" . Theses folks know their stuff ... Had enough energy to complete the week, and even after our long trip home yesterday I am sitting here writing this review without being exhausted.

Read all the reviews ... But really go experience the TIE for yourself ... It is worth it.

Thank you everyone at TIE ... You have something special going on there ... Keep it up ...

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Island_Martin, Manager at The Island Experience, responded to this review, April 29, 2011
We are grateful for your wonderfully kind words - thank you! It was truly a pleasure having you both with us for a great week and we are excited to hopefully having you join us for another 'Experience' in Patagonia!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2010

Everything about The Island Experience was perfect. The guides were patient and knowledgable along with being some of the nicest people I've ever met. The food was delicious and the activities highlighted just how beautiful the scenery is there. I would go back a million times over...top notch facility!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2010

This was the trip of a lifetime. I went with a group of friends and we all absolutely loved it. The island is a paradise and the spa is breathtaking. Across the board, the owners and staff couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming. Their love for what they do, the island, and nature is infectious. The food was fantastic. Every meal was inventive, fresh, healthy and really delicious. The combination of hiking, kayaking, yoga and massage were perfect. The activities were challenging and always took us to different and interesting parts of the island. They encourage everyone to take part in the activities, but we had people at different levels so they had some alternate plans for those who needed less of a challenge. My friends and I were all yoga beginners. Our yoga instructors tailored the classes to our experience level, paid attention to any special needs and gave us a great experience every day. The massages were amazing – so luxurious – and so helpful in keeping us from being sore after a great day of strenuous activities. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the week we spent at the Island Experience has rubbed off on the rest of our lives – we’re all eating better, exercising more and feeling great. We felt so fortunate to have been able to go and share such an amazing experience. We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2010

This was the best trip I have ever taken. There won't be words to describe how great this place was but I'll thrown out a few high points. I found the Island Experience doing searches on "top ten ....spas, adventure, yoga, mind-body-spirit, etc ". Then I began reading reviews. The reviews for the Island Experience mentioned many of the things I was looking for... exercise, great food, relaxation, massage, hiking, rain forest, kayaking, oceanfront, beaches, yoga, cultural experience, etc.). It was all that and more. It is a unique experience to end up on a beautiful island with 8-10 others, previously unknown to you, and spend a week eating, playing, laughing, sweating and relaxing. The week I went (last week in August), I shared my Island Experience with people who had traveled from Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, England, and the other coast of the US. Four people had been there a week or two when I arrived. Five of us showed up for our fist week together. It was so much fun to hang out with people from around the world, walk trails, kayak beautiful blue waters, explore amazing beaches, relax on yoga mats and share wonderful cuisine in an open air dining room beside the ocean by candlelight. Plenty of solitary time too, if you want it. This place takes the "do what you want" approach. So you have amazing daytrip options every day, or you can just stay at the main lodge and relax on the grounds. The sauna and hottub have perfect views of the sunset and are highly recommended.

Although I had read everything I could before going, there were still pleasant surprises waiting there. There were two amazing performances by visiting specialists in Capoeira (Brazilian martial art) and in Aerial Artistry. Both the Aerial Artist and the Capoerira group conducted classes in their respective arts so that we got to try these amazing activities. In addition, we were treated to a dance movement class that was so different and "out-of-the-box" that we were all dazzled and intrigued by the absolute incredible uniqueness of it. The yoga, also a wonderful surprise as there were two highly talented instructors who would help us usher the day in and prepare our bodies for the days activity ahead. Then, at the end of the day, one or the other would help us undue any knots and soreness with restorative yoga that again complemented the days events. In looking back, it is the complete integration of everything that made this place different and better than anything I've ever done. The yoga was preparation for the days activities. The breakfast was specifically calculated to feed the days activities, as were the snacks and lunch. The massage, was somehow coordinated to work out the parts of the body that were most in need, given the days events. And the massage was special. It was a combination of so many techniques, all I can say is that it was restorative.. and wonderful.. and different... and perfect! Onto dinners, which appeared to be preparation for the next days activities. I noticed the hearty fish dinner preceded the hardest hike of the week (Parrot's Peak). Speaking of Parrot's Peak, definitely a challenging hike but, if you're ready for it, SUCH a beautiful vantage point. One of those places where you feel like you're on top of the world. And the chance to hike through primary rainforest to get there... priceless. So great to be a part of such a well oiled machine. I felt like a million bucks by the end of the week. And one final little nicety was a wonderful little dog "Lua" who would happily accommodate the occasional attention and play that guests offered.

So I weighed in the week before I went to the Island and am happy to report a 5 pound weight loss after TIE. I have embraced some of the recipes I loved most from TIE and I am maintaining the loss. I hope to return someday as this was the most relaxation and fitness that I have achieved in a very long time and TIE got me there in one short week. If money were no object, I would stay longer. Also, if Martin and Adriana ever decide to introduce their clientele to another part of the world, I am there! Their approach to health, happiness and wellness through activity, nature and healthy delicious cuisine makes great sense.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2010

When I chose The Island Experience from an online search of "yoga resorts worldwide", I had no idea that I'd be making a decision that would allow us to have our best family holiday ever! My husband and I (both in our 50's) were looking for a new destination that would include yoga (even though we were beginners), plenty of outdoor activities, healthy food with a low-cal option, and cooler weather than we'd find north of the equator. We found all of these things, and more. Our son, age 23, joined us for two of the three weeks we spent at TIE, and we all fell in love with the island, the staff, and the country.

Martin and Adriana are perfect hosts: friendly, helpful, encouraging and knowledgable. After three weeks there, we felt like family, and their casual, welcoming style makes everyone feel right at home from the first day they meet you in Rio for the trip south to Angra dos Reis, the port town from which you travel by boat to Ilha Grande. The island itself is a nature preserve, and has no roads (apart from a few in the main town), very few vehicles, and hiking trails of various intensities criss-crossing the island. Residents go almost everywhere by boat, hopping from cove to cove; even the school bus is a boat!

The facility itself is breathtaking. Built entirely of wooden beams and slats, the yoga room has glass windows from floor to ceiling, so your view as you practice is of the ocean, with the lapping of the waves as a calming accompaniment to the meditative mood. The lodge and the guest rooms are also built in the same rustic, but elegant style, and each room has a balcony overlooking the water, complete with deck chairs and a hammock.

The rooms are simply but comfortably furnished (including a much-needed mosquito net over the bed, since the island is 95% covered in Atlantic rain forest), and there is daily maid service. There are no TVs at the lodge or in the rooms, and no telephones, since part of the goal of the program directors is to help guests de-stress and unwind from busy, electronically-dependant lives. You can have occasional internet access at the main lodge, but the signal can be unreliable, since it is an island, so it's best not to plan to be "connected" during most of your stay. Most cell phones do work there in "roaming" mode.

One of the best things about the program is that only they only accept up to 12 guests per week. Most guests come for one or two week stays. We were there for three weeks, and there were never more than 9 guests total per week, with at least four staff/trainers per session. This meant that no matter what the activity, there were enough staff members to make sure that each guest could be as challenged as they'd like to be each day. There were always several options for daily hikes/kayaks, and someone from the staff was with each group at all times. Some of the hikes were very challenging (we didn't attempt those, but the "younger" folks did!) but all were beautiful, mostly treks through rain forest canopies of bamboo and many other kinds of vegetation, including coconut, banana and breadfruit trees. Local fauna include several species of monkeys, plenty of birds, some lizards and snakes (only saw one snake myself) and even a few squirrels. Each day, we'd stop at at least once beach, all of which were lovely. Lopes Mendes is my favorite - a 2 1/2 mile stretch of white sandy beach where surfers take their chances with the medium-sized waves, and where there is also plenty of shade for those of us who choose not to sunbathe.

Amenities onsite include: one-hour massages MOndays -Fridays, a sauna, jacuzzi, some free-weights and an exercise bike (which we never used because we were so busy hiking, kayaking and enjoying the amazing beaches). One of the main draws for us was the twice-a-day yoga program; we had our first session at 6:30 each morning, and one more in the evening before dinner. The yoga instructors were wonderful, and were able to help each guest find his or her comfort zone for doing the various routines. Some days, we opted out of activities and stayed at the lodge, relaxing and enjoying the quiet beauty of the facility

The food is prepared under the supervision of Adriana. Adriana is a nutriotionist by education, and a gourmet vegetarian chef by choice. The meals are mostly vegan, with some dairy, and grilled fish a few times a week. She calls the food she serves "detox" but I can honestly say that I was never hungry, always had plenty of energy, and felt great even after three weeks of the organic, low-gluten diet. Each dish was delicious, beautifully presented, and completely satisfying, made with fresh ingredients from the local market.

To summarize, The Island Experience was the best holiday we have EVER taken, and we feel grateful that we found it. We definitely plan to go again, hopefully next summer, and are recommending it to anyone who is looking for an active, but also relaxing holiday in gorgeous surroundings. Martin and Adriana will be there to welcome you, and to make sure your island experience is truly special!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

I had a really great week with the Island Experience. My group was great, the staff and owners were very accommodating and the work out and activities across the week were challenging and rewarding.

Highlights included hiking to and then enjoying Lopes Mendez beach; daily yoga sessions; trekking up to the top of Parrot Peak; great food and juices and the fab sunsets.

Definitely recommend this trip if you want to detox, get fit and have fun in an sensational environment.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Island Experience

Address: Estrela da Ilha | Praia de Freguesia de Santana, Lagoa Azul, Ilha Grande, State of Rio de Janeiro 23900-060, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Ilha Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #40 of 81 B&Bs / Inns in Ilha Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the spellbinding island called Ilha Grande, just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, our unique adventure spa and fitness program is a seven-day program designed to detox your body and de-stress your mind. A typical day is filled with meditative yoga, challenging physical activities accompanied by experienced trainers, delicious and healthy meals that purify and energize, and euphoric massage that leaves you completely relaxed. The combination of all these elements are truly life transforming. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Island Experience Hotel Ilha Grande
The Island Experience Ilha Grande, Brazil

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