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“Great but not perfect” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Asalem

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Asalem
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Praia da Crena, Ilha Grande, State of Rio de Janeiro 23.960-000, Brazil   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Ilha Grande
Belgrade, Serbia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great but not perfect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

We have been to Asalem, March 2010 and stayed there for 4 nights. We are a family with young children and when we got there we realized that it wasn't really the best place to stay due to the fact that the whole place is on a very steep and cliffy terrain, so if you travel with kids you either book the honeymoon suite or you chose another place.

The whole place, setting, lodging IS AMAZING. Its a fact. The food is the best you are going to get on island. Not too many choices on the menu, but compared to places in Abrao we tried, this was a higher class indeed.

The only thing that i missed is that places lacks a real brazilian spirit and family atmosphere. All the guests are mostly coming from abroad ((95%), cooking together the fresh fish from the sea, family atmosphere all the things written on their website - forget all this. Service is "efficient", more likely the big hotel chains than the laidback brazilian pousada style. Thats what i missed.

If you come here its a good choice, but dont expect too much. Honeymoon suite, its fabulous. The beach near the place its nothing special compared to other ones on the Ilha.

Coming to Ilha means spending your time doing boat trips to Lopez Mendes, Lagoa Azul, highly recommended!!! So the most of the time you ll be actually away, so its not really necessary to book such an expensive lodging for brazilian standards, but coming here is a quality experience for sure, great yet not perfect!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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169 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, GA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2010

This was one of the prettiest places we stayed on our trip to Brazil. Located on a hill right above the bay, quite a ways from the main town (but not too far), the views are breathtaking. Rooms are charming, with a comfortable hammock on the ground floor, a bed in the loft space with a view over the water, and a good amount of space. Although my only complaint -- and the reason I've taken one star away -- is I found the mattress unbearably uncomfortable, and I'm not a picky person when it comes to beds (I'll note that my wife completely disagrees). We stuck our head in the newly-constructed honeymoon suite, and it looked even better than the already pretty rooms.

We loved the restaurant. The kitchen was good, and we were quite happy to eat there two of the three nights we stayed. I saw a negative review about the unusual table orientation -- all seats face the water -- but that is an plus, as it allows every guest to watch the gentle bay and is especially enjoyable at sunset.

We also appreciated the staff. Everyone who worked there was helpful and assisted us in planning our day trips, even booking a private boat at reasonable price last minute.

We think this was one of the best places we stayed, and if they replaced the mattresses, we would come back in a heartbeat. And it's worth it even if they don't!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Top Contributor
289 reviews 289 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 104 cities Reviews in 104 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

After staying at Sagu for 5 nights I felt a little upset when we arrived at Asalem. The room we had was frankly not very nice at all, the downstairs part looked dated, worn and just un-appealing, the bed part upstairs was fine, but nothing compared to Sagu. The views and location were also great, I liked the lighting of candles for dinner, food was not great at all, and it was strange that you are all seated along a bench looking out rather than at a table. The breakfasts however were good, with lots of lovely freshly baked cakes! The staff were nice and friendly but it did lack soemthing there, a re-vamp could be in order..

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2010

we (30 year old couple) stayed at both the loft style room and also the ecosuite in january. they were both exceptional! the rooms have exquisite design and the view from the room is spectacular! every morning we had the most amazing breakfast with a wonderful view... it is very private and the staff is so friendly and helpful. there is a 24 hour taxi that will take you to town which is only about a 3-4 minute ride. we used it several times. you can even order your dinner and eat at the resort. the food is exceptional. the owner is a photographer who has made some very interesting books about Brazil. you can learn more about the country, culture and history. it made the stay very special as we ready the books more then once... overall, it was an incredible stay and i would definitely stay here again and think that this is by far the best place to stay on the island. there is also a lot of hiking on the island, and the staff was fabulous in helping to arrange day trips as of what to do. it is a no brainer, if you need to stay on ilha grande, stay here. Jennifer and Drew

  • Stayed January 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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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2010

We stayed here 3 nights and this is a great place because the rooms are very beautiful, the staff is very helpful and speak excellent English and does everything to make your stay pleasant (lighting candles outside your door at night, making cosy atmosphere when you´re having dinner in their restaurant). Breakfast is very nice.

You can also use their Kayaks for free which we would recommend.

The only negative thing about this place is location. We were told that this place is an easy walk 20 min from the Abrao village. The path was almost impossible to use since it´s very slippery and muddy (it rains heavvy almost every night) so even if we are young and in great shape we thought this was an almost dangerous walk. Asalem offer taxiboats but you still feel a bit "prisoned" and its difficult to find a taxiboat from Abbrao Village at night so you have to call Asalem and wait approx. 20 minutes.

If you want to live in the nature your hole stay and you´re not the restless type this is an excellent place, we promise. But if you want to have both (nature and lots of restaurants) you maybe have to think twice.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2010

The place has the most amazing position and beutiful views of the emerald seas, but the rooms are pretty basic and service is so-so.

The food is excellent !!

The taxi boat to town is expensive : R30 for 2 people return for all 5 minutes on the boat.

Again the views and position are really something special.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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london
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

Ilha Grande was the best place we visited in Rio state. From the outset, my recommendation would be to scrap all your other plans, and spend as long as possible on this island, at this hotel.
Asalem has just four rooms and is secluded from the hustle of Abrao, which is walking distance (20 mins) or accessible by boat (5 mins). The breakfast was superb, the service was fantastic, the vibe was incredibly chilled out, the view was incredible. Ultimately, it's a "rustic" experience - don't expecrt 5-star trimmings - but one of the best we had in Brazil.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Asalem

Address: Praia da Crena, Ilha Grande, State of Rio de Janeiro 23.960-000, Brazil
Phone Number:
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Ilha Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Ilha Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Asalem 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ASALEM is a seaside hideaway situated in Ilha Grande, a protected reserve of natural land where no cars are allowed. All our 5 enchanting waterfront suites are surrounded by the rain forest that overlooks the spectacular Bay of Abraäo. This proximity to the ocean offers rare, intimate glimpses of sea creatures such as starfish and turtles, as well as abundant schools of fish. The forest brings frequent visitors, including monkeys, squirrels, fireflies, blue butterflies and a wide variety of exotic tropical birds. This unspoiled peace of paradise is the perfect spot for honeymooners looking for privacy: we are 20 minutes apart from the main village walking in an accessible path or 5 minutes by the taxi boat we provide. Apart from the taxi boat service, available 24/7, we can arrange boat trips, transfers, massages, scuba diving, snorkeling and guided hikes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Asalem Ilha Grande, Brazil
Asalem Hotel Ilha Grande

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