We stayed at Hotel Warabi in January 2014 for three nights. Although Maua is a little hard to get to (we ended up splurging and getting a private transfer from Paraty) it's well worth the trouble. Warabi offered us a very reasonable rate for their own driver, Philip, who spoke excellent English and with whom we shared a really enjoyable drive. He pointed out loads of interesting things along the way, stopping to show us an amazing view, and also to show us a fresh spring where we filled up our water bottles. He is also very humorous and good natured, and also left plenty of time for staring out of the window and trundling along in companionable silence.
The hotel was amazing. I loved falling asleep to the sound of rushing water (the river was right outside our chalet), the jacuzzi on our porch, and the kimonos for our use in the room.
Breakfast was a totally unexpected Japanese affair - complete with sushu rolls, and either seared tuna or delicious fried trout, miso soup and then jasmine tea and a little tea cake. They also have plenty of the standard Brazilian fare too (pao com queijo, papaya, cheese/ ham/ fruit juice etc).
We had dinner there twice as we found the other restaurants a little primpy and toy-towny, and most things were empty as it was out of season. The sushi at the restaurant is incredibly good. We eat a lot of sushi in London and this was of a very high standard and excellent value for money.
We wanted to travel next to Belo Horizonte but as we do not have a Brazilian tax number we were unable to book anything online (hotel and travel). The lady who runs Warabi was so kind she booked and paid for our tickets on her own credit card to get around this problem. In the end the booking was rejected (Brazil really needs to sort this one out before the World Cup) and the money refunded to her, but we were really touched by her generosity and the not un-significant amount of time she took doing it all online.
As our plans for Belo Horizonte were scuppered, we decided to head back to Rio (on a bus from Resende) and then on to Saquarema for the weekend. We asked for a private transfer again, but she told us to catch the local bus as it would only cost us Rs 5 each. This was very nice of her, as she could have made loads of money out of us. She also got up early to prepare us a packed breakfast to take with us, and came out to the bus stop to make sure we knew what we were doing!
All in all these touches of good humour, generosity and kindness meant a great deal to us and, (although the rooms were a bit dusty, and the pool quite small) we will remember the warmth of Warabi for a long time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The breakfast is served with about 20 small dishes including fruits, breads and cold cuts. The menu changes every day. All dishes are decorated, we call it 'Cafe Gourmet'. Can also be served in your room for a fee. The equipments of leisure for rental are motos, bikes, kayaks, horses, tubes, quadricycle and buggy motor. Best location (400 meters) near the main village (Maringá). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Warabi Itatiaia, Brazil