I recently spent 5 days at the Summerville Beach Resort in Porto de Galinhas. This was my first time to Brazil, and I was overall pleased with the stay.
Prior to going to Brazil, I studied Portuguese enough so that I could have brief conversations, and this was a good idea. While there was one person at the checkin who spoke perfect English, many or most of the staff spoke little English, if at all. I don't view this as a negative in the least, rather, it made me feel like I was in a different country, which is exactly what I was looking for. I did find that they were very patient with my Portuguese, which was good!
The drive from Recife was a bit long - took us about 1 hour 15 minutes (a bit less on the way back), but the countryside was beautiful.
I loved the open air lobby, although this is where I started to notice the fact that the resort is a bit dated. By a bit dated, I mean it is overdue for a renovation. The furniture, the rooms, everything about the resort just seemed like I was in 1987. I upgraded to a cabana overlooking the pool, which was very nice. The porch was wide while still having privacy from the room next door, but I wish the furniture was just a bit more, well, updated. It was plastic chairs and tables -- sturdy enough, but if I were a large man (or woman), I'm not so sure it would have made it. The rooms were clean, and the 2X/day housekeeping was very efficient. I liked the fact that they had a mini fridge in the room, stocked with beer and some other things that I didn't have. (I did have the beer!)
The grounds were really beautiful. Little bridges enabled you to walk through (over) the pool area to the lobby, and there were numerous places to swim. I know that I was there in the winter (May), but the place was nearly deserted, which I LOVED. There was absolutely no problem getting a chair near the pool. In fact, some days it seemed like I was there with 3-4 of my friends, and that was it. I liked the beach, and the reef right off the beach made for nice crashing waves about 50 meters off shore.
The bar service was a little slow compared to American standards, but I found it to help me slow down and not worry so much about time. The waitstaff was quite pleasant and helpful.
The biggest surprise for me was the food. When I found out that it was all buffet-style food, frankly, I was not expecting much. After all, creating a huge buffet, 3 meals a day, that was both tasty and had healthy options is a tall order. I have to say that I thought the food here was very, very good. There were many new choices at every meal, along with some standard items that were consistent. While I could tell from day to day that they used leftovers to create the next day's meals, it was not a disappointment in the least. Plenty of interesting options, including one of my favorites, paella one night. Breakfast was very good, with eggs that were cooked just right - not overdone.
Overall, this was a good place. If I were ever back in or near Recife, I would probably go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in one of the most famous beaches of the Brazilian Northeast, the Summerville Beach Resort occupies a privileged green area of 70 thousand square meters in Muro Alto Beach, Porto de Galinhas in Ipojuca-PE. It is perfectly integrated into a landscape composed of coconut trees, rainforest, mangroves, and oceanfront, a huge natural pool formed by reefs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Summerville Beach Hotel Porto De Galinhas
- Summerville Beach Resort Porto De Galinhas, Brazil