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“Don't Delay Go Today!”

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Iberostar Praia do Forte
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Praia do Forte
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Don't Delay Go Today!”
Reviewed July 11, 2008

We travelled to Brazil in May with our 18month old son. The Iberostar is currently the only hotel set right on the beach a few miles outside of Praia do Forte, north of Salvador, Brazil’s third largest city. Intimate this hotel is not and as such you should expect all the hustle and bustle of a large hotel complex. Although it can get busy, there are plenty of chill out areas such that we never felt as though the place was crowded.

The rooms are in a series of 3 blocks set over 3 floors. There are no lifts. Don’t be afraid to ask to move if you are not happy with your room, the staff will accommodate you if they can. We considered one of 3 alternative ground floor rooms available to us but decided to put up with carting our pram up and down the stairs because of the great ocean view from our balcony.

Each block of rooms are set around a series of court yards. All are tastefully landscaped, some more spectacular than others. Our room was clean and spacious with a large double bed, seating area and balcony. The mini bar was restocked every other day.

There are 4 restaurants. Three are themed, Mediterranean, Brazilian Barbeque and Japanese. All serve a good standard of cuisine. The deserts are best at the Mediterranean and the buffet. So much so that we enjoyed our two courses at both the Japanese and Brazilian and went back to the buffet for a chocolate hit! There is also a Gourmet restaurant which is supposed to be of a higher standard; however we did not try this one as young children are not allowed. Phone them up for cancellations if you can’t get in through the normal booking procedure.

In addition there are a number of buffet restaurants open almost round the clock. Although the faire here is pretty much the same every day, the choice is vast (early hours excluded). I had something different every day and didn’t get half way through the menu. Contrary to reports ground coffee, freeze dried coffee and a range of Twinings teas are available in the buffet restaurant all day. The bar also serve a great cappuccino and espresso, but if you prefer to take your PG Tips in your room you may be disappointed and might want to consider a B&B in Bognor Regis instead.

The grounds are all landscaped and well kept. There is a great view of the golf course by block one. There are 3 main pool areas. Most activities take place around the main pool which is between block one and two and has a swim up bar. There is also a proper swimmers 25m pool and a quieter recreational pool situated between blocks 2 and 3. This where we plonked ourselves for the duration of our stay and had a very pleasant time indeed.

The surf is very choppy but great for paddling and the beach is fantastic, especially as its relatively deserted. There are often traders down by the beach and some on it. If you want any trinkets this is the place to buy them as prices are much, much cheaper than the hotel shops. Don’t forget to haggle either. We found that the traders were more than prepared to knock off a few Reals without any real effort, especially if you are buying more than one item. We really wanted a hammock (there are some lovely ones in Praia Do Forte) but we couldn’t fit one in our luggage.

You can walk along the beach to Praia do Forte and visit the village and Turtle Sanctuary, but watch the tide or you’ll find yourself wading or even swimming back. We found the service courteous and friendly throughout the hotel, on the beach, by the pool, in the restaurants, at the bar, at reception, even room service. So much so that our son had his photo taken with three of the staff because we got on with them so well.

Yes, very little English is spoken but so what. A “Bom Dia” and an “Obrigado” here and there gets you a long way. And if you have a real problem there are plenty of staff in the hotel who speak fluent English.

You can see some building work going on next to block 3 but it is far enough away that it never interrupted our holiday. Iberostar are building another hotel next door called the Iberostar Praia Do Forte, which accounts for the building work, and is due to open November 08. It will be more exclusive than the Iberostar Bahia (if that’s possible) and guests will be able to access the Bahia facilities, but Bahia guests will be excluded from the Praia Do Forte.

If you go to Brazil, you must go to Rio. My advice is take the 4 day trip if you can or at least ensure you are there for the Sunday. That’s when Rio’s population hit the beaches and Copacabana and Ipanema are at their best.

  • Liked — Location was superb and the service is excellent
  • Disliked — No lifts
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank marathonman2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Brasil
Level Contributor
101 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2008

I passed my honeymoon in Iberostar Bahia, in October 2007. The hotel is huge, really very large. Has many European clients, and I and my wife felt foreigners in our own country. Food is great, apartments are great, the hotel has many swimming pools and places to rest. Three notes: a) the library doesn´t one single book or magazine in Portuguese; b) all prices for fun are in euros and far more expensive than if you contracted them outside the hotel; c) no nightlife. The hotel is 15 kilometers away from Costa do Sauípe, a great tourist complex in Bahia.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ricardo_papa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2008

This hotel is the best. everything was spotless and the food is great . The people are very friendly and there staff always have the answer IF you have a problem and thats a big IF. It was nearly winter when i went but temperatures were still in the 30s and our guide said the only difference is the wind. There is always things for you to do. The entertainment team has things planned every hour from 9am til 6pm. so you can take part or enjoy the sunshine and let the staff bring your drink to you.
Honestly theres so much to mention about this place and not a bit of it is bad

FIRST CLASS

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
Thank Jockwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2008

I love Brazil , I know brazilian culture and have traveled thru the country several times and been very lucky to get to know several fabolous places, that being said, I must be very honest and say the Iberostar let me down.
I was at the hotel for 4 days with a group of 35 persons, on an incentive trip organized almost completely by me..
Arranging the agenda and getting straight info from the hotel activities before the trip was a nightmare. No one gives direct answers, they take an eternity to answer and they answer half of your questions. Now, being personally there, you get to understand part of their lazyness, cause of course they are bahians, the place is huge, physical distances are long and telephone communication is nule.
Hotel premises are excellent , huge, clean, very well designed, rooms are large and comfortable. Gardens are superb.
Restaurants have good quality , food is plenty and the "Mediterranean's" food is outstanding as well as the Japanese. The seafood at the restaurants closer to the beach is very fresh and you just have to arrive before 3 PM, or else you will not find food any more. People eat like ants.
Beverages are available actually from 7.00 Am to 3 Am and they serve you as many times as you ask.
The hotel beach is absolutely beautiful!!, clean, wide (just beware of the high tides), soft sand, strong waves, a dream !!
background music is lovely and everywhere. The dayly shows we saw were very professional, some of them look like Broadway shows, really. While shows are on, you can also have drinks and popcorn!! (Ask for "pipoca").
The disco is small.
Everyday recreational activities are very standard and do not pretend to get anything beyond that standard, they simply don't do anything that's not in their schedules, even for groups.
Staff is frespectful but not very bright, and it even gets complicated if you speak fluent portuguese, so... i'm sorry to say that if you're not brazilian you'd better buy some patience at the airport cause they are not going to understand you or they're going to pretend they don't. It's a shame they do not have internationally trained people at such high ranked hotel.
Ah! most celular phones do not have signal , the telephone cost is around 2 dolars/minute calling from the room, and there are no booths, so... you'll be definitively disconnected from the world.
Sport premises are poor, just the golf course looks great.
All in all, the place is very good, it's just not professionally handled like an european chain, it's very latinamerican inside.

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank ana25ar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2008

We stayed here after spending a couple of nights in Rio and at the Iguassu Falls. We loved those so much we rrrrrrealy hoped it wouldn't let us down. It didn't.
Spectacular lobby when you first walk in sets up the rest of the holiday brilliantly. The weather wasn't brilliant when we first got there but it got a lot better. The beach is beautiful. Better for surfing than swimming though ... bit rough. Great staff...will do anything to help. Entertainment staff very good aswell. Always doing something..... including one that dresses up every 5 minutes scaring the kids. Brilliant!! For those who want a quieter time, there's also a quieter pool. Room was great... and someone came to clean it 3 times a day. The bars included every drink you wanted for free (no extra charge for non local drinks) There was 3 a la carte restaurants, a HUGE buffet restaurant that was open more or less 24 hours a day and a pool restaurant that was supposed to be a snack bar but was betetr than a lot of other main restaurants.
Would 100% go back again..... and probably will

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — only town nearby .... nice as it was
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank NickP7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de janeiro
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2008

Me and Husband went there to celebrate our first year of marriage and ended up being very surprised with the resort.... you have it all just there !!
You can have fun all the time inside the resort, it has activities all the time with the Star Friends, big wonderful pool, beach inside the hotel, 4 restaurants to choose ( it´s all included, so u eat, drink whenever and wherever u want, they have bars, restaurants and snacks services for all tastes ).
We could exercise at the gym, had gym classes, watched the night shows ( every night a different show, all very good ). Could have romance and adventure. It´s definetely one of the best hotels I´d ever been in my whole life, maybe THE BEST ONE ! I more than recommend !!

  • Liked — Activities, Food, Drinks
  • Disliked — Far from the City, shops etc
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank luluzinhario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2008

Before I comment on the hotel, this is to those who have the typical arrogance of our nation to demand that everyone speaks English. Ask yourself, would you be happy for a Brazilian to visit the UK and only speak Portuguese? No, you wouldn't, you wold insist they speak English so next time you visit a foriegn country, make an effort and learn at least some of their national language, it goes a long way. Rant over.

Having previously stayed in an Iberostar in Dom Rep, and then stupidly going elsewhere after, we came back Iberostar because we hopefully knew what we would be getting, and we were not dissapointed.

Hotel - this hotel is only two years old and is fantastic. Rooms were spacious enough to sleep in (only time you are really in the room), chambermaid very polite and helpful and created touching designs with the towels and flowers. Air conditioning worked well and was also fairly quiet. Thank you to Lizete.

Food - well, after having lost just over a stone over 3 months in preparation for this holiday, I managed to put it all back on again in two weeks. With so much choice in all the restaurants, and 23 hours 15 mins of food availability, it was a struggle to try everything, but I gave it a good go. Thank you to Sandra and Luciene our favourite waitresses. The alcohol did not help the calorie couint either!

Entertainment - Star Friends try their utmost to create a friendly atmosphere and can be extremely funny and having to work extremely long hours, deserve a round of applause. Their night time shows are good entertainment considering they are not professionals but they do put their heart and soul into it every single night. A big hello to Fauster and Capasete (or Rolex 24ct). Very funny dudes.

Trips - A bit dissapointed with planned trips. Bahia by Night was by far the best watching the sun set at the Fort in Salvador, then into the local market and then a restaurant for local food and entertainment including Capoeira (the dance/martial art). Cachoeira trip was not as described in the leaflet and as Brazil is such a large country, we spent over 6 hours int toal on the coach for this day trip. Our final trip was Salvador, but this is heavily focussed on its Catholic history and churches.

The walk along the beach to Praia Do Forte (approx 4km) was lovely, in fact we done it twice. Taxi back to the hotel cost 20 Reais. The Turtle Sanctuary is also a must to see the work carried out to protect them. Took approx 1hr 40 mins to walk there but there were plenty of stops to look at the varied sealife caught in the sea puddles.

The weather was realy good, especially as it was the start of their winter. Only one day that had rain and even then that did not spoil the day. There were some showers early in the morning on a couple of days, but by 10 am everything has dried and so carry on sunbathing!

The First Choice reps, Kelly and Dan were very helpful, especially when we sufferred a family bereavement in the second week. I think Kelly was overjoyed to have a some fellow Pointy Heads (Herefordians) staying as she was able to reminisce to about the place.

There are so many other plus points I could easily fill up this website, so if anyone has any comments, please feel free to contact me.

Overall, a pleasant and enjoyable stay in a lovely hotel in a fascinating country. The people of Brazil were very friendly, even more so when I tried out my limited Portuguese as they much appreciated a foreigner trying his best!

Muito obrigado (thank you very much)

  • Liked — Clean, spacious, modern, no bad points.
  • Disliked — Can't think of anything.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rosiscraps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Praia do Forte

Property: Iberostar Praia do Forte
Address: Rodovia BA 99 Km 56, Praia do Forte, State of Bahia 48280-000, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Bahia > Praia do Forte
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Praia do Forte
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Praia do Forte
#2 Romantic Hotel in Praia do Forte
#3 Family Hotel in Praia do Forte
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Praia do Forte 4*
Number of rooms: 536
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 5 star hotel located in Praia do Forte, only 60km away from Salvador (Brazil). Sea–turtles reserve. 5 restaurants. Tennis courts. SPA and Golf course. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Praia Do Forte Hotel Mata De Sao Joao
Iberostar Bahia Praia Do
Iberostar Mata De Sao Joao
Iberostar Bahia Brazil
Iberostar Brazil
Iberostar Praia Do Forte Bahia

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