In February / 15 we went up the mountain to visit the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Petrópolis headquarters (to read the post click on here ), and that’s where we discovered the delicious Pousada Paraíso Açú. Only now in August / 15 did we get back and stay there. It was a pleasant surprise !!
Paraíso Açú is located in the beautiful Vale do Bonfim, surrounded by mountains, very green and many flowers, right at the entrance to the National Park, also known as PARNASO. It is ideal for those who seek to enjoy the waterfalls of the park, to make trails and to be in contact with nature, but hosted with comfort and great gastronomy. Do not expect luxury, but you will find everything you need to spend very pleasant days in charming, manicured surroundings. And still, with much peace, tranquility and silence.
The hostel is located in Côrreas, 30 minutes away from the center of Itaipava and 40 minutes from Petrópolis. The distance in mileage is short but as the road is narrow and has spring break, you have to drive carefully and with reduced speed. The route to the inn is asphalted.
How to get
We went up the mountain to Itaipava. From there, we continue towards Corrêas. From then on, just follow the signs indicating “Serra dos Órgãos National Park”. You will also see several smaller signs indicating the inn.
The hostel has 15 different suites / chalets. Some are already renovated, like the upper Quaresmeira chalet, in which we stayed. Our chalet was well isolated from the others, maintaining our privacy, not to mention the tranquility and silence. In addition, it was spacious and very comfortable, with rustic decor, equipped with everything we needed to rest: a huge king bed with thermal blanket, lots of pillows, ecological fireplace, stocked fridge, LCD tv, sky channels and dvd player. There was a sitting room with sofas and a table and a hammock on the porch of the cottage.
The bed heated by the thermal sheet is a delight! Just plug it in before dinner, for example, and when you get back the bed will be warm! At bedtime we would turn off the heat sheet (but it stays warm) and light the fireplace. The hostel has already entered the wave of hotels in the USA, ecologically correct, and no longer uses wood-burning fireplace. The fireplace is fueled with alcohol. Although it does not have the charm of the traditional fireplace, it is the right thing to do!
It is possible to choose a dvd in the reception to watch in the room.
The windows of the cottage (the bedroom, the living room, and the bathroom) had a screen. This way, you can leave the windows open without risking insects. I thought it was very good!
The bathroom has blindex box, new towels and bathroom amenities (soap, shampoo with 2 × 1 conditioner).
There is an area very close to the chalet to park the car.
Rooms that have not yet been renovated are more to consider.
- Swimming pool – The inn has a pool of natural water flowing, fueled by a spring that sits inside the property. It’s like you’re entering a waterfall pit. I love natural pools !! The pool is on a wooden deck with tables, chairs, stalls and a beautiful view of the valley and mountains, at the foot of the beautiful Pedra Comprida also known as Pedra do Ser. I was enchanted by this Stone.
- Sauna – right next to the pool is the wood-burning sauna with beautiful views of the valley. To use it, just notify the reception with half an hour in advance. In winter it is a delight to have a sauna and then take a tibum in the pool.
- Games room – billiards, gaming, ping-pong, table games, games of intelligence and cards.
- Reading room – in the headquarters, where the restaurant and the reception are, there is an entire glassed-in hall with a view of the beautiful green! Great for reading and rest.
- Sunset – The sun sets right in front of the pool deck, perfect for enjoying the end of the day having a drink or a craft beer from the inn and tweaking some of the delicious poolside snacks.
The hostel promotes varied activities on weekends and holidays. On the weekend we were there (Aug / 15) these were the activities offered:
- Yoga and stretching – right after breakfast, we had yoga lesson 1hr on the pool deck on Saturday and Sunday was stretching class.
- Trails in PARNASO – a group of guests, accompanied by an employee of the inn, went on Saturday morning to make the trail of Bromeliads inside the National Park. This trail is well signposted and can also be made without a guide. To read our report on the Parnassus trails – click on Petrópolis click on here . We made a heavier trail, accompanied by the Marina, owner of the inn: we climbed for 1h30 to Pedra do Queijo. From there we descend to the Veil of the Bride + Grotto of the President + Cachoeira das Andorinhas + Bromélias circuit. There were 5:30 pm of trail – this considering round trip, tibu in cachu and stops for photos.
- Massage – there is massage option, paid the part, just ask at reception. And, after the walk, how about a scrub-foot with rose petals?
- Bonfire – on Friday night after dinner, a huge fire was lit and all the guests sat around it. We were out in the open, warming up (I was doing about 14 degrees), talking, exchanging ideas, admiring the super starry sky, and still putting marshmallow on the fire! Hmm!
- Sarau – on Saturday evening, after dinner, had live music (voice and guitar) in a super nice lounge, by candlelight and with a fireplace. Each couple sat on a sofa with blankets and drinking wine around the singer. We asked for several songs and he played them all (Tim Maia, Kid Bee, Chico Buarque, Lulu etc). Super romantic!
- Handcrafted beer tasting – the inn offers a menu of handcrafted beers of the highest quality! As we had tasting, we tried several types.
- Beside the inn is the Adventure Camp which offers various “radical” activities such as tree climbing, paintball, zip line, slackline, climbing wall. For more information click on here . Activities paid separately.
The hostel has a staff of ten staff, all very helpful and friendly, always on hand to assist in what the guest needs.
The owner family lives in the inn and, therefore, takes care of her with much dedication, love and affection. They are always present and very special people!
Breakfast at the inn is a bane! Served in the main restaurant, from 8.30am to 11am, the buffet is super varied: it has juices, cheeses, cold meats, many types of breads and cakes (delicious !!), eggs, sausage, granola, fruit, yoghurts, jams etc. Everything you need to start your day! An enhanced breakfast, perfect especially for those who will do the PARNASO trails.
In addition, we have lunch and dinner at the inn every day. Everything we tried was delicious.
The entrees are a must! I recommend the trout ceviche (wonderful!) And the cured cheese cake with spicy bittersweet jam. To follow, choose one of the several types of craft beer from the inn. I loved Vienna.
As main course there is choice of fish and meat. The trout are super fresh and with wonderful seasoning. We also tried the caster of fondue – cheese, meat and chocolate. Great!! (average main course value $ 45.00).
As dessert, be sure to taste the chocolate crepe with almond flour and Diletto ice cream. It’s from the gods!
In addition, the Açu Paradise restaurant is a charm! All glazed and candle lit with music (bass) very good! The atmosphere is quite romantic.
In my opinion, it’s not worth it if you leave the inn to go and have dinner in the center of Itaipava, unless you stay there for many days and want to change. But if you go, like us, just to spend a weekend, I recommend dining at the pousada’s delicious restaurant and every day try a different dish.
Ah! The restaurant welcomes non-guests and accepts the Eat in Rio guide voucher.
It is possible to experience this paradise all year round, remembering that in the summer it is great for practicing outdoor activities, including swimming and diving in the natural wells of the National Park.
In the winter it is a delight to enjoy a little chill, to eat fondue, to have a wine, to do a sauna before falling in the pool. It is also the best time to do the trails from the top of the National Park (Pedra do Queijo, Morro do Açú, crossing Rio-Teresópolis).
- There is free parking on site. It is a great base to visit the PARNASO, since the headquarters of Petrópolis does not have parking.
- The Paraiso Acú guesthouse accepts children.
- The wi-fi is free and only works in the headquarters of the inn where the restaurant is and the reception and also in the outdoor area (pool). Does not work in rooms.
- My operator is Claro and did not work at the hostel. I do not know if the other operators work there, but take the opportunity to disconnect!
- There is a day use option from 10am to 5pm. It costs 100,00 reais per person, and 50,00 are reverted in consummation. It is good to check availability directly with the hostel before you go.
- Landscaping – The lodge’s gardens are beautifully manicured and filled with azaleas. In the summer there are many hydrangeas. And in July there is the flowering of the cherry trees.
- The inn is highly sought after for weddings and other events, including corporate events. I saw beautiful photos of the pool deck all tidy for the ceremonies.
- Very close to the inn there is an organic vegetable garden and, who cares, can buy a basket with a little bit of everything there: arugula, garlic, various types of lettuce, broccoli etc. It cost 40.00 reais, but the bag was huge. We had to distribute when we got to Rio.
We love to visit the Açu Paradise. We were very well received by the dear Marina and her family, who live in the inn and, therefore, take care of her with all love and care. We recommend for couples or families who seek contact with nature, but with great comfort. It is perfect for anyone who wants to do trails or other activities related to ecotourism, but also falls very well for those who are only after rest, peace and tranquility. Very good to take a break from the rush of everyday life!
It is a hostel to go and stay. Enjoy to enjoy the structure that Paraíso Açú offers to guests, the proximity to the National Park, great gastronomy (one of the points that deserves to be highlighted) and also to rest! Be sure to enjoy the sunset and the starry sky at night!
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