Story and photos by Babbie De Derian
Tivoli Eco-Resort and Spa
Praia Do Forte Bahia… A Taste of Paradise
Now that one can apply for a visa to Brazil on the Internet and LATAM Airlines has non-stop flights from Miami to Salvador de Bahia and from Boston to Sao Paulo, travel to Brazil is easier than ever. I fly American Airlines, LATAM’s co-share, to Miami and then connect to an overnight LATAM flight. Thanks to in-flight service, delicious meals and a comfortable flat bed, I arrive in Salvador de Bahia early morning; customs at that hour is a breeze.
The hour and a half drive north along the Coconut Coast to Praia Do Forte was quite pleasant as the highway is well maintained. After passing through the gates that lead to the Tivoli Eco-Resort, one is immediately transported to an unexpected paradise, and greeted with happy faces, hollowed out coconuts filled with refreshing drinks and cool towels. Director Maria Helena has been pleasing guests for 30 years, and today is no exception as she welcomes me with a warm hug.
Surrounded by the sea and the Atlantic Rainforest, with stunning landscapes, lush gardens, pristine beaches, four pools, three restaurants, and a Zen spa, this 287 rooms luxury gem, integrated with nature and a member of Preferred Hotels, is a sanctuary for the senses … a place of rest and contemplation. It also offers more than 30 activities for adults and children, including water sports and fishing.
The balcony of my elegantly appointed room, with views of the sea and an inviting hammock, was the perfect place for an afternoon siesta. Suites offer all the conveniences of home, and the option of having a special meal prepared in the privacy of your accommodations.
Breakfast and dinner are included in one’s stay. Each restaurant has a different decor and menu serving International cuisine and a fusion of Bahian flavors. At lunch, as a special treat, Richard Pfander, the resort’s new Food & Beverage Director, who has an impressive International culinary background with focus on healthy eating and excellent wines, grills a whole fish that has been coated in a mash of bananas and condiments.
The sumptuous dinner buffet in the Goa Restaurant is fit for royalty which is how the resort treats guests of all ages. The indoor/outdoor restaurant with Indian decor is spacious and inviting with soft romantic lights. The wide variety of creatively plated gourmet dishes is a visual and gastronomic feast for even the most sophisticated palates; tables are laden with an extensive selection of salads, homemade breads, meats, fish, and vegetables; pastas are cooked to order; deserts, decadently delicious. A musician strums his guitar; the swaying sounds of salsa fill the room; it was a memorable dining experience.
The hotel’s large infinity pools are ideal for swimming laps, and the white sandy beach great for an afternoon stroll, a treasure hunt, or a photo with the beach mermaid. Iguanas, rare birds and monkeys can be spotted daily as they roam freely around the grounds, in harmony with guests.
And then there is the Conhega o Thalasso Spa, the resort’s sanctuary for health, beauty and well-being where one can retreat for moments of complete relaxation; it offers an extensive menu of traditional organic body rituals, massages and facials rooted in local and Asian tradition.
The Careta Carela Kid’s Club, taking its name from the regional word for sea turtle, offers supervised and monitored activities for ages 4 to 11 from 9 to 22 hours, allowing small folks to take part in sports, educational and play activities to exercise their bodies and their imaginations.
Not to Be Missed:
Near to the hotel, Projeto Tamar, the Brazilian Sea Turtle Project, one of the most successful marine conservation programs in the world, works on the protection, research and management of five endangered sea turtle species that nest in the area. This year they released 3.5 million babies into the sea. A visit to their open- air hatcheries and educational facilities is sure to delight both the young and young at heart.
Canoe Village, for a cultural experience with locals: music, food and handicrafts
Historical Castle ruins built to protect Salvador from invaders.
Sapiram Forest Reserve, hike along the deep river.
Bahia has the heart beat and soul of Africa; it is an intoxicating fusion of African, Portuguese and Indian cultures, traditions, religions, foods and music. And with LATAM’s direct service from Miami; connecting from flights around the U.S.; Bahia is one destination you don’t want to miss.
For more info: www.tivolihotels.com
© August 2018 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.