My Experience at DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela, Brazil

DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela is not exactly well-known and too often underrated. The tropical paradise that is Ilhabela (Portuguese for beautiful island) attracts a stable number of one hundred thousand tourists or so each year. The island of Ilhabela, Brazil is home to around 30,000 residents, is situated about 4 miles off the coast of Sao Paulo state, and just over 100 miles from bustling Sao Paulo city. The only way to access DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela is by taking a ferry boat, which tends to depart every 15 minutes.

 Amazingly, this hidden wonder is proud to relate to each and every island stereotype you could possibly think of. Ilhabela, Brazil has a small but close-knit community of locals, long and winding beach roads, a one-of-a-kind cuisine, a dinky selection of small restaurants and shops. There is an array of idyllic beaches upon which watching the sunset can make you forget all the worries of the mainland, and wherever else in the world you came from, for that matter.

DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela - Praia do Curral beach
Praia do Curral beach, Ilhabela

Anyway, I was lucky enough to be given the experience of coming all the way from the UK and staying for 4 days on this tranquil heaven of an island. I travelled from Santos, which is the largest port in South America and around a half-an-hour drive from Sao Paulo city. The bus ride from Santos allowed me to capture some great shots on my camera, because the route takes you along an exotic beach road with the most stunning views. It took around 4 hours to reach Sao Sebastiao, in which my boyfriend and I got off the bus, and within five minutes were standing on the crowded ferry boat which would take us to the island.

May I add that this was the first time in my life that I’ve ever stayed on this kind of island. You know – the tropical, exotic kind you only read about, where it’s common to witness the locals strolling around drinking water out of a fresh coconut, happy as can be. And what’s more; I absolutely loved it from the moment we stepped off the boat. I felt calm, relaxed, and completely relatable as to why some people suddenly decide to pack their bags and resort to island life. Everything about DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela (and Brazil, for that matter) is in every way different to every day life back in the UK. Maybe that’s why I fell so in love with it. But one thing I’m certain of is that the best part of our little getaway was our accommodation at DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela…

My boyfriend and I at the bar at DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela
My boyfriend and I at the bar

DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela, Brazil

The DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabella, Brazil is located conveniently beside the stunning Praia do Curral beach, and is a 5-star resort with everything you could possibly wish for. Upon arrival at the DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela, we were greeted courteously and escorted to our suite. The suite was complete with unique interior décor and design, a four-poster bed with white netting, a colourful bathroom with a spacious shower, a flat-screen TV, a Nespresso machine, countless refreshments and snacks and animal print galore (this final aspect confirmed that, yes, the DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabella was definitely perfect for me). Afterwards, the extremely polite and professional member of staff gave us a detailed tour of the resort, and I can’t recall being so in awe in all my life. I couldn’t spot a single aspect of the resort that wasn’t perfect. If relaxing on a huge double bed with zebra-print cushions on the beach whilst sampling a selection of delicious cocktails after an hours’ kayak in the ocean sounds like something you’d enjoy, then this is the place for you, too.

 Our blissful days were usually followed by an evening spent in the DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabella’s luxurious Troia restaurant sampling fantastic quality sushi, risottos, steaks, and of course, more cocktails to follow (I was on holiday!). One thing I loved about the evenings was being able to roam around the hotel grounds freely after a satisfying meal, feeling the sand of the beach beneath my toes, Caipirinha in hand, gazing up at the night-time stars on one of the sunbeds. Even better was looking forward to heading back to our room for a relaxing night spent watching the movies on offer in what could quite possibly be the most comfortable bed in the world (don’t deny it ‘til you’ve tried it!)

Time for bed at DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela
Time for bed

As you can probably tell, the DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabella, Brazil is just something else. It is no surprise that DPNY Beach Hotel Ilhabela has been voted the Best Hotel in South America by Condé Nast and awarded the Traveller’s Choice Award 2013 by the one and only TripAdvisor. Staying in this fabulous resort in a one-of-a-kind tropical paradise setting, a long way away from the worries and stresses of home life, is something that will stay in my memories forever. And it goes without saying that I’ll be back for more at some point in the near future. I would also recommend the stunning Brazilian island of Ilhabela to anyone visiting Brazil for the first time, or regular visitors who have not yet had the chance to go.

Boa viagem, pessoal!

About Lauren Davidson

Since 2013, Lauren has been writing for various travel and lifestyle websites. Her first piece of writing was a travel guide on the Algarve region of Portugal, where she lived for over a year. Currently residing in Sheffield, England, she is studying Journalism and has a blog at You can follow her on Twitter at @Lozikinz.

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