‘Shhhh’, the woman said ,‘can you hear that?’ Dehouche strained our ears… Nothing. ‘That is the sound of Rosa ‘. The silence was almost complete, broken only by the gentle hum of cicadas, the hollow tap of bamboo bumping in the breeze and the distant roar of the ocean. For the over-worked executive, sleep-deprived socialite and hip urbanite, this it is literally music to the ears and a hint as to why Praia do Rosa is such a precious find. Praia do Rosa, located in the southern state of Santa Caterina, is what international party spot Florianopolis once was before the jet-set crowds arrived. There is an air of magic about it, a latent energy that makes you feel as if you have got there at just the right time (i.e before everybody else). Set on the bluff above one long sweeping stretch of golden sand, the barefoot vibe masks a mix of innovative restaurants and beach bars where mixologists shake exotic fruit caipirinhas. And while wealthy Paulistas may swing down from their villas in the hills during high season while fashionable Cariocas canoodle on the sand, the international crowd is only just beginning to catch on. The emerging consensus is that if Floripa is for the beautiful people, then Rosa is for the cool crowd, for those who enjoy kicking back on a fabulous beach and listening to live music with no shoes on, rather than posing in heels by the pool. Dehouche gives you the inside track on what not to miss.
To Sleep: While Rosa abounds with places to stay, boutique pousada Quinta do Bucanero is leagues ahead of the rest. As well as being an almost shamefully romantic spot, a few days at Bucanero could be bottled as the antidote to life’s trials and tribulations. Set high up in the lush, tropical forest, the split level terraces offer un-paralleled 180 degree views across the lagoon and out to sea. Constructed from dark wood and floor to ceiling windows, the architect designed the hotel around the existing landscape – original boulders prop up the bar and the same palm tree still stands where it did 17 years ago, now trailing over an iconic Sergio Rodrigues leather lounger in the living room. Owner Jacqui Biazus created Bucanero as a life project after her husband retired from a career as a Formula 2 race car driver and they decided to run off to the beach. The concept was to create a beach pousada with the service of a 5 star hotel and their passion translates into sleek service, gourmet breakfasts of homemade produce and innovative art projects bringing together local kids and renowned Latin American artists to line the walls. The 10 suites are all sea breezes, crisp white linen and magnificent views. Make sure you book into one of the 2 recently renovated master suites: each have a 14 m2 sun decks complete with private hot-tub so you can drink champagne while spotting shooting stars. Estrada geral da Praia do Rosa, Imituba
Where to Eat: Surrounded by pristine lagoons, Rosa’s giant prawns were recently voted the second tastiest in the world- (if you are looking for the first- head to India). The best place to try them is at Bistro, an intimate restaurant of only 6 tables where you can watch the Uruguayan chef work his magic on the house speciality –Giant prawns served with black rice and a cheese sauce. For expert homemade pasta in a sophisticated setting and views deep into the forest and out to sea, Sapore di Pasta is the place to head to for a long lunch or romantic dinner. Finally, if in search of alfresco dining under the stars, Lua Marinha is the only restaurant set right on the lagoon where you can watch fisherman set out to sea over a dozen giant oysters.
Bistro- Caminho do Alto do Morro, Caminho do Rei
Sapore di Pasta- Camino do Alto do Morro s/n
Lua Marinha- Estrada Geral de Ibiraquera, Praia do Rosa, Imbituba , Santa Catarina
The Sun-Downer Spot: Head to Crepe Georgette post beach to watch the sunset light up the lagoon and load up on some energy from the extensive pancake menu. The owner, Georgette, grew up in Switzerland so you can be sure you are in for the real deal here. Caminho do rei, Imituba, Santa Catarina
After-dinner drink: The number one spot during high season where the combination of infectious live reggae, charming gardens and occasional international DJs draw a crowd as eclectic as the cocktail list. Estrada Gral do Rosa, Praia do Rosa, Imbituba, Santa Catarina.
Hidden Trails: Rosa is a maze of forest trails made for exploring: Head left around the headland from the main beach and the path will eventually snake down to the atmospheric Praia Vermelha, lined by a thick forest that stretches right up to the sand and a challenging surf breaks that make it a favoured spot for local surfers. Set off to the right of Praia do Rosa and you reach the secret cove of Portinho. Sheltered from the path by red tiled fisherman’s huts, you will have it to yourself even in the height ofsummer. If you follow the path round to the tip of the headland and clamber over the dramatic rocks, you will find yourself completely surrounded by the ocean- a secret spot during whale watching season (July-November) where mothers have been known to feed their young just a few metres away.
Surfs up: The local saying goes that those who stay in Rosa, stay to surf. For beginners, Rosa is an excellent spot to find your balance. Dehouche offer surf camp itineraries staying at Bucanero and including private lessons with our favourite local surf god. For those channelling Patrick Swayze in Point Break, we rent you a car to chase the big waves around the beaches of Imbituba.
When to Go: To experience the buzz of Rosa during high season, plan your trip between December and February (Carnival), especially over New Year when international DJs fly in for one of Brazil’s best beach parties. To soak up the tranquillity, October-November, and March-April is when the weather is still warm and the crowds have gone, but for a truly unique experience, book from July- November to witness the wide bay fill up
Contact luxury travel experts Dehouche to plan an idyllic escape to one of our favourite secret spots.