Don’t feel like joining in? No problem!
Hi again! In part one I told you about how we decided to try an all-inclusive vacation and our first impressions about the experience in the Iberostar Praia Do Forte hotel. I’m sure you’d like to know some more about our stay. After we had lunch at the poolside restaurant, we headed back to the lobby to check if our room was ready. It most certainly was, we were driven to our room building on a golf cart along with our luggage and were happy to relax in the room a little while. We got a lovely garden view room with balcony, 2 king size beds and a sofa bed. After a refreshing nap, we went out again to see what else the resort had to offer.
The wonder of this type of vacation is that everything is taken care of and all you have to do is enjoy. For us parents it’s really relaxing, no meal planning or any kind of planning whatsoever is necessary, you just go with the flow. The resort staff really goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable and that you have a good time. Plenty of activities are offered to cater for the tastes of both adults and children: board games, sports, archery, surf, aqua gym, dancing, poolside bingo and may others. There is never a dull moment if you care for fun and entertainment. Don’t feel like joining in? No problem! Just head to one of the more secluded pools, lie in the shade, or relax at the beach under a parasol on a lounge chair while enjoying a drink or take a nap, or grab a bite to eat, or anything else you’d enjoy. Main pool is a few steps from the beach, which means you can come and go as you please.
In fact, at a very short distance from the main pool, going through a line of coconut palms you get to the beach. Praia Do Forte is located on the Atlantic Ocean so don’t expect the sea to be calm, it is quite wavy, but being from Argentina I’m used to a somewhat wild sea and if you ask me, it certainly adds some fun to the experience.
Most hotel guests tend to stay in the pools, so beach is never full which is great, you can always head back to the pool is you miss the crowds. Beaches in Brazil are public by national law, this means anyone is allowed to walk along the coast, you might meet an occasional street vendor or beach vendor, in this case, selling hats or beachwear or a random guest from a neighboring hotel but it´s quite uncommon so mostly you have the beach to yourself. The long coastline is great to enjoy a nice beach walk and you can even get as lucky as we did and see a sea turtle amongst the waves!
As the sun goes down, you start planning your return and you’d probably head to your room for a quick shower or a long bath before a delicious meal. If you’re a guest of the Praia Do Forte, you can enjoy your meals at the main buffet or make reservations in any of the themed restaurants and bars both at the Praia Do Forte and the neighboring Bahia hotel. On the first night we kept to the Pelô buffet which being part of a Spanish hotel chain has excellent gourmet options to choose from. The following nights we tried the Italian, Bahian, and Japanese restaurants. Our favourite was the Japanese, where you sit at a u-shaped table around the chef, and he prepares the food in front of you, so it’s part gourmet experience and part show. Talking about shows, the resort offers a different show every night, we were usually tired after long beach and pool days and only saw one of the shows: some sort of Brazilian song festival which was quite nice.
We spent our stay exploring the resort activities and relaxing. The hotel staff besides being really friendly always had some kind of surprise for the guests. I wouldn’t like to spoil it for you, in case you decide to go, but I’ll just say that every morning when we headed to the breakfast room, we were greeted by one or two of the staff who were wearing a costume. One day a “mermaid” greeted us from inside the artificial stream next to the entrance of the restaurant, it was quite funny because the “mermaid” was notably a guy and made really comical gestures and comments in Portuguese which we didn’t understand very well but knew they were meant to be amusing.
Another day a guy with a guacamayo visited us by the pool, the next there was a Capoiera show, to which guests were invited to join. Also, throughout your stay you´d unexpectedly find someone asking you to join the most random activities. Brazilian and Bahian hospitality could be felt all around the premises. There is so much more I could tell you… like our visit to the Praia Do Forte town and the Tamar conservation project area, I guess part 3 is due.
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