Apr 5, 2009
When I had a baby and, suddenly, husband + wife turned into couple + kid, weekends at farm hotels began to make a lot of sense. Nothing could be more kid-friendly. Animals. Pool. Game playing. Toys. Playground. Pond. What else could we want?
Well, actually, we want to feel pampered ourselves... That's why the ideal hotel-fazenda needs to also offer comfort, charm and good food. Recently, I tried out one of the many great hotéis-fazenda in São Paulo state: the Fazenda Dona Carolina.
It's an ancient coffee plantation, transformed into a country inn nearly 20 years ago. It's charming, and the rooms are comfortable but it seems to have stalled in time in terms of service. The food is reminiscent of an all-you-can-eat buffet. The pool, too small for the crowds. The activities stop at horseback riding and watching the cow milkings.
Grown-ups can relax at the bare-bones spa, hike the nearby trails or go visit historic sites, such as this old wall built with mud and branches.
But that's it. Would I go back? Maybe, but only for a day or two. To get a breath of fresh air before hurrying back to São Paulo for a good night out!
Fazenda Dona Carolina
Turn off at km 39,5 of the SP-063 road (on the way to Bragança Paulista), then drive another 22 km. Near the town of Itapira