A little over a decade ago, owners Janneke and Roel Wetters left their Dutch homeland to travel the world. After two years of globetrotting, they settled in Cumbuco and began work on what would become the 0031 Boutique Hotel.
What was once a sandy lot is now a veritable oasis nestled in Cumbuco’s sand dunes, just a few minutes walk from the beach. The gated compound is filled with lush landscaping, a central pool and lounge area, and Mediterranean-style villas. Relics of Janneke and Roel’s travels can be found throughout the property–Vietnamese lanterns, Mongolian duck sculptures, and photos of tulips referencing their native Holland.
The property is located just a couple blocks from Cumbuco’s town center, where you can find other restaurants and shops. However, if your goal is a relaxing holiday, you have little need to leave the 0031 property. Onsite, the owners have taken care of most practical concerns: wifi is available resort-wide, free parking is just outside of the gates, dogs are welcome, and the property is wheelchair accessible. This pousada (Portuguese for inn) is a small, but full-service resort that feels like a little home away from home. The combination of laid back Brazilian coastal vibes with European hospitality make it hard to leave.
Sadly, I didn’t have my dSLR camera with me on this trip, but this hotel was too good not to include on my blog. Please give these iPhone shots a little grace because they are not as good at capturing the magic!
Couples, families, kitesurfing enthusiasts, adventure, relaxation
How to get there:
The closest airport to Cumbuco is Fortaleza’s Pinto Martins International Airport (FOR). You’ll most likely have a connection through Rio de Janeiro (GIG) or Sao Paolo (GRU) to get there.
The hotel is about 45 minutes to an hour by car from the airport. If you’re visiting other areas during your stay, a car rental might be wise (we had good luck with Hertz). If you’re staying in Cumbuco, the hotel is very walkable to most attractions, and they can arrange an airport shuttle for you.
Best time to go:
Cumbuco is a little fishing-village-turned-resort-town (this seems to be a theme for us) outside of the city of Fortaleza, on Brazil’s northeast coast. Given its equatorial location, the weather is hot and sunny pretty much year round. Fortunately the winds are steady all year, which makes the heat more bearable and makes the waves idea for surfing. August through December is considered high season, especially for kitesurfing, for which the town is a mecca. February through May is more or less low season–the weather is generally still good, but it’s less crowded.
Two-story villas are sprinkled throughout the property. Most have lush garden or pool views, but the second floor rooms boast sea or dune views. Fifteen of the 18 rooms are just shy of 400 sqft and have comfortable queen-sized beds. The wooden shutters on the windows and doors are remarkably good at keeping the (cold!) air conditioning in and the early morning light out. Each has a modern, polished concrete bathroom with a rainfall shower, toiletries, and fresh linens. The rooms also feature flatscreen tvs, mini fridges (stocked with bottled water), and mosquito nets. There are a couple of larger rooms suitable for families, and the smaller rooms have room for a cot.
One of my favorite aspects was the large hammock strung up on the covered porch of each room. It’s the perfect place to curl up with a book when you need a break from the sun or the occasional rainstorm.
Rooms at the inn start at $250 Brazilian Reais (currently about $80 USD) per night; the rates include breakfast, wifi, and daily housekeeping.
Each morning starts with an open air, Europe-meets-Brazil breakfast spread. Think meats, cheeses, pastries, tropical fruit and fruit juices, coffee, tea, and eggs to order (I recommend the ordering an omelete completo) with seating at custom wood furniture made nearby.
A lunch menu and extensive drink menu is available for poolside or seated ordering. Cool down with an açaí bowl, ceviche, or pineapple juice with fresh mint picked from the garden (suco de abacaxi com hortelã).
The in house restaurant (closed Mondays) is open to the public in the evening. The globally-inspired menu features dishes ranging from vegetarian ramen to Thai curry with chicken to a spicy papaya and duck salad.
On Janneke’s recommendation, we also ate at nearby ACL–a spot in town known for their wood-fired, rotisserie chicken–and Sabor de Praia, where they prepare fresh, local red snapper with finesse (and lots of accoutrements). Get the mandioca (cassava) fries.
The onsite pool is a tranquil spot to spend leisurely hours. There is a selection of lounge chairs, tables, benches, and day beds from which you can choose. A palm-thatched palapa, as well as various screens and trellises provide different degrees of sun exposure for us fair-skinned ones.
If more relaxation is what you want, a massage in the privacy of your own room or outside under the shade of a tree runs about $26-30 USD (R$80-90).
The staff of the hotel can also help arrange other nearby activities or tours. The area is known for its large sand dunes, and accordingly, a dune buggy tour is a must. For around $25/person, a buggy driver will pick you up at the hotel’s gates, where you’ll load up on the back and hold on for dear life. After flying up and around and down the dunes, you can stop and try your hand at dune surfing or water sliding into the lagoon–for an additional, small fee, of course.
The Cumbuco beach is a magnet for surfing and kitesurfing. All of the equipment and/or lessons you need can be found in town. Horseback riding on the wide, sandy beach is another choice for the adventurous crowd.
Points + credit cards:
Given the small, family-owned nature of this B&B, there are no points to use here. However, you can still accrue points on a credit card that gets rewards for hotel stays. You can also use a card like the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus that allow you to redeem points for statement credits on qualifying travel purchases.
Why I love it:
After three nights at the 0031 Boutique Hotel, the owners felt like old family friends. The verdant grounds and comfortable rooms were just what we needed to rest up before a long journey home. The food at the hotel was some of the best we ate during our trip to northeast Brazil, and the hospitality was generous and warm. It’s obvious that the whole property was thoughtfully designed and is lovingly maintained. I wish that I’d had my camera with me because it was all so photogenic! (You’ll have to take my word it.) I also wish that it was closer so we could return more easily. But then again, being so removed from our daily life was part of what made it so relaxing.
Obrigada, Janneke and Roel!
We traveled as a family (with adult chidren) in March 2017.