Hotel Transamérica Ilha de Comandatuba – Fantasy Playground in Bahia!
Imagine staying on an idyllic private island where you could stroll along endless stretches of white sandy beaches, indulge in all kinds of recreational activities and in the evening listen to music while dancing under starlit skies. Sounds too good to be true but it’s not. Hotel Transamérica Ilha de Comandatuba, www.transamerica.com.br, truly is a fantasy island.
I first learned about this resort a few years ago, and I was so excited that I wanted to take the first plane to Ilheus to see it for myself. However, the timing was never right, and like many things, it got put on a back burner. In January 2005, I finally made it to the island with Edward F. Nesta and our friends, Regina and Gilberto Sacilotti in tow. I must admit that after all the years of waiting I was a bit apprehensive that the resort would not meet my expectations. I am pleased to report that it not only met, it surpassed my high expectations!
We were met at the Ilheus airport by a staff driver from the hotel, who drove us for 50 minutes, where we then exited the van to take the hotel’s ferryboat 5 minutes from pier to pier. After disembarking the ferryboat, hotel staff in traditional Bahian costumes welcomed us to Hotel Transamérica Ilha da Comandatuba, placed handmade necklaces around our necks and offered us a choice of mineral water, orange juice or champagne! We then proceeded on a mini-train where we passed exotic animals, tennis courts, and tropical gardens on the way to the reservation desk of the hotel. It was a wondrous adventure just to reach the hotel.
This remarkable resort, built in 1989, has 21 km of pristine white sandy beaches, where guests can participate in almost any type of water or land sport imaginable, including taking circus lessons! Yes, that is not a typo; they really do offer circus lessons, as well as dance, surf, and golf lessons, among their many activities. Adult guests can enjoy their own leisure pursuits while children have their own activities programs throughout the day and continuing into the evening hours. Guests wanting to pamper their bodies and rejuvenate their spirits can do so at their Spa L’Occitane. (Read our article on Spa L’Occitane in a future edition in the SPA section). Live music begins with breakfast and continues throughout the day and into the evening hours, where guests can dance the night away. Enormous, seemingly endless breakfast buffets offering a wide selection of fresh tropical fruits, juices, tapioca products, breads, sweets, omelets and eggs cooked to order, cereals, meats, cheeses, yogurts, etc. will have guests rushing to participate in a pool-side exercise class in one of the hotel’s three pools or in their Fitness Center, or jogging down the beach. There is also a Business Center in their Library, where guests can use the computers, read the many newspapers or select a book from the hotel’s collection. At dinner time, guests have their choice of a theme buffet which changes nightly in either their restaurant, Bamboo, which is air-conditioned or their Restaurante Giardino, which is an open-air restaurant, or they may dine at the Beach Restaurant for ala Carte dining. During our stay at the hotel, one night there was an Italian buffet offering a wide selection of excellent Italian recipes, and the next night there was a Bahian buffet which featured some of the famous recipes of the northeast including dishes with such exotic names as Vatapá, Bobó de Camarão, Moqueca de Peixe, Cocadas and Quindim of which the chef generously shares his recipes with Luxury Experience Magazine readers in Chefs’ Recipes.
There are 370 accommodations, of which 111 are bungalows. We had adjacent rooms in the hotel with our friends, and our large rooms featured king beds and vistas of the sea and the immaculate 18-hole golf course. Each room was individually and beautifully decorated, and had a spectacular exotic floral arrangement on the desk, as well as a large basket of tropical fruit. There were 2 chairs, as well as an upholstered chair to curl up in, a round table and bedside tables. There was a large Philips television in an armoire, and the large closet had a safe, fluffy robes, slippers and a mini-bar. The large bathroom offered guests a choice of 110 or 220 voltage, which certainly makes it easier for foreign guests. There was a walk-in shower, a hydro-massage tub, a hairdryer and an assortment of OX for Transamérica amenities. We also had a verandah with 2 chairs and tables where we could relax. However, since I had waited so long before I had the opportunity to experience Hotel Transamérica Ilha da Comandatuba, I can assure you that I spent very little time relaxing, and tried almost every activity that the resort had to offer, except for tennis, which is really not my game – yet!
Service at the hotel is outstanding, and the hotel staff prides itself on making guests dreams come true. When Carla in Public Relations told me that there was a Bahian theme dinner at the hotel, I mentioned that I was so excited because although I had been in Brazil for 24 days on this trip, I had not yet had one cocada, (a coconut sweet), which I love. When I later returned to my room, I found a basket filled with a delicious assortment of cocadas with a note telling me that now I would not have to wait! She was also a perfect co-conspirator in helping me to arrange for a surprise for Regina and Gilberto, who had celebrated their 25th anniversary on March 3, 2004, but were only now celebrating their “honeymoon”. Muito obrigada Carla!
Having finally made it to Hotel Transamérica Ilha de Comandatuba, rest assured, I will be back!
Read about our adventures at the hotel in more detail in our Destination – Bahia section.
For additional information on Bahia, please contact the Bahia Tourism Office at: www.bahia.com.br.
Hotel Transamérica Ilha de Comandatuba
45690/000 Una, Bahia, Brazil
Telephone: +55 11 5693 4050
Toll-Free: 0800 12 6060
Please read our other articles on Brazil in Destinations, Hotels & Resorts, Restaurants, Gastronomy, Chefs’ Recipes, Spas and Music Scene.
You may also enjoy our articles the “Best of São Paulo” and “From Rio with Love” in Destinations.
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