Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceara in Northeastern Brazil. It’s quite a sprawling city with about 25km of urban beaches. This proximity to the beaches makes it a favored destination for tourists. As such, you’ll find plenty of hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil. While you won’t find many over-the-top luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, there is a good balance of top-end and budget accommodation to suit all kinds of travelers.
The beaches in Fortaleza may not stand out like some of the unique beaches on earth, but they definitely have the right vibe. A few years ago, the city attracted more local tourists, but lately, Europeans have discovered Fortaleza’s party vibe is as good as Rio De Janeiro. One thing the city can’t rival is the carnival at Rio. Although Fortaleza has an annual carnival, it’s nothing compared to the best carnivals around the world.
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Hotel Villa Mayor
Most hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, occupy tall towers, but the Hotel Villa Mayor is different. Shady balconies, brightly colored walls, and a mock-hacienda style make this hotel one of the more unique hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil. It’s just about 100meters from the popular Beira Mar beach and in proximity to some of the best restaurants and attractions.
The 90 air-conditioned rooms have a minimalistic design, but they’re clean and comfortable. You’ll find a few extras such as cable TV, a safe, a minibar, and complimentary WiFi. Ensuite bathrooms come with showers and hair dryers.
The outdoor pool is small but picturesque. With its seating spaces and shade, it’s one of the best places to relax. A regional breakfast served poolside every morning is varied and satisfying. There’s also a poolside bar and restaurant. Apart from this, the hotel also has vintage bicycles that you can hire to explore your surroundings.
Gran Mareiro Hotel
Located near one of the best beaches in Fortaleza, the Praia do Futuro, the Gran Mareiro Hotel is a big draw for tourists. Although it’s a little away from the main city center, it’s one of the best luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, for someone looking to be close to the beach.
Like most hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, the Gran Mareiro is housed in a sprawling building. The rooms here are quite spacious, even the cheapest Standard Rooms. There’s nothing grand about the decor which is quite simplistic and standard throughout the 270 rooms. Large windows add enough natural light to the rooms, which offer sea or poolside views.
One thing you can look forward to at the hotel is good dining options. A sumptuous breakfast buffet is served in the Brisa restaurant, whereas the Star of the Sea restaurant serves a good variety of contemporary cuisine. It’s an excellent option for families with children as there is a children’s playroom, games room, and a play area with slides and swings. The pool is another good space with a children’s pool, steam sauna, and two heated whirlpools.
Right on the shores of Meireles Beach, you’ll find the Comfort Hotel. Given its proximity to the beach, you can be sure you’ll be able to take in gorgeous sea views from the hotel. Other attractions such as the Dragao do Mar Center of Art and Culture and the Bridge of the English are easily accessible from here.
The guest rooms have a chic feel to them that makes you feel you’ve stepped into one of the more luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil. All the guest rooms come with standard amenities such as a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, and air conditioning.
As with most hotels in Fortaleza, you’ll find an outdoor pool that’s open throughout the year. Apart from this, the hotel also has a concierge service and a 24-hour reception area. Breakfast included in the rate is a good mix of local and international delicacies.
Hotel Brasil Tropical
Another good place to base yourself in the Praia do Meireles area is the Hotel Brasil Tropical. This modest tower block is just minutes away from Praia Mansa, the beach with one of the gentlest waves in Fortaleza. Its location in the heart of Beira Mar on the exclusive Abolicao Avenue gives you easy access to many attractions and other areas.
Accommodation here is spacious, with rooms featuring kitchenettes, among other things. You can choose from four categories of rooms that offer more or less the same facilities. Air-conditioning, kitchenettes, and flat-screen TVs are standard across all rooms. You’ll also find a private balcony in each room.
A breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant each morning, but this is not included in the room rate. The restaurant, open for all meals, serves up a delectable variety that includes international dishes. The rooftop terrace and indoor pool with its poolside bar are popular with guests if you want to unwind.
Hotel Beira Mar
Just 50 meters from the ocean in the heart of the city, you’ll find the boutique hotel Beira Mar. At this location, you’ll find plenty of dining and entertainment options close by. Also, Iracema Beach is less than a five-minute walk from here.
Guest rooms are bright, with plenty of natural light filtering in through large windows. Some rooms in the Superior Luxury and Executive Suite category come with fantastic ocean views. Due to the spacious, comfortable rooms, this hotel comes close to being one of the best luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil.
When it comes to amenities outside the rooms, the hotel has a wide range to offer. From a well-equipped fitness center, whirlpool, swimming pool, and restaurant, there’s enough to keep you occupied if you choose to stay in for a day. The onsite Jangadeiro restaurant has a good variety of local and international delicacies to cater to all tastes.
Seara Praia Hotel
Less than 100 meters from the popular handicraft market, you’ll find the Seara Praia Hotel, one of the better luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil. From the location of the hotel, you’re well-placed to visit the downtown area, attractions, and coastline beaches.
The high-rise building that houses the hotel is typical of most hotels in the city. There’s nothing too spectacular about the rooms either. In fact, they seem rather bland, except for some interesting artwork by local artists. That being said, you’ll find a good range of modern conveniences to enhance your comfort.
The jewel in this hotel’s crown is undoubtedly its rooftop pool with a Jacuzzi and poolside bar. This vantage point offers you stunning views of the seacoast. You’ll also find a personal health club on the rooftop that offers a wide range of facilities that include a sauna and massage room. Another extra that you can look forward to during your stay is a complimentary buffet breakfast.
Iate Plaza Hotel
At the heart of the city center along the seafront of Mucuripe Beach, the four-star late Plaza Hotel offers modest yet comfortable accommodation. It’s a five-minute ride to the pulsating nightlife of Iracema and about 6km to Dragao do Mar Art and Culture Center. However, from the hotel, you’re within walking distance of several cultural attractions and leisure activities.
Housed in an imposing contemporary building, the rooms here stand out for their space. Even the Standard Room is surprisingly large with its private balcony. Given the big windows and large space, the rooms here are bright and welcoming. They come with a good range of extras too to make your stay here more than comfortable. Higher category rooms feature a private living room.
A good place to grab a bite is at the hotel’s restaurant that overlooks the sea. You can dig into international and regional dishes here. The shorefront pool with its loungers is well placed for a relaxing time. Enjoy the sun and breeze as you sip on a drink poolside, or burn off those extra calories at the fitness center. If the sea is your preferred choice, it’s just a stone’s throw from here.
Hotel Luzeiros is another imposing hotel that sits on Meireles Beach in one of the better parts of the city. The location provides you quick access to downtown Fortaleza and Del Passeo Shopping Mall.
The rooms here feature tasteful furnishings and a simple design. Some offer excellent sea views with private balconies. Soundproof windows and a comfy bed ensure you’ll have a peaceful sleep. There are plenty of other extras to add to your comfort too. Ensuite bathrooms come with shower/tub combos.
You’ll find two cozy restaurants at the hotel, one on the ground floor integrated into the lobby and the other on the mezzanine. Restaurant Almofala on the mezzanine opens every day for breakfast, whereas the Tremembe Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The lobby bar Mundau is a good place for cocktails and other drinks. Other amenities at the hotel include an outdoor pool and a well-equipped gym.
Touting itself as the first contemporary hotel in Praia do Futuro, the Crocobeach Hotel is an excellent option for those looking for spacious accommodation on this beautiful stretch of beach. Avenida Beira Mar is a 10-minute drive from here, as is the Ceara Events Center.
When it comes to guest rooms, most luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, offer large spaces. While the Standard Rooms at this hotel are a little small, the higher category rooms are large and airy. One child up to 10 years is allowed to stay for free with breakfast. Families would do well to book the Upper Side rooms, which can be combined. Quite obviously, the Luxury Sea apartments with their gorgeous views and private balconies are quite popular.
On the fifth floor of the hotel, you’ll find a well-equipped gym that’s open from early morning till 10 pm. However, if you’d prefer just to relax while on vacation, the outdoor pool with its loungers and poolside bar is a good place. Guests staying at the hotel can also enjoy a 15% discount at the restaurant in the Crocobeach Complex. Alternatively, you can also dine at the hotel’s in-house restaurant.
Hotel da Villa
Luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, are probably not as opulent as in other cities, but the Hotel da Villa scores quite high on elegance. The beach is not too far from this centrally located hotel, so if you want some sea and sand, you’re well placed. Also, since the hotel enjoys a central location, you’ll find quite a few dining options in the vicinity.
A grand marble lobby with candelabra chandeliers is what you’ll step into when you book here. The vibe is elegant and welcoming. The rooms are more toned down but exude elegance and charm. They come with private balconies and a good range of extras to make your stay here a pleasant one.
The rooftop pool is a clear standout with panoramic views of the surroundings. With its loungers and seating, it’s a good place to relax and enjoy views of the city. Other amenities at the hotel include a complimentary breakfast, an onsite restaurant, and a lounge.
Hotel Gran Marquise
Hotel Gran Marquise, located on Avenida Beira Mar on Mucuripe beach, stands out as one of the better luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil. Given its setup and location, it’s popular with both families and business travelers. The center of Fortaleza is about 7 km from here, so if you are more interested in exploring the city, you may want to look at something closer.
When compared to the other luxury hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, the guest rooms here are more tastefully furnished. The wooden floors make them feel cozy and inviting, while the large windows allow enough natural light into the rooms. All rooms have a good range of amenities, but higher category rooms offer a few extras, such as a welcome drink and breakfast.
Dining options are in good supply at the hotel, beginning with the Lobby Bar. You can enjoy a good range of drinks as well as international cuisine at the bar. The hotel’s flagship restaurant Mucuripe is open for breakfast and lunch. If you’re in town on a Saturday, don’t miss out on the Feijoada Buffet. For those who enjoy Asian cuisine, Mangostin is where you can indulge in Thai, Japanese, Chinese or Korean cuisine. Apart from indulging your tastebuds, you can enjoy some pampering at the GranSpa or enjoy a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool.
Where to Stay in Fortaleza
Most visitors to Fortaleza are here for the beach, so if that’s your destination, then the Meireles neighborhood is one of the more popular areas. It’s a safe area where you can find one of the city’s best beaches. You’ll also find some of the best restaurants and hotels in Fortaleza, Brazil, in the area. Another popular venue is the arts and crafts market that’s open every night. Getting around the area is easy, too, as it’s connected to the other neighborhoods.
Another beach area northeast of downtown that’s popular with visitors is Iracema Beach. There are plenty of nightclubs in the area for the party animals and a few attractions too.
However, if you’d prefer to be a little away from the urban bustle, Praia do Futuro is where you should head. This clean length of the beach along the east-facing coast is a little far removed from the city, but you’ll find plenty of beachside restaurants and a few hotels too.
The city center is a good place to base yourself for those interested in exploring the city’s attractions. There are many museums, theatres, and squares as well as a few parks here.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Fortaleza
- Coco Bambu – One of the best places to enjoy a variety of cuisines is at this restaurant in south Fortaleza. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a light salad, fresh seafood, or treat yourself to a lip-smacking dessert, you’ll find it all here.
- Pirata Bar – For a cold beer and a taste of the local culture, you should definitely head to this bar in Praia de Iracema. It’s where the locals go to dance and have fun. If you’re here on a Monday night you’ll find the place especially vibrant.
- Santa Grehla – If you love your steak then this restaurant in Meireles is one of the best places to enjoy a good steak. The Brazilian cut ‘picanha’ that is served here is absolutely delicious as are some of the desserts.
Recommended Activities in Fortaleza
- Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Joseph – The city’s main church may not be as historic as other churches but given the fact that it took forty years to build, it’s definitely worth a visit. Opened in 1978, the sprawling church can accommodate five thousand people.
- Dragão do Mar Centro de Arte e Cultura – If you’re looking for a bit of entertainment you’ll find everything you want at this extensive cultural complex in Praia de Iracema. Cinemas, a planetarium, two museums, restaurants, and artisan workshops make up this sprawling complex.
- Praia do Futuro – Touted as the best beach in Fortaleza, this 5km stretch of sand is worth a visit. Although it gets pretty crowded on weekends, there’s enough space to accommodate everyone. You’ll find quite a few barracas (restaurants) along this stretch to satiate your tastebuds. The waves here are quite rough so don’t venture too far if you aren’t a strong swimmer.