Reviewing the hotels on the G Adventures Iguassu and Beyond tour

Now, I’m very much a city girl, and for the most part have stayed at luxurious hotels on my travels. When I have travelled with friends, it has been the more budget hotel, but nonetheless they were still comfy. As I signed up for the group tour (it was my first), I wasn’t sure what types of accommodation they’d put us up at. There are tour groups, where they keep you in dorms at hostels, meaning at least 5 in a room. The thought of this terrified me. I feel like I’m past the age where I share a room with more than one person and to add to that, people I have never met before.

As you can tell, my preference is either a room to myself or with a friend, maximum two friends. I reached out to G Adventures to understand what their policy was around accommodation, and I was glad to hear that it’s usually two to a room, at least on this tour. You can pay extra if you’d like a room to yourself. If you book the tour with a friend, you stay in the room with that friend. If you book solo, you are placed in a room with another person of the same gender. As a friend and I did this tour, I was glad to hear that it would be just us in the room. I’m also glad, a few others on the tour had the same sentiment. Without further a due, here is my review of the hotels that we stayed at during this tour.

Park Royal Buenos Aires:

The tour starts in Buenos Aires where you meet your other travel buddies before jet setting off to Iguassu Falls the next day. If you’re travelling from Auckland, you land in Buenos Aires around 5.30pm and by the time you’re on your way to the hotel it will be about 6.30pm or so. For us it took roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the hotel. But our flight was delayed by an hour, and so by the time we reached, traffic had picked up thus taking us that long to get there.

This hotel is located on Suipacha, which I would consider an alleyway. Hence, whilst driving to the hotel, we went through a few alleyways. As it was raining on the day we arrived, as well as the next day, I’m unsure of how close the attractions are to this hotel.

Good aspects of the hotel:

I had a ‘junior suite’ room and this hotel is basically an apartment style hotel. As you enter the room, you’ve got a lounge with a kitchenette, and a separate bedroom, and bathroom. This is the reason, the ‘room’ feels very spacious, as you don’t have to accommodate yourself and a second person in a small bedroom with your suitcases and bags everywhere.

It’s a 3-star hotel, and a room with a breakfast option is not too expensive at all. Whilst, they have a very ‘basic’ breakfast, it’s a good option for light breakfast eaters, or those travelling with family. There’s enough to fill you up before you head out sightseeing.

There are also a few restaurants along the road by this hotel. I can recommend Cero5 which is a block and a half or roughly 5-minutes’ walk from the hotel. If it’s raining and you don’t want to be stuck inside the hotel, there is a mall which is about a 15-minute walk. Buenos Aires is a very walkable city. My first impression of Buenos Aires was that it was a mash of Chicago and New Delhi. If you’ve been to Chicago, you know that it’s a very walkable city, because of how flat it is and before you know it, you’ve already done your 10,000 steps for the day.

Bad aspects of the hotel:

I suppose my only ‘bad’ complaint for the hotel was that it was in an alleyway. When we arrived at night and walked to dinner, I didn’t feel too safe, but got over it the next day, once we found out that this neighbourhood was safe. When you’ve arrived into a new country, where the surroundings are all new, you don’t want to go to a hotel which is in an area that’s dimly lit, and you haven’t been able to spot a landmark to help direct you.

Hotel Del Ray – Foz do Iguacu

This is also a nice hotel, very modern, in a relatively newish building. There are about 5 or 6 levels of rooms at this hotel.

Good aspects of the hotel:

This is a nice feel good kinda hotel. Definitely a place you look forward to coming back to after spending some time at the Iguassu Falls. It’s also not too far from the falls on the Brazilian side, and just about an hour’s drive to the Argentinian side.

The breakfast here is a bit more comprehensive and well worth adding on if you’re travelling by yourself and are looking to stay at this hotel. The room is comfortable, and probably has one of the best showers! Their room service menu is quite good, if you’re looking to have a night in, and it’s not very expensive at all, but then again both Brazil and Argentina aren’t very expensive (compared to New Zealand).

Bad aspects of the hotel:

The room is significantly smaller than other hotels. It is a comfortable room, don’t get me wrong, but it is significantly smaller. They have also put a small table and a couple of chairs in the room, which takes up whatever remaining space there is, but after getting drenched at the falls, having a chair to dry our clothes on was helpful.

Pousada Laguna Blue – Paraty

Now, you have to understand that Paraty is a very small town. It’s still a lot better than Ilha Grande, but not that great. After a 6-hour bus drive, arriving at this hotel came as somewhat of a shock, however, you slowly adapt to it.

Good aspects of the hotel:

Once you get over the initial shock, you really do get used to the hotel. They provide you with bigger beds, and again the room is somewhat bigger compared to the previous hotel. Their breakfast is again quite basic, but does the job and saves you time from having to find a place for breakfast. This is a relatively small hotel, with two levels of rooms.

Bad aspects of the hotel:

I’m not sure how many more hotels are available in Paraty, but ours felt like it was the furthest away from the town centre. The thing with Paraty is that, the town centre is the only place where you can really do stuff in the evenings/night, or at least so it seemed. With our hotel being roughly a 30-minute walk, and whilst we did walk back late at night, if it were closer, we could perhaps have been out a bit longer. Paraty is a town, where you literally go back to your hotel to sleep and nothing else.

This hotel was also again on a dimly lit street. Paraty doesn’t have a lot of lights but in saying so, the town centre is much better lit than the streets. I’m not a big fan of dimly lit places, in case you haven’t caught my drift yet. The wi-fi signal here was also quite appalling and probably the only place where I struggled with it.

The hotel also had a musty smell. This is something I have encountered before. As a kid, when my family went to India, we would always go to places that locals dubbed as ‘hill stations’. For any westerner it’s the same as going to the mountains. As these places were more catered to domestic travellers rather than international travellers, a lot of the hotels were just large ‘bed and breakfast’ type places. These hotels often came with the musty smell. It’s only strong when you first get there, but slowly fades away. I suppose this smell, did take me down memory lane.

Pousada Mata Nativa – Ilha Grande

I won’t separate this into good and bad, as this for me was probably the worst hotel. The weather had a lot to play in this as well. Ilha Grande is an island, with no roads and walking is your only mode of transport. Okay, that was a bit dramatic, you can hire a cycle if you like. Given its geographic location, it experiences rain for most of the year (or so I’ve heard). After a rather bumpy speed boat ride, walking in the rain and through the muddy puddles, the hotel wasn’t very welcoming. 

Whilst the room is big, the bathroom is tiny. If you happen to go to the toilet, you will touch the wall in front of you. It’s very cramped. In addition, because of the constant rain whilst we were there, the bathroom very quickly started smelling quite rank.

I’m not sure if anyone from the tour is reading or if G Adventures is reading this, sorry I don’t mean to be offensive, but just sharing my first-hand experience!

I feel if the weather had been better, our experience staying here would have been quite different, and perhaps this review would read quite different.

Royalty Rio Hotel – Rio De Janeiro

This is a feel good hotel located by the Copacabana beach. It’s a shame we didn’t really stay too long at this hotel, as we planned to check-in at the Sheraton the next day and had to leave pretty early in the morning, as we’d booked the early access to Christ the Redeemer tour. If you are on this tour and plan on extending your stay in Rio (which you should), I would recommend staying at this hotel, unless of course, if you want to treat yourself and stay at a nice hotel after spending 9 days staying at tour hotels.

Have you stayed at any of these hotels?

Until next time,