Surrounded by rippling forests in the Mantiqueira mountains, Six Senses Botanique is green to the very door. Living up to its name and then some, this hotel goes all out on verdant splendour. Dressed with jacaranda timber and chocolate-toned slate, the l suites overlook tree-swathed valleys and hillsides known to vanish into mist. If you prefer your greenery within arms reach, go for one of the wood-clad villas, whose private gardens are screened by trees and fragrant bushes. At mod-Brazilian restaurant Mina, the chefs get their produce from the hotel’s organic farm and vegetable garden, and the Six Senses spa is inspired by the local indigenous culture and nourishing bounty of the land.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £583.20 (BRL4,209), including tax at 5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 12.5% per room per night on check-out.
Rates include an indulgent Continental breakfast.
The Mantiqueira is famous for its spring water and Botanique is no different. There are seven fresh water springs within the grounds, ensuring a healthy supply of mineral water during your stay.
At the hotel
Private cinema, library, boutique, mountain bike for every guest, clay tennis court, free WiFi throughout, laundry service. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, coffee machine, tea and a kettle, free bottled water from the resort’s own springs.
Our favourite rooms
The Botanique Villa is our pick of the bunch. Built from local timber and surrounded by rainforest, these light-flooded villas have high ceilings, oversized windows and a living area with a baby grand piano. Screened from view by tropical greenery, the private garden has a hammock and an outdoor bath tub (which comes into its own at sunset).
There’s a large outdoor pool in the gardens, which is filled with mineral water from the hotel’s own spring. The indoor pool, in the spa, is filled with isotonic water, which matches the quantity of salt and other natural compounds found in the body.
As with all Six Senses hotels, wellness is at the heart of Botanique. The spa is staffed by a team of expert therapists who provide an extensive range of treatments designed to soothe, soften and restore. Many make use of the hotel’s mineral-rich water and botanicals from the nearby forests, some of which have been used in traditional remedies for centuries. In the Alchemist’s Body Treatment, for instance, a therapist will help you create a scrub and body mask from local ingredients. There are five treatment rooms including one for couples, as well as a sauna, steam room with rainforest mist, an isotonic pool, salt flotation room, beauty salon and the Alchemy bar. You can also book in for yoga, guided meditation and Himalayan singing bowl treatments.
Trekking and mountain biking kit.
All of the public areas, including the spa, are wheelchair accessible. One of the suites is adapted for wheelchair users.
Children are welcome. Under-11s stay in their parents’ room for free. Children 12 and up stay on an extra bed for BRL850 a night. Under-fives eat from the children’s menu for free; children aged six to 11 get a 50 per cent discount on the adult menu. Over
At lunch, go for the terrace. At dinner, see if you can snag tables 1 or 2, which are right by the windows. You’ll feel like you’re outside but will get the warmth from the stove.
There’s no need to stand on ceremony: the view’s the show stealer here.
At mod-Brazilian restaurant Mina, the motto is ‘grown in, not flown in’. Many of the ingredients come from organic planters on the grounds; during your stay, you’ll likely see the chef collecting his daily supplies of fruit, veg and herbs. The meat and seafood are sourced as locally as possible and prepared in ways that are authentically Brazilian. Just as much a feast for the eye, the dining room is filled with furniture carved from warm-toned timber – all responsibly sourced nearby – and the gaping windows have 180-degree views of the valley and tree-swathed slopes.
Fireside Bar was designed by Heloísa Crocco, a Brazilian artist and designer known for her striking woodwork. Settle in a timber lounge chair with South American wines, herbal cocktails or a probiotic drink made with indigenous botanicals.
Lunch is served from 12.30pm to 4pm; dinner is from 7.30pm to 10pm. Drinks flow at the bar from 12 noon to midnight.
Botanique offers a round-the-clock private dining service. The chefs at Mina can prepare customised dishes to be served at a candle-lit table on the terrace of your suite or villa.
Rua Elídio Gonçalves da Silva, 4000
Bairro do Mellos
Campos do Jordão
Six Senses Botanique is in the Mantiqueira region, a mountainous landscape known for fresh water springs.
São Paulo is the closest international airport. From Europe, you can fly directly from London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris Charles de Gaulle or Frankfurt. In the US, New York JFK, Miami, Houston and Chiaco O’Hare all have direct flights. It takes two and a half hours to drive from the airport to the hotel; transfers can be arranged from BRL700 each way.
Many guests do without a car, but if you do choose to hire, there’s free valet parking at the hotel.
For the best experience – and bird’s eye views of the Mantiqueira Mountains – charter a helicopter from São Paulo Airport. The scenic flight takes an hour and you’ll land right on the hotel grounds.
Worth getting out of bed for
You’ll likely be itching to explore the mountainous Mantiqueira, but you don’t even need to leave the grounds to get an eyeful of nature. The hotel’s immediate surroundings are trimmed and tamed, but it doesn’t take long for the landscape to turn rugged. There are trails crossing the property and the yoga studio overlooks the forest. Frankly, we’d be content shuttling between the Six Senses spa, spring water pool, tennis court and the bar, but safe to say there’s a lot to see and do beyond the hotel. Qualified guides can lead you on a wide range of excursions, including horse riding, birdwatching (there are 165 indiengous species in the area), hikes to Lageado Waterfall, tastings at local wineries and breweries, foraging in nearby forests or soaring over the mountains in a paraglider. In the evenings, you can book the private cinema (popcorn’s on the house) or post up at cocktail bar Fireside Lounge, which has live music on weekends.
Most guests have all of their meals at the hotel restaurant, Mina, which is unrivalled in the local area. If you do want to eat out, local brewery Carijó Empório e Cervejaria Artesanal has a casual restaurant with a terrace – and some of the best wheat beer in the region.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Six Senses hotel in the Mantiqueira and unpacked their sketches of centuries-old araucaria trees, a full account of their South Brazil break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Six Senses Botanique in the Mantiqueira Mountains…
In Brazil’s now extinct Tupi language, Mantiqueira means ‘mountains that weep’. Once you set eyes on the place, it’s easy to see why. Stretching across the southeast of the country, this mountain range is riddled with springs, streams and rivers, creating a landscape of moss-green peaks and lush, leafy valleys. Six Senses Botanique is right in the unspoiled heart of it, built on a ridge overlooking hills painted with a palette of greens.
In keeping with this botanical profusion, the hotel’s interiors are clothed in caramel-toned slate, local timber and 120-year-old reclaimed wooden beams. Whether you go for a suite or one of the standalone villas, you’ll have vast windows looking onto the grounds or hills beyond. At every turn, the hotel seems to reaffirm the aptness of its name, whether you’re in the spa (where indigenous herbs are used in the treatments), the restaurant (where nearly everything is grown or reared on site), or out on excursions, which include foraging with the sous chef, wine tastings and mountain biking through thick forest.
Back at the hotel, wind down with a holistic wellness programme, bookable cinema events and a cocktail bar that’s warmed by a crackling fire. For those who like an open schedule, there’s also the option of 24-hour in-villa dining – a handy option if you’re feeling peckish after a spot of stargazing. The Mantiqueira may be said to weep, but the only tears you’ll shed here will be from joy.