I recently spent a great week at Hotel Donati - the goal was to see as many of Itatia's birds as possible. The hotel is rustic (opened in 1931) but had everything I needed. The weather was spectacular, cool enough at night to enjoy my fireplace and shirt sleeves warm in the daytime - too cool for me to use the pools. In August, there were no biting insects in the forest. The room was clean, comfortable with plenty of hot water. The food was great, served buffet or family style, with more than ample servings and lots of variety. WIFI was available in the lounge almost all of the time - I was able to skype with my wife back in Canada most evenings. The day the local system collapsed, the staff kindly let me use the hotel's computer to send an email home. I felt very safe as I wandered the trails around the park - I saw more than 140 species of birds, two kinds of monkeys, peccary and a tayra (a large weasel).
The staff of the hotel were wonderful, friendly and helpful. Since I speak no Portuguese, we communicated with gestures and a few words of Spanish. Unlike other hotels in the park that I contacted when I was planning my trip, Donati replied in English almost instantly to my email requests for information.
If you want to see the Mata Atlantica (Atlantic Forest) , I can highly recommend Hotel Donati and Itatiaia National park.
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