New communal areas

Blue and Gold Macaw By Jorge Lopes
New communal areas

The ecolodge, located in Alta Floresta, in Mato Grosso state, has been furnished with a completely new set of communal areas, designed by Adriana Da Riva, in order to even better accommodate tourists from around the world who are seeking an authentic Amazon experience

Since August 2013, the Cristalino Lodge has been equipped with new communal areas, following a renovation project coordinated by the São Paulo architect Adriana Da Riva. The hotel’s new facilities include, among other things, a restaurant, bar, reading room, presentation room, open deck and a walkway to receive visitors immediately upon arrival. The ecolodge is situated in the municipality of Alta Floresta, in Mato Grosso state, within an 11,399 hectare private reserve on the banks of the River Cristalino. This area of higher land within the Brazilian Amazon is notable for its rich flora and fauna, which attracts tourists and researchers from all around the world.

The designing of the new communal areas began in 2010, with the aim of enhancing the shared spaces provided for guests, who can now enjoy the new 1,469 m2 communal area in complete harmony with nature. The attractive buildings are all made of wood, with large vertical stainless steel screens that allow visitors to feel a closeness to the surrounding forest while enjoying the benefits of the ventilation. Glass has also been used in specific locations and the clay tile roofing has generous overhangs to provide protection from the rain, while louvers of various kinds provide a practical horizontal design feature in the facades.

The spacious restaurant offers 254 m2 of indoor and outdoor environments, where visitors can enjoy delicious candlelit dinners in a cozy environment. The design features large pivot doors and vertical screens that enable diners to experience the sights and sounds of the forest during their meal, while the tables are specially designed to be able to accommodate couples, groups of friends or families. The modern new gourmet kitchen (176 m2) produces home-made dishes using Brazilian ingredients that are straight from the garden and they are perfectly complemented by wines from the hotel’s select list of South American vintages.

Another outstanding feature is the bar, with its modern design that is fully integrated within the environment, allowing an uninterrupted view of the surroundings. Decorated with cement tiles that have an Amerindian motif, the bar is equipped with suspended shelves and the green of the forest is enhanced as it is viewed through the glasses. The bar’s large covered area (151 m2) has plenty of inviting candlelit tables and comfortable chairs and is directly connected to a sizeable (161 m2) open deck, equipped with chairs, loungers and benches, where a blazing fire provides a perfect environment for swapping stories under a star-filled sky.

Yet another highlight is the reading room (117 m2), with its comfortable furnishings and a selection of books about the biodiversity of the Amazon region, ideal for a moment of relaxation and broadening one’s knowledge. The recessed lighting, high ceilings and roof vents further ensure the comfort and well-being of visitors. Another resource for promoting knowledge of the Amazon region and the Cristalino area is the new presentation room, a space (103 m2) devoted to film presentations, talks about the beautiful Cristalino forests and photographic workshops, which are held on a regular basis throughout the year with the participation of well-known photographers. All the communal areas, including the restaurant, bar, reading room and presentation room, provide free Wi-Fi internet access.

The new shop (55 m2), occupying a gorgeous structure made of certified bamboo, offers articles made by local artisans, books showing the local fauna and flora, posters of Brazilian birds and Cristalino Lodge T-shirts and caps. It is directly connected to a spacious wooden deck (184 m2) equipped with benches, from which visitors can enjoy a beautiful view of pink granite rocks that blend with the fascinating Amazonian landscape. The ecolodge has also gained a new access walkway (164 m2), built out over the River Cristalino and connected to an inviting floating deck equipped with loungers and parasols.
The architectural design is based on sustainability principles. All the drinking water is drawn from artesian wells, water is heated by solar panels, graywater and blackwater are treated according to permaculture principles and there is a system of selective garbage collection through which glass, metal and plastic is sent back to Alta Floresta for recycling. The communal areas have a clever system of air vents, to ensure a more pleasant temperature, as well as maximizing the natural lighting.

The ecolodge has 16 sustainable guest rooms and bungalows, two towers for bird watching and trails for walking tours guided by a team that is specialized in nature and observing local wildlife and flora, and offers activities such as canoeing and bathing in the river, at cascades or off the beaches formed in the dry season. For 15 years, the lodge has been supporting conservation programs in the area and in 2013 it was selected as one of the world’s 25 best ecolodges and the only one from Brazil on the list produced by National Geographic Traveler magazine.


Cristalino Lodge project for the expansion of communal areas
Architecture and landscape design: Adriana Da Riva.
Architectural team: Maria Fernanda Elaiuy, Roberto Benzi Munhoz, Gustavo Otsuka, Juliana Guarnieri, Juliana Mancini, Alexandre Mottinelli Nunes, Carlos Ramos de Landolfi Jr, Mariane Evangelista and Miklos Markovits.
Construction supervisor: José Armando Pereira da Silva.

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