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Interview with Nicolas Peluffo of Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort

Nicolas PeluffoNicolas Peluffo is General Director of Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort, located in the beautiful Santa Catarina province of Brazil, 45 minutes from Florianopolis airport.   It is a Relais & Chateaux member and a Virtuoso Preferred Hotel. What is it that  you do exactly?
I am obsessed about my work and a bit of a day dreamer too, which is a very energetic formula I can say. It means I never stop thinking of how we can make Ponta dos Ganchos a better hotel, how can we improve our service, our gastronomy, our facilities, how can we make our guests experience the most memorable and long lasting memory ever. I want people to leave our resort fascinated, relaxed, loved and taken care of, really feeling they have lived a special moment while with us and I suppose we have been achieving this so far. It has been a long road so far, our evolution has been tremendous on the last 2 years and I have a wonderful team who is as obsessed with perfection as I am so things are looking fantastic. I also dream about the day when Brazil will become an important destination for the luxury travelers, such as South Africa and some Asiatic countries have done. We have an amazing asset on our hands and the world is yet to discover it; the opportunities are enormous.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
This is an amazing experience for me, I have always loved to meet new people, to travel the world and I have always been very competitive. Here at Ponta dos Ganchos I have been given the opportunity at a very young age to meet fantastic people in this industry, to experience the most amazing hotels and restaurants and especially, the chance to try very hard to be good at what I do. Of course we all work long hours in the industry and we travel much more than we would like to, but it is all paid for when we get to talk to our guests and they are having an absolutely wonderful time with us, it’s a magical moment to know we have been able to somehow touch people’s lives, even if it’s only for a few days. It’s a fantastic job and I often become jealous of myself.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
Tough question. The Fasano Hotel  in São Paulo has the most amazing restaurant, perfect service, great ambiance; I stay there often and they make me feel at home. The Hotel Faena  in Buenos Aires is an experience all alone and together with the Alvear Palace Hotel (another dream hotel) they make any trip to Argentina a special moment. There are endless beautiful and flawless hotels all over the world and I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay at  some of them but I feel very  proud to have such great properties in South America so I had to mention them; besides, I have been a guest at those properties quite a few times so I know they constantly deliver a very good service.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
In gastronomic terms, I would have to say it was the tasting menu at D.O.M. with friends in São Paulo, the tasting menu at L’Atelier Joel Robüchon in Paris all by myself and the tasting menu at La Maison Troisgros  with my father in Roanne and the dinner Mr. Pierre Troisgros prepared here at Ponta dos Ganchos last year during a gastronomic festival in August; after all, it’s not every day I have 38 years of 3 Michelin stars sitting on my table! But I think the one out-of-this-world experience will always be once when I was in Fiji with my wife (back then still my girlfriend), staying in one of the most idyllic places on earth in the middle of nowhere, in an island called Yanuca, no water, no electricity, nothing, and we come back from the surf and one of the other guests had caught a huge fish behind the reef. Instantly, Sharen, the lady that owns and manages the place,  gutted it and cut  the thing into thin slices and we had the freshest sashimi I have ever seen, it was really something special, I don’t think anything will ever top that.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
It’s part of the luxury hospitality industry I guess, but, as a general rule, our guests come to us to disappear and relax so we make sure they have that and we never promote who are guests are, were or are going to be. We are known for this total non-disclosure policy. Outside the resort, I particularly enjoyed a little speech from H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, during the last Congress of Relais & Chateaux in Monaco in November 2006.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?
I would love to go back to Indonesia and Australia, great trip I had years ago. I am dying to visit a few hotels in South Africa (Singita, Le Quartier Française and The Plettenberg), Tahiti (Le Taha’a) and Seychelles (North Island and Lemuria Resort). I would love to visit the Maldives eventually too. To be honest, I am now looking forward on exploring Brazil as the country is so big normally Brazilians don’t know it well so I will be visiting the Iguaçu Falls, the Pantanal and parts of the Northeast that I haven’t been yet.
Thanks, Nicolas. I have yet to visit South America myself, but it is most definitely on my wishlist!

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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One Comment

  1. I know this guy, i know this place..he just continue his father job..i dont think soo he deserve any interview..is better ask Daniel not him.

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