Brazil celebrates 4,655 miles of gorgeous coastline, vast desert-like sands, rivers so wide they appear to be seas, the largest rainforest in the world, and 44 national parks. Said to be exuberant by nature, Brazil has seasons that are opposite the United States and its climate is predominantly tropical. The largest country in South America, its history has made for tremendous diversity resulting in a culturally-rich environment where no one is considered a foreigner and everyone is greeted with a smile. The outcome? A tourist’s playground.
Located in a small fisherman town known as Sibaúma, Kilombo Villas & Spa unites two key elements: conservation and incorporation of the natural environment with contemporary design and state-of-the-art technology. In an effort to maintain the city’s reputation as having the second cleanest air in the world and fulfill their mission, the complex boasts 100% mineral water sourced from a well more than 300-feet-below ground, receives most of its energy from solar panels and has two waterfalls (with 95% pure and drinkable water). The property is backed by red-sand dunes, and at the bottom of the 82-foot drop, its private beach is protected to safeguard turtle spawning. Observing the turtles, surfing and horseback riding are just a few musts. Guests may also enjoy private airport transfers by the resort’s helicopter: KiBo Air.
Nicknamed Marvelous City, Rio de Janeiro is the former capital of Brazil and the most visited city in the southern hemisphere. Landmarks include the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain (with its cable car), Sambódromo (which is permanently lined with grandstands for carnival), and Maracanã Stadium (the home of the 2016 Summer Olympics). Additionally, the area is also famous for its iconic beaches: Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana, to name a few.
Superbly positioned on Copacabana Beach, the Copacabana Palace has had a rich history since its doors opened in 1923. The legendary meeting place of Rio’s high society, the hotel still draws the likes of movie stars, musicians and the world’s elite with its magnificent pool and adjacent bar. Let their team of pool assistants cater to your every whim and, for those who prefer to be oceanside, guests are encouraged to utilize the hotel’s beach service. Other amenities include a rooftop tennis court and renown Copacabana Palace Spa. Before your stay is over, be sure to make reservations at the award-winning Hotel Cipriani Restaurant.
Hotel Santa Teresa is Rio’s newest Design Concept Hotel. Located in the well-preserved artistic district, this former coffee plantation mansion was restored as a hotel referencing Brazilian Tropical Design by incorporating furniture and art by local Brazilian artisans and utilizing indigenous materials. Its grounds encapsulate lush gardens, a pool and the Natura SPA. Your stay is not complete without dinner at Térèze restaurant followed by cachaças at Bar dos Descasados. Don’t be fooled: while this lounge spot is located under the arches of the former slave quarters, it was recently named most romantic bar.
In the heart of Ipanema Beach is Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro. Realized by restaurateur and hotelier Rogério Fasano, this is the first project designed entirely by Philippe Starck intending to mimic the Bossa Nova era. No detail of the 91-room hotel was spared right down to the slight incline of the king-size beds, which lends to the laid-back ambiance and maximizes the ocean view. On the hotel’s rooftop—overlooking the beach with majestic views of the nearby mountains—is the marble steam room and infinity-edge swimming pool. Additionally, there is butler service and private beach service for all hotel guests. Seafood lovers are urged to try Al Mare Restaurant, which was awarded best seafood restaurant in the city just a month after opening.
The adults-only Ponta Dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort is located on a privately-owned peninsula in a small fishing village known as Governador Celso Ramos. Surrounded by the Emerald Coast and set amidst the lush rainforest, Ponta Dos Ganchos consists of 25-luxurious bungalows each claiming their share of privacy. Due to its proximity to Arvoredo Island, guests can experience the best site for scuba diving that South Brazil has to offer. In an effort to be socially responsible, the property now practices PDGreen, cultivating their own gardens along with other initiatives. For true romantic indulgence, couples can book a private dinner for two on the island, but are urged to do so well in advance. Other activities include excursions like a two-hour hike through the rainforest and bathing in Praia de Fora to beer tasting at Eisenbahn brewery.
The only hotel located exclusively in Iguassu National Park, Hotel das Cataratas boasts an unrivaled location just a short walk from the waterfalls. A former Portuguese-colonial residence, guests have easy access to white-water rafting and taking helicopter trips over the gorge. Other options include full-moon walking tours and jungle treks to observe the toucans and giant butterflies. Due to the spray from the falls, the property is surrounded by memorable, lush tropical gardens. Created to satisfy guests seeking luxury, charm and comfort, Vila Selvagem is surrounded by the virgin sand and pristine dunes of Fortaleza. Inclusive of just 15 apartments, each with their own veranda overlooking the sea, this contemporary hotel exudes serenity. Visit the spa’s hammam with its Rassoul Room (Moroccan clay bath) or consider booking the honeymoon package, which includes a couple’s massage and boat cruise, amongst other things. Located in a small fishing village on Pontal de Maceió beach, tours include joining the fisherman on their Jangadas (or sailboats) or dune buggying on the beach.
In the Jardins district of bustling São Paulo, Tivoli São Paulo – Mofarrej has bragging rights for having the largest Presidential Suite in Latin America: 360-degree views and more than 8,000 square feet complete with private elevator access and a dining room that seats 12 and includes a selection of reserve champagnes from the cellars of Dom Pérignon. Other attributes of the five-star hotel include an Elements Spa by Banyan Tree, heated outdoor swimming pool, and, on the 23rd floor with views of Avenida Paulista, Arôla-Vintetres restaurant created in partnership with Michelin-starred Spanish chef Sergi Arola.
Villas de Trancoso began with the search for a romantic beach destination to unwind and relax. Little did owner Galen Briggs Ph.D., know, his search would take him to his soon-to-be home in Porto Seguro. Work began after acquiring a secluded private beach in 2001 near the historic Quadrado, and in 2003 Villas de Trancoso opened its doors. The latest addition to the property is Villa Golf located just over a mile down the beach at Terravista. Appointed with four bedrooms, the villa overlooks the golf course’s 17th hole, and has two decks, an infinity-edge swimming pool, three bar areas, and a pool table and ping-pong table. Having recently won best residential lighting design in Brazil, the view at nighttime is said to be breathtaking.
Use of the villa comes with a full-time maid and butler/bartender. Guests may arrive via the jet airport or heliport and future plans include the addition of two hotels and luxury condominiums and homes.
> Written by Jessica Latimer