Needing a World Cup Detox? Escape the madness and head for the hills, or the beach… Here are our 3 favourite places to stay in Brazil to make a break from the crowds:
Santa Teresa Hotel
Discover this exquisite small hotel hidden among Santa Teresa’s cobbled streets, old mansions and historic architecture. Nearby you can explore fabulous restaurants, cafes, art galleries and shops in this bustling area of Rio. This charming boutique hotel is built on a colonial farm and is a refuge of peace and tranquility in the city. The funky interior has neutral colours, modern art and tropical plants and is restful and inspiring. Each bedroom has been individually decorated by renowned designers using wood and other natural materials. There is a gorgeous luxury spa and chill out pool area and bar with smart stripy loungers. Indulge in a spa treatment and later on enjoy a delicious meal cooked by a well-known French chef in the eco-chic styled restaurant. Head downstairs where the raspberry coloured bar has tiled floors and wooden furniture – it has been built in the old slave quarters is the perfect spot for a sundowner. Then wander outside where you can take in the panoramic views of the city, harbour and Guanabara Bay from this special city sanctuary. Wonderful!
Arrive by boat to your own private slice of paradise. Facing Paraty Bay, this villa hideaway is less than 4 hours from Rio, yet it feels like further. It’s surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, views of sea and sky, nature, monkeys and sunsets. You may not see another soul for days except the local fishermen … feel the tension easing away as you swing in your hammock or trek in the hills. If you’re feeling energetic paddle board over to the pristine beach or swim from your own diving platform. The fish are abundant here and you might spot turtles or take a boat and watch the dolphins frolicking in the crystal clear waters. It takes 15 minutes by boat to visit the Portuguese splendour of Paraty town with its colonial charm and faded grandeur. Inside the house it is simply yet beautifully decorated: find minimal and uncluttered style. It has three doubles and one single room – ideal for families or couples alike. This is a super place to stay, perfect for those seeking total escape and reflection.
Reserva do Ibitipoca
This country retreat in Minas Gerais around 3 ½ hours by car to the northwest of Rio de Janeiro and is part of a 4,000 hectare private preservation and sustainability initiative. They work here to reforest native flora and fauna species and wildlife corridors as well as working closely with local communities. You stay in a traditional farmhouse which was originally built in 1715 and refurbished in 2006. The eight rooms have antique wooden furniture, local handicrafts, green soft furnishings and claw footed baths or rain showers. Coloured glass windows throw pretty light across the rooms and the cacophony of the forest is ever present. Outside you can explore the beauty and tranquillity of these natural surroundings, best seen on horseback from one of the estate’s Mangalarga or Anglo-Arabian horses. Spot monkeys and birds in the deciduous forest or trek to waterfalls and villages or explore further by electric bike, 4×4 or raft. Or take it easy with a dip in the splash pool, a yoga class or relax in the spa with a blissful treatment. Food is fresh and local and always includes that Brazilian delight of cake at breakfast! An authentic, hidden gem.