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Insolito Boutique Hotel – Buzios, Brazil

  • After a three-hour bus ride from Rio de Janeiro, the iced lemon water and chilled champagne offered during check-in, and stunning views across Praia da Ferradura’s horseshoe bay, is just what the doctor ordered.
  • Perched on a headland overlooking the crescent-shaped beach, Insolito is the perfect escape – St Tropez meets Ibiza in tropical Brazil – and most definitely Buzios’ best boutique hotel.
  • Rooms vary in size and price with the smallest quite compact but with good showers and huge beds.  All rooms come with large flat screen televisions, Sky satellite boxes and DVD players; there’s a nicely edited DVD library available at reception.
  • During the day, take your pick from three gorgeous swimming pools or a small corner of the beach that is privately owned by the hotel.  While 21 rooms is a decent size for a ‘boutique’ hotel, it’s the way the place has been thoughtfully and beautifully designed – its varying levels and little hidden nooks – that gives the impression of solitude and space and the place never feels busy; it can be a surprise one afternoon to find that you’re sharing a pool with one other couple.
  • Staff are extremely friendly and go out of their way to help: when the Havaiana flip-flops left in the room as a gift were a size too small, the superbly efficient and chatty Julie from front desk instantly sent someone out to pick up the right ones.
  • Check-in at 2pm / check-out at 12noon.

SCENE:

  • The hotel’s clientele reflects the steep prices with guests leaning towards being older, wealthier couples or foreign – mainly British, French and Argentinian – honeymooners.

FUEL:

  • Restaurant – The menu’s French influence is most welcome and the food very good.  Breakfast is served from 8.30am-11am and consists of a small buffet of fresh, local fruits, breads, pastries, juices, cold meats, cheese and yoghurts, along with your choice of cooked eggs.  Lunch and dinner menus cover the gamete from risotto, Argentine steaks and chocolate mousse to local fish and ceviche.
  • Bar – Two outdoor bars serve drinks (amazing caipirinhas!) all day long and into the evening.  Both look out over the bay but neither are particularly rockin’ affairs; during late season at least, this is a place to escape to rather than party.

PLAY:

  • Swimming pool & beach – The hotel boasts three swimming pools, one of which is 4m deep and fresh water, and another is heated.  All three are beautifully situated, surrounded by water fountains, sunbeds and day-beds covered in cushions and white linen billowing in the gentle breeze.  The dark wooden decking is dotted with baskets full of fluffy white towels by day and candles by night.  The scent of frangipani, bougainvilllea and citronella fills the air while the sea gently laps on the beach below, a few short steps down.
  • Wellness Centre – Every kind of massage is available from 10am until 8pm.  Irena has an exceptional talent for massage and while pricey, an hour in her hands will transport you physically and emotionally and is worth every penny.
  • Library and snooker room – A cool spot to relax away from the midday sun or chill in the evening.

CONTACT DETAILS:

VISIT DATE:

  • 15 April 2011 – 20 April 2011

WEATHER:

  • Hot, sunny, clear blue skies, medium humidity, breezy – 28/32°C.

ACCESS:

  • A two and a half to three hours drive north East along the Costa da Sol from Rio.

TOP TIPS:

  • Take one of the two hotel boats beach hopping for the day and visit some of the more natural and isolated beaches such as Praia da Tartaruga and Azeda; make a huge saving by taking the clean, safe and organised Viaçao 1001 tourist bus from Rio, rather than the hotel’s chauffeur car service.

THE FAT MOUSE VERDICT:

  • The Good Spacious and tranquil even when fully booked; excellent, friendly and attentive service; beautifully designed and furnished; good food, especially when compared to restaurants in Buzios’ town centre.
  • The Bad – The wi-fi can be rather precarious and there were several instances when dishes on the restaurant menu were not available – it is the Brazilian coast after all. 

MACARON RATING:
0 0 0 0 ½

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