Monday, 14 October 2013

Boutique hotels in Brazil...there aren't many, but they're all here

When I went on a month-long trip to Brazil in 2010, I was surprised – and disappointed – by how few mid-priced, boutique hotels there were in the south of the country. In terms of style, in Rio for example, you could either stay at the super cool, super expensive Fasano (and risk having no budget left for the rest of the trip) or somewhere like the Arpoador Inn (where I stayed): well-located but basic, and certainly not cheap. Sadly, there wasn't much in between. 
Even as recently as last year, when I wrote a piece for The Times, the situation was only just starting to change. At the time, I’d interviewed Tamara Heber-Percy, co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith hotels, who said new boutique hotels were in the process of opening in Rio. Among the ones due to open is Le Paris, and its founders also own La Suite and La Masion. I recently came across the latter on a website called – the long-winded reason for writing this post.

This website is very good indeed for tracking down the (still relatively) few boutique hotels in Brazil, but at least they are all in one place. There is also a blog on the site which gives useful information on restaurants and things to see and do in Brazil. The founders maintain that they stay at every hotel they feature and claim to be so discerning that around 60% of hotels they visit are not good enough to make it onto the website.

For reference, the photos here are of two lovely hotels I stayed in in Brazil. The first is the Sagu Mini Resort in Ilha Grande and the second is Pousada da Marquesa in Paraty, which I've written about several times now, so won't go on about it any more... Incidentally, neither are featured on SunsetVisitor, but I can vouch for their loveliness. 

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