Rio de Janeiro
Insolito Boutique Hotel & Spa, Búzios
Its name translates as “remarkable” – and this boutique option in the charming seaside resort of Búzios, a 2 – 3 hour drive north of Rio, certainly lives up to its moniker.
With a glorious beachfront location, sleek decor and a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, it ticks all the right boxes for a blissful Brazilian break. Whether you’re amped for watersports just a spade’s throw from your suite or prefer to unwind with a bespoke massage, you’ll quickly discover what makes Insolito so extraordinary.
Facilities & Activities
This is the kind of place that invites you to unwind. Not only does the hotel back onto the gold sand of Ferradura beach, but it also has a sea-facing infinity pool hemmed in by sky-high palm trees. It’s the perfect place to lounge beneath a bamboo parasol or in a braided hammock. If watersports are your thing, the hotel boat can take you off for a day crammed with waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing or simply hopping between beaches.
Spa treatments take place in the most tranquil setting, with big windows overlooking the bay and flower-strewn massage couches. For the romantics, a couple’s room is available so you can enjoy a treatment together. Alternatively, the hotel can organise private beach picnics – complete with a champagne hamper – or dinners in quiet spots around the property.
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Food is fresh, local where possible and beautifully presented – and all served up in a restaurant with a panoramic view. Breakfast could be a “detox juice” paired with omelettes or homemade granola with natural honey. Dinner options are divided into five culinary categories – Brazilian, Japanese, Spanish, French and Italian. Think fresh sashimi and tuna tataki with a miso sauce, followed by duck magret with chestnut purée and homemade strawberry gelato for dessert. Fresh fish originates from the coast in front of you, and the wine list has a range of worldwide options, including French classics and some good Brazilian sparkling wines.
With six categories of suites and a private house to choose from, there’s something to suit everyone, from small families to large groups. The decor is minimalist and beachy, with a neutral palette pepped up by pops of colour in the form of funky cushions and bedspreads. Natural light spills in from large windows overlooking the gardens and sea.
Master suites have large living rooms and balconies with hot tubs, while deluxe rooms have small private gardens. To splash out, the three-bedroom “Unusual Suites” have enough space to sleep five guests, plus a vast terrace with either a hot tub or a private infinity pool with sublime sunset views. All rooms are equipped with smart TVs, coffee machines and Wi-Fi.
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Children of all ages are welcome, with those aged under six staying for free (on a rollaway bed or cot). But the hotel is best suited to older children, who will love the range of beach activities and watersports, such as waterskiing and wakeboarding.
Families wanting to share would be well suited in an Unusual Suite (private house). The largest accommodation category, they can sleep up to five guests in three bedrooms, and have the additional perk of being uber-spacious and private, with your own pool if you choose.
Insolito is taking steps towards sustainability, from its lighting to sourcing local materials.
Green initiatives include having hotel furniture made by Brazilian companies that only use rough, recycled or certified wood.
The hotel has a prime position on Ferradura Beach, a horseshoe bay in the resort of Buzios in the south of Brazil. Back in the 17th century, the town was a pirate hideout, but it was catapulted into the global spotlight in the 1960s when Brigitte Bardot fell in love with the little fishing village. It’s around a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro – meaning there’s no need for an internal flight – or you could whizz there from the capital via a 25-minute helicopter transfer.