Buzios - Read our Stories and Reviews


Time stopped still for us in Buzios, a serenely beautiful getaway spot only a few hours from Rio. This natural playground has all the charm of a picturesque fishing village with over 20 sparkling green coves and beaches - but enough sophisticated boutiques, fine dining and nightlife to attract Rio’s beautiful people. Brigitte Bardot started it all when she first came here in the 60s to renew her lease on life - greatly facilitated by dating a hot Brazilian at the time. Buzios is a great discovery for those who seek a year-round summer or a 3-day romantic getaway…
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"Searching for the best South American luxury travel destinations? Jonathan and his family share their luxury holiday experiences in Buzios, Brazil..."

While planning this holiday to the Americas I realised that the best thing after the high-energy jolt of New York would be to chill out somewhere beautiful where it’s fun to do nothing. I liked the idea of a rustic Brazilian experience to balance the urbanity of Rio, one not too far afield to save travel time. We always equate relaxation with water so my preference was coastal.

Buzios ticked every box - and as a bonus had The Insolito, a little boutique hotel I was interested in with a pretty special design ethos for such an out of the way spot. The French owners had converted their former summer home and we loved the intimacy of that - it would be like staying at a sophisticated South American friend’s house on the water …

Flying down to Rio… When leaving JFK we found out that our complicated route to Rio (via Sao Paolo) could have been avoided with sudden availability on a direct flight. Frankly I was dismayed that Qantas wouldn’t play ball without a fistful of dollars - which I rejected on principle. On arrival, after our ten-hour journey with American Airlines to Brazil from New York, we were amused that Brazilian immigration and custom officers are just as unsmiling and intimidating as anywhere else (I guess we were expecting more of Carmen Miranda attitude!).

Before our next (unnecessary) domestic flight on Tam Lineas Aereas from Sao Paolo we lost our luggage, plus a massive hike from gate to gate and a forgotten stamp on our boarding pass made us miss our flight onto Rio so by the time we arrived to meet our hotel driver we were hours late and ground into dust.

The trip had taken on such a cosmic disaster, “Griswalds” feel that black humour was essential when we saw the tiny car that had been sent to spirit us to Buzios. Sheira and I, exhausted, crammed ourselves in like origami while our duffel bag FULL OF PURCHASES IN NEW YORK was artfully stuffed in the front. It’s a little unusual for a luxury hotel to compromise on the transport: they usually send roomy four wheel drives to take on the Elton John levels of Louis Vuitton that trail after guests…

The fatigue and frustration of the journey had wrestled us to the mat but the great thing about travel is it teaches you resilience: you learn to accept the tedium of airports and assorted mishaps along the way as the trade-off for leaving home to see the world.

Join Jonathan Said and his family on their luxury travel journeys as they share their best restaurants experiences and luxury hotels and resorts holidays around the world. The comprehensive travel tips and ideas include some of the most popular things to see and do at each destination including a local shopping guide, photos, video, music and much more. 

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