For agents sending younger, nightlife-seeking clients to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recommend a detour to Buzios, a vastly growing haven for sleek nightclubs and hip restaurants. Originally a small fishing village once inhabited by French pirates, this peninsula is made up of more than 20 beaches and home to some great water sports, mainly snorkeling.
An expansive view from the Rio Buzios Hotel
Some of its most well-known beaches include the Azeda Beach, a small beach with calm and crystal-clear water; the João Fernandinho Beach, which has an array of bars where clients can feast on lobster and other great seafood; Ferradura Beach, a unique horseshoe-shaped bay; and Geribá Beach, which is ideal for clients looking to surf and windsurf.
Buzios is also a great destination for some excellent cuisine. There are French, Italian, Moroccan, Thai and other restaurants. Fish and seafood are the main local dishes.
But this area, which actually seems more like an island, is now mostly known for its booming nightlife. “Buzios is for the young. It is really the place to party at night, sleep late and get to the beach by noon at the earliest,” says Martin Rapp of Altour, which usually sends about 60 people a year to Buzios. “I usually advise at least a three-day stay between December and February (the high season).”
In fact, younger travelers are driving much of the U.S. market to Brazil. According to Embratur, Brazil’s tourist board, more than half the U.S. vacationers in Brazil in 2006 were under 40. Thirty percent were under age 32, and 25 percent were between 32 and 40 years old. The 41-to-50-year-old demographic made up 24 percent, and travelers 51 and older represented 21 percent.
Where to Stay
Casas Brancas is a hip, boutique–style hotel with 32 rooms and suites. It is Mediterranean inspired and offers a relaxed setting with some impressive views of the bay. Rapp recommends any ocean view room here, but the best of the best are the three Suites, which all come with a private balcony. It is also home to its own spa, which offers the basic massages and full body treatments as well as it own beauty salon. Agents should call 011-55-22-2623-1458 and ask for General Manager Amalia de La Maria or e-mail [email protected].
A guest room at Villa Rasa Marina
Villa Rasa Marina is the newest hotel in Buzios, located in Praia Rasa, which is said to be one of the calmest areas of the peninsula. The property is the latest hotel from Marina Hotels in Buzios. It opened in March. We were told this property is ideal for clients looking for a luxury brand in an exclusive setting. The hotel is about a two-hour drive, or a 20-minute flight, from Rio de Janeiro. It offers 35 rooms and suites with the best coming in the form of the Suite da Villa, a 970-square-foot, ocean view room. The loft-style room itself is 570 square feet, has a rustic straw-lined roof and includes a king-size bed, living area, bathroom and a private Jacuzzi with an ocean view. Additionally, this room has a terrace with 400 square feet of space. We were told this room is perfect for honeymooners. There is only one of these at the property, so agents should book at least a month in advance. Agents should visit the site or e-mail [email protected].
For families, as well as couples, we recommend the Rio Buzios Hotel, which has 64 rooms, all with king-size beds and balconies. The best rooms are the Deluxe Rooms, which all come with Jacuzzis. The travel agent liaison at the property is Marcos Ricar, who can be reached at 011-55-22-2623-0312 or [email protected].
Another great property for families is the Atlântic Búzios Convention & Resort, which has 135 guest rooms in three categories: Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe. It also has two outdoor pools, one specifically for children, a game room and massage rooms among other features. The travel agent liaison at the property is Luis Guedes, who can be reached at 011-55-22-2620-8850 or [email protected].
Orient Express recently bought a piece of property a short walk from the town, right on the water and is planning to build a small, deluxe beachfront property there.
Who Goes There?
Although it is predominantly a spot for younger clients looking to party into the early morning, Buzios is also a great sell for older couples and families as well since it has an abundance of great restaurants and water activities.
People from Rio de Janeiro usually go to Buzios for weekends and holidays. The typical stay is about two to three days. According to Buzios tourism officials, in the summer, the destination received about 1,000,000 total visitors.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is Galeão International Airport, which is in Rio de Janeiro. Most major U.S. carriers fly there. Transfers from the airport can be arranged and rental cars can also be booked by calling local transportation company Venturini at 011-55-22-2623-61867 or [email protected].