The Best Hotels in Brazil 2016

The Best Hotels in Brazil 2016
And he should know. As the UK's only tailor-made Brazil travel specialist with well over a decade of first-hand, on the ground experience, his local contact list is bulging with the 'inside travel story' on this vast and thrilling country: what to see and where to stay.

That the real (the local currency) is at its lowest ever rate; that internal flights are much more available - and cheaper - than they were during the World Cup and; that it's the first time that the Olympics has been held in South America, leading to much improved infrastructure, a flurry of hotel building and increased security and security, is only part of the good news story.

The other, it seems, is happenstance: "It's incredibly fortuitous that the Olympics coincide with the 'perfect storm' of natural events , great news for the luxury traveller wanting to experience the best the country has to offer," he says.

The period during which the Olympics are running (seventeen days between 5th - 21st August, with the Paralympics running from 7th - 18th September), is the best time of year to spot both jaguars (Brazil has the highest concentration of Jaguars in the world) and whales (off the southern coast).

Beach lovers and adrenaline junkies will also be rewarded. July and August also mark start of kite and windsurfing season whilst late August and September are the best months to go diving in Fernando de Noronha, with Baia do Sancho beach rated as the best beach in the world for two years running by Trip Advisor.

"For luxury travelers wanting to make the most of their stay, though, the country also boasts some of the most beautiful hotels on the planet," says Simon.

Here's Bespoke Brazil's Top Ten Luxury Hotels

Best for celebrity spotting: Belmond Copacabana Palace (pictured at top)

Home to celebrities, royalty and the government, Copacabana Palace is South America's most famous hotel. Opened in 1923, it immediately became an architectural landmark, designed by the French architect Joseph Gire, who took his inspiration from the Hotel Carlton in Cannes and the Hotel Negresco in Nice. Prior to the 2014 World Cup, the Copacabana Palace underwent extensive refurbishments to ensure its position as South America's premier hotel. The hotel is also one of Rio's top dining experiences with three restaurants available for the guests, The Pérgula, situated by the pool which is great for celebrity spotting, the fine Asian food at Mee is the creation of legendary chef Ken Hom where you can discover the most sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine in Rio, and the famous Cipriani restaurant which serves up a selection of Italian cuisine. At the latter of these you are also able to have a real treat and dine at the Chefs Table inside the kitchen for a very personal dining experience with private sommelier, waiter and the personal attention of Chef Luca Orini.

Best for trendsetters: Fasano Rio de Janeiro

Designed by Phillipe Starck, the Fasano Rio is uber cool and bang on trend and, not surprisingly, the hotel of choice for younger celebrities. Located opposite the fashionable Posto 8 on Ipanema Beach (THE place to be seen on Rio's sands), luxuriate in the rooftop infinity pool overlooking the ocean. All rooms possess private balconies, separated by mirror screens making privacy and discretion a hallmark of the property. The Al Mare restaurant specializes in Mediterranean style seafood cuisine whilst the Baretto-Londra lounge offers award-winning signature cocktails for its A list clientele.

Best for luxury: Fasano Sao Paulo

It was the hotel that set the standard for all other luxury hotels in Brazil to follow, a place where 1930's style and elegance mix seamlessly with modern, classic design. Facade bricks were imported from England, the lobby's marble beams from Rome whilst the rest of the interior is all dark wood and leather seats. Located on a quiet road which runs parallel to shopper's paradise, Rua Oscar Freire, you'll be able to collapse in comfort after browsing Armani, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Bulgari, Versace, Cartier and Dior. The Fasano restaurant is regularly considered the best Italian restaurant in South America whilst the fabulous Bar Baretto, an intimate live music and jazz bar, regularly hosts top performers.

Best for design: Hotel Unique Sao Paulo

Boat-shaped and located opposite the city's Ibirapuera Park, The Hotel Unique in Sao Paulo is one of the most distinctively designed hotels in the world. It's a destination where art, architecture, design, fashion, music, gastronomy and exquisite service are at the heart of a groundbreaking hotel culture. The hotel has a mix of rooms and suites with the rooms offering contemporary and elegant décor, high-technology amenities and maximum comfort furnished with Brazilian hardwood floors, and oversized, round windows which mimic portholes on a ship and allow for natural light to flood in. The suites also incorporate the curve of the building with “infinity floors” that gently slope into the walls, providing architectural drama. The Hotel Unique also boasts the best views of the city skyline and on the roof you can find Skye, an area which contains a crimson red pool with an underwater sound system, lounge area and bar.

Best for views: Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas

As the only hotel located in Brazil's Iguassu National Park, you'll enjoy unrivaled views of South America's (some say the world) most spectacular waterfall away from the crowds. Exclusive access isn't the only attraction of this luxury Portuguese colonial residence; there's a beautifully designed swimming pool, gym (offering panoramic views) and tennis court too. The hotels also offers a day spa and two fabulous restaurants and bar. For the most luxurious accommodation, opt for the Cataratas suites. Jungle treks or helicopter rides out over the falls can also be arranged.

Best for wildlife: Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge

Set in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, opposite the Anavilhanas National Park and on the shores of the Rio Negro, this luxurious jungle lodge offers a range of chalets, bungalows and panoramic rooms, all thatched and stilted. There's a huge amount to see and do whilst there; boat trips to see dolphins, piranhas, crocodiles, anacondas and sloths, jungle treks to spot tree frogs and other rainforest wildlife. An oasis of luxury - with pool.

Best for Emerald Coast Exclusivity and Romance: Ponta dos Ganchos

Small but beautiful, Ponta dos Ganchos Resort is regarded as one of the most exclusive beach resorts in Brazil and regularly wins the title of the 'best beach hotel in South America'. Situated next to a traditional fishing village and overlooking stunning, forested coastline just north of Florianopolis on a privately-owned peninsula, its surrounded by the exuberant Emerald Coast. The hotel is exclusively for adults and a major honeymoon destination for those looking for romance and luxury. The hotel has 25 sophisticated bungalows set in amazingly lush vegetation by the rainforest creating a dazzling display of light and colour. There's a cinema, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, bar, restaurant, oceanfront tennis court, Spa, Massage gazebos, heated swimming pool and some wonderful nature trails to follow. Take a boat trip or go scuba diving to see dolphins and whales. Ponta dos Ganchos is part of the Leading Hotels of the World group which act as a seal of testament to its impeccable facilities.

Best for Eco: Txai Resort

The Txai Resort is located in southern Bahia, close to the town of Itacare on the beautiful Itacarezinho Beach on the Coconut Coast. The boutique resort is a beach paradise which combines an eco-friendly style with style and luxury comforts. There are 38 individual private bungalows which are scattered throughout a coconut grove which overlook the ocean and creates a tropical paradise. If you are looking for a luxury family getaway then the resort has 3 villas for larger groups or families and these properties consist of 4 separate suites plus a kitchen, living and dining areas as well as containing their own barbecue area and swimming pool. Bahia is famous for its cuisine and seafood features heavily on the menu of the excellent restaurant. The hotel places a heavy emphasis on eco-tourism and the resort offers some wonderful trips to nearby attractions which include rafting, surfing, horse riding, bird watching and trips to local waterfalls. For those who are simply looking to laze and relax then the resort offers massage services, a health centre, a relaxation room and three swimming pools. The big skies make for a special way to end your day as stargazing from your bungalow has to be one of the most special things to do at this stunning resort.

Best for 'The Best Hotel in the World': UXUA Casa

Recently voted by Mr and Mrs Smith as 'The Best Hotel in the World', UXUA Casa is a place for the flash pack, designed as it is by Wilbert Das, the former creative director of Diesel and who is regularly spotted chatting to guests. Situated next to the famous Quadrado, the hotel has 10 exclusive residences (casas), each with their own unique design - our favourite - the treehouse.. All ten casas include large comfortable beds, indoor and outdoor living areas, flatscreen TV, air-conditioning and wifi. The pool located next the restaurant was designed to have lake-like quality, built incorporating beautiful green aventurine stone, which the locals consider that they have therapeutic power, helping to calm the mind and reduce stress. The restaurant is one of the best in Trancoso, the fabulous beach bar a semi-sunken boat serving seafood and caipirinhas.

Best for the World's Best Beach: Pousada Maravilha

Fernando de Noronha tops the travel bucket list of many Brazilians, an archipelago of 21 islands a 60 minute flight from the mainland off the north-east coast and one of the most incredible destinations on earth. World class diving and secluded beaches are the main attractions here including the Baia do Sancho beach, voted best beach in the world for the last 2 years by TripAdvisor. The Pousada Maravilha is the most exclusive hotel on Fernando de Noronha combining stylish sophistication with natural resources to produce a truly wonderful luxury hotel. Located on the south-east of the island the hotel is a five star luxurious resort built with ecology in mind. The hotel offers two types of accommodation options: five bungalows for couples and three luxury apartments which can hold up to four people. All bungalows have an ocean view, complete with a hot tub on the balcony and a hammock on the veranda, it's an incredible place to relax in this paradise location. All of the apartments contain the same comforts of the bungalows but are without a hot tub. The pool area has wonderful views of this idyllic paradise and the pousada offers endless leisure options for those looking for more than just relaxation.

All hotels can be booked through Bespoke Brazil, T. 01603 340 680

For more of what to see and do in Brazil, click here