Insolito Boutique Hotel
What We Love
- Breakfast buffet is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Wellness center with a choice of fresh or saltwater swimming pools, private yoga lessons and ofuro, a traditional Japanese bath — a luxury at a small hotel
- Modern guestrooms with ocean or beach views
- Terrace restaurant, A Galeria, for cocktails at sunset
- Eco-friendly: Designer carpets are made of recycled rubber, and museum-quality furniture is fashioned from certified wood
What To Know
- The resort’s beach has chaise longues for guests
- This is more of a romantic escape, so families may want to leave the kids at home
- Town is a 30- to 40-minute walk away — probably worth a taxi
- The resort also hosts events, weddings, conferences and workshops, as well as private beach parties
- Location is remote — the closest airports are 120 miles away; transfers start at $300 for up to 4 people
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
East of Rio de Janeiro, the sleepy fishing village of Armacao de Buzios — aka Buzios — first awoke in 1964, when a bikini-clad Brigitte Bardot set foot onshore. Now this hip resort area is often called the St.-Tropez of Brazil, and the stylish Insolito Boutique Hotel fits right in. Spilling down a rocky hillside to beautiful Ferradura Beach, this intimate 20-room getaway, once a private villa, has been transformed by a French-born owner and features lush tropical gardens, three pools, a wellness center and sweeping vistas of a beach-studded peninsula and emerald sea.
Bed and Bath
Each of the 20 rooms has a different theme relating to Brazilian art or culture — music, literature, modernism — with each theme imaginatively celebrated in the furniture, the art and even the books on the shelves. My room, “Art Naif,” is dedicated to works produced by artists with no formal training. Regardless of theme, all guestrooms are outfitted with the right amenities — flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, rainfall showers and cozy robes by Trussardie — and a highly modern sensibility. There are two Master Suites — one with a broad balcony, the other with a Jacuzzi (both have sweeping sea views).
With so few rooms, the vibe here is intimate. But the public and patio areas have resort-level amenities: a choice of freshwater and seawater swimming pools, a sauna and steam room, and ofuro, a traditional Japanese bath. The wellness center is dedicated to pampering massages and private yoga sessions in a bucolic setting. Continue the good life with gourmet eats by the bay at the beach lounge restaurant, Eden Beach Club, and fresh fish and seafood with Franco-Brazilian flavors fashioned by chef Mateas in the terrace restaurant. After a day of exploring the area’s 20-some beaches, a barbecue at Parilla — where diners choose from Argentinean, Uruguayan and Brazilian meats — plus a drink at sunset will feel just right.
In the Area
The beautiful beaches are best seen aboard one of Insolito’s two boats reserved exclusively for guests. Also, Geriba Beach is tops with surfers and windsurfers; kitesurfers go to Manguinho. For snorkeling and shallow diving, the beaches of Joao Fernandes and Joao Fernandinho are good choices, as are Azeda and Azedinha. The 18-hole Buzios Golf Club was designed by Dan Blankenship. Packed on weekends, cobbled-stoned Rua das Pedras is the hub of Buzios’s nightlife, which starts late and ends at sunrise. The Buzios beat is at its best at Patio Havana, where top Brazilian musicians pop in regularly for jazz, samba, salsa and bossa nova. Italian-inspired Satyricon has long been a favorite for superb seafood, while Sawasdee may be Brazil’s best Thai restaurant, and Bananaland offers an astounding menu of self-serve street food dishes. But for the newest dining option, take a 15-minute taxi ride to Manguinhos beach and eat at Porta da Barra, a trendy new destination restaurant overlooking mangroves and the ocean.
How to Get There
It was once a very nice property. Actually it rather a very negative review therefore read the part 2. The positive part were the people of the resort. Very nice welcome, smily, courtesy, very caring. However, I would welcome some training, a lot of training in restaurant, some at the reception. And English! Do you need also international tourists? I mean only the front desk and F&B Manager spoke decent english. The location is also beautiful, use Uber to get to the center - not even 10 minutes. Do some outdoor activities the front desk recommend, worth of it.
However, the resort needs an urgent refurbishment. Urgent I repeat. To us it seemed like a lack of respect for guests, nobody (or better said the owners) cares about the hotel. It looks everywhere and let's do not talk about the hidden corners, very decadent and somehow left for good. Being a very expensive one and for sure, having its glorious years behind, it's such a pity to let it die. Now let's talk about everything in details.
First, the room, somehow we were upgraded because the hotel was obviously empty (our stay was in May, good possible not the high season). The center of Buzious was very crowded and full of touristy though! The room was very dark, the balcony area covered by plants, all the day long actually all the night long. The cleanliness, you cannot do much, it's so old that the staff somehow gave up the maintenance. So, rug in front of shower dirty, the floor kind of sticky, again a beautiful parquet needs renovation etc.
I can go on for ages like that. The area closed to the beach, all the lounge furniture needs maintenance, mattresses open ...old...not clean.. What surprise me most of all, at the end of the day, it's still a member of designhotels.com. I would urgently recommend to recheck this property. It damages the reputation of the whole organisation. Next time I'll check twice before I book one hotel of design hotels!
The location is not the best, a long cab ride to most of the restaurants, shops and other place one may want to visit. The Hotel is built into a hillside with views of the beach and bay. There are three very small pools and a small private beach but we could not find a really comfortable place to lounge. Our room was a long and wet (in the rain) walk from the lobby, up a narrow flight of stairs. The show had a curtain that did not go all the way to floor resulting in flooding the bathroom floor when one showers. Our room was not ready at the 3 PM check in.
My main evaluation question is related to cost benefit, when it comes to hotels or restaurants. When it comes to that hotel, I can say it’s about money well spent. Starting from location (Ferradura Beach), going to landscape, up to service, it’s a real boutique hotel, with a very personal service. You can stay at the hotel and it’s beautiful pools; you can reach the beach with a few steps, or even do both in that same day. Sauna and a very congenial spa complete a wonderful ambience to a relaxing stay.
I came here with my friends for lunch in a rainy day in Búzios, we had a nice lunch and cocktails time, don’t forget to try the lamb burger and the octopus, also caipirinhas and pina coladas are nice, the service is wonderful
We stayed for three nights. The first was a Thursday and the hotel was pretty quiet. I guess the sous chef was cooking because the food was god-awful. We sent back the soup twice but it was still inedible. We finally gave up and went out to eat. A mouse ran across the deck during dinner as well. We were feeling pretty down that night.
Breakfast was so-so but lunch and dinner the second day were good. Different chef.
Room was spacious and clean but very sparsely furnished. We had a desk but not chair! We asked for more clothes hangers and they promised them three times but they never appeared in the closet.
It took more than two weeks to receive the "nota fiscal" receipt for the stay by email. It seems the accounting department is a mess. I think it is a law in Brazil that they must provide this when receiving payment.
I think for the money (R$1100/night) there are much better places to stay in Buzios. It is overlooking Ferradura beach which is quite nice.