(0)20 7407 1478

855 625 2753 US

Category Archives: Hotels

UNUSUAL URUGUAY FOR CHRISTMAS?

Punta del Este

Even during summer, it is never too early to plan for the winter hols. With Christmas and New Year 6 months away, it is a good time to secure flights and hotels. Consider Uruguay. It´s about time this little gem nestled between Argentina and Brazil came into the spotlight. A small country but has around 660 km. coastline along the River Plate, the world´s biggest estuary. In the bustling capital Montevideo, enjoy strolling through the lovely old town and dining in fine restaurants. A few hours away, lies Uruguay´s oldest city, Colonia del Sacramento. Founded in 1680, it feels like stepping back in time. The city has a charming colonial ambiance, and old classic cars abound like in Havana. Jose Ignacio, a small coastal town, is an international jet-setter destination and Punta del Este is the must-see for beach lovers. Further north the coast becomes wilder and ideal for nature lovers.

The classy Hyatt hotel Carmelo Resort & Spa, on the banks of Rio de la Plata. It has holiday packages with activities: yoga lessons, Spa, bikes, tennis courts and daily activities at the kid´s club. The packages are subject to a minimum of 3 (Christmas) or 4 (New Year) consecutive nights. More information and rates on request. Contact us for travel ideas and itineraries.

7 unique sleeps in Latin America

skylodge-adventure-suites-natura-vive-glass-pods-peru-designboom-04

Everyone likes unique hotels and South America has no shortage. From the modern glass hotel nestled in the misty cloud forests of Ecuador to the hotel made in entirely from salt in Bolivia, here are 8 of the most unique places to lie your head in Latin America.

Mashpi – ££££

ecuador-mashpi-lodge-4

Mashpi Lodge is relatively new. While other lodges in the misty cloud forests that line the foothills of Andes are more traditional in their build, Maspi has created a super modern cocoon-like glass hotel that seemingly floats in the canopy of the trees. Floor to ceiling windows allow massive amounts of light into the rooms and allow visitors to feel connected to the surrounding forests. Hummingbirds casually fly past, as to toucans and other exotic bird life. There are 1,200 hectares of pristine cloud forest surrounding your modern base.

Palacio de Sal – ££

palacio-de-sal-panoramic-e1404822657934

Located near Colchani on the eastern side of the vast salt flats in Bolivia, Hotel Palacio de Sal is built entirely out of salt. The walls, the ceilings, the floors you walk on and furniture you sleep on – everything is made from salt from Uyuni. Though that may sound uncomfortable, it is anything but. The hotel has a spa and in the summer you can play a round on the world’s only salt golf course. When you’re having dinner, just don’t ask them to pass the salt!

Elqui Domos – £££

pieza1-1280x765

These dome tents in Chile’s northern Atacama Desert. Born in 2005, the owners created Elqui Domos to allow visitors to observe the grandeur of the skies of the Elqui Valley. The geodesic construction keeps one warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The bed is located in the upper floor, close to the detachable roof which is opened to watch the stars from bed. The popularity of the Elqui Domos has meant expansion, and a few years ago the owners added four more ‘observatory’ domes.

Skylodge – £££

skylodge-adventure-suites-natura-vive-glass-pods-peru-designboom-01

This is perhaps the most unique hotel we’ve ever come across and one that won’t be for everyone. Hanging from the side of a cliff in Peru’s beautiful Sacred Valley are several clear Perspex capsules called the Skylodge Adventure Suites. To access the pods, visitors must first climb up vertically up almost half a kilometre on iron rungs. Once your reach your home, settle in to what is a surprisingly comfortable space. Your guide will bring you a delicious dinner with wine, and you can look out over the views and starry sky. The following morning you return back to earth on zip line.

727 Fusalage Hotel – ££

727-fuselage-01

Another unusual hotel, this time in Costa Rica. As the name suggests, this hotel is houses within a vintage 1965 Boeing 727 fuselage, once used to shuttle eager globetrotters around the continent. It’s small, with just two bedrooms in the metal pod that sits overlooking the lush Costa Rican jungle. The owners salvaged the aeroplane from San Jose airport and brought it to the ocean where it sits today. Inside, the plane is decked out in Costa Rican teak panelling from the cocktail all the way to the tail. Each of the bedrooms have a private bath, queen sized bed and ocean view terrace. It’s canopy location is shared with monkeys, toucans and sloths.

Canopy Tower –  £

7a17b5-9c3e-4e16-81fd-2e84ab30a7ba-hotel

This award winning lodge is houses within a tower built by the United States Air Force as a radar in 1965. Nowadays, the Canopy Tower is used more in the defence of local wildlife than anything else. The rooms are simple and clean, but the real magic in the observation deck where visitors are treated to close encounters with toucans, tanagers, hawks and honey creepers. Howler monkeys swing past hurriedly, while sloths hang just a few metres away.  This is a hotel for real wildlife enthusiasts.

Ecocamp – ££

ecocamp_patagonia_designrulz-12

One of the favourite hotels in Latin America, and for good reason. Ecocamp offers visitors the possibility to stay in very comfortable geodesic domes that resemble igloos in the middle of the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. By day, hike in the wonderful surroundings including the famous W Trek and by night cosy up in your warm dome and watch the stars from the clear panels in the ceiling. The camp also has a dining tent and yoga tent built in the same design.

To start planning your tour to Latin America get in touch with one of our specialists on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or send us an email here.

9 insanely luxurious hotels around Latin America

Alvear Palace, Argentina

cigar_bar_alvear_palace

The elegant Alvear Palace, located in the upmarket Recoleta district in Buenos Aires, was built in the early 20th century and combines European style along with modern technology. No other hotel in Buenos Aires exudes luxury like the Alvear Palace. Each suite is tastefully decorated with art by well-known Argentine artists adorning the walls. Just outside the doors lies an amazing city to explore, but the luxury spa, indoor pool and French restaurant La Borgogne may keep you from exploring it, as will afternoon patisseries and tea at Jardin d’Hiver.

See our suggested tours of Argentina.

Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize

blancaneaux_bedroom

Owned by film director Francis Ford Coppola, this beautiful lodge located on the banks of the Priassion River consists of nineteen luxury villas are built from hardwoods and woven thatches. Private villas overlook the surrounding jungle from their stilted location. Soak in the large Jacuzzi at the riverside spa or indulge in a traditional massage.

See our suggested tours of Belize.

Hotel Das Cataratas, Brazil

Luxury_hotel_iguazu

One of Latin America’s most iconic hotels, the Das Cataratas is the only hotel located inside Iguazu Falls National Park. When all the tourists have left, guests have exclusive access to the falls all to themselves. Part of the Belmond hotel group (formerly Orient Express), this Portuguese-colonial manor house harks back to a bygone era of travel. After exploration of the falls, return for a lazy afternoon under the palsm on the veranda or refreshing swim in the outdoor pool.

See our suggested tours of Brazil.

Lastarria, Chile

lastarria_hotel_vacation

Built in the early 20th century, this stunning residence located in Santiago’s most bohemian district, is one the city’s most elegant hotels. The Lastarria is situated near the museums, galleries, shops and restaurants in the heart of the city. Each suite is beautifully decorated and spacious, while the restaurant offers cuisine cooked from locally sourced ingredients in an elegant lounge.

See our suggested tours of Chile.

La Passion, Colombia

best_hotel_in_cartagena

While Cartagena is packed with boutique hotels, the 19th century restored house La Passion stands out. The charming hotel has plenty of original features including high ceilings, chequered marble floors, mural paintings and wooden doors as well as an impressive array of colonial, republican and modern furniture. Located in the heart of historic Cartagena other features as this luxury boutique include a lovely terrace and bar, Jacuzzi and a rooftop outdoor pool.

See our suggested tours of Colombia.

Finca Rosa Blanca, Costa Rica

coffee_hotels_costa_rica

While San Jose may not be known for its abundance of luxury hotels, the Central Valley located a half hour away has plenty of boutiques. One of the best is the Finca Rosa Blanca, a small luxury hotel nestled amidst lush gardens and the rolling countryside of orchids and coffee plantations. All of the rooms are beautifully constructed offering a choice of veranda or private terrace overlooking the serene landscapes of valleys and mountains. After a day of hiking or horse riding, guests return for delicious homemade cuisine in the restaurant made from organic produce from the hotel’s gardens.

See our suggested tours of Costa Rica.

Plaza Grande, Ecuador

5_star_hotel_quito

The Plaza Grande was one of the first hotels built in Quito, and what a hotel. Extensively renovated and remodeled, this fine hotel located on the central square, the Plaza del la Independencia, it’s within walking distance to Quito’s highlights. Fine suites, excellent service and a serious level of comfort define this luxurious boutique property.

See our suggested tours of Ecuador.

El Convento, Guatemala

boutique_hotel_antigua

The colonial town Antigua has arguably one of the highest concentration of luxury hotels in Latin America. Our favourite, El Convento, is housed within an 18th century Capuchin convent. Stepping into the property from the famed cobblestone streets of Antigua, a beautifully constructed hotel awaits – artisanal brick vaulted ceilings, exposed stone walls and hand-crafted doors with the simple elegance of contemporary design. Chef Arelene served up excellent cuisine at the hotel’s Siltz restaurant, one of the best eateries in the city.

See our suggested tours of Guatemala.

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, Mexico

las_ventanas_al_paraiso_mexico

This ocean front property located on the Baja California peninsula in northwest Mexico, the name literally translates to “the windows to paradise”. Part of the Rosewood Resorts, this is one of the best hotels in the world. The property boosts a selection of luxurious suites and villas, all of which overlook the ocean. Personal telescopes are provided from whale and dolphin spotting during the day and star gazing at night. There is an excellent indoor and outdoor spa offering plenty of treatments and a world-class restaurant to while away the evenings.

See our suggested tours of Mexico.

To start planning your luxury holiday to Latin America, get in touch today.

This unique pod hotel hangs from a cliff in the Sacred Valley

05-foto

The Skylodge is a unique set of pods that hang a 1,000 feet up a cliff in the Sacred Valley just outside Cuzco in Peru.

This set of three transparent pods are only reachable by climbing up the steep cliff on iron rung via ferrata, with the help of an expert guide. Once you arrive at the Skylodge, you can enjoy spectacular views over the valley.

02-foto
The pods are surprisingly comfortable and spacious at 24 feet long. This space includes a small living area, a bed complete with cotton sheets and down pillows and a small toilet, which quite possibly has the best view on earth. Settle in and enjoy a glass of wine while your guide prepares a delicious dinner which you can eat looking out over the stars from all angles.

01-foto
There are curtains provided should you need some privacy from the circling condors. In the morning you can watch the sunrise on the small platform above the pod while your guide brings you a hearty breakfast and coffee.

There are two ways to get back down to earth. Although it’s not recommended, if you wish you can climb back down the cliff on the irons rungs. Most however opt to take the exhilarating zip-line back down.

03-foto
The stay here can be combined with a visit to Pisac Market, the last inhabited Inca town Ollaytaytambo, Moras and Moray, as well as a more conventional (albeit beautiful) hotel.

If you would like to book a stay in the Skylodge or combine it with a larger tour of the Sacred Valley, Cuzco or the rest of the Peru, do get in touch with us today.

The red frogs of Bocas del Toro

This video, brought to you by the Red Frog Island Resort & Spa, perfectly illustrates the luxury paradise that is the Island Bastimentos in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, often called the “Galapagos of the Caribbean”. As soon as you arrive in the Marina Village you’ll be whisked away on unpaved dirt roads straight into nature and the resort. Along the way you’ll most probably see exotic bird life and maybe even a sloth or two.

Bastimentos Island is just twenty four square miles large and with a population of under 2,000. Although it is one of the larger islands in the archipelago it is the more relaxed alternative to others. The National Marine Park covers the majority of the island. Over the last ten years a reforestation program on Isla Bastimentos has helped the plant and animal life to flourish.

There are a number of beaches on the island including Turtle Beach, Playa Larga, North Beach and Wizard Beach, but perhaps the most famous is Red Frog Beach. Although there is much wildlife including titi monkeys, sloths, marine wildlife and exotic birds, most come to see the famous red poison dart frog.

This species of frog is only found in Central America. They are highly poisonous (hence the bright red colour) and will kill any predator that ingests one. Their toxin comes from their diet of ants and termites and interesting they are immune to their own poison. They are small growing to a maximum size of around 22 milometres. The males are extremely territorial whereas the females are more sociable. The species comes in a number of different colour morphs. One of the most common is the blue jeans morph where the frog’s limbs are blue.

Want to see the red frogs? Get in touch to start creating your bespoke tour to the region.

38 Outrageously Luxurious Hotels In Brazil

Brazil has some of the finest hotels in the world. Here’s a rundown of the 38 most luxurious properties from all corners of the country in no particular order.

Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

Capacabana Hotel Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Superbly positioned overlooking the sea, adjacent to Copacabana beach, this glamorous Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) landmark in Rio has been welcoming the rich and famous since its Art Deco doors swung open in 1923. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced here and the Rolling Stones tuned up in its grand salon before their concert on the beach.

Each room is individually designed with fine period furniture and original works of art, giving an elegant yet relaxed ambiance. Views are either of the world-famous Copacabana beach, or towards the city behind. The magnificent pool and adjacent super-cool Bar do Copa are the perfect place to try one of Brazil’s famous caipirinhas whilst soaking up the sun and mingling with Rio’s style-setters.

Fasano, Rio de Janeiro

Fasona Hotel Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Designed by French designer Philippe Starck and inspired by the Rio de Janiero of the 50’s and 60’s, this luxurious hotel sits on its own private stretch of fashionable Ipanema beach.

All the rooms and suites have a slick design with gorgeous hard wood floors and Dali-inspired mirrors. A large infinity pool on the roof boasts spectacular views across the ocean. The hotel has excellent food at the Al Maro restaurant, serving Italian and locally inspired cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood.

Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Hotel Santa Teresa is considered one of the most beautiful hotels in South America. A historical coffee plantation mansion in the trendy area of the same name and now the cultural and historical heart of Rio de Janeiro.

This boutique hotel was restored with charm and sophistication. It’s surrounded by tropical gardens and includes panoramic pools, a natural spa, a lounge bar classified as the most romantic in Rio de Janeiro and Térèze Restaurant with Franco-Brazilian gastronomy by Chef Damien Montecer. Jaw-dropping views of the city, the harbour and the bay can be seen from all the rooms and garden.

Fasano, São Paulo

Fasano Sao Paulo, Brazil

Found in the heart of the exclusive Jardins neighbourhood, São Paulo’s most elegant hotel offers personal service, luxurious rooms and what is regarded as South America’s finest Italian cuisine. The hotel recreates classically detailed 1930´s style with contemporary aesthetics and conveniences. The spa and rooftop swimming pool are an oasis from the busy city.

Emilianao, São Paulo

Emiliano Hotel Sao Paulo, Brazil

Located on Oscar Freire Street in the heart of the exclusive Jardin neighbourhood, the Emiliano is a modern and luxurious. The design of the hotel has been carefully thought about and has won awards for its architecture.

All the rooms are modern and spacious and the service is excellent. The spa located on the 22nd floor has panoramic views over the city and beyond and offers a range of treatments to help you unwind after a day of exploration.

Hotel Unique, São Paulo

Hotel Unique

This striking building designed by Ruy Ohtake is certainly unique. From the outside it looks like a giant boat, and on the inside some rooms have curved walls. The vast atrium is the ultimate in minimalistic modernity, though furnished with brightly coloured seating and an enigmatic statue of St. George.

Within the rooms window shutters, lamps and a folding glass wall dividing the bedroom from bathroom are controlled by electric gizmos. You can even watch the TV from the bathtub. Other facilities include a lobby bar complete with wall of wine bottles, the rooftop Skye Bar (popular with locals), and most unusual of all, an adjacent red swimming pool.

L’Hotel Porto Bay, São Paulo

L'Hotel Porto Bay Sao Paulo, Brazil

L’Hotel is a boutique hotel with a more classic than contemporary feel; think marble floors and a wrought-iron banister staircase in the lobby. Rococo styled furniture and huge flower displays complete the ambiance.

There are only 73 rooms on 15 floors so it is smaller than most hotels in the centre of São Paulo. The fine cotton Spanish bed linen and marble bathrooms give it a luxurious feel.  The staff are very attentive and the hotel well located just off the Avenue Paulista. You would be hard pushed to find a better option in the city.

Fasano Boa Vista, São Paulo state

Fasano Boa Vista Sao Paulo, Brazil

Fasano Boa Vista is this small luxury chains’ first country retreat. Located in São Paulo state, the hotel was designed by renowned Brazilian architect, Isay Weinfeld. It’s designed in a way that integrates into the spectacular surroundings.

The hotel has 27 deluxe rooms, 11 suites and 1 two-bedroom suite all of which have modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, 46” HD televisions, Ipod docks, Egyptian-cotton sheets, goose feather pillows and balconies. It also features three restaurants, a bar, tennis courts, a soccer field, a steam room, sauna, spa, four heated pools and a fully equipped fitness centre. If you’re looking for serious luxury in beautiful surroundings, this is the place for you.

Ponta dos Ganchos, Florianopolis

Ponta dos Ganchos, Florianopolis, Brazil

Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort is located on a privately-owned peninsula, surrounded by the Emerald Coast. The luxurious villas and bungalows set within this privileged location guarantees guests total privacy.

The hotel offers a state-of-the-art fitness centre, bar, lounge, games room, heated swimming pool, massage gazebos, spa and nature trails. The restaurant offers fine cuisine with locally sourced food some from within the hotels own organic garden. Additional boat trips can be arranged to Baía dos Golfinhos (Bay of Dolphins) and Arvoredo Island, the best site for scuba diving in South Brazil.

Convento do Carmo, Salvador

Pousada Convento do Carmo, grupo Pestana, Salvador, Bahia.

In the heart of Pelourinho a former Carmelite convent dating back to 1586 now hosts a gorgeous luxury hotel. Respecting every inch of its rich and spiritual past, the building was transformed to offer a charming boutique hotel with rooms arranged around cloisters and courtyards. A relaxing L’Occitane spa awaits after a day of exploring Salvador. Fine cuisine completes this multiple award-winning hotel.

UXUA, Bahia

UXUA Trancoso Brazil

UXUA Casa Hotel includes ten unique casas which blend seamlessly into the historic centre of Trancoso, a small fishing village on Brazil’s idyllic southern Bahian coast.

Four casas are restored fishermen’s homes on the 16th century town green called the Quadrado, while six others sit in a lush garden. The casas were created by designer Wilbert Das in collaboration with local artisans using traditional building methods, reclaimed materials, and Brazilian antiques and art. The design blends rustic elements with contemporary comfort and roominess, and fuses in an innovative way indoor and outdoor living spaces to take advantage of a year-round, tropical climate.

Service is provided in friendly, Bahian style, including two restaurants specializing in traditional local cuisine, a spa, a unique swimming pool of healing aventurine crystals, and a spectacular beach lounge created from old fishing boats.

Txai Resort, Bahia

txai resort brazil

This rustic-chic hotel is sat on a beautiful stretch of Bahia’s Cacoa coast. Simple but stylish guest rooms as well as individual bungalows on stilts with palm thatch roofs, some with Jacuzzis and private plunge pools are all just moments away from the turquoise blue waters of the sea.

Try visiting the fantastic hilltop spa offering a variety of treatments, a pool with stunning ocean views and sauna. Many local activities including water sports and horse riding can be arranged nearby.

Fazenda da Lagoa, Bahia

Fazenda de lagoa, Brazil

Stunning tranquil and remote eco-resort with fourteen colourful cabanas, on a pristine white-sand beach backed by rainforest. To reach the farm, where artist Mucki Skowronski and her husband have established this stylish resort within their 300-hectare property, you are ferried across a private lagoon through mangroves and monkeys. With a maximum of just twenty eight guests and no neighbouring properties you will feel as if you are in your own private slice of paradise.

Canto das Aguas, Lençóis

Canto das Aguas, Brazil

Built on the curve of the Rio Lencois, and designed by an architect using local stone and wood, in every room of this environmentally friendly hotel you can hear the sound of the nearby flowing river.

A place for meditation and relaxation with a hillside massage tent, sauna, an impressive pool and gardens full of native plant species. Solar energy provides hot water and social initiatives are supported by the hotel.

Estrela D’Agua, Trancoso

Estrela D’Agua, Brazil

Overlooking Nativos Beach, this laid back, hip hotel prides itself on its exceptional interior design inspired by the natural beauty of the area. Each of the seafront bungalows and suites are spacious, light and airy with elegant decor where rustic and luxury find harmony.

The hotel’s restaurant serves local dishes by candlelight in the evening. Relax and unwind on beach or in the hotel pool or explore the local area including the local fishing village of Trancoso with its boutique shops, restaurants and nightlife. Hiking, horse riding, diving, and boat trips can all be arranged nearby.

Villa Serano, Lençóis

Villa Serrano hotel

Designed by the owners to be environmentally sustainable, the pousada was recently built in 19th century Portuguese colonial style. All thirteen rooms have been individually decorated to create a peaceful and harmonious environment. The interior and furniture of the rooms were handcrafted by local artists. The guestrooms all have an attached veranda with hammock. Relax in the shade of the garden’s trees, have a massage or simply relax in the whirlpool of the open air mini spa.

Tivoli Eco-Resort, Praia do Forte

Tivoli Eco Resort, Brazil

A luxurious five-star hotel. The deluxe suites and selection of rooms with sea facing balconies offer a comfortable home-from-home in this haven of warm waters and white sands.

Try delicious delicacies direct from the sea or enjoy a cocktail from any of the three restaurants and two bars at your disposal. If you have a little extra energy to expend the hotel has a wide range of sports facilities, if you don’t relax within the well-appointed spa.

Toca da Coruja, Pipa

Toca da Coruja, Brazil

Lush tropical gardens surround the enchanting Toca da Coruja. Built in traditional colonial style this hotel consists of a series of wooden bungalows set within a jungle oasis within minutes of the stunning beach.

The bungalows, connected by wooden walkways, range in size, are decorated in bright Caribbean colours and are furnished with both contemporary and antique pieces. The award winning restaurant offers wonderfully crafted Brazilian food.

Nannai Resort & Spa, Porto de Galinhas

Nannai Resort, Brazil

The Nannai Resort & Spa is located around nine kilometres from Porto de Galinhas on a vast stretch of Muro Alto Beach. It’s a large hotel with plenty of rooms, each well designed with private balconies.

The resort recently won the Conde Nast Johansens ‘Best Spa Award 2014’. The Nannai Spa by L’Occitane offers everything you would imagine from a world class spa – Jacuzzis, saunas, hydrotherapy, gym and a wealth of treatments. The resort also features over six thousand square metres of pool which surround the hotel and feature swimming lanes, Jacuzzis and even a water volleyball area.

There are plenty of other activities on offer from the use of laser boats, kayaks, snorkelling, stand up paddles, tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, pitch and putt golf and a games room.

Kenoa Resort & Spa, Barra de São Miguel

Kenoa Resort & Spa, Brazil

The Kenoa enjoys a spectacular location on Barra de São Miguel beach and next to a nature reserve. There are just twenty three suites and villas, each of which is tastefully decorated and extremely comfortable.

The resort also features a spa, fitness centre, pool, driving range, business and conference centre, lounge, wine bar and a restaurant where you can dine on excellent cuisine.

Anavilhanas Lodge, near Manaus

Anavilhanas, Amazon, Brazil

This charming lodge cleverly combines comfort with the surrounding nature. Located on the Rio Negro River which opens up to reveal over 400 islands, each adorned with thick virgin rainforest and seasonal river beaches. This really is a nature lover’s paradise with countless birds, tree-dwelling animals and aquatic life, including the pink river dolphin.

Each of the sixteen cabins are decorated with local arts and crafts, each with a private veranda and hammock and are surprisingly luxurious even having air conditioning. The lodge has a pool and decked area with stunning views over the surrounding area. During your stay you can take part in many of the activities including jungle hikes, sunrise and nocturnal canoe tours.

Cristalino Jungle Lodge, near Alta Floresta

Cristalino Amazon Brazil

The Cristalino is located in a private natural heritage reserve adjacent to the 456,800 acre Cristalino State Park and is easily the most luxurious of jungle lodges in Latin America. Pioneering in their approach to sustainable conservation, much of the profits are reinvested back into projects in the Alta Floresta Region.

The surrounding area is rich in over 580 species of bird, many butterfly species, capybaras, anteaters, river otters and many varieties of monkeys. During your stay you can enjoy many of the activities on offer including hikes, canoe rides and trips to the excellent fifty metre high observation platform.

Hotel Das Cataratas, Iguaçu Falls

Das Cataratas, Iguaçu Brazil

The only hotel located within the Iguassu National Park, Hotel das Cataratas enjoys an unrivalled location just a short stroll from the sensational waterfalls. Guests enjoy exclusive access to this magnificent sight in the evening and at dawn, when the park is closed to other visitors.

A Portuguese-colonial residence, this classic Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) hotel is redolent with the atmosphere of lazy days lounging on a veranda or beneath sub-tropical palms. All rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, some with views overlooking the falls.

Araras Lodge, Pantanal

Araras Lodge, Pantanal, Brazil

Along the Transpantaneira park road, 132 kms from Cuibá, this lodge offers rustic homely charm and a relaxing environment from which to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Pantanal. The nineteen rooms are comfortable and decorated using local materials.

Known for its hyacinth macaw and being particular good for birding during the dry season with many species crowding around the watering holes. Activities include horse riding, nocturnal tours, hiking and canoe rides, all with expert local guides.

Solar do Rosario, Ouro Preto

Solar do Rosario, Brazil

Located just a short walk from the centre, this elegant hotel is a converted 19th century building opposite the Rosario Church. The hotels’ rooms are comfortable, spacious and packed with bags of character. It boasts two pools, one which is heated and another set within a gorgeous outdoor terraced area.

Solar do Ponte, Tiradentes

Solar do Ponte, Brazil

Voted one of the ‘101 best hotels in the world’ by Tatler magazine, this hotel is welcoming and friendly, making you feel more like you’re at home. Located in the historic centre of Tiradentes, it’s a great base to use for exploring the area.

All the rooms are beautifully decorated, combining modern comfort with traditional style. The public spaces, gardens and verandas, pool and sauna, create a relaxed atmosphere among flowers and birds.

Ibitipoca, Minas Gerais

Ibitipoca, Brazil

This large three thousand hectare reserve is made up of over one hundred properties. It is also part of the greater State Park in Minas Gerais offering more protection to the natural environment and wildlife that inhabits it.

There are a number of different options for accommodation here. The farmhouse was established in the 70’s was completely rebuilt in 2006 in a traditional way. There are just right suites, all of which have been tastefully decorated and none offering televisions. The reserve says this is ‘in an attempt to forget about the external world and live each moment at the Reserva do Ibitipoca intensely and slowly’. During your stay you can also enjoy the spa, sauna and hydro.

There are three more properties on the reserve. Viradouro’s House has just three rooms and is powered primarily through renewable energy. It has a stunning location, near to the river where one can swim in the natural rock pools. If you feel adventurous, they why not try out one of the reserve’s two mountain houses. Offering much more privacy in the wild setting, perfect for those who like the great outdoors.

Casa Cairuçu, Paraty

Casa Cairuçu, Brazil

This isolated beach villa takes its name from the location, on the shores of the calm Paraty Bay, within the Cairuçu environmental protection area.

The villa is surrounded by pristine beaches, sea views and swathes of rainforest. There are no roads to disturb you, only the sounds of the sea. This is not a hotel it is a home away from home, yours to do as you please but with wonderful staff who come and look after all your needs as and when you want. Arrival is exclusively by boat.

Pousada Picinguaba, Paraty

Pousada Picinguaba, Brazil

A charming pousada in a natural forest setting just a few metres from a delightfully unspoilt beach. Here you can interact with nature and the local life, such as the fishermen repairing their nets on the beach.

The few rooms makes Picinguaba a very special hideaway with privileged service, and the possibility to book the whole hotel for special occasions for families or groups of friends. At Picinguaba, luxury means tranquillity, nature and authenticity. Trips can be taken by boat to uninhabited islands and bays, to waterfalls and forest trails.

Pousada do Sandi, Paraty

Pousada do Sandi, Paraty, Brazil

A charming and colourful 18th century pousada located in the historical centre of Paraty. This UNESCO site is one of the most important examples of colonial architecture. There are great activities in the area include hiking, snorkelling, boat trips or just relaxing on one of the gorgeous beaches nearby.

The service at the hotel is welcoming and friendly and the atmosphere informal.  All rooms are decorated in a traditional style and are comfortable and spacious. The pool, sauna or steam room are the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring the surrounding area whilst the restaurant serves excellent local food.

Casa Turquesa, Paraty

Casa Turquesa, Paraty, Brazil

Located by the pier in the historic centre of Paraty, this cosy pousada oozes charm, whilst having modern facilities. Each of the nine rooms have been carefully designed with attention to detail and all with postcard views of the bay, the mountains and the dome of Santa Rita Church. The hotel has many social areas where a glass of red from the wine cellar can be enjoyed. All in all a perfect blend of historical beauty and contemporary comforts.

Insolito, Búzios

Insolito, Brazil

Set next to Ferradura beach on the Búzios Peninsula, this boutique hotel offers guests a sophisticated and sleek option in this fashionable resort. Away from the crowds, but close enough to get to the vibrant restaurants and nightlife and 20 something beaches in the nearby area, this is the perfect base from which to explore.

The hotel has a wellness centre offering a number of treatments to help recharge your batteries and a rooftop restaurant where you can dine on fresh Brazilian-French cuisine while admiring the gorgeous sea views and sunset.

Villa Rasa Marina, Búzios

Villa Rasa Marina

Opening its doors in 2008, the hotel provides a relaxing atmosphere away from the tourist areas of the Búzios Peninsula. Located on the peaceful Praia Rasa beach but within easy reach of the twenty something beaches on the peninsula, this is the perfect place from which to explore the surrounding area. Rustic rooms are mixed with luxurious facilities including a spa offering a number of treatments, and a restaurant offering delicious meals.

Casas Brancas, Búzios

Casas Brancas

This elegant boutique hotel and spa is nestled in the hills overlooking the stunning bay of Búzios. With thirty-two individually decorated rooms, the hotel boasts Mediterranean architecture, accommodating multilingual staff, and a refined, laid-back atmosphere.

Within the premises are an ocean view spa, two restaurants, a trendy beach lounge, an aerobic gym and many chic and pristine open spaces. Bask in the warm glow of unforgettable sunsets, stretch, and unwind. You’ve found paradise.

Porto Bay Glenzhaus, Búzios

Porto Bay Glenzhaus

Born as a small fishing village, today Búzios is a paradise for those who love gastronomy, art and ecology while at the same time boasting amazing night life. Porto Bay Glenzhaus is a boutique lodge in the city centre of Búzios. Seventeen suites in a sumptuous tropical setting are a certain recipe for peace and quiet.

This boutique lodge is near the beaches that surround the peninsula and a few steps from the famous Rua das Pedras. Here you will find a huge variety of traditional stores, different art galleries, traditional handcraft and some amazing restaurants where you can appreciate the simple pleasures of great food.

Abracadabra, Búzios

Abracadabra

With just sixteen rooms, this charming pousada is perfect for your intimate escape in Búzios. Set just off Rua das Pedras, in the middle of Búzios but not far from the twenty something beaches on the peninsula, this hotel has shops, restaurants and nightlife right on its doorstep. With comfortable and spacious rooms and views over the ocean and harbour from the pool deck you can sit back and relax in this wonderful corner of Brazil.

Vila D’Este, Búzios

Villa D’Este

Set in an excellent location with fabulous views over the sea and the town and with plentiful beaches within walking distance this is a great option for your stay. All fifteen rooms are individually decorated in a light, modern style and the restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean and Brazilian cuisine. Relax in the hotel steam room, sauna or enjoy the panoramic views over the bay from the pool deck. Art galleries, restaurants and nightlife are only a short distance away.

Villa Chiara, Búzios

Villa Chiara

The Villa Chiara is a grand mansion located on a hill overlooking Búzios peninsula with fantastic views of Geriba Beach and Búzios town. Surrounded by palms the peaceful gardens provide a private and relaxing environment. The artistic decor and interesting architecture show a variety of cultural influences.

With space for only sixteen guests in seven suites, the hotel provides luxurious space and intimacy at the same time. Four-poster beds and private terraces add to the romance. Villa Chiara Hotel contains a tasteful balance of antique and contemporary furnishings. Its garden and swimming pool are surrounded by exotic fruit trees. Bliss.

Are there any you feel we’ve missed? Have you stayed in any of these hotels? Let us know below.

Adventure To The Cristalino Jungle Lodge

David Horwell

Having spent a week in the biggest city in South America, São Paulo, I took a flight to Alta Floresta one of the least populated places in the World. Here in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, part of the Amazon, is home to cattle ranchers and folk living on the edge of the civilized world. The temperature on arrival was 37°C. I was shocked at the few pockets of trees left as we flew low over what was once primary rain forest. From the plane I saw plumes of smoke from the burning vegetation. The high temperatures are the result of land unprotected by trees, (the current drought over much of Brazil also exacerbated by deforestation).

Cristalino River

Happily not all is doom and gloom, after an hour in a car on a bumpy dirt road we came to the river Telespires, deeply verdant forest was evident all around. I took a boat up river to the Cristalino river that flows through a private reserve 7,000 hectares of protected forest. This is thanks to the dream of Vitória Da Riva Carvalho and her husband who came here when Alta Floresta was just a frontier hamlet 25 years ago.

lodge_hotel_amazon

She had a vision of creating a way of making a living by protecting the natural environment and in 1992 Cristalino Lodge was born. Vitória’s first priority was to stop the forest being destroyed, and then achieve a sustainable income derived from tourism. They created the first private natural reserve in Mato Grosso in 1997 and two years later the Cristalino Ecological Foundation with both tourism, education and scientific research as key activities. The reserve is now bigger than the size of Manhattan island.

animal

Only accessible by boat the lodge is surrounded by tropical forest making it a true jungle haven, Amazon and ringed kingfishers showed-off as I was paddled in. Once settled into my smart bungalow and refreshed with a tropical juice, it was off into the forest with my guide Fito. The reserve is known for rich diversity of birds and butterflies – more than 550 bird species and at least 2,000 butterfly species – but also for its varied jungle of primary rainforest and aquatic habitats.

Butterfly

Fito showed me the extensive trail system and a clean river perfect for canoeing and swimming. The tannin-rich black-water means mosquitoes are few. The eco-friendly bungalows follow sustainable practices, built on already disturbed land using local materials, ventilated screens instead of air-conditioning. Solar power is used for much of the energy. Waste water is biologically treated with permaculture.

Cristalino

The gardens are planted with native plants. Tour groups are kept to a maximum of 8 per guide. Despite the eco-credentials comfort is not sacrificed. The cuisine is traditional Brazilian fare cooked in a wood stove, dinners are lit by candles and plenty of organic fruit and vegetables, much grown in their own organic garden. The inside and ‘al fresco’ showers were powerful and among the best I’ve had in all Brazil. Cristalino ticks all the boxes.

Cristalino

At dawn Fito took me to one of the two 50m towers that soar above the forest canopy. The sight of the mists evaporating over the carpet of green will stay with me forever. We scanned for the elusive harpy eagle but made do with scarlet macaws, white-bellied parrots, laughing falcon, white-throated toucans, chestnut wood-peckers, hook-billed kites to name but a few.

canopy tower

On the way we stopped at trees covered in spikes and saw one of the few remaining giant Brazil nut trees.

Brazil nut tree

After lunch and a siesta we took a canoe ride to observe the birds of the river: Cocoi heron, green ibis, anhingas (snake-bird), neotropic cormorants, white-banded swallows, great jacamar plus bats sleeping under a branch and white-whiskered spider monkeys playing in the trees.

caiman

We made many sorties at dawn and dusk when creatures are most active, catching up on sleep after lunch. We surprised many a caiman alligator sunning itself on the banks of the river, and river turtles on rocks and branches poking up through the water. I was surprised to see large mammals like deer, which show the forest is healthy.

Peccaries

The biggest shock was when Fito signalled for us to go up to a hide, rather like a kid’s tree-house, and minutes later a troop of white-lipped peccaries surrounded us. First a dozen or so of these noisy grunting boars arrived and wallowed in the mud. Soon there must have been over a hundred or so including families with babies. For a good half an hour we watched these pungent smelly pigs cavort, and then the leader made an eerie clicking sound and they disappeared just as quickly as they had arrived.

Tapir

On my return to the lodge I had picked up a souvenir, a tick, but the attentive staff gave me special tweezers to remove the offending parasite. Just when I thought I’d had the last mammalian encounter on the afternoon’s boat ride, our boatman turned the canoe round and we were face to face with a tapir having a refreshing soak at the river’s edge.

Cristalino

My final exploration was on a hill made of ancient granite that poked up above the forest, it felt like Conan Doyle’s Lost World with strange multi-coloured trees, and parts are so steep a rope is provided as a hand rail. The hiker is rewarded with a great view from a natural vantage point. It was a special finale to a wonderful few days far from the madding crowd. Spider monkeys came to see me off; I never did see the harpy though so that’s a good reason to go back one day.

David Horwell

All photos © David Horwell. Please do not use without the express consent of Select Latin America.

Our Top 25 Most Unique Hotels In Latin America

From floating hotels on a Uruguayan lake to an aircraft nestled amongst trees in Costa Rica’s rainforest, we’ve searched high and low for Latin America’s most unusual and unique places to stay. Surprisingly Chile comes out on top with an impressive total of eleven.

Laguna Garzón Lodge – José Ignacio, Uruguay

Laguna Garzon

Explora Patagonia – Torres del Paine, Chile

Explora Patagonia

Ecohabs – Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Ecohabs

Montaña Magica – Huilo Huilo, Chile

Magic Mountain

Eco Camp – Torres del Paine, Chile

Ecocamp

Cristal Samaña – Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Cristal Samana

Home Hotel – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Home Hotel

Arrebol Patagonia – Puerto Varas, Chile

Arrebol

Inkaterra Canopy Treehouse – Amazon, Peru

Canopy Treehouse

Morerava Cottages – Easter Island, Chile

Morerava Cottages

Quinta Real Zacatecas – Zacatecas, Mexico

Quinta Real Zacatacas

Hotel Unique – São Paulo, Brazil

hotel_unique (5)

Awasi Patagonia – Torres del Paine, Chile

awasi_patagonia

Espejo de Luna – Chiloé, Chile

Espejo de Luna

Canopy Tower – Soberanía National Park, Panama

Canopy Tower

Pueblo Barrancas Ecolodge – Pedrera, Uruguay

Pueblo Barrancas

Hotel Costa Verde 727 Fuselage – Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

727 Fuselage

Canopy Village – Huilo Huilo, Chile

Canopy Village

Cristalino Jungle Lodge – Alta Floresta, Brazil

Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Nothofagus Hotel & Spa – Huilo Huilo, Chile

Nothofungus

Aqua Amazon – Amazon, Peru

Aqua Amazon

Entre Cielos – Mendoza, Argentina

Entre Cielos

Reino Fungi Lodge – Huilo Huilo, Chile

Reina Fungi

Hotel Endemico – Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico

Hotel Endemico

Nidos de Pucón Tree Lodge – Pucón, Chile

Nidos de Pucon Tree Lodge

To start booking your unique stay in Latin America contact the experts.

We have launched our new brochure. Get it hot off the press

Brochure Cover
We are pleased to announce the publication of new brochure. This beautiful 96 page full colour booklet is packed full of our favourite hotels, country information, tours and maps to give you itchy feet and help with the planning of your next adventure in Latin America. To order you free copy, please get in touch.

make-an-enquiry

create-your-journey