Ready to samba? LUXE City Guides has added to its venerable collection of destinations with two sizzling South American titles – LUXE Rio de Janeiro & LUXE São Paulo – and the lineup has never looked spicier! The team dug out their sauciest swimwear and hot-footed it across the Atlantic to catch these two Brazilian beauties basking in a post-World Cup glow, and now they’re giving lucky DS&TS fans an exclusive sneak peek of the best hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping, all with a tall side order of brutally frank sass… So what are you waiting for? Vamos!
RIO DE JANEIRO
Rio De Janeiro is world-renowned for endless sun, sand, samba and sex appeal, but don’t judge this Betty solely by her teeny bikini – not content with some 80km of beaches, the Marvellous City also boasts awesome architecture, an up n’ coming culinary scene and hot homegrown design, not to mention the Olympics on her radar.
Rua Santa Cristina, 132 / Santa Teresa / +55 21 2508 8142 / mamaruisa.com
This century-old boutique guesthouse sits smack bang in Latin America’s own Montmartre, with just eight individually-appointed suites, pretty patio, pool, and Guanabara Bay panoramas that reach all the way to Niteroi. Just add a formidable, can-do concierge worthy of a luxury 5-star, and you’ve got this totally charmant home away from home!
Av Lineu de Paula Machado, 916 / Jardim Botanico / +55 21 3874 0139 / dinner Tue-Sat, lunch Fri-Sat / robertasudbrack.com.br
It’s true that sister São Paulo has the lion’s share of haute cuisine, but Rio’s original celebrity chef (and former cook to the ex-President) is a humble culinary force to be reckoned with, creating innovative daily degustation menus in a simple, sunny atrium.
Bar Dos Descasados
Hotel Santa Teresa / Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660 / Santa Teresa / +55 21 3380 0240 / www.santa-teresa-hotel.com
It was once a refuge for bachelors (hence the cheeky moniker translating to ‘bar of the unmarried’), but any seedy vibe has been banished for an intimate, dim-lit daybed romancer atmosphere instead. Kick back with a fruity caipirinha and put the ooh in sunset spooning!
Rua Primeiro de Marco, 16 / Centro / +55 21 3231 6747 / Mon-Sat / + branches / granado.com.br
Brazil’s old-school apothecary dates back to 1870, but still delights with ultra-giftworthy soaps, skincare, lotions and potions in scents like Brazil Nut and Ylang Ylang. Plus, sweet offshoot Phebo line has cosmetics and lush fragrances too.
Edgy sis São Paulo may fall behind in the looks department with a jungle of concrete and gridlocked traffic, but scratch beneath her drab veneer and you’ll find an unsung wonder humming with cutting-edge cuisine, non-stop nightlife, diverse cultural influence, and street art like nowhere else.
Rua Vittorio Fasano, 88 / Jardins / +55 3896 4000 / fasano.com.br
The godfather of old-school Italian hospitality – conceived by hallowed Isay Weinfeld, this stylish red brick beauty offers seductive mid-century suites, indoor pool with sky-high outlook, Milanese fine diner Fasano, bossa nova nook Barretto, and a bells n’ whistles spa by Renata de Abreu.
Av Nossa Senhora do Loreto, 1100 / Vila Medeiros / +55 21 2951 3056 / lunch daily, dinner Mon-Sat / no res / mocoto.com.br
Few things are worth a 40-min schlep in São Paulo, but for any self-respecting foodie, this is hand-n-pants-down one of them. The traddy kitchen is beloved for its slow-cooked stews, and the moreish chicharrónes and crispy pulled pork and pumpkin puree balls are not to be missed. Just add caipirinha!
42/F / Edificio Itália / Av Ipiranga, 344 / Centro / +55 21 2189 2929 / 3pm-late Mon-Fri, from noon Sat-Sun / terracoitalia.com.br
For views of this sprawling metropolis stretching as far as the eye can see, without the hordes of Tonya Tourist & co on your heels, hop in the elevator up the iconic Edificio Itália, then up the stairs to the gorgeous, pimped-out, gents’ clubby lounge. Saúde!
Rua Haddock Lobo, 1151 / Jardins / +55 3331 1113 / www.adrianadegreas.com.br
This is Brazil after all, so how could we leave without stocking up on some ‘kinis and kaftans? Our go-to gal Senhora D nails beach chic – get ready for your sandy weekend getaway with creative-cut swimwear and floaty cover-ups in elegant neutrals and flowery motifs.
For more sizzling tips for travel in South America visit luxecityguides.com
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