Where you choose to stay in Búzios depends on your personality (as well as your financial situation). If you want to be near all the action, you’ll want to stay in Armação or Geribá. However, if you prize tranquility and seclusion, consider accommodations at the peninsula’s other beaches.
In terms of price, Búzios is definitely not a bargain, especially in high season, when reservations are a must. However, if you choose to come during the off-season (anytime other than July and December–March) and during the week, you can often take advantage of discounts of 30–40 percent. In general, the lower-priced options are small but homey pousadas in and around Armação and Ossos. Prices listed here are for off-season.
By far the best deal in Búzios is the Búzios Central Hostel (Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas 1475, Praia da Armação, tel. 22/2623-2329, www.buzioscentral.com.br, R$32–46 pp). The dormitory and double rooms are cheery, if a little claustrophobic. However, the common spaces—a TV room, lush gardens, and a small pool—more than compensate, as does the excellent location close to Rua das Pedras. Bedding and breakfast are extra.
Located between Armaçao and Praia Geribá, Pousada El Riconcito (Av. Geribá 142, Praia Geribá, tel. 22/2623-1712, www.buziosonline.com.br/rinconcito, R$90–140 d) offers good value with a Mexican twist. The coral-colored bungalows resemble a hacienda, while the tropically hued rooms conjure up a Frida Kahlo painting. The short distance from the sea is offset by the nicely landscaped gardens.
Pousada Janellas do Mar (Rua Bela Vista 8, Praia João Fernandes, tel. 22/2623-9698, www.pousadajanellasdomar.com.br, R$160–178) is an extremely fetching hilltop eco-pousada designed and operated by green Gaúcho architect Helena Oestreich. It was constructed entirely from demolition materials—including furniture, doors, and windows—and painted with artisanally produced organic paints. Rooms are simple but original, and feature private verandas with sea views.
Just off Praia Geribá, Pousada Casa da Praia (Rua Papagaio 16, Praia Geribá, tel. 22/2623-6830, www.casadapraia.tur.br, R$160–190 d) is ideal for families and groups. Consisting of several attractive casas constructed of (light-colored) brick and surrounded by a pool and gardens, it offers double, triple, and quadruple rooms and flats, all of which are bright and comfortable.
Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa (Alto do Humaitá 10, Praia de Armação, tel. 22/2623-1458, www.casasbrancas.com.br, R$405–689 d) has been around since 1973, long before the term “boutique hotel” had ever been uttered. Perhaps for this reason, the Andalusian-like white hilltop casas overlooking Praia de Armação possess none of the contrived sleekness of more contemporary design hotels. The spacious, luminous rooms are soothing refuges featuring lots of whites and natural woods that harmonize with the surroundings. Indeed, health and serenity are the hotel’s forte. In addition to yoga classes and various feel-good treatments at the newly-minted spa, its delightful terrace restaurant serves up tasty “light” Brazilian-Mediterranean fare.
Those in search of all-out luxury will find it in spades at Pérola (Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, Praia de Armação 222, tel. 22/2620-8507, www.thepearl.com.br, R$370–1,055 d), where upon arriving, guests are greeted with champagne. Lounging around the pool, you’ll be treated to fresh fruit and refrigerated towels, and when you want to go hit the beach, you’ll be shuttled to the Espaço Perola: the hotel’s very own sophisticated beach lounge on unspoiled Praia Rasa, where you can stretch out in suspended sofas and drowse off to a soundtrack of rising tides and DJ-spun bossa nova. The hotel’s spacious minimalist accommodations come in various sizes. Mezzanine lofts are ideal for families, while couples can get cozy in rooms with their own private garden Jacuzzis.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition