Five of the Best: Places to Stay in Brazil

Hot country; very cool hotels

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Stephane Bouvier, founder of Brazil hotel specialists Escape Collection, shares his favourite places to stay around the country

Rancho do Peixe, Jericoacoara

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This pretty rustic-style pousada is right on the beach in Jericoacoara, northeast Brazil, surrounded by nature. I love it because it is combination of being very authentic, with a strong focus on locally sourced materials and local artisan crafts, really great service, extremely friendly people and some of the best regional cuisine I’ve had. Each of the 20 bungalows has a hammock and both indoor and outdoor bathrooms. Praia Prea (20 km from the fishing village of Jericoacoara) is one of the very best spots in the world for kitesurfing. There is a school on the beach (maybe the best in Brazil) so if you are looking to learn, or love watching it, it’s the place to go.

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Rancho do Peixe; Rua da Praia, Praia do Preá, CE - 62595-000, Brazil; Doubles from £101.

Pousada Picinguaba, Paraty

This little pousada is right in the middle of a beautiful protected area, above a fishing village of only 100 people. 18% of all the existing bird species on the planet live in this particular reserve (you can hear the birds all the time), and It will never have any neighbours as no one is allowed to build here anymore. Dinner is traditional Brazilian cuisine - grilled fish caught locally or a black bean stew and vegetables from the pousada’s organic vegetable garden. Guests can book trips on a 13m private schooner, try surf classes and kayaking, or drive ( about 20 minutes) to the pretty colonial town of Paraty – home to the international literary festival.

Pousada Picinguaba; Rua G, 130, Vila Picinguaba, 11680-000 Ubatuba, SP. Doubles from.£196, room only.

Pousada Estrela d’Agua, Trancoso

The home of a former Brazilian singer, Estrela has one of the best beach locations in the country. It still feels like a private house, but with hotel style amenities like an open-all-day sushi bar, an oceanfront restaurant and an extensive wine list. Beautifully done – think Trussardi linens and white walls with vivid splashes of colour - this is a very upscale pousada.

Pousade Estrela d’Agua; Estrada Trancoso, 1100, Praia dos Nativos. Trancoso - BA, 45810-000. Doubles from £185, B&B

Pousada Maravilha, Fernando de Noronha

Home to three of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches, the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha should be on everyone’s must- see-in- Brazil list. What makes Maravilha (meaning ‘wonder’) so special is its architecture, where everything has been planned around the fantastic views. It’s a unique retreat in harmony with its natural surroundings and is a favourite with celebs in the know. There are only five bungalows and three apartments, all minimalistic, modern and stylish, and, like Estrela d’Agua, despite the pousada feel of the place, service is top notch. Best spot? The gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the bay with sleek, white, daybed-style loungers.

Pousada Maravilha, Rod. BR-363, s/n, Baia do Sueste, Fernando de Noronha – PE, 53990-000. Doubles around £256, room only

La Suite , Rio

This is a rarity as there are far more pousadas than real boutique hotels in Brazil. A converted house, the owner has filled it with a lot of his personal collection of antique furniture and artworks, pictures and books. The six suites, all with balconies, are individually decorated, with arty touches such as Warhol lithographs and French antiques. My favourite suite is the black one; it has the best outlook – one of the best in Rio - beaten only by the view from the infinity pool. The team here take a very personalised approach, from evening drinks with the owner, to a bepsoke dinner created by the chef. Joatinga is one of the most exclusive areas of Rio, and just 15 minutes’ drive from Ipanema and Barra

La Suite, R. Jackson de Figueiredo, 501 - Joá, Rio de Janeiro - 22611-000. Doubles from £167, B&B

All the above can be booked through

EscapeCollection.com was set up by former Brazil resident Stephane Bouvier. The site features hotels and pousadas across Brazil, hand-picked by Stephane and his Brazilian wife Rita - chosen through first-hand experience.