Olympic luxury in Brazil
With the 2016 Olympics under way in Rio, the global travel spotlight is firmly on Brazil this month. Whether you’re an athletics fan, or more of a beach bunny, this South American country has a vast amount to offer visitors, from the lush swathes of rainforest, to the legendary sandy shores. If you’re planning a trip to Brazil, for the Olympics or otherwise, make sure you get a taste of the country’s most luxurious spots.
Thanks to the Olympic Games in Rio and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, among other factors, the cost of hotels in Brazil has risen significantly over the past five years. However, with this has come luxury at all levels, from havens in the rainforest, to urban palaces with incredible views. If size speaks volumes to you then it has to be the Presidential Suite at the Tivoli Mofarrej in Sao Paulo, which at 750 square meters is the largest suite in the whole of Latin America. If it’s more important to lay your head where other famous faces have, the Royal Tulip Brasilia Alvorada in Rio has its own Presidential Suite – 60 square metres, with dining for 12 and genuinely VIP former residents, including President Obama and Prince Charles.
With luxurious accommodation has come an explosion in dining for those who love to taste the best of local specialities or explore world class haute cuisine. Tereze is a hillside restaurant with a spectacular backdrop for diners, with views of Rio’s epic Guanabara Bay and the cityscape below. The French and Brazilian fusion menu is full of tasty meat dishes and loved for its desserts. When it comes to seafood, Satyticon is a well kept local Rio secret – a restaurant that uses only the freshest seafood in its simple, delicious menu. Try the king crab and sea bream – it’s delicious, perfectly prepared and as fresh as you will find seafood anywhere on earth. Olympe is a fine example of one Michelin star dining, a restaurant that brings together French technique and Brazilian ingredients, using locally sourced products, such as mushrooms from the Itaipava mountains, to put Rio on the culinary map. For pan-Asian flavours, it has to be MEE Rio, designed and created by celebrity chef Ken Hom. MEE Rio also has the Michelin accolade and serves mouthwatering dishes, such as spicy Thai salad with tangerine and quail egg sushi with truffle.
After a tough day of Olympics observing – or perhaps relaxing on the secluded Prainha Beach or checking out spas such as the Spa Copacabana Palace – a long, cool drink is surely on the agenda. Baretto Londra in the iconic Hotel Fasano on the Ipanema beachfront is a jet set hotspot and a plush setting for a Brazilian Old Fashioned. People come here to see and be seen and the mix of celebrity, local and international is heady and exotic. Alternatively, try the Deck Bar, which opened in 2012 and is renowned for its incredible view and poolside setting. Enjoy your caipirinha in the most stunning of settings with Copacabana beach below, Sugarloaf to the east and Copacabana Fort to the west. There is no other view in the whole of Brazil quite like it.