Not a terrible place by any means, but doesn't come close to living up to the high expectations that a #1 rating on tripadvisor would lead one to have. There simply must be better places in Buzios, because Costa do Sol was frankly more than a little disappointing.
First, let's start with the positives. The views from this hotel are amazing! We paid a bit more for a sea view and it is absolutely worth it- having wine on our terrace at sunset was a really magical experience. The location is also great if you're looking to get away. It's on a hill, high above town about a 7min drive away. (I would not recommend walking, unless you're really into hiking steep cobblestone streets). It was far enough away that you aren't subjected to the thump-thump of Buzios's bars, yet close enough to easily get to town for dinner or a drink. The hotel has a daily shuttle into town every night at 8pm (you can take a taxi back for about $8) and every day to a different beach at 11am. The breakfast spread is pretty nice, and the waitstaff at breakfast are extraordinarily friendly and helpful.
Then, the negatives. The service here is INCREDIBLY spotty, especially if you've stayed in "boutique" properties elsewhere. You should never have to ask yourself aloud "Does anyone work here?", which we did a dismaying amount here. We arrived at the hotel after a harrowing 5 -hour drive from Rio (which should normally take a bit less than 3 hours) (tip: never try to go to Buzios on a Brazilian holiday weekend, because half of Rio will be on the road with you). We get to the hotel around 8pm and.... no one is there. There was one guy in a little glassed-in office chatting on the phone, but he seemed oblivious to our presence. Having to wait 5-7 minutes to be acknowledged upon arriving at a hotel might not sound like a long time, but after the drive it was really the last thing we needed. We got to the room, and the design was nowhere near boutique. Think Comfort Inn on a turnpike somewhere, just with a balcony. We were hungry so thought maybe we'd get a snack at the pool bar but found that it was closed at 8pm and had been for some time. We went to the restaurant, found no one there, had to ask at reception, finally a waiter appeared. No wine by the glass, or wine list either. Anyone wanting wine is shown two bottles of rather bad red- that's it. At least the bad wine was cheap ($20). The waiter ended up being friendly and accommodating, but first impressions are important, and Costa do Sol failed pretty badly. Not a way for a boutique hotel to operate.
Our impression improved somewhat during our stay, and we thought that our initial judgment was a bit harsh. However, our toilet began making an ungodly screeching sound for about 15 seconds after every flush. It was almost comical during the day, but decidedly not-comical in the middle of the night. We alerted reception to this- and they promptly did absolutely nothing. The problem persisted for the duration of our stay. On a related note, there was a terribly bright fluorescent light on the balcony and no apparent way to turn it off. We asked the maintenance guy and he came to the room and sort of shrugged his shoulders- he also had no idea how to turn it off. We finally wrapped our hand in a towel and unscrewed the light bulb ourselves. Not a way for a boutique hotel to operate.
Finally, our last day we wanted to check out as quickly as possible and get on the road- so I went to the front desk to turn in the keys and towels while my partner finished packing. However, the woman at reception insisted that the maid had to verify the mini-bar before we left. I told her that we hadn't used the mini-bar for the duration of our stay and she curtly replied that it would need to be checked. I understand hotels needing to keep costs under control, but insinuating that guests cannot be trusted not to steal a can of beer was a bit inappropriate- especially at the price we were paying for the room. Not a way for a boutique hotel to operate.
In short, Costa do Sol does benefit from its nice view and location. However, the service was incredibly disappointing. If you're expecting boutique, you'll be disappointed. If you're expecting a Ramada on a hill, then you'll probably be okay. In any case, Costa do Sol does not deserve its #1 ranking on this site. Not a terrible place- just go in with the right expectations.
Definitely spring for a sea-view room. Garden-view rooms are a bit sad, and anyone walking by can s...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.