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“Worst hotel experience ever” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Brava Hotel

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Brava Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua 17, Lote 14, Quadra 0 | Praia Brava, Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950-000, Brazil   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #84 of 92 Hotels in Buzios
Rio de Janeiro
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
86 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
289 helpful votes 289 helpful votes
“Worst hotel experience ever”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2006

Think about the feeling of being ripped off. Now multiply that by 100 and you'll get the idea of how disgusting was my stay at the Brava Hotel. Words fail me, but let me try. As some have said, the hotel is not one bit what it looks like in the website. It is a pale resemblance. The rooms are small, and Brava beach is not among the top 10 beaches in Buzios. But worst of all is yet to come. When I got there, I had a reservation for a superior room with beach views, the second most affordable of four room types. However, the reservation papers at the concierge read: "do not tell guest he is staying in a lesser room", in words to the same effect in portuguese. I was able to take a glimpse of that paper, even upside down. I assume they gave me that room because the hotel was still in construction and the reserved room was not available. They denied as they could that this was the case, but there was no way I could be conviced otherwise with such evidence. I got to my room and realized it had water leaking from the ceiling and construction work going on by the balcony. As I was heading back to the concierge to complain once again, I bumped into a friend by the pool who had been given the same leaking and noisy room. I tried to negotiate leaving the hotel with a refund, but they refused. Since hotels in Buzios in december are usually paid in advance, I had to swallow my wrath and make the best out of my stay in Buzios. Needless to say, I didn't spend another penny in the hotel and will go to whatever lengths I can to disencourage anyone to ever dare to think about staying there.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York, Ny
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2006

I didn't stay at Hotel Brava. My travel agent made a reservation last August and cancelled it 24 hours later (more than 7 days prior to arrival) due to the British Airways strike. Hotel Brava -- in direct contradiction to their cancellation policies listed on the epoquehotels website -- charged our credit card for the full stay. According to Hotel Brava, our travel agent received information that indicated that any cancellation resulted in the charge of the full stay. We contacted them multiple times -- through native speakers -- explaining that we relied on the cancellation policy as listed on epoquehotels. They were clearly not interested in honoring their publicized policies.

Fortunately, our credit card company agreed and the charges were reversed after 6 months plus+ of back and forth.

Given this experience, when our rescheduled trip to Buzios took place we did not stay at Hotel Brava. Some objective commentary -- Hotel Brava is neither in town nor on the beach.

As for the 5 star review -- I must conclude that this was penned by an interested party. The whole bit about not expecting an "American" breakfast was a bit absurd. a) I don't know what an "American" breakfast is in this context b) I travel regularly and widely in Brazil -- it is absolutely standard to have different types of fruit juices available at breakfast and also to have a "hot" alternative such as eggs / fried bacon or sausage.

Stayed August 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2006

The Brava Hotel is more than advertised.

Upon arriving at the Brava Hotel in Buzios, the first thing you notice is the location is on the side of a hill with wonderful views.

In the lobby you are greeted with a complimentary drink of champagne. The beautiful atmosphere is accented by aroma therapy, and was very relaxing.

The room was very simple with a wonderful view. Lots of stars at night! We slept with the balcony doors open. The warm breeze was wonderful.

This hotel is not designed with children in mind. This is the place you want to go if you want to get away from the crowds of the city and have quality time with your lady. It is very romantic.

Breakfast was Brazilian, fresh fruit, juice, cereal, yogurt, ham and cheese and Brazilian coffee. If you expect an American breakfast anywhere in Brazil you will be disappointed.

I have seen some of the other reviews on this hotel from U.S. visitors. Quite frankly, I am disappointed with them. Please remember this is Brazil. The food is different here.

I actually read a review that they don’t take U.S. Dollars! Maybe it’s because you’re not in the U.S. and the currency in Brazil is the Real. The preferred method of payment abroad is always a credit card.

On the down side, the water pressure in the shower was very low, and stairs, lots of stairs. This is not the place for the handicapped. This hotel could never be built in the U.S. without some kind of lift. A hairdryer was delivered to the room upon request. And in record time!

On our way to the hotel my fiancé wanted to get married on the beach. We asked the staff there if they could help with arrangements, being that we were from Cleveland, Ohio and didn’t speak Portuguese at all. They do have some English speaking staff.

Many thanks to Barbara and Hawk, both went out of their way to assist us. They found a Priest and accompanied us to town to meet with him. They also helped us find flowers and wedding rings. They had a tent set up on the beach and Hawk was the English translator for the priest. It was a very romantic ceremony. People on the beach stopped sunbathing to help celebrate our day by joining around the tent as we said our ”I DO’s”. I loved it. And they did all in about 12 hours!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2006

I stayed 3 nights at the Brava last week. Some consider the pictures on the web misleading, I concur…. The whole setting is far more spectacular and tranquil than portrayed in the pictures. Yes, the breakfast needs more options. Who needs room service? Who wants to stay in the room when you can eat in a white on white dining area overlooking an infinity pool and beautiful people? Shame on the bad reviewers! Please remember that Buzios is a beach destination. The hotel owners (the 2 Argentineans and their lovely mother) did a wonderful job combining this setting with a chic minimalist boutique hotel. The General Manager, Roque (sp) is a professional man that in he very near future will iron out all these insignificant ‘kinks’ some of the reviewers consider unacceptable. Oh, I almost forgot, we did go to the more prefer Posada Casas Brancas for diner and after paying close to UF$70 per person for so so service and food my only recollection is the aroma of rotten seashells blowing through the restaurant, lobby and patio. Lastly, I went with my wife son (17yrs) and daughter (10yrs). No one is complaining and we will return. Obrigado Brava Hotel!.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan, New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2006

My friend, Michael and I spent 4 nights here through the New Year. The hotel is quite elegant and beautiful at night with sweeping vistas and blowing white curtains and lots of candles. The room was large (we had an executive suite) but the bathroom needed updating, as did the air conditioning. The towels were of low quality. The breakfast nothing special. The staff are not experienced enough so the service suffers. The execution on New Year's Eve of the champagen dinner was excellent, however, and very festive. They need to get the "kinks" out of this hotel to make it as special as it looks.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
long island, ny
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2006

We stayed at the Brava Hotel just after New Years. When we booked, there were no reviews on Trip Advisor and we were easily fooled by the hotel's glamorous website. But as you can see by the other reviews, this hotel is not worth the money you'll spend here.

The Brava Hotel is located about a 20 minute uphill walk, on sometimes muddy and dark roads, from centro. You'll need to cab it or rent a buggy/car if you want to get anywhere from this hotel. The hotel itself is on a very steep hill with many steps (>30) just to get to the front desk and lobby, forget about your room; it could be another 30 steps. The beach nearby, Brava Beach, is small with rough surf. The one time we went there it was high tide and rough surf and so the beach was underwater. So much for laying on the beach.

The hotel itself is portrayed on the website as this pristine, white-washed Shangri-La. Hardly. The white curtains and furniture haven't been washed or cleaned in who knows how long and are in dire need of a few gallons of clorox bleach. The white marble in the lobby is eroded and dirty. The pool is a joke. The rooms are very basic and extremely small by any hotel standard. Our beds were comfortable but we heard others complain about their beds. The sheets are very rough, probably around 100 thread count. The bathroom is very basic and the shower stall was dirty with mildew. Bugs are a REAL issue. There were big black ants in my bed. A spider that looked like a tarantula crawled out of the shower drain while I showered and scared me half way back to New York. The TV has about 8 channels -- they are mostly cartoon channels in Portuguese; there is no CNN or BBC or even a basic, random English channel.

The breakfast was very disappointing. There was no choice. They brought out three fruits, two types of bread, yogurt, cereal, orange juice, slices of cheese and ham, and coffee/tea. There were no eggs, bacon, sausage, different fruit juices, etc. This is very unusual for Brazilian hotels.

The service at the Brava is sub-standard. Hardly anyone speaks English. They are understaffed and those who work there are multi-tasking, over-worked, and putting in greater than 12 hour days. It took my friend over 30 minutes and 3 requests to get a caipirinha because the one worker was too busy, no fault of his own, catering to the owners of the hotel (who were also having drinks at the bar with friends), managing the front desk and serving people dinner in the "restaurant."

On a positive note the common area was a nice place to have a drink (if you ever got it) in the evening before going out to centro. The music they played was very loungy and one night they had a very good live performer. They also had free internet near the front desk.

So the bottom line is that this place is not worth the $225+ USD/night triple that we paid for a "hotel." This is not a "hotel" by any standard. It's a very expensive pousada. "Hotels" at this price in Brazil have great service, extensive breakfasts, clean and spacious rooms, and many other amenities such as a gym, a real restaurant, room service, and TV that you could actually watch and understand. For $225 USD + tax/night I could probably get a room at a five star hotel in Rio de Janeiro. I've stayed at other hotels on the Epoque Hotels website and the Brava Hotel is a disgrace and it should not be promoted by them. I've also been to Brazil several times and stayed in big cities and smaller, less developed towns than Buzios, and I know what I can get for my money. The Brava Hotel is not worth it -- maybe it would be if you could get it for less than $100 USD/night.

If your travels ever find you in Buzios, Brazil, I would recommend staying at a modest, not pretentious, pousada in centro or Geriba Beach.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2006

Our stay at the Brava hotel was a great disappointment. The website looks fabulous, and with the price you are paying for the rooms, you would definitely expect more value for your money. But do not let it fool you. For Brasilian standards this place is far too expensive for what you get. Rather stay at a poussada and get more personal attention than paying this rate at this prententious design hotel. Rooms are small, not too clean, bathroom too basic, and the bugs..... AC makes lots of noise.... Also locationwise it is not good. It is on a hill, right in front of it they are building a new site, beach is small. Staff is not friendly either. They do not speak English except for maybe two people. My advice it to keep on searching the web for a nicer place to stay. Also the moment you book, there is no way you can cancel it. You pay in advance which surprised me for the kind hotel they pretend to be....The prices are quoted in USD, but they make you pay in local currency with a crazy exchange rate. You can also pay cash in USD like you have that much cash in your pocket...... Keep on surfing the web, you will definitely find much better ! Also this hotel is a disgrace to the Epoque Hotels website. They should definitely stop promoting this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brava Hotel

Address: Rua 17, Lote 14, Quadra 0 | Praia Brava, Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950-000, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Buzios
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Buzios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Brava Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 34
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Also Known As:
Brava Hotel Buzios, Brazil

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