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“Quiet and relaxing but no wow factor”

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Pousada Hibiscus Beach
Ranked #58 of 105 Hotels in Armacao dos Buzios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 2, 2012

We traveled to Rio for Carnival and wanted somewhere to relax for a week afterwards. After picking the small beach town of Buzios, we decided on Hibiscus for a few reasons: decent price; private, individual bungalows; and good reviews.

We stayed for 5 nights in March 2012 in bungalow 11 (pretty high on the hill with great views) for $R1,850 (about £650).

The pousada is well located, a quick 5 minute walk from Joao Fernandes beach (the best beach we came across in Buzios) and close to Centro (take a frequent bus (minivan) from the stop down the road to town for R$2) or walk in about 20 minutes. While the pousada is away from the action and therefore quiet and relaxing, this means there’s less choice for restaurants and shops.

The grounds are adequate but could use a little TLC. The pool is handy (complete with lounge chairs and tables) and we rarely encountered anyone else there – if you’re looking for a lively resort, this probably isn’t it. We were both surprised at how quiet the pousada was the entire week (maybe because it was just after carnival). The staff was not overly friendly and barely spoke unless spoken to. The front desk staff did very helpfully assist with taxis (we were told by friends that the taxi cost of $R190 from Rio was quite reasonable) and other local information though. Be warned that this place is not for people with mobility issues as it’s a steep walk up to the bungalows.

Breakfast is provided and includes breads, fruit, meat, cheese, cereals, coffee and tea (although they only had flavoured tea while we were there – I brought my own English breakfast), and a couple of hot options (which I didn’t try as they didn’t look that appetizing). Contrary to other reviews, the food was definitely replenished during breakfast time. We ate at various times between 8 and 9:15am and there was always plenty of food. It does however, get boring after 5 days.

The bungalows are a good size, complete with comfortable beds and a terrace to enjoy (which we often did), but do not expect a high standard of finish – a 5 star resort this is not (which would be an unfair comparison). Some of the carpentry and finishing was sub-standard, the caulking around our sink looked like a child did the work. We were provided with terrible towels some days – so threadbare that they tore on use. The room contained a bug repellent to plug in each night but we still ended up with bites every night (North Americans shouldn’t expect window screens). Free wifi is available and the signal was decent on the terrace (but faint in the bungalow).

It was my fault for not looking at the fine print but the pousada charges at 10% service fee on top of the tariff. It’s beyond me what this is for and I wonder if other resorts charge it.

The area:
I recommend taking a boat tour. We booked a 3 hour tour which includes some local beaches and provides some time on the water including swimming, and an ‘open bar’ (coke, water and caiparinhas). We had a wonderful meal at L'Escale – the food is great and the service attentive and friendly.

We took a day trip (via the minivan bus) to Geriba beach. It’s massive with plenty of space to relax. You have to pay for everything though: chair, umbrella, inflated drink and food prices. Stick with Joao Fernandes beach right down the road: chairs and umbrellas included in the bar/meal prices, which are decently priced and the option to pay with credit card at a choice of beach restaurants (free wifi too!).

We had a relaxing time in Buzios and the pousada added to that relaxation. We were a bit let down though – given the glowing reviews - and wouldn’t return. There’s a pousada every 10 feet in Buzios so look around and choose wisely.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Travelkidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 31 of 331 reviews

Reviewed January 24, 2012

I had high hopes for this place, but I must say I was more underwhelmed than overwhelmed with our stay. This may be partially due to the fact that we did not go during high season, but I am not sure. Per TA reviews, we emailed ahead and requested a high bungalow for the group. The owner was very nice and reserved our high bungalows as requested. The views were beautiful from the bungalows, which themselves were cute and had what you needed. I don’t think the walk to or from the town was bad, we didn’t take a taxi once. Now to the negatives…the managers and English-speaking service has been raved about (on TA and their website), but unfortunately for us we did not have the same experience. The Pousada was like a deserted complex while we were there…lacking the English speaking staff and friendly owners. There was a bar set up, yet no one ever there working it. The breakfast was also very disappointing. If you got there 30 minutes after breakfast started, you were out of luck. Eggs and the hotdog style breakfast were never put out fresh if you missed it the first time. Fruit was good, the rest was extremely lacking. Coffee cups, plates, and utensils we also never replenished so you had to eat with your fingers and go without coffee. Wish I could have given a better review but this was our experience. Just okay.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Melttu84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

My wife and I had a very pleasant stay here over Christmas 2011. The location is good for beaches and the walk into the town a pleasant 15-20 minutes stroll. We never felt the need to use a taxi. The beach closest to the pousada (Joao Fernades) is good but was very busy over the holiday, although curiously tended to empty out around 4 pm.

The chalet we had was fine, and although a number of chalets have been squeezed into a small area of the plot it has been done quite artfully, so that all have a good view from the balconies. I would note that the bed was a little on the small side by US standards although we slept well.

The Front Office was very efficient and transfers, car rentals etc. were all organised very efficiently. The (English speaking) owners were only occasionally around during our stay and the English language skills of the regular staff was mixed resulting in a few comic moments as our Portuguese was non existent, but this was not really an issue. I have no doubt that if we had had a problem the owners would have stepped in.

I would note that the after care service was excellent, and Alicia made a big effort to return some items that had been left behind. .

Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank hamish h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2011

My wife and I stayed four nights here and enjoyed Pousada Hibiscus Beach very much. The rooms are spacious and clean and the location excellent for beaches, the centro district, and transport to the rest of Buzios. The morning breakfast buffet is generous with lots of fresh fruit, breads, eggs/sausage, and cereal, and coffee is available throughout the day and evening. We had one maintenance issue while there but the staff was quick to clean it up and make the necessary repairs - I believe that they did all that was possible over the weekend. Excellent staff - friendly and personable. We wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BBETVW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

The Hibiscus Beach Pousada is one of the nicest places I've stayed in in Brazil. The private bungalow was lovely. Each has a deck overlooking the sea. the WiFi service is fine on the deck, so it's a great place to sit & catch up on your e-mail.

The staff is friendly & helpful. They serve an excellent breakfast. They provided good quick laundry service. What more could you want? I will always stay at the Hibiscus Beach Pousada whenever I return to Buzios.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Dennis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

We had a delightful time 8 years ago...and returned in March 2011...the staff...our bungalow...all was a delight....and we were booked into the same exact bungalow (must be karma) great restaurants and vistas within walking distance...and invaluable local info....the manager even booked a schooner cruise for us that was very enjoyable. We live in the Virgin Islands and really appreciated the great vistas and beauty of the seaside little town of Buzios.
Joedna & Randy....we shall return!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joedna F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

This was either my seventh or eighth to Buzios, and, of course, staying at Pousada Hibiscus Beach. As usual, I received a warm welcome from proprietors Kevan and Alicia Prior, now old and true friends for the past six years, plus the pousada's manager, Celia. It would be true to say that the pousada has become my "second home", and I enjoyed staying there as much as the first time.

A number of improvements to the pousada were taking place, no doubt with future sporting events taking place in Rio and environs. All these factors confirmed that Pousada Hibiscus Beach remains in the Top Four best-run pousadas in Buzios. With more than 400 other pousadas in competition with Hibiscus Beach, it is a tribute to owners that they are "one of the best".

Although it was mid-winter, the locals saying it was the coldest winter in years, this did not detract from the delights of Buzios. The long weekend, taking in Corpus Christi, followed by the annual Gastronomic Week Festival, saw the town fill up, so there was a lot happening. It all added to yet another great stay in Buzios, and Pousada Hibiscus Beach, situated in Joao Fernandes, the best part and one of the best beaches in the area.

It goes without saying that I am looking forward to my next stay there, and would recommend Pousada Hibiscus Beach for a warm and comfortable stay.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank buzios006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pousada Hibiscus Beach

Address: Travessa 1 22 | Quadra C - João Fernandes, Armacao dos Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950-000, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Armacao dos Buzios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Romantic Hotel in Armacao dos Buzios
Price Range: $99 - $295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pousada Hibiscus Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This delightful small hotel is British owned and managed. Remodeled and upgraded in 2007. The hotel consists of individual bungalows, all having a balcony with spectacular sea view. 100 mts. from the peninsula's most attractive beach. Air-conditioned and fully equipped. Large tropical garden and pool. Transfers available from Rio Airport or hotels. Ideal for English speaking guests, but with an authentic Brazilian atmosphere. Elegance and comfort at a reasonable cost. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Hibiscus Beach Buzios
Pousada Hibiscus Beach Hotel Buzios
Pousada Hibiscus Beach Armacao Dos Buzios, Brazil

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