First of all, even prior to arrival, Sebastian was very helpful, and the personal transfer he arranged for us from Rio worked perfectly, and he and the other staff were always friendly and helpful thereafter..
We had booked a deluxe room, and it therefore had an ocean view and a small balcony. it was a pleasant enough room and reasonably sized, but I would not like to have booked a lesser category. I was expecting a bit better from a deluxe to be honest. It had a huge bathroom, but the space could have been better used, for example with a double sink. The shower cubicle could have done with a tiling makeover, but was OK.
It is extremely well positioned for walking into town or getting a water taxi to other beaches etc. However it is close to a loud nightclub, so you need to be as far away and up from the road as possible - we were fine but some other people we met were disturbed at night and into daylight hours by revellers - this was the New Year holiday season after all.
The main restaurant was good, with wonderful views, and the pool side snacks were of good value and quality. On the street level there is a more informal restaurant that does Pizzas and pasta if you are fooded out from fine dining and want something simple.
A big positive for me, who gets bitten badly by mosquitos, was the provision of both a plug-in and repellent. Why other hotels in Brasil do not do this is beyond me, where the insect issue is unavoidable. Of course the cleaning staff leaving the bathroom window wide open after they had finished negated this somehwat!
The main downside for me was the absolutely tiny pool. I had read it was small but didn't expect it to be so small. I love to swim on holday so this was a disappointment. This might have been tolerable if the pool wasn't so often occupied by small children whose parents seemed to regard it sd their little angels' right to do whatever they wanted for hours on end without any regard for other users. The hotel has a no kids under 5 policy, but given its nature and branding as a relaxing, quiet haven, I think maybe they should revise the minimum age upwards. Either that or maybe have a dedicated adults only swimming time. We also experienced a lot of noise towards the end of our stay from small kids who wre allowed to stay up until all hours, screeching and running along the stone corridors to their room, well after we had gone to bed.
I should add that the swimming was important because, although the beaches on Buzios do indeed look very beautiful, we didn't feel we wanted to stay on the beach and swim in the sea at any of the ones we visited. Many had no faciities, and those that had were very crowded, with rickety chair and umbrellas, and you are constantly hassled by vendors every few feet. I also had some concerns about the cleanliness of the sea in some areas (there was a lot of litter on the seashore in places). The exception was when we visited Rocka at Brava beach, which has good, though very expensive, lounging facilities (and an excellent restaurant) but we had some comcerns about swimming there too - see separate review under Rocka.
All in all though I would definitely recommend Casas Brancas and Buzios for a relaxing few days.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa is a refuge of beauty and elegance in the small town of Buzios, a few hours away from Rio de Janeiro. Nested over Armacao Bay, its Mediterranean style terrace and panoramic view of the sea have fascinated guests for over 40 years. Casas Brancas is a synonym of harmony and simplicity. With touches of style and sophistication, its decor provides the tranquility that permeates the entire ambience. Its team of professionals, trained in different languages, contributes for a even more personalized service. An authentic invitation for rest, pleasure and well-being. With a privileged location, overlooking the Orla Bardot waterfront promenade, the hotel is near the downtown area, as well as being within close range of the best restaurants and beaches in town. Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa, simply an idyllic experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casas Brancas Boutique - Hotel And Spa
- Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel Buzios
- Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa Armacao Dos Buzios, Brazil