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Rio and São Paulo states' top 10 budget beach hotels and B&Bs

Rio and São Paulo states' top 10 budget beach hotels and B&Bs

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 12, 2014

The coast of the adjoining states Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo is one of the finest in Brazil, dotted with small tropical islands, beautiful bays, wonderful golden sandy beaches, and backed by mountains covered with virgin Atlantic rain forest. Most of it is still unknown to international tourists, yet this is where residents of Rio and São Paulo (Brazil's two largest cities, with a joint population of over 30 million) come to relax, party and feel that tropical paradise vibe. It's not the cheapest part of Brazil, but these 10 pousadas (Brazilian B&Bs) offer good value out of the December to February high season.


Villa Balthazar, Buzios

From fishing village turned playground of French starlet Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, to its current reincarnation as "Buzios Aires" – nicknamed as such for the influx of Argentinian sun worshippers – the coastal resort of Buzios has seen prices rise accordingly. The wonderful Villa Balthazar is run by Swedish couple Petra and Felix, who have turned their home in the tropics into a dreamy retreat on Praia do Canto beach. Spread among three separate houses, the rooms showcase Petra's flare for restrained interior design, adorned with antique knick-knacks. You're 400m from the cobblestones of the main drag and just 50m from the sea.

• +55 22 2623 6680, Doubles from R$295 a night (around £82), B&B

Pousada Vivenda, Paraty

As soon as you set foot in historic Paraty – one of Brazil's most photogenic colonial towns – accommodation prices become eye-watering. One exception is this shabby-chic pousada run by Yorkshireman John Hudson. Its two whitewashed, self-catering bungalows are just steps from the historic cobblestones but far enough away to give a sense of isolation while you lounge around in poolside in hammocks surrounded by manicured tropical gardens. It's just off the Perequê-Açu river, about a 10-minute walk from the action.

• +55 24 3371 4272, Doubles from £84, B&B

Le Gite d’Indaiatiba, near Paraty

Paraty has one of Brazil's most astonishing settings, where rainforest-covered peaks spill down to bay after beautiful blue bay, so why not back off the historic centre a bit and make your way into the lush surroundings of the Serra do Bocaina mountains? Set among nearly 100 acres of forest, these five rooms, 10 miles from Paraty proper, range from luxurious lofts to simpler rooms with fireplaces and verandas looking out over the trees. The Franco-Brazilian restaurant is another big draw, self-billed as one of the only French restaurants in the world where you can swim in a waterfall while you wait for your belle meunière.

• +55 24 3371 7174, Doubles from £55, B&B

Praia dos Anjos beach, Arraial do Cabo.

Some consider Arraial do Cabo to be the anti-Buzios – the way the buzzy beach getaway was 30 years ago. Sitting on a cape that juts out into the Atlantic, 100 miles north-east of Rio, Arraial is, indeed, quiet by comparison. This eight-room pousada, less than 300m from Praia dos Anjos (Angel's Beach, pictured), reflects the vision of architect Marta Solferini; all old tiles and stained glass, and tropical gardens throughout. Liberal use of demolition materials and recycled noble woods give a nod to environmentally responsible tourism, while rooms remain simple, rustic bases from which to emerge to some 24 miles of stunning beach and some of Brazil's best diving.

• +55 22 2622 1992, Doubles from £74, B&B

Pousada Naturalia, Ilha Grande

While the exclusive private islands that dot the sea around Ihla Grande are more associated with celebrity hobnobbing and magazine photo shoots, Abraão, the island's main village, some 93 miles south-west of the city of Rio, boasts a cluster of more humble abodes. These 12 suites at this pousada combine native hardwoods and tropical colours set against a backdrop of Crayola-green rainforest and deep cerulean sea. Tack on the sustainable edge (recycled eucalyptus pillars throughout, solar-heated showers, self-contained waste disposal); and catch a glimpse of those stunning views, and little doubt remains you've arrived in Brazil's version of Hollywood. You'll be hard-pressed to find this much pleasure for such little outlay on Rio's coast.

• +55 24 3361 9583, Doubles from £47, B&B

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