With the 2014 FIFA World Cup just months away, this is going to be one of the biggest – and most lucrative – years in Brazil’s sporting history. Over the next few months, the South America’s largest nation will be thrown into the international spotlight after investing billions of dollars in stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup. Tens of thousands of wealthy visitors from across the globe (and across Brazil) will arrive to enjoy the football games and take some time explore the country while they’re there. It’s expected that the influx of visitors will bring in approximately $10 billion to the tourism industry. What’s more, a couple of years after that, Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games meaning many more thousands, and potentially millions, will step foot on Brazilian soil in search of luxury and adventure.
Brazil, the fifth-largest country in the world, has a strong tourist industry, which is boosted every year by the massive Carnaval held every year in Rio de Janeiro. The country has been visited by some of the world’s richest celebrities for work or pleasure, including Will Smith, Madonna, Tom Cruise and Justin Bieber. It has an agreeable, sunny climate and golden-sand beaches lining its coasts. Popular tourist activities include snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, boating, and experiencing Brazilian culture, art and music. Some major attractions include the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro (one of the new Seven Wonders of the World) and Iguassu Falls – one of the largest waterfalls in the world.
Brazil is not a very well known tourist destination among travellers around the world, despite being recently named "one of the world's most captivating places" by Lonely Planet. It’s considered to be off the beaten path, particularly for those who don’t speak Portuguese or don’t live in Latin America. Many rich travellers visiting Brazil this year will be on the lookout for resorts that will guarantee them the most stylish of traveling experiences. If you’re seeking Brazilian luxury, check out our list of 10 of the best (and most expensive) resorts across Brazil.
10 Mélia Brasil 21 – Five star and eco-friendly
Located in Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia, this hotel was designed by renowned architect, Alberto Dávila and features an exclusive helipad, which guests can reserve in advance. The landlocked location may not provide the same ocean views as elsewhere in Brazil, but this city is expected to come alive when the World Cup is in full swing. The 600 suites are all known for their spaciousness, Brazilian decor and luxury. For environmentally-friendly guests, there’s a premier room on the green floor that is filled with natural and biodegradable accessories – and all the luxury trimmings you’d expect too – for only around $300 per night depending on the season. On top of that, guests enjoy an exclusive porter service, fine dining options, a luxury fitness center and a location that’s right in the midst of Brazil’s political heart.
9 Pousada Maravilha – $800 per luxury bungalow
Located on an island of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago in north-east Brazil, this resort is paradise from July through November every year. It is set in one of the country’s best nature reserves, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001. The resort is surrounded by waters best known for swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling. There are just eight bungalows for guests, each of which offers privacy and luxury, not to mention views of the ocean. There are hammocks on the balconies and patios, Japanese hot tubs in some rooms, maids available to take care of every need, and a huge deck with an infinity pool for all guests. Expect to pay over $800 per night for your own private, luxury bungalow.
8 Hotel Fasano – with one of Brazil’s best restaurants
This resort in Rio de Janeiro features cutting-edge design, including furnishings from the 1960s and 1970s and dark hardwood pieces. It’s a luxurious high-rise building, with a rooftop pool for guests and views of the famous Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro. Limousines wait out front to take guests out to explore the city surrounding the hotel. A major draw card is the restaurant, Al Mare, which has been recognized as one of the best in Brazil with its Italian seafood. The chef is Florence’s Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri. The richest guests opt for a deluxe oceanfront suite, which is a king-sized room featuring a spacious loft-style living area, a private bar, a large private balcony with views of Ipanema, and a marble bathroom including a bath tub looking out onto the ocean. The hotel also extends its luxury service to the beach across the road – guests get access to beach chairs, umbrellas, surfboards and more.
7 Txai Resort – $1,100 per night
Eco-friendly meets untouched beauty in this stunning beach resort, located about 400km south of Salvador, on the Cacao coast. Experience yoga and massage in the hill-top spa, explore white-sand beaches and lush gardens, and get all the privacy and seclusion you could possibly need. The most exclusive rooms are the Premium Bungalows. Each bungalow is different, but all Premium Bungalows are on the top of the hill (near the spa) and include an outdoor jacuzzi and plunge pool, and area for private massages. One of the bungalows will cost approximately $1,100 per night during the World Cup season.
6 Copacabana Palace – $1,500+ per night
This five-star resort offers classic luxury in Rio de Janeiro for more than $1,500 per night. Located right on the famous Copacabana beachfront since the early 1920s, it is considered by many to be the most luxurious hotel in this city. In fact, it’s regular the accommodation option of choice for rich people including celebrities, royalty, important politicians and business people. Past guests have included Michael Jackson, Elton John, Marilyn Monroe and Luciano Pavarotti. The richest visitors to this hotel tend to choose one of the penthouse rooms on the sixth floor. These rooms are, of course, the most luxurious. Each comes with a private terrace, beach views, private butler service, exclusive use of a private swimming pool, exquisite marble bathrooms, walls lined with art work and the best decor one could imagine.
5 Ponta dos Ganchos – $1,800+ per night
Sitting on privately-owned peninsula on the Santa Catarina Coast in southern Brazil, this five-star beach resort is one of country’s most exclusive accommodation options and it is not uncommon to see guests arrive by helicopter. It has been voted one of the most romantic hotels in the world for 2014, helped by the fact that no one under the age of 18 is allowed at the resort. The owners of the hotel state that guests can expect the resort to be calm and tranquil at all times. There are 25 bungalows which sit between the rain forest and emerald blue sea. The Emerald Villa rooms, costing over $1,800 per night, are complete with the best interiors and exteriors including 600-thread Egyptian cotton sheets, a private veranda, a wine cellar, panoramic sea views, a plunge pool, a jacuzzi, a dry sauna, and a spacious double bathroom. On top of that, there are plenty of fine dining options, massage gazebos, highly-rated spa treatments, an ocean-front tennis court and more.
4 Villas de Trancoso – $2,000 per night
This luxury resort in the trendy village of Trancoso, in Brazil’s Bahia region, offers private villa retreats along the beachfront. It’s easily accessible from towns and cities yet offers tranquil surroundings. There’s a white marble pool, tropical gardens along the beachfront, big shady palm trees and great room choices. The best and newest room is the Villa Golf, which is a couple of miles down the beach for even more exclusivity. Overlooking the local golf course, it has two decks, a pool, a pool bar, and four bedroom suites with panoramic views. There is also a full-time maid, gardener and restaurant service on hand. It costs about $2,000 per night for the suite.
3 Hotel Santa Teresa – $2,500 per night
Hotel Santa Teresa is not the usual beach-side resort that visitors to Rio de Janeiro usually opt for, but it still offers absolute luxury. It’s easily the top hotel in the Santa Teresa area, and it’s packed with arts, culture and a full-service spa and pool. The Loft Suite, which has won a Wallpaper Magazine award for being one of the best designed hotel suites in the world, is the room occupied by the richest guests. It offers 180 degree views of Rio landmarks including the Christ the Redeemer statue, panoramic bedroom views, a designer bathtub, a super king sized bed with the best Egyptian cotton sheets. The room will cost about $2,500 per night and is only available by special request.
2 Sofitel Rio de Janeiro – $2,600 per night
This luxury hotel creates a fusion between Brazil and France in its architecture and design. Overlooking Copacabana beach, it mixes contemporary and classic elements including antiques and all the modern amenities one could possibly need. The Imperial Club Millesime Suite has been a home away from home for many famous guests in recent years including Taylor Swift, Sylvester Stallone and Paul McCartney. The suite itself has four rooms, two bathrooms, eight private balconies with an incredible view and a 24 hour butler service. The nightly rate is approximately $2,600.
1 1.Emiliano Hotel – $3,400+ per night
The Emiliano has become a trend-setter in the exclusive Jardins neighbourhood of Sao Paulo. There’s a helipad on the top floor for the exclusive use of guests, and those same guests are likely to choose the best suite, called the Cubo suite. There’s just one Cubo suite, located inside a glass cube with a 180 degree view of the huge city of Sao Paulo. It is extremely upscale and covers two floors. The first floor has a living room, private pool, work station and dining area, as well as a kitchen and bathroom. On the mezzanine floor guests will find the bedroom and master bathroom.
The décor includes well-known artwork plus iconic pieces of furniture by famous Brazilian designer, Eames. There’s also a Champagne and Caviar bar inside the suite. Expect to pay over $3,400 per night and, if that’s not luxurious enough, you can combine the Cubo suite with the executive suite, adding another floor and taking the total floor space to 215 square meters.