A little paradise
We stayed for a week in April and absolutely loved Casas Brancas. Buzios is a great little town but it was staying at Casas Brancas, and in particular hanging out on the main terraces, that made the experience feel special - the hotel is in a fantastic position overlooking the bay and the town and I found the atmosphere, the decor, the staff, the music, the breakfast, the view etc all excellent.
Small downsides were our bathroom wasn't well enough ventilated and the pool is small (but then virtually all the ones I saw were), plus booking stuff through the hotel will include big mark-ups.
Best sunsets i've ever seen too.
BELIEVE the hype! This place is fantastic!
Well, I just read that other recent review on Casas Brancas and I am shocked. I was at Casas Brancas only days before this person (mid December 2006) and my stay was EXCEPTIONAL in every regard. All I can say, is that the "hype" IS true. This is an a-m-a-z-i-n-g place to stay!!
For the record, in recent years I have traveled to four continents and to approximately 15 countries. Among all of the locations I visited, I will certainly never forget Buzios or Casas Brancas. This is definitely a place I will return to many times. 5 stars all the way!! Hey, even the locals we talked to in town said that Casas Brancas is the nicest place to stay in Buzios. If that is what the locals are saying (and what this website also seems to suggest) you know that Casas Brancas must have something going for it. (Granted, no place is ever perfect).
For starters, I found the hotel staff to be exceptional in all regards. Everyone was amazingly friendly to me and my travel companion. We are basically two young guys and we are not rock stars, celebrities or wealthy. However, we were treated as if we were their best customers from the moment we arrived to the moment we departed. Without exception, each department excelled in their service to us. It is an understatement to say that each staff person treated us as if we were the only customer they encountered that day. Everyone was incredibly personable and willing to assist with any request we had, whether it be great or small.
Our room, suite # 21, was outstanding. The panoramic views through the wide glass veranda doors were simply breathtaking. Our room was one of three suites at Casas Brancas. Ours had the benefit of a 2nd bedroom (with amazing ocean views, twin bed and TV) as well as a very nice sized covered balcony (with hammock) and a nice sized bathroom with its own private garden-view balcony! This suite offered a lot of overall privacy. The total size of this suite measures 52 square meters per the hotel reservations department. For the record, the other two suites are # 14 and # 18. # 14 has an enormous (sunny) veranda, although not especially private. As well, the interior square footage of # 14 is smaller due to the huge size of its veranda. The total size of # 14 is 81 square meters. But again, much of that is dedicated to the veranda. #14 also has a 2nd bed within the suite, although it is not contained in a separate room like with # 21. Suite # 18 has a private outdoor jacuzzi and a nice sized veranda. This suite measures 54 square meters. The two guests we bumped into that were staying in # 18 said that they loved their room. Because of the private outdoor jacuzzi we will likely try # 18 when we return in July 2007. As it pertains to the quality of the beds (some people have complained), they ARE very firm. I, on the other hand, like firm beds and didn't have a problem with that. I can see, however, that for some they might be too hard.
In regards to the food, the complimentary breakfasts each morning were a very special treat. There were many things to choose from and everything looked and tasted GREAT. We ate dinner at their restaurant once and we were also very impressed. (I had the duck and loved it. I can't recall what my friend ate).
In regards to the location of Casas Brancas, it is similarly located to other fine pousadas that are mentioned on this website. Villa d'Este was right next door, as an example. We toured that pousada, by the way. I LOVED the overall "garden oasis" feel they provide, although I was disappointed that so few rooms had ocean views. Casas Brancas, on the other hand, has ocean views from almost every location in the pousada. (Casas Brancas is on a very wide lot vs. a narrow lot). Walking distance to downtown Buzios is about 5 - 7 minutes along the popular oceanfront boardwalk. So, walking to the shops and restaurants is always a treat. As others have said, hardly any of the pousadas in Buzios are truly oceanfront. However, because you are actually perched a bit higher (on somewhat of a hillside) the views are actually BETTER than if you were sitting at the water's edge. (My opinion anyway).
I would rate Casas Brancas as one of the best places I have ever stayed at. Considering that I have stayed at places that cost considerably more, I consider Casas Brancas to be an incredible value. We stayed 4 nights and paid under three hundred dollars per night. Again, this was for one of their most expensive (and largest) rooms. This was in mid-December, right when high season was beginning. I booked our room through a third party website (i-escape). Surprisingly it was more expensive to book directly through the hotel.
I will include some photos in my review. I wish that my photos could do justice to our experience. We loved our time in Buzios and at Casas Brancas. I'm SOOOOO glad I chose this town and pousada. I did a lot of research beforehand and it certainly paid off. Again, 5 stars in every regard.
Exceptional Staff, Fabulous Hotel
Let me start by saying that Buzios is amazing! Casas Brancas is in a great location and the restaurant has a beautiful view of the water. What a great way to wake up in the morning. The hotel is welcoming and although it could perhaps use a little updating, whatever little bit the hotel may lack in updating is clearly surpassed by the amazingly friendly and always helpful front desk staff. Sebastian will help you choose all the right restaurants and activities. He really is the best. My wife and I would go back in a heartbeat (in fact, we would love to go back again and again)! The reviews in all of the magazines about Casas Brancas are right on!
To all at Casas Brancas, we are so sorry it took us so long to write a review. We miss you all.
All the best,
Your New York friends who missed our first day because of the air traffic controller's hunger strike in Sao Paulo!
We stayed at Casas Brancas in May 2007 on a Honeymoon trip to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The room was very nice, with a small but functional bathroom, but the patio overlooking the water was incredible. The patio had two private lounge chairs, a shaded seating area, and the most amazing sunsets you can imagine. Hotel service was excellent and the restaurant is probably the best in Buzios. The spa was not the best we've ever seen, but massages were pretty good. I would definately reccomend the hotel, and Buzios in general as an ideal romantic getaway. One piece of advice is to be careful with the oysters on the beach. The first day they were great, but the second day they made us very sick.
Great place to stay!
As someone who has worked in hotel management in the USA for several years I can confidently say that Casas Brancas is a an exceptional hotel establishment in both service and offerings.
THE STAFF: From check-in to check-out I was thoroughly impressed with the personal approach taken. In addition, there were always staff available to assist you. The front desk staff speaks English and we never had a difficulty in communicating our needs to anyone.
POUSADA LOCATION: Located within just a few minutes stroll of downtown Buzios. Honestly, I don't think you could ask for a better location. I would have very much disliked having to drive to downtown Buzios every day OR to be staying right in downtown Buzios. The close proximity made it possible for us to leisurely walk into town for at least 1 - 2 meals per day, to check out the shops we didn't visit the day before and so on.
ROOMS: Our room was very clean and the housekeeping services were discretely provided two times per day. The views were astonishing. As some reviewers have mentioned, request a room on an "upper" floor if you wish to avoid any disturbances from tourists strolling down the boardwalk at night. Our room was located on an upper level and we never heard any voices or noises. The mattresses appear to be new and of very high quality. However, they are more firm than the typical mattress in the USA. Our A/C worked great and was quiet. Our room also had a small safe which was very useful. Housekeeping even called the front desk to inform them that we left our safe open one morning. As we were leaving the pousada we were immediately informed so that we could return to our room to lock the safe.
FOOD: The breakfasts were simply delightful. We looked forward to our breakfasts each morning. There is nothing like having your first meal of the day in one of the most beautiful locations in Brazil. The selection is very good and includes fresh fruits and juices as well as hot and cold food items. We never left hungry or dissatisfied.
OVERALL: I have very few complaints about this establishment. Although we did have an error with housekeeping (our towels were not fully restocked one morning), the service provided was essentially 4 - 5 star. As one reviewer has mentioned, Casas Brancas is probably one of the better places to stay in Buzios, if not among the top 1 - 2 places to stay. My only recommendation is that they have a limit on the amount of time each guest can use the guest computer for internet access when someone else is waiting. But, then again, this is a common problem at most hotels I've stayed at.
Depends what you're expecting
We went to Pousada Casas Brancas for a part of our honeymoon.
Trying to discard other factors from my review (e.g. local travel agency ruining the booking from our UK agency so we didnt have the deluxe room for our entire stay) I have to recommend the hotel to people, but with some reservations.
On the good side:
The setting is magnificent
The rooms, common areas and spa are beautifully maintained
The restaurant serves a lovely inclusive breakfast as well as a restaurant serving some of the best food in Buzios for lunch and dinner
The staff are unfaillingly lovely and helpful in our experience
However, we were just a little disappointed overall.
My big problem however is with it as a honeymoon (or other super romantic holiday) destination. Unless you have the Deluxe suite it isn't particularly private. The pool is very small and we didnt really use it but I felt a little too close to other people's conversations sometimes when lounging around.
The real beauty in Buzios in a destination lies in the ability to reach other beaches on the peninsula. I would recommend renting a buggy through reception (slightly more expensive than in town, but safer in my opinion) to tour around.
Unless you're willing to splash out for the best room as a romantic destination I would consider going somewhere else.
On the other hand it is a wonderful boutique residence perfect for those who aren't looking for too much privacy and proximity to the Buzios scene.
A little gem
My wife and I spent 2 weeks in Rio and apart from the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and Sugar Loaf Mountain we felt that Rio did not have much going for it as a holiday resort.If you just want a beach holiday then Copacabana beach is the preferred one of the two.There was also the language barrier as 99% of Rio is Portuguese spoken and they have a big problem in understanding the English language - which is strange if they are depending on tourism.Anyway we were to spend our final week in a smaller resort called Buzios which is a couple of hours drive northwards from Rio.After Rio we were a wee bit apprehensive and the entrance into Buzios itself did nothing to quell our fears.However as we approached the cobbled roads area of Buzios we knew that we were going to love this place.Most of the Buzios hotels are small hotels called Pousadas and the one we stayed in - the Casas Brancas was one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in.Their views overlooking the bay was breathtaking and their breakfasts are second to none.The hotel staff are so friendly especially the receptionist Sebastian who couldn't do enough for you.Their restaurant was one of the finest we visited during our stay and we could not fault the hotel at all.If you get the chance to stay there try and get the room with the private terrace - you would think you were in heaven.So if you are planning going to Brazil on holiday I would just give Rio a couple of days sight seeing e.g Sugar Loaf mountain and spend the rest of your time in the little haven called Buzios - I promise you will not be disappointed.
relaxin, away from the city!
Cobbleston covers more than 70% of the city , the land of buggys , great surf, and argentine land owners! A few hours bus ride from rio de janeiro and a beautiful hunk of paradise! A very proper city don't expect and sleezy prostitution this is a very respectable and clean place to tour!
Casas brancas was a very nice pousada! also abracadabra right next door!