Armação dos Búzios, Brasil
A beautiful peninsula jutting off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Armação dos Búzios, often referred to simply as Búzios, may be the perfect destination for Royal Holiday members looking to experience tropical tranquility. While it was once largely the domain of Rio urbanites seeking a break from the city, Búzios was propelled to fame in the 1960s when French actress Brigitte Bardot visited the city and declared it a paradise. Today, it is one of Brazil’s most welcoming resort towns. Royal Holiday travelers who want to eschew the bustle of tourist hotspots in favor of sophistication and peacefulness will find that they agree with Bardot: Búzios really is paradise.
Set among a charming Atlantic woodland grove, the Pousada Villa Mercedes serves as the Royal Holiday affiliate in Búzios. Just a short walk from big beaches like Azedinha and Ossos, the hotel offers the finest in resort luxury with its handsome views of ocean sunsets and a courtyard pool. Featuring all the usual in-room amenities in handsome studio-style rooms, including coffee machines, televisions, and blissful air conditioning, it is the perfect location for a romantic getaway.
The early history of Búzios includes battles for control from French, British, and Portuguese colonists. By the 18th century, the bustle of trade in Guanabara Bay made the sleepy fishing village into a noted port. Many of its beaches’ names can be traced back to its early history, as well as the city’s name itself. “Armação dos Búzios” refers to the whaling practices that were common in this era. By the 1900s, the city’s fame was already growing among the Rio upper classes, and the rest is history. Now, Búzios stands as one of the best resort cities in Brazil, with its relaxed culture and laidback attitude creating the perfect atmosphere for Royal Holiday members to unwind.
Naturally, the beaches are the main draw for most visitors. Geribá Beach, with its big waves, offers excellent surfing, and it often serves as home of the city’s biggest parties. Individuals looking to enjoy doing nothing but soaking up the sun all day will want to seek out Joäo Fernandes Beach, where kiosks will bring your meals right to your beach chair or towel, while getting you away from everything except the sun and surf will travel to Azeda Beach, an incredibly beautiful locale without any of the big parties or bustling restaurants of other seaside paradises. For those looking to get up and explore Búzios, the region offers numerous ecological wonders, ranging from the Tauá Ecologic Reserve to the Ponta da Lagoinha, the latter of which features astounding rock formations and rare flora and fauna.
Royal Holiday travelers seeking a little culture in this resort city will not be disappointed. The Rua das Pedras, or “Stone Street,” offers shoppers the chance to find fashionable beachwear while browsing stores, restaurants, and art galleries, while numerous small inns dotting the area offer rustic delights aplenty. Golfers will find an excellent course that spans a million square meters, while gourmands will enjoy four-star dining options like Chez Michour and Satyricon. Of course, even paradise can become routine after a few visits, so more adventurous travelers will enjoy taking a trip outside the city. Cabo Frio, a 30-minute drive from Búzios, offers visitors the chance to see the Forte São Matheus, while the nearby Sana and Casemiro de Abreu are excellent for those looking for adventures like horseback riding and whitewater rafting. Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro, one of the most exciting cities in Latin America, is well worth a day trip for Royal Holiday members looking for more urban excitement.