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Brazil: Rio de Janeiro & Beyond

on my mind

Isolation Travel


s I’ve thought about where I want to go next year and listened to travelers explain what they are seeking in a trip, I have noticed a trend. At first I thought it could be dubbed anticrowding: the desire to go away from the whirl of the groups. But then I realized that it is more than that. What I want, and what I think others are beginning to recognize as the ultimate luxury, is an experience that delivers true isolation. On a recent trip to Morocco, starting in Marrakech and ending in Fez, I got a taste of this quiet indulgence, and it made me crave more of it. Marrakech is a city full of new energy and old friends, where I can go from browsing at my favorite jeweler in the souk to meeting a friend for lunch at the new expat hangout. Even after days of nonstop exploring, I never feel that I have enough time to see everything new or hit the stops that I have long loved. That may be why I go back every year. But this time, after my days in Marrakech, I headed south via the High Atlas Mountains’ Tichka Pass to Skoura oasis. Friends and members had raved about a small Relais & Chateaux hotel tucked into the desert, and I decided to make the five-hour trek to try it. The casbah-turned-hotel did not disappoint, offering gardens; exquisite rooms; a lovely spa; and the best food I’ve eaten in Morocco.


On the first afternoon, I set out into the palm groves with a local guide. We visited Berber potters and the dramatic 17th-century casbah, whose architecture is so iconic that it appears on the fifty-dirham note. At dusk we drove in a 4x4 into the desert that surrounds the green oasis. We stopped on a high rocky dune to watch the sunset beside a small coal fire over which Moroccan mint tea was brewing. We were miles away from other people, with no cell service, only the sound of the wind, having nothing to do but watch the moon rise behind us and the sun set before us, to feel the ground beneath us and the vastness above. There were no distractions from the beauty of the moment, and I realized that that is exactly what I would like more of—for myself, for my family, for my friends and my fellow travelers. It is so hard not to be distracted today by the frenetic pace of our life that the ultimate luxury is having time to focus and appreciate fully the place where you are or the people you are with. Being in an isolated place allows you to do all that in a pure way. In our first Black Book of 2014, I will be sharing some of the places where one can find true isolation—places that I want to visit next year.

Previous Page: courtesy matuete

From left: Melissa in the desert at Skoura oasis; a kasbah at Ourzarzate






16 28


 n My Mind O Isolation Travel

4-5 Country Getaways Escapes outside Paris

6-7 S  potlight Why Go Now: Sri Lanka



8-11 Active/Adventure Travel by Passion

12-15 S  potlight Just Back From... Barbados

16-17 Family New York City Holiday Favorites

18-19 Postcard Postcard from Vienna

20-21 Hotel Debut Awash in Aman

22-23 Just Back From... Captivated by China

24-25 Giving Back The Foundation for Tomorrow

28-56 D  estination Report Brazil: Rio de Janeiro & Beyond


The World of Indagare About Indagare Indagare comes from the Latin word that means to seek, scout, discover. Indagare Travel is a high-end travel company with robust online editorial content and a boutique in-house travel agency. We travel, we write, and we plan memorable journeys for our members. To learn about our travel community, visit or call 212-988-2611. Annual membership rates begin at $325.

Bookings At Indagare you can research ideas for a trip on our site and consult with a specialist on the phone or by email to create, refine or expand your itinerary. Our Bookings Team can help you with something as simple as a hotel room or as complex as creating a multistop itinerary. We also have special rates and amenities at hundreds of properties. Email bookings@ or call 212-988-2611.

Insider Trips Insider Trips are special journeys designed exclusively for Indagare members. With their insider access, mapped-out itineraries and exciting immersion in far-flung destinations, the trips offer members a rich and rewarding way to explore the world. Upcoming destinations include Bhutan, Cuba and Myanmar. For more information, call 646-963-2242 or email

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country getaways

Beyond Paris: Country Escapes

Less than an hour from Paris, Chantilly and Versailles are favorite day trips for families and couples. But Mara Hoberman checks in for the night at two new retreats.


n addition to elegant estates, picturesque gardens, and lovely walking trails, the area just outside Paris boasts two hotels that make spending the night (en famille or en amoureux) part of the experience.

Versailles: Les Etangs de Corot This hotel is well situated for a variety of activities—from a stroll in the landscape that served as a muse for French writers and artists to a visit to the magnificent palace of Versailles. Vibe: Country B&B charm meets stylish sophistication At a Glance: Easily accessible from Paris by train or car, Les Etangs de Corot is a delightful refuge where you can relax in country-chic accommodations, explore beautiful nature trails, feast at a gastronomic restaurant and get pampered in a world-class Caudalie Spa. Review: Les Etangs de Corot in Ville d’Avray is named for its historic setting overlooking the ponds and forests that inspired many great


painters and writers—notably the forefather of Impressionism, Camille Corot. Owned and operated by Alice and Jérôme Tourbier, who also run Les Source de Caudalie in Bordeaux, the hotel opened in 2008 and offers 43 rooms that combine upscale creature comforts with the charm and character of a country house. Alice Tourbier’s smart, original interior design integrates antique furniture with contemporary decorative accents. In a nod to the illustrious artists who spent time in Ville d’Avray, the guest rooms feature reproductions of 19thcentury French landscape paintings, while the lobby displays illustrations of birds and animals by contemporary artist Walton Ford that offer a modern take on nature-inspired art. The guest acommodations and public areas are airy and bright, thanks to large windows and glass doors. All are decorated with family heirlooms and flea market finds (worn leather club chairs, secretary desks, brass lamps), set off with modern flourishes like bold Farrow & Ball patterned

Courtesy auberge du jeu de paum; les etangs de corot

Left to right: Auberge du Jeu de Paum; Les Etangs de Corot

wallpaper and oversized mirrors. Les Etangs de Corot incorporates wine into all aspects of the hotel experience. For example, the long windowed hallway connecting the reception area to the bar/lounge is lined with 2,500 empty green bottles from the family’s château, Smith Haut-Lafitte. There are even wine-related indulgences in the hotel’s spa treatments, which feature products derived from grape vines as well as the grapes themselves. Rooms to Get: Some guest rooms look over the hotel’s main entrance onto the street, but those on the opposite side are better for their views of the forest and the lily-pad-covered pond. Indagare Tip: If you are visiting Versailles in the summer, it’s worth making a reservation at Les Paillotes, located on a covered terrace overlooking the scenic greenery and pond. Guests can dine en plein air on summer fare like pea and mint gazpacho, sea bass à la plancha and strawberries and cream. Who Should Stay: Couples who want to escape city life for a night or two without committing to a long drive will appreciate the fresh air, proximity to Versailles and luxurious spa treatments. Read Indagare’s review.

Chantilly: Auberge du Jeu de Paume Offering more than whipped cream and lace, Chantilly is a great weekend destination for history buffs, art lovers, equestrians and epicures. Vibe: Regal, privileged, pampered At a Glance: Opened in 2012, the five-star hotel Auberge du Jeu de Paume has brought a new level of contemporary luxury to Chantilly—making it a stylish weekend getaway destination. Review: Located across from the majestic 18th century stables originally built for Louis-Henri de Bourbon, the Auberge du Jeu de Paume plays up its historic setting by offering guests a modern-day “royal treatment.” Just twenty-

minutes from Paris’s Gare du Nord, Chantilly feels a world away. The hotel’s interior design pays tribute to the Chateau’s treasures with reproductions of paintings and furniture adorning the guestrooms and public areas. (The concierge desk, for example, is modeled after the Duke d’Aumale’s private library.) Guestrooms balance old-style luxury with contemporary comfort. Accents like French toile and tasseled sateen drapes offer a taste 18th-century French finery, but not at the cost of feeling like you are staying in a museum. All of the rooms are bright, airy, and comfy—equipped with flat-screen TVs, movies-on-demand, Wifi, and coffee makers. The large bathrooms feature beautiful glass mirrors custom-made in Murano, Carrera marble floors, separate tub and shower, and delectable Hermès products. Highlights include the Michelin-starred restaurant and spa with five treatment rooms, a small pool with attached Jacuzzi, a steam room and sauna. Talented chef Arnaud Faye presides over the open kitchen at Le Table du Connétable, and his gift for unexpected flavor combinations and artistic presentation have made this a destination restaurant. Like the rest of the hotel, the dining room has dramatic flair. The waiters may be dressed in tailcoats, but it’s the culinary creations that steal the show. Who Should Stay: Families will find plenty of kid-friendly activities in Chantilly such as the Musée Condé and the horse museum, located across from the hotel. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will be eqully happy here. Indagare Tip: The hotel is just a five-minute walk from the Domaine de Chantilly with its famed art collection and Le Notre-designed gardens. Read Indagare’s review. Read the complete reviews at and contact the Bookings Team for help planning a trip.



Why Go Now: Sri Lanka Secluded beaches, friendly locals and rustic beauty: Indagare Insider Stephanie von Watzdorf tells us why Sri Lanka is “the next Bali.”


ri Lanka has experienced much recent hardship, including the 2004 tsunami, which devastated this tropical island nation, as well as a lengthy civil war, just recently resolved. Despite all this, the country, about eighteen miles off the southeastern coast of India, has quietly been transforming, thanks to dedicated rebuilding efforts and growth. Indagare insider Stephanie von Watzdorf recently visited and returned raving about the up-and-coming destination, which she dubs the next Bali. Having spent much of her childhood in Europe, Stephanie cut her fashion teeth with an Yves Saint Laurent internship in Paris. Today she’s known for her impeccable style, which comes through in the globally inspired womenswear brand she founded, Figue. Indagare spoke to the frequent traveler about why Sri Lanka should be on the lists of savvy globetrotters. What prompted this trip to Sri Lanka? I’ve wanted to go to Sri Lanka since I was a


child. In my mind it was this magical kingdom with beautiful people and incredible jewels. I travel to India a lot, and it’s so close it would have been crazy not to go once. It was interesting to see, because I think it’s going to be a real hot spot for travelers in the coming years. Sri Lanka is still developing, and although parts are sophisticated, others are very raw and untouched. The country has been ravaged by hurricanes and tsunamis, so it is in a period of regrowth and modernization. How did you map out your itinerary and what were your stops? I knew I wanted to visit Colombo, Galle and the coastline and spend about two to three days in each spot, which turned out to be the perfect amount of time. I’d read a lot about Galle [a UNESCO World Heritage site], so I wanted to see it firsthand. I was very impressed, and our hotel, Dutch House ( dutch.html), was an adorable little property

courtesy Michael lucas; the dutch house; Christine johnson

Left to right: An outdoor temple in Galle; the pool at the Dutch House; von Watzdorf.

with majestic rooms teeming with antiques. In Colombo I stayed at an überchic hotel called the Titangel ( tintagel), which had a lovely colonial feel. I went to some events at really big hotels that were in need of major refurbishments, so I would definitely recommend that travelers stay in boutique hotels in Sri Lanka. Our third stop was the coastal town Bentota, where we stayed at Villa Bentota ( The refurbished villa is perched right on the beach with a beautiful outdoor seating area overlooking the coastline. We had to traverse two railroad tracks to get to the long, massive beach–a beautiful

You have to go with the flow, so if you’re curious and interested in witnessing a country in the midst of a cultural renaissance, the lack of superluxurious amenities won’t matter. I think Sri Lanka could be the next Bali, that’s how impressed I was. There’s enormous regrowth after the tsunami and some really chic places. In ten years it will be in every magazine, and chic travelers will flock there. Was there anything you wish you had known before leaving on your trip? The food was kind of tricky there—it was good but not great. I would describe it as somewhat uninspired Indian food, and it definitely leaves

The lush, vibrant palm trees were incredible. I would sit with my tea and watch the trees move, mesmerized by how they swayed in the wind like belly dancers. It was truly magical, and made even more so by the fact that they grew back with such vigor after being destroyed just years ago. adventure and a study in contrasts. The Sri Lankan people were so friendly and welcoming. For many, meeting us was their first encounter with Americans. For us, interacting with the locals was truly one of the most memorable parts of the trip. We had a tuk-tuk driver in Galle who was so kind and helpful that we hired him for the rest of our time in the city. He even wanted to take us to his house to meet his family and make us dinner! What kinds of travelers would you recommend a Sri Lanka trip to? Sri Lanka is best for a sophisticated traveler who is not too particular. The service is a little slow; there aren’t always high-end amenities like gyms, and the air-conditioning can be spotty, so a trip to Sri Lanka requires patience.

a bit to be desired. Also, we visited in the spring, when it is insanely hot. I would say the weather around Christmas would be better. Where are you traveling next? I’m going to Brazil soon and to Kenya. I’m going to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a haven for baby elephants to which we donate some of our proceeds. The trust is dedicated to protecting elephants from the rampant, horrendous poaching going on all over Africa. I’ll be on safari for a couple days after that, and then I will finally visit Lamu, a fabulous little island off the coast of Kenya where my father often vacations. I’ve been dying to go. Read many more dispatches from members’ travels in Southeast Asia at



Travel by Passion When planning your next vacation, instead of brainstorming destinations, brainstorm passions. Indagare’s Emma Pierce introduces a new way to travel.


the world’s most famous and lively racetracks, study the components of haute école at a storied dressage institute, or make like the British royals at their favorite polo club.

Equestrian Excursions

Kentucky Derby Travel to Churchill Downs for “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” and turn those fleeting moments into a weekend of fun around the first and most famous leg of the U.S. Triple Crown. Stay: 21c Museum Hotel.

Many horseback-riding trips are colored by the rider’s equine ability—can you canter? gallop?—but riders of all levels can enjoy these adventures, both spirited and educational. For a convenient equestrian holiday, visit one of

Vienna’s Spanish Riding School Since the Hapsburgs founded it in 1572, the school of classical equitation has been a leader in haute école, in which Lipizzan stallions execute an

incredible array of moves, which derive from medieval battle moves. Stay: Hotel Sacher Wien. Guards Polo Club The preferred polo club of British royalty, Guards is located just outside London on 130 acres of land that include 10 polo fields, stables, paddocks and a clubhouse complete with a Royal viewing box. Matches run between May and September. Stay in London: The Connaught or in the countryside: Coworth Park. Western Dude Ranch The 6,600 acres that surround Montana’s Ranch at Rock Creek are a rider’s dream, with steep mountains, gentle hillsides, fairy-tale pine forests,

courtesy paws up; belize tourism board


hether your daughter is horse obsessed or your husband is a scuba-diving aficionado, amp up the adventure by visiting one of these activity-specific destinations. Indagare rounds up four passions worthy of planning a trip around and couples each destination with nearby Indagare-adored properties, so your next vacation can be both exciting and indulgent.

From left: Horseback riding at Paws Up; Scuba diving in Belize; Machu Picchu

seemingly endless meadows and a river that runs through it all. Estancia, Argentina Set in the serene pampas just outside Buenos Aires, La Bamba de Areco is a traditional estancia overflowing with gaucho history and complete with two polo fields.

Stargazing “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground,” Theodore Roosevelt once advised, and we add, do so surrounded by wildlife and wide-open plains. The most important elements for spectacular stargazing—clear skies, low light pollution and dry, crisp air—are understandably hard to find in the developed

world. Secluded destinations offer unparalleled skies. Atacama Desert, Chile People come to the proclaimed “driest place on earth,” 5,000feet above sea level, to take in the striking topography and biological rarities. This unique ecosystem is home to several astrological observatories and the ALMA, the groundbreaking radio telescope expected to open to visitors in 2014. Stay: Alto Atacama, Awasi or Explora Atacama. Namib Desert, Namibia In 2012 the NamibRand Nature Reserve was declared a gold-tier International Dark-Sky Reserve, taking its place among the, well, stars of astronomy destinations. The

region offers the full array of visible astronomical phenomena, including auroras, airglows, the Milky Way, zodiacal light and faint meteors. Stay: Sossusvlei Desert Reserve. Mauna Kea, Hawaii The summit of Mauna Kea volcano, nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, affords breathtaking views of the clouds below and clear skies above. A sacred landmark according to Hawaiian mythology, Mauna Kea is home to thirteen observatories, including Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Station. Stay: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Hiking Highlights People often seem more focused on getting somewhere


insider qa

From left: Explora Atacama; Mount Everest; La Bamba de Areco

Machu Picchu is as the Incas did: hiking the Inca Trail up to Apu Machu Picchu’s summit, which rewards the hiker with panoramic views of the ancient city. Stay: Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Great Wall of China Who better to guide you along China’s formidable protective wall than a Brit who has run the length of it? An expert on all things China and a dedicated preservationist, Indagare’s favorite Great Wall specialist offers guided hikes along the snaking wall and through the surrounding areas. Stay: Park Hyatt Beijing, or contact Indagare to arrange overnight accommodations near the wall.

Out West At Utah’s Amangiri, the remote location is both a blessing and curse. The property provides access to an abundance of hikes for beginners and intermediates, including the rigorous Cave Peak Via Ferrata. The surrounding area is teeming with outdoor adventures, and the Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park are within driving distance. However, recently members have complained about the lodge’s service, particularly at the restaurant, a detractor, since due to the isolated locale, guests will have most of their meals on-property.

Machu Picchu, Peru A feat of incredible engineering, this 15th-century Inca site remains relatively intact. The best way to experience


Italian Dolomites These gorgeous mountains, punctuating the Italian countryside, are composed of a carbonate rock called dolomite, a unique material that is responsible for the dramatic peaks and vertical walls. Charm and personality infuse the Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, whose guests can trek to and explore the caves and tunnels carved into the mountains during World War I. Mount Everest The trail that leads to Mount Everest is still the one that was blazed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 on their way to becoming the first to summit the world’s highest peak. The fourteen-day trek to Everest Base Camp is not considered particularly difficult by Himalayan standards, but the views are outstanding. Stay: Yeti Mountain Lodges.

courtesy explora atacama; nepal tourism board

than stopping to enjoy the scenery. But taking the path less traveled and earning the satisfaction that comes from making an honest effort earns you a great journey and spectacular views.

Daredevil Dives

courtesy La Bamba de Areco

These stunning, sometimes scary, certainly unforgettable dive sites located around the world are paired with luxurious island resorts for a vacation that is both relaxing and adventurous. Great Blue Hole, Belize This 407-foot-deep submarine sinkhole, lying just off the coast of Belize, is perhaps the region’s most unusual feature. Formed during the last Ice Age, the undersea abyss is home to caves and multicolored stalagmites. Because of the crystal-clear waters, divers can easily spot schools of fish and reef sharks, as well as the occasional hammerhead and bull shark. Stay: Matachica Resort & Spa, which arranges day trips to the unique dive site.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia The Great Barrier Reef is a diver’s paradise, and the SS Yongala Wreck offers and unforgettable experience, including history and thrills. A cyclone sent the passenger ship to the bottom of the Coral Sea in 1911. The liner, which has since become an artificial reef, remains mostly intact, with artifacts from its final voyage still in place. In winter months, whales can be heard and spotted near the shipwreck. Stay: Hayman, Qualia or Orpheus Island. Similian Islands, Thailand Located in the Andaman Sea just off the coast of Thailand, these islands are surrounded by beautiful water teeming with big fish. Elephant Head Rock provides divers with a unique experience: naturally occurring stone arches line the ocean floor sheltering an abundance of marine life,

including black-tip, white-tip and leopard sharks, as well as manta rays. Because the dive is not particularly deep or dangerous (although there are strong currents), novices and advanced divers can explore together. Other notable dive sites among the islands include East of Eden, North Point, and Deep Six. Stay: Amanpuri. To read Indagare’s reviews on all of the above destinations, including tips on where to stay, eat, shop and what to see and do, visit www. For help planning a trip by passion, contact Indagare’s bookings team at 212-288-2611 or Indagare members can consult with a specialist for something as simple as booking a hotel room or as complex as creating a multi-stop itinerary. We have special rates and amenities at hundreds of properties worldwide. We also have fantastic contacts around the world and design personalized itineraries, with suggestions for restaurants, shops, driver and guides. For members, there is no booking fee.



Just Back From… Barbados Stunning beaches, meaningful traditions and an emphasis on gentility come together in Barbados, Amelia Osborne found, falling in love at first sight.


n the third hour of our stay at the elegant yet supremely comfortable Coral Reef Club, my friend turned to me and pronounced, “I have a major crush on Barbados.” I agreed. The island has everything: one coast with soft, lapping Caribbean waves and another with dramatic Atlantic surf; world-class golf courses, restaurants, spas, shopping and fun spots for after-dinner revelry; a rich history and a culture of graciousness and of style. Each of the world’s destinations has a personality, and every place I’ve ever visited has a fingerprint, good or bad. Like meeting a new person, an initial visit to a place produces a


first impression that can go either way. To my delight, a recent trip to Barbados revealed that the island marries the chilled-out, relaxed vibe of the Caribbean with the mannered charm of England. A personification would be a dignified, intellectual, relaxed man who wears linen clothing and loafers (no socks). Just as a person’s hometown helps mold his or her character, Barbados’s geography has shaped its development. One hundred miles east of the other Lesser Antilles, the island is closer to Venezuela than to Florida. As a result, it has a distinctly tropical landscape. Visitors are more likely to see a monkey cross the road

courtesy coral reef club

The beach and rooms at Coral Reef Club

than a bicyclist, and the rainforest-like Bajan topography is marked by numerous gullies, caves, hills and vales. The lush greenery encouraged the cultivation of sugarcane, which produced associated infrastructure and significant wealth. The island is fortunate, moreover, in being largely shielded by its southeastern location from hurricanes, which has meant that residents and the social scene are year-round, not just seasonal. And like the child of parents from different countries, Barbados has developed a bicultural sensibility, part English, part Caribbean. For centuries Brits came to the island, attracted by its financial success, weather and colonial splendor and brought with them grand architecture, furnishings and a very English sense of proper decorum, plus traditions like afternoon tea and cricket. (Fun fact: the Concorde had only four main hubs: New York, London, Paris and Barbados.) But the Caribbean ethos reigns supreme, as witness the steel bands that accompany many dinners, the warmth exuded by locals, the slow pace of life and the importance placed on relaxing outdoors. The result is an island nation with an old soul and with very specific priorities: manners, tradition, nature and the cocktail hour. What more could a girl ask for?

and Cindy Crawford. The scenery is also pretty grand. There’s a relatively uncrowded swath of beach, and tropical gardens surround the main coral limestone building. Guest rooms are full of dark wood, cream marble, heavy curtains and Napoleonic canopy beds with “SL” embroidered sheets, creating an atmosphere that people find either sumptuous or dated and incompatible with the setting. The hotel has three golf courses, four restaurants, a 47,000-square-foot spa, a collection of boutiques, an extensive Kids Club and organized sports clinics for teenagers. Who Should Stay: Those who want to be in the center of the island’s glamorous action and who don’t mind dressing up for meals or paying hefty premiums for refreshments and activities. Read Indagare’s review. Best for the understated couple: Coral Reef Club The Coral Reef feels more like a posh country club or expertly run family compound than a beach resort.

Watersport hut at Coral Reef Club

courtesy coral reef club

STAY Best for the glamour set: Sandy Lane For better or worse, everything at Sandy Lane is over the top, from the guests’ wardrobes (Jimmy Choo sandals outnumber flip flops) to the hotels’ amenities (Bentleys provide airport transfers). In the early 20th century, the hotel was mostly a playground for British royalty. Today’s A-list guests include princes and queens, as well as celebs like Simon Cowell, Donatella Versace



Sandy Lane’s Green Monkey golf course and the beach at Sandpiper

Best for families: Sandpiper The Sandpiper, owned by the same family as the Coral Reef Club, radiates ease and stylish comfort, with a family-friendly vibe.


Located within walking distance of Barbados’s most charming hamlet, Holetown, the Sandpiper is convenient but still elegant. With seemingly endless possibilities for connecting the forty-four guest rooms, a well-located pool and a protected beach, the hotel is supremely familyfriendly; some suites even have full kitchens. As at the Coral Reef Club, many water sports are complimentary, and the casual restaurant and bar are open throughout the day. Who Should Stay: Travelers looking for understated elegance and who do not need a scene. Read Indagare’s review. Best for friends: Fairmont Royal Pavilion A family-friendly resort vibe pervades this pinkhued hotel, set on one of the prettiest beaches in Barbados. The best value on Barbados must be the Fairmont’s Royal Pavilion, located toward the northern end of the island’s west coast. Seventytwo large, chic rooms open to terraces that give directly onto the beach or private decks. The sprawling entrance and lobby are a study in open-air, flow-through architecture. The pink façade, terracotta roof tiles and tiled floors add slightly old-fashioned grandeur to the relaxed beach vibe. Guests have access to the excellent Royal Westmoreland course nearby, and non-

courtesy sandy lane; sandpiper

This hotel could be mistaken for a member’sonly enclave, so discreet and lovely are the property and service. The eighty-eight guest rooms are spread among little cottages and twostory buildings scattered throughout a maze of gardens and pathways. Each boasts a slightly different decor, but all reflect the property’s “elegantly informal” dress code. Families and large groups can choose from a wide array of room combinations and villas. Lush tropical landscaping gives each building a secluded feel, and most rooms have garden views, so be sure to request accommodations close to the water or the Luxury Plantation Suites. Tennis and nonmotorized water sports are complimentary, and the restaurant, set directly on the water, is a relaxed spot for meals as well as sunset cocktails. The perfectly appointed spa is a favorite among guests, as well as people who have houses on the island. Who Should Stay: Groups of friends appreciate the close but separate rooms; couples enjoy the discreet luxurious privacy. Read Indagare’s review. Read Indagare’s review.

Daphne’s Like the famed London restaurant of which it is an offshoot, this formal Barbados eatery draws (mostly British) celebrities. The decor is simple and stylish, with teak walls and a hip bar/lounge area in the front, and the menu is primarily Italian. Paynes Bay, St. James; 246-432-2731. Read Indagare’s review. Lone Star A favorite beachside restaurant, located in a former repair garage, Lonestar the Caribbean equivalent of St.-Tropez’s Club 55. Recently renovated, the restaurant has fresh, breezy decor , delicious food and fun music. Mount Standfast, St. James; 246-419-0599. Read Indagare’s review. motorized water sports at the nearly mile-long beach are complimentary. Who Should Stay: Those looking for good value and visitors who like to be slightly removed from the action. Read Indagare’s review.

EAT The Cliff The hardest table to snag in high season is at the Cliff, an open-air restaurant where fans come for the setting as well as the food. Dishes are contemporary Caribbean, and menus are prix fixe. Stairs lead to the beach for the incoming yachts. Derricks, St. James; 246-432-1922; L’Acajou The signature restaurant of Sandy Lane, L’Acajou is dignified and fairly formal. The cuisine is Continental with an Asian flair. Sandy Lane, St. James; 246-444-2000. Read Indagare’s review.

The Fish Pot Located inside the Little Good Harbour Hotel in a small fishing community, the Fish Pot is a bit north of the west coast’s main drag. Request a table in the back overlooking the water. Shermans, St. Peter; 246-439-3000. Read Indagare’s review. The Tides One of Holetown’s hottest eateries, the Tides is in a former villa with a tree house and gazebo dining areas. The menu is contemporary Caribbean emphasizing seafood. Balmore House, St. James; 246-432-8356. Read Indagare’s review. Cin Cin Offering sleek, sexy, Miami Beach–style dining, Cin Cin makes for a fun night out. The Continental cuisine highlights fresh seafood, and the plates are as chic as the interiors. Request a table on the deck. Prospect Road, St. James; 246-424-4557. Read Indagare’s review.

Villas Many Barbados visitors seeking privacy or traveling with a group prefer to stay in a fully staffed villa. Houses available for rent run from one-room cottages to eight-room mansions and are dotted around the island. Indagare has scouted several villas available for rent. Contact our bookings team for help finding the right property.



NYC Holiday Favorites Who better to share some favorite off-the-beaten-path holiday suggestions for the Big Apple than the travel-savvy Indagare staff, all proud New Yorkers?


his year make new traditions by breaking the old. Time-honored classics are beloved for a reason, but overlooked insider favorites and hip newcomers deserve some attention this holiday season. From an adored hotel that will deliver Christmas trees to your room complete with trimmings, hot cocoa and mulled wine to a boutique teeming with stocking stuffers located in a elegant uptown neighborhood, the Indagare team exposes some of New York’s best-kept holiday secrets.

For Gourmands: Ditch your standing reservations, and try a meal at an exciting newcomer: the East Pole, a homey Upper East Side addition starring the chef from the Fat Radish; Betony, a shiny spot in


Midtown helmed by the Eleven Madison Park’s former sous-chef; and the Italian restaurant Carbone in Greenwich Village that wows with exceptional dishes from culinary heavyweights Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi.

For Fashionistas: Trade the crowded emporiums of Fifth Avenue for chic boutiques like Fivestory, appropriately housed in a five-floor town house on the Upper East Side. The curated collection comprises pieces that owner Claire Distenfeld has amassed during her worldwide travels. Specialty shop Henry Beguelin sells all things leather and has attracted a following of cognoscenti who appreciate the discretion of its leather handbags, identified only by a small metal figurine. Tinsel,

courtesy betony; greenwich hotel; quin hotel; east pole

Clockwise from top right: a rooms at the Quin and Greenwich Hotel; a dish at East Pole; Betony

a downtown favorite that just relocated uptown, sells coveted paper goods and seasonal gifts.

For Families: Let the kids do the work at Haven’s Kitchen, where families can take cooking classes together. Patrons can tackle gift giving: leave the holiday-themed Edible Gifts and Holiday Favors class with homemade soda syrups, preserves and fudge for the luckiest on your list. There are also child-only classes, such as a gingerbread tutorial, which provides an afternoon of babysitting that is both educational (for them) and relaxing (for you). Or cater to your own inner child with hot cocoa at L.A. Burdick, in lieu of the popular, but overcrowded, Serendipity.

For Homey Comfort: Check into the Quin, a chic new hotel in Midtown two blocks from Central Park. The 205room property has a Georgia O’Keeffe–inspired suite featuring an earth-tone color scheme. The Greenwich Hotel offers a downtown retreat, and an alternative to joining the hordes that throng around Rockefeller Center’s tree: to ensure a fun-filled holiday stay, the hotel will deliver Christmas trees to guest rooms and provide the necessary ornaments, as well as cookies, hot chocolate and mulled wine.

For a Night Out: The Nutcracker is a classic, but ballet connoisseurs and those looking for something different should sample Alvin Ailey’s holiday lineup, which includes the choreographer’s own works as well as those of others; British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Chroma is sure to be a hit. Across the East River, the Brooklyn Academy of Music presents opera and theater performances, as well as innovative dance programs; an upcoming production inspired by Zora Neale

Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain fuses holiday tradition with modern dance. Frank Langella’s upcoming turn as King Lear is widely anticipated.

For Holiday Cheer: The Park Avenue Tree Lighting Ceremony (December 8) is always beautiful and festive, but for something off the beaten path, check out the Swedish Santa Lucia concert (December 15), a less crowded, more authentic event, complete with caroling and Swedish canapés. St. Bartholomew’s Church offers evening Christmas caroling throughout the holiday season, as well as a family-friendly staged reading of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, guaranteed to transform children into angels during the weeks before Christmas.

Betony 41 West 57th Street 212 465 2400

L.A. Burdick 5 East 20th Street 212 796 0143

BAM Harvey Theater 651 Fulton Street

St. Bartholomew’s Church 325 Park Avenue

Carbone 181 Thompson Street 212 254 3000 Fivestory 18 East 69th Street 212 288 1338 Haven’s Kitchen 109 West 17th Street 212 929 7900 Henry Beguelin 30 Charles Street 212 647 8415

The East Pole 133 East 65th Street 212 249 2222 home The Greenwich Hotel 377 Greenwich Street The Quin 101 West 57th Street 212 245 7846 Tinsel 828 Lexington Avenue 212 730 1030



Postcard from Vienna


uten Tag! We left Vienna this morning, and I think it’s safe to say that we’re already anticipating our return trip(s) to that amazing city! We loved Prague, but we immediately noticed that Vienna has far fewer tourists and is wonderfully uncrowded in comparison. Each street we wandered down was as charming as the one before. We stayed at a very cool, albeit strangely decorated, hotel, 25 Hours in the Museum Quarter. Among its features were a chic rooftop bar with excellent views of the city and a hamburger truck permanently parked outside. The circus paintings on the hotel’s


walls, the extremely modern art displayed and its many oddities make it unique, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. We arrived on Tuesday with enough time to explore before dinner, so we went to the Naschmarkt (a long stretch of open-air shops and restaurants) and stopped in the well-known coffeehouse Cafe Sperl. Tuesday night might have been the culinary highlight of the trip. We ate dinner at Skopik & Lohn, a charming bistro located on a quiet street, with white-linen tablecloths and wonderful waiters. Every dish was delicious, but the steak frites and schnitzel with superb potato salad, dressed

with light vinaigrette as opposed to mayonnaise, as well as an Austrian white wine were the highlights. Our waiter seemed to be doubling as the maître d’, tending to our every wish. As we left, we discovered that he was the head chef as well. Although we weren’t too pumped about walking thirty minutes across the river back to the hotel, we perked up when we heard music coming from the park and stumbled across the Volksgarten, a busy outdoor bar in the middle of what I imagine is the equivalent of Hyde or Central Park. We stayed long enough to be impressed by the Tuesday night scene and remarked on how Austrians are generally

courtesy vienna tourism board and 25 hours hotel

Indagare member Charlotte Steel recently traveled with friends to Europe and loved her time in Vienna. Here are her impressions of the Austrian capital.

City Debut

credit TK

Clockwise from top left: Schönbrunn Palace; Spanish Riding School; 25 Hours Hotel restaurant; Hofburg Palace; Venice Boys Choir; Schönbrunn Palace interior

cooler than us. We started Wednesday on a good note, as we wandered through the Naschmarkt again, enjoying fresh juice and pastries on our way to Schönbrunn Palace. Known as the Versailles of Vienna, it was the summer palace and home of the Hapsburgs. We took an audioguided tour of the palace and learned the interesting history of the Hapsburg monarchs, including Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph, and explained how Napoleon, Marie Antoinette and Mozart fit into the family history. We explored the grounds, tested our labyrinthnavigation skills, visited the on-site zoo (the oldest in the

world!) and toured the Homburg. We later shopped at the very cool Loden-Plankl, which sells an array of authentic Austrian jackets. We almost returned to Skopik & Lohn a second time, but resisted the temptation and tried a new place, Galcis Beisl in the Museum Quarter. Recommended by our hotel and Indagare, it fully lived up to expectation. Set back from the street, it offers a wonderful dining experience in a magical garden. We had more amazing schnitzel, authentic Austrian dishes and outstanding baconwrapped goat cheese. We miss Vienna already, but are off to Budapest and excited to see what the city has to offer.

Vienna is renowned for its cozy Christmas markets. This year, there’s buzz about a new addition, which is setting up shop—or rather, booths—at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Indagare spoke to dynamic design duo Kim + Heep who spearheaded the creation of the new market beside the city’s most iconic sight. How did you become involved with the project? Typical Vienna-style: we met the owner of several holiday markets at our favorite café. He explained that the special location beside the cathedral demanded a unique concept. We brainstormed with him and eventually were asked to create a new market. What inspired you? The Gothic style of the cathedral: the pointed arches, cross-shaped vaults and rose windows. The individual market booths and many graphic details make references to these architectural delights. What do you love the most about a Christmas market? It’s a deeply human counterpoint to the season’s darkness and cold. You meet each other, huddle together and get warm, inside and out. The new market (Stefansplatz, daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.) is a great place for handcrafted gifts and local delicacies.


hotel debut

Awash in Aman


he twenty-four-room Aman Canal Grande is not just a hotel. It is a piece of art, a museum, a restored palazzo and—above all else—a home. In signature Aman fashion, the Singaporebased group discreetly debuted its first European urban hotel in Venice this summer, choosing perhaps the most logistically challenging of the Continent’s cities. The Aman Canal Grande is housed in an unassuming and unmarked 16th-century palazzo in the San Polo sestiere, a sevenminute boat ride and twentyminute walk from Piazza San


Marco. A genuine hideaway compared with the city’s other five-stars, the Aman is an exclusive retreat where guests can enjoy the pleasures of Venice away from its touristy core. And, just like its opening, the new property is understated— until you walk inside. Then cue the white doves. Your riva docks, and you’re led into a spacious white reception hall. Hanging thirty feet over your head is a 16th-century battleship lantern a relic of the Coccinas, the family of wealthy traders who, with the help of architect Giangiacomo Dei Grigi, built the palazzo in 1550.

You are surrounded by shiny marble busts of the estate’s most recent proprietors, a veritable who’s who of the powerful Papadopolis, Corfu natives who married into Venetian nobility in the mid-1800s. One floor up, an ornate vestibule leads to the piano nobile. Glittering with gargantuan gold-framed mirrors, Cesare Rotta frescoes and original chandeliers, the living room is decorator Michaelangelo Guggenheim’s ode to the Rococo, while the Italian and Thai dining rooms boast ceilings graced by 18th-century Tiepolo paintings. (The Tiepolo family

courtesy aman resorts

A new superluxe retreat is making waves in the Floating City. Indagare’s Barkley Hickox explores the property housed in a stunning palazzo.

bought the palazzo from the Coccinas in 1718.) The fourth floor salon contains even more of Tiepolo’s works and a neo-Baroque library with an ancient chandelier and lacquered leather wallpaper from Cordoba, Spain. Amid this old-world opulence, Aman’s contemporary aesthetic is evident in sleek chairs, tables and couches in neutral tones and metallics. Somehow, it works. The property’s twenty-four guest accommodations also blend the historic with the contemporary, represented in such touches as white-leather wingback beds and chrome

side tables. Rooms with garden views boast original details like painted ceilings and antiques, while suites offer stunning views of the Grand Canal. It’s worth splurging for one of the five Signature Suites, which have 16th- 18th- and 19th-century art, architectural detail and furnishings throughout. In true Aman fashion, bathrooms are nearly as large as bedrooms, with double vanities, free-standing oval tubs and rainfall showers. The amberand lavender-scented bath amenities are made exclusively for the hotel by women in a local prison, with the proceeds supporting their rehabilitation. The palazzo has two gardens, a rarity in the city. The one directly facing the Grand Canal is home to the hotel’s Japanese restaurant. A tranquil three-treatment-room spa center is tucked away on the midlevel third floor, while a small but perfectly adequate gym can be found on the

fourth. Finally, the roof terrace is the ideal location for an aperitivo overlooking the city at sunset. The Aman Canal Grande is not just a hotel. It is a piece of art, a museum, a restored palazzo and—above all else—a home. Despite its pomp and grandeur, its rooms and halls invite guests to walk in their slippers, keep their doors unlocked at night and take a moment to revel in the glory that is Venice, an unusual private viewing. Who Should / Should Not Stay: Mostly couples who enjoy being off the beaten path in an intimate, historic palazzo and don’t mind having to shuttle to and from San Marco. Families only if they are considering a suite or an apartment— consisting of multiple rooms and/or suites; most are better served at the Hotel Cipriani or Gritti Palace.

Indagare Loves: ~ The discreet location in San Polo, a residential neighborhood with quaint restaurants ~ The public spaces, a combination of grand living areas, nooks, terraces and gardens overlooking the Grand Canal ~ The five Signature Suites, which contain much of the 18th- and 19th-century detail from the original palazzo


Just Back From

Captivated by China Indagare’s Eliza Harris gets to know China and its alluring complexities, from teetering skyscrapers in Shanghai to the quiet beauty of shadowy cypress trees in Hangzhou.

Clockw Pudon Shangh Heen (a


Hangzhou. The West Lake water blinks silver in the morning light, while willow branches on the shoreline wave in the breeze. Old men row wooden boats past lotus leaves, with cypress trees and pagodas. At the end, I realized that my trip did not feel complete until all the experiences were in balance. I saw the imperial side through Beijing and the Forbidden City. I saw the urban, glamorous China, through Hong Kong and Shanghai, sci-fi in its modernity. And I experienced the gentle, traditional China through Hangzhou. Yin and yang. City and country. Past and future. Seen together, they were harmonious. Favorite meal: The seven-course chef ’s tasting menu at Hong Kong’s Lung King Heen, the world’s first Chinese restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars. Best guide: In Shanghai, we took an architecture tour along the Bund and through the French Concession with a scholar/author/architect who was hilarious and utterly fascinating

courtesy visit china now


f you want to know why Shanghai is such an intoxicating city, stand at the People’s Heroes monument, that sculpture of abstracted gun barrels pointing skyward. Everything can be seen from there: the past, the future, the promise, the alchemy happening before your eyes. Weaving through the center of it all is the churning Huangpu River, packed with ships laden with construction materials. Along the western bank lies the historic heart of the city, the Bund, a beautiful boulevard lined with plane trees and impeccably restored buildings in a cocktail of architectural styles: Art Deco, neoclassical, Beaux-Arts, Gothic Revival. They are grand, charming, elegant—and nothing whatsoever like the übermodern skyline facing them from Pudong, the financial district just across the river. For that is where delta mud flats that were nothing but rice paddies twenty years ago have been transformed into some of the most recognizable and outlandish feats of architecture in the world. After the thrill of being in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, it was lovely to spend time in the more peaceful

wise from top right: Four Seasons ng; shopping and a coffee break in hai; Oriental Pearl Tower; Lung King above); the Great Wall.

Read before you go: Shanghai ’37 for an engaging portrait of the city in its golden age; Wild Swans, an epic novel about the Cultural Revolution; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a novel about women’s friendships in 19th-century China; and China Wakes, about the country’s transformation into a superpower.

courtesy Lung king heen; four seasons pudong

Know before you go: Very few people speak English, even in the hotels. It is crucial to have a guide who can act as a translator.

Indagare’s Hotel Picks Beijing: The Aman at Summer Palace is an ideal place to recover from the long flight and adjust to the time change, helping you ease into a China visit. For this property, the famed chain of minimalist-chic hotels took over a section of the imperial family’s summer retreat. The rooms are housed in historic buildings. Cobblestoned pathways lined with gardens lead to an exquisite spa, fitness facilities and a screening room. Once adjusted, move to the centrally-located Four Seasons Beijing or Park

Hyatt, which boast modern amenities in calming surroundings. Shanghai: Many consider Shanghai’s Peninsula the best hotel in China. Highlights of the property include its central (and gorgeous) location on the Bund, Art-Deco-inspired style and a collection of works by such acclaimed artists as Zhou Jun and Helen Poon. Hangzhou: Surrounded by rolling mountains and folded into foliage of varying shades of green, the Amanfayun, near Hangzhou’s West Lake, is built on the foundations of an ancient Chinese village. The path that leads through the resort is a pilgrimage route to the Buddhist Lingyun Temple and continues to be used by worshippers, allowing for interaction between visitors and locals. Read the complete destination guides on Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai including tips on where to stay, eat, shop and what to see and do, at


q&a: giving back

Building for the Future After witnessing the plight of Tanzania’s children, Meghann Gunderman founded The Foundation for Tomorrow to educate the country’s orphan population.

Meghann Gunderman students of The Foundation for Tomorrow

You launched TFFT after volunteering at an orphanage. What is your strongest memory from that impactful experience? My first visit to Tanzania was when I was in college, volunteering and doing research. My strongest memory from that trip, and something that motivates me to this day, was as simple as watching children pass by a trash heap. The kids realized the trash’s possibilities. They created soccer balls or toy cars from junk, turning garbage into smiles, laughter and sports. It’s that ability to do something with so little, that makes me constantly ask myself, “What am I capable of


doing with the resources at my disposal?” A set of triplets captured your heart during your first summer volunteering. Where are they now? Helena, Yusufu and Matayo are still very present in my life. They turned 13 on November 2 and have become loud, sassy, fun, smart, creative and happy kids. They are being fostered by a TFFT staff member, so during their school holidays they stay nearby. What is your proudest achievement? I am immensely proud of our scholarship model, because of its individualization and longitudinal scope. And of our ninety-four students on full, twelve-year scholarships. I’ve had the privilege to watch Irene, one of the TFFT Scholars, start to fulfill her dream of becoming a pilot. She recently got to copilot a plane to Lake Manyara (read about her experience on the foundation’s Web site). I was just talking to her this week, because she has a six-month break from school, and we’re trying

courtesy the foundation for tomorrow


fter having visited and fallen in love with Tanzania, American-born Meghann Gunderman founded The Foundation for Tomorrow, of which she is now the executive director. TFFT aims to offer a quality education to orphans by helping them overcome the structural shortcomings of a developing nation. Here, she shares some of her inspirations and goals and her love of complicated, but overwhelmingly beautiful, Tanzania.

courtesy tanzania tourism board

to find her an internship. We are hopeful that she’ll get the opportunity to work with the airline responsible for her first flight. It would be an incredible way for her dream to become real. What is your biggest frustration with the Tanzanian orphanage and education systems? With regard to orphanages, we embrace the philosophy that children, when it is possible and safe, should be reconnected with their families or any existing relatives. All too often in Tanzania, if one parent dies and the other thinks he or she can’t handle raising the son or daughter, the child will be dropped at an orphanage. We believe in the limitless potential of our scholars, and that these children will become contributing members of their societies, develop into independent and responsible people and reduce the orphan-hood and vulnerability problems. We are very careful as an organization to only empower and to not become a crutch for people. Tanzania’s education program has systemic problems. We are hoping our Transformer program will contribute to the solution, but overall there needs to be more focus on the educators, who tend to be poorly trained and severely overworked. The Tanzanian government’s approach to the education crisis—haphazardly constructing new schools—has resulted in an extreme teacher shortage and the hiring of educators who have not been all the way through school themselves. The results are devastating. Only 28 percent of middle school students continue to high school. Sixty percent of 2012’s high school graduates failed the national exam. Have you traveled much around Tanzania? The country’s mix of beautiful landscapes, culture and people make it welcoming, warm and so much fun to explore. More than 25 percent of the land is national parks and wildlife reserves.

Tarangire National Park, which is home to countless elephants, is not far from our offices, and I’ve been to the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Lake Natron, each of which is unique and beautiful. I’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, which was an exhilarating feat, and I wake up to Mount Meru each day. I mountain biked the 400 miles from Usa River to Tanga, a stunning journey full of fascinating topography. I’ve also gone out to the west, to the stunning Lake Tanganyika. My next trip is to Mahale, a remote paradise.

Tanzanian Adventures Indagare, recently named one of the top five safari specialists in the world by Departures magazine, has expert advice on and connections in Tanzania. Itineraries, which are always customized to the travelers and their interests, can include exhilarating game drives, tented stays, time working with nonprofit organizations and special access to private reserves. Contact the Indagare bookings team for help planning your visit to Tanzania: 212-988-2611.


credit TK

Rooms overlook Copacabana beach

Poolside Hotel Cipriani restaurant


The legend lives Rio’s Copacabana Palace: vintage glamour with a fresh, new twist. Step inside stylish new suites, linger by the pool and plunge into Brazil’s vibrant spirit at this celebrated hotel, part of the collection of great travel experiences by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. worldwide.

For reservations and travel advice please visit, call our US toll free reservations office (+1 800 237 1236), phone the hotel directly (+55 21 2548 7070) credit TK

or contact your travel professional.

Stylish new guest areas

credit TK

destination report

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro & Beyond Barkley Hickox, Ana Maria Bahiana and Lea Dorf report on the exciting, daunting and fascinating country of Brazil, from its beaches to the cities.


ith a landmass encompassing more than three million square miles and the world’s fifth-largest population, Brazil is, in a word, massive. No matter how many times one reads and hears such statistics, the only way to come to terms with the country’s sheer size is by visiting. South America’s biggest nation offers a staggering variety of landscapes, diverse populations and biological environments, ranging from the Lençóis Maranhenses desert and the Amazon rainforest to the coral reefs off Fernando de Noronha and the Pantanal wetlands. For this reason, mapping out an initial journey to Brazil often leaves travelers overwhelmed. The first step is to accept the fact that uncovering the countless treasures of this country takes not one but multiple trips. With one dramatic setting rolling into the next, it may appear shocking that Brazil remains off the radar of so many travelers, even the most sophisticated. Despite its stunning topography and tremendous success as an emerging market, Brazil has yet to conform to the world’s expectations. A case in point is tourism, whose development, both maddeningly and refreshingly, takes a backseat to Brazilians’ cultivation of the laid-back, anything-goes attitude they are

known for. This is evident in a surprising scarcity of English speakers, sometimes aloof service and top properties’ remarkable lack of five-star amenities to match their exorbitant prices. Over the next few years, all eyes will be on Brazil as it hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic games. The country will undoubtedly change in some ways: infrastructure in the major cities will certainly improve, and there may be further investment in the hospitality industry—Four Seasons is currently under construction in downtown Rio, an Aman resort is planned for Angra, and the Bahian villages of Salvador and Trancoso expect outposts of the stylish São Paulo–based Fasano hotel group. But despite being described as “on the brink” for the past two decades, Brazil has not lost its soul nor sense of place. Locals fill the beaches in the middle of the workday; shops and restaurants open only when their owners decide; the gods of sensuality and samba reign supreme. Brazilians, unapologetically, always have fun. Having resisted such strong pressure to change so far, Brazil’s identity, hopefully, never will. Enjoy this magazine, recommending what not to miss in Brazil. Contact our team for help planning a trip there: 212-988-2611.

courtesy matuete

Book My Trip: The Indagare Advantage We Know More… Our team is constantly traveling, to give you the most relevant and up-todate recommendations and itineraries.

We Think More… We are frequent travelers and we pool our knowledge and members’ feedback to tweak the details of your trip.

We Care More… There’s no such thing as a “best” hotel or destination. We customize all your trips based on your preferences.

We Do More… Think of us as your advocates who go above and beyond to ensure that each trip is packed with special touches.

We Get More… We secure special rates and amenities at hundreds of properties worldwide, including upgrades and VIP treatment.

There is no bookings fee for Indagare members. Contact us at 212-988-2611 or




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Aracaju Feira de Santana



Salvador Cuiaba

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Iguazu Falls




Pa r a g u a y



Montes Claros Belo Horizonte

Campo Grande



Passo Fundo Santa Maria Bagé


Sao Paulo

Victória Juiz de Fora Rio de Janeiro


SOUTH Florianópolis


Porto Alegre Rio Grande



375 200

575 Km 375 Miles

Lay of the Land


the earth’s second-largest waterfall, located on the border with Argentina, and the Amazon Rainforest, in the north, which is best explored by boating down the world’s largest river.


Getting There: Most major airlines offer direct flights to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo from New York. The two cities are a forty-minute flight apart. Visa: Americans must obtain a visa. Language: Portuguese Time Zone: Brazil spans three time zones: Amazon (one hour ahead of EST), Brasília (two hours ahead of EST) and Fernando de Noronho (three hours ahead of EST).

courtesy matuete and copacabana hotel

No Brazilian trip would be complete without a stop in one of its vibrant cities, whether for art and shopping in São Paulo, natural beauty and Carioca flair in Rio de Janeiro or history and culture in Salvador. Known for its more than 4,500 miles of uninterrupted coastline, barelythere bikinis and beautifully bronzed citizens, Brazil is really about its beaches, each of which has its own identity. Florianopolis, in the south, is a surfer and party haven; Angra dos Reis and Búzios, located outside Rio, are perfect for island hopping; and Bahia, in the north, is a white-sand paradise. Adventure-seekers would be remiss not to include at least one of Brazil’s two Natural Wonders of the World: Iguaçu,

credit TK

Clockwise from top: Rio’s skyline; a terrace at Copacabana Palace; Brazilian revelry; the MAC museum facade.


Rio de Janeiro is dramatically divided in two by what musician Antonio Carlos Jobim called “those magnificent granite giants,” the rainforest-covered Tijuca Massif. South of this divide lies Zona Sul, the richest part of the city, including most of the beaches and tourist attractions. Downtown sits on the picture-perfect Guanabara Bay, facing the “granite giant” Sugar Loaf Mountain. It contains the most elegant and best-preserved examples of Portuguese colonial and 19th-century Brazilian Empire architecture, along with a thriving business district and charming restaurants and bistros. After decades of neglect, the oldest parts (Lapa and the waterfront) have been reclaimed and reinvigorated by restaurateurs, artists and musicians and now host a lively nightlife. Following the bay into the open Atlantic, the Zona Sul embodies the Carioca lifestyle: gorgeous beaches, casual but elegant shops, beautiful people and an interesting mix of Portuguese colonial and midcentury modern architecture


lining narrow, leafy streets. First in the string of ocean beaches, Copacabana used to be the quintessence of Rio sophistication. It still boasts an Art Nouveau gem, the Copacabana Palace hotel; some 1940s and ‘50s architectural masterpieces; and two fantastic and little-known sightseeing spots, the Copacabana and Leme Forts. Otherwise, it’s overbuilt, overcrowded and noisy. South of Copacabana, the lovely Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon borders four of Rio’s most charming neighborhoods: Ipanema and Leblon to the south, and Jardim Botânico and Gávea to the north. Bohemian Ipanema contains the trendy boutiques, hot clubs and fancy restaurants, while cool, affluent Leblon has top neighborhood spots, shopping and cafés. Inland from the lagoon, practically inside the rainforest, Jardim Botânico and Gávea are a riot of green. Once sleepy communities, the two now have their fair share of excellent bars and restaurants and two of Rio’s most extraordinary public parks.

courtesy copacabana hotel; matuete

Lay of the land

destination report: Rio de Janeiro

From left: Copacabana Hotel; downtown; Rio’s skyline and beach

courtesy matuete

WHERE TO STAY Copacabana Palace The grande dame of Rio de Janeiro is a jewel of 1920s resort architecture (it was inspired by the Negresco in Nice and the Carlton in Cannes). It is also the epitome of the elegant, tropical, cosmopolitan lifestyle of Rio’s golden age. The neighborhood may not be what it used to, but the Copa has retained its glory and, in the hands of Orient-Express, has acquired the 21st-century amenities to put it back at the top of its class. The property is also the foremost family-friendly option in Rio. As the result of a recent multimillion-dollar renovation, rooms and suites have been updated with modern furnishings in soft pastel colors, and sizable bathrooms have been refurbished with new marble. All rooms are vast, with uniquely high ceilings, and many have breathtaking views of Copacabana Beach. The common areas, which include a seventreatment room spa, beauty salon, fitness center and swimming pool, are an enormous draw. The

poolside Pérgola and the more formal Cipriani restaurant are places to see and be seen and are still imbued with the old-world elegance of their heyday. For younger generations, the Copa has a new VIP nightclub, which is packed until the wee hours on weekends. $$$. Read Indagare’s review. Fasano Rio This sleek luxury hotel, opened in 2007, is the Rio offshoot of São Paulo’s most prestigious property. With eighty-nine rooms and suites, Fasano Rio has spectacular views of Ipanema Beach and one of the sexiest rooftop pools in South America. A joint effort by Rojerio Fasano and Philippe Starck, the property features a design scheme that is contemporary sleek with a funky twist. Accommodations have a masculine feel, with floor-to-ceiling dark wood, leather accent chairs and black-and-white photographs. Touches by Starck—a kidney-shaped mirror above the bed and two tree stumps as side tables—add a bit


destination report: Rio de Janeiro

Clockwise from top: the pool at the Fasano Rio; a room at Mama Ruisa; the restaurant at the Fasano Rio; Copacabana Palace

century conveniences to a late-’50s bossa-nova ambiance. $$$. Read Indagare’s review. Hotel Santa Teresa This stylish, bohemian hideaway is housed in a lovingly restored historic fazenda, or mansion, in the hip Santa Teresa neighborhood (akin to Brooklyn in New York). Set on a hill about twenty minutes from the beach, the Santa Teresa is a stylish retreat that offers a more intimate, boutique experience than does the Fasano or Copacabana.

Indagare Plus Members who book through Indagare receive preferential rates and/or special amenities at the properties with the Indagare Plus symbol. Indagare is also a Preferred Partner of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, which means that members booking through Indagare receive preferred rates, special amenities and VIP treatment at the brand’s properties worldwide. The hotels in this report are rated as $$$ (expensive), $$ (moderately expensive) or $ (reasonable). 34

courtesy Fasano; mama ruisa

of whimsy. Since the hotel faces a noisy street, we recommend oceanfront accommodations above the fifth floor, which include several deluxe rooms, seven suites and three open-plan deluxe suites with wraparound terraces. A nice option for families or groups, the latter can be converted into mini apartments by combining a suite and superior room. Amenities like Egyptian cotton linens and goose-down pillows, butler and limousine service, airport transfers and fully equipped workstations with broadband Internet add 21st-

Flip Flop Tips Language: Portuguese is the language spoken. A Romance language derived from Latin, it is actually closer to French than to Spanish. Spanish is considered a foreign language in Rio, but many cab drivers and hospitality professionals speak it in an effort to bridge the language barrier.

courtesy fasano rio; copacabana; havaianas

tourism, are involved in a number of philanthropic community projects in Rio, making a stay here meaningful. $$. Read Indagare’s review.

The forty-one hotel rooms display a gorgeous Brazilian contemporary interior design. The use of materials like wild cotton, tropical wood, stone and natural linens gives the interiors an organic aesthetic. Each room showcases art by a range of Brazilian designers and is equipped with modern amenities like LCD TVs and WiFi. Junior suites are sizeable and offer wooden four-poster beds and prime placement within the hotel for lovely views. The Loft Suite has a terrace affording panoramic vistas of the city. The Santa Teresa’s focus on food and wine is evident in the Térèze restaurant, as well as in its bar and lounge. Where more attention should be paid is on service, which is often nonexistent. The pool area is small and nothing special but perfectly enjoyable, offering views of the city. The French owners, committed to sustainable

Marina All Suites Thirty-eight suites with views of Leblon Beach’s majestic beauty and the Rive Gauche atmosphere of its Leblon neighborhood explain why this understated gem is a favorite with Gisele Bündchen, Calvin Klein and Bebel Gilberto. The creative caipirinhas in the Bar d’Hotel make it a watering hole for Rio’s most stylish crowd. The accommodations are nothing special, displaying a simple Design Within Reach aesthetic, although nine have a bit more pizazz, having been individually decorated by various interior designers. The rooftop pool is closer to a soaking tub but, nonetheless, is popular with guests during the summer months. The real draw is its location in Leblon, which has no other decent place to stay and is arguably the poshest neighborhood in Rio, boasting a pedestrian area filled with shops, restaurants, bars and strolling locals. $$. Read Indagare’s review.

When to Go Rio de Janeiro boasts relatively warm weather yearround, making it a pleasant destination most of the time. Peak season is November through February when the seaside city is in the throes of summer and weather is at its best (despite the occasional rain storm). The city sits on a series of plains between the Atlantic Ocean and rainforest-covered mountains, so it tends to be humid year-round. May through August (fall and winter in the Southern Hemisphere) is the best time to enjoy moderate temperatures: 60s to 80s. The days are shorter then, with gorgeous sunsets You’ll get a lot more flowers and colors in spring (September through November). In summer (December through March), the city comes alive in all its hedonistic glory, but temperatures soar well into the 100s.


destination report: Rio de Janeiro

Sushi Leblon

The days when the only way to get a decent meal was to take the shuttle flight to São Paulo are long gone. The past decade has seen a major overhaul of Rio’s restaurant scene, with young chefs experimenting with local ingredients and fusing the best of international cuisines with traditional Brazilian home cooking. The key to eating in Rio is understanding that good Brazilian food is home and street food. It’s food made for the family table and long, leisurely snacks with a small group of friends and a never-ending string of drinks. The restaurants in this report are organized by the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Many more recommendations are found on


Jardim Botânico Olympe Rio’s finest French restaurant is Olympe, where star chef Claude Troigros constantly outdoes himself with his amazing fusion of French and Brazilian cuisines. 62 Rua Custódio Serrão; 5521-2539-4542 Quadrifoglio Pioneering chef Silvana Bianchi’s hearty Northern Italian dishes, paired with a brilliant wine list, shine in an understated, elegant setting. Rua J. J. Seabra 19; 55-21-2294-1433 ORO Oro (which means “I pray” in Portuguese but

courtesy sushi leblon


Flip Flop Tips Money: Cash is king in Brazil’s beach regions, where there are few ATMs. Jewelry: Leave all expensive jewelry and watches at home; no one in Brazil wears wealth on their wrists.

also sounds like the word for “gold”) has been the talk of the town since its opening. Star chef Felipe Bronze was one of the first to succeed in mixing molecular techniques with Brazilian ingredients. The restaurant has a subdued atmosphere, exposed brick wall and open kitchen. 20 Rua Frei Leandro; 55-21-7864-9622 Bráz Pizzaria Bráz is the perfect pizza place: fun and trendy, with a cantinalike ambiance and tasty, perfectly made pies. Ingredients are first-class, and the place is popular, so be prepared for long lines, especially on weekends. 129 Rua Maria Angélica; 55-21-2535-0687 Escola do Pão A charming restaurant inside a bakery, this is a great spot for breakfast. The pastries are outstanding. 10 Rua General Garzon, Lagoa; 55-21-2294-0027


courtesy havaianas

Celeiro This restaurant serves all-organic food buffetstyle (called por quilo because the plates are weighed and prices are quoted per kilo). It’s on the expensive side but adored by Cariocas. The dishes are always amazingly varied, with salads a specialty. 199 Rua Dias Ferreira; 55-21-22747843 Talho Capixaba Cariocas come here after a morning jog for strong espresso and bread that makes for great build-your-own-sandwich breakfasts. 1022, ljs A/B, Av. Ataulfo de Paiva; 55-21-2512-8760 Sushi Leblon This modern Japanese restaurant has been a hit with the city’s stylish set since it opened its

doors twenty years ago. It serves exceptionally fresh seafood, including rolls that are as fantastic as the people watching. 256 Rua Dias Ferreira; 55-21-2512-7830 CT Boucherie French-born chef Claude Troisgros, of the Michelin-starred Troisgros family, is the father of international cuisine in Rio, favoring local ingredients and bringing out their flavors with classical techniques. In this casual but trendy bistro, Troisgros gives a new twist to the Brazilian steakhouse. 636 Rua Dias Ferreira; 55-212529-2329 Zuka Chef Ludmilla Soeiro’s eclectic fare with Brazilian touches pleases all diners, and the sleek modern décor creates a great ambiance. Next door is the owners’ newest venue, Brigite’s (247a Rua Dias Ferreira), which serves wines by the glass and tapas. 233b Rua Dias Ferreira; 55-213205-7154 Giuseppe Grill Great grilled options (both meat and seafood), affordable wines and great ambiance make this restaurant a popular choice. Open nonstop from lunch through dinner on weekends, it is perfect for a late lunch after the beach. 370 Av. Bartolomeu Mirtre; 55-212249-3055 Chico & Alaíde This small, very casual bar in the heart of Leblon is a Carioca favorites,. The appetizers are some of the best in the city. 679 Rua Dias Ferreira; 55-21-2512-0028 ¡Venga! With outlets in Leblon and Ipanema, this


destination report: Rio de Janeiro Flip Flop Tips Size: Brazil has a landmass of over three million square miles (roughly half of South America) and the world’s fifth largest population. Beaches: 4,578 miles of uninterrupted coastline

fancy tapas bar can get crowded at peak times—best to arrive around noon or between 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. Ipanema: 147B Rua Garcia d’Ávila; 55-21-2512-9826. Leblon: 113B Rua Dias Ferreira

Centro Confeitaria Colombo For a proper tea visit the downtown or Copacabana branch of this shop. Downtown: 32 Rua Gonçalves Dias; 55-21-2232-2300. Forte de Copacabana: 55-21-3201-4049

(draft beer), and order one of the great Brazilian main courses, like picadinho. 110 Av. Vieira Souto; 55-21-2523-0085 Baretto-Londra Just Londra to the locals, this is the trendy bar of the sophisticated Fasano hotel, where beautiful people mingle in an upscale publike ambiance, enjoying top service, great music and expertly prepared cocktails. 80 Av. Vieira Souto; 55-21-3202-4000

Santa Teresa Gula Gula For a lovely light meal in a midcentury beach house, try Gula Gula’s flagship restaurant in Ipanema. 57 Rua Henrique Dumont; 55-212493-2995 Gero Rogerio Fasano has long been famed in São Paulo for the restaurant in his superb Fasano Hotel. The Fasanos opened this outpost to share their brand of refined Italian cuisine with Rio’s residents, including celebrities and society types who fill the tables nightly. 157 Rua Anibal de Mendonça; 55-21-2239-8158 Mil Frutas This ice-cream parlor is the best place to sample the huge variety of Brazilian flavors, from sweeter options to tropical and exotic fruits. Try açaí or taperebá. Ipanema: 134, lj A, Rua Garcia D’Avila; 55-21-2521-1384. Jardim Botânico: s/n Rua J. J. Seabra; 55-21-2511-2550 Astor With the same owners as Bráz Pizzaria, this great gastro-pub has a casual but hip ambiance and a retro brasserie design. Ask for a chopp


Aprazível Perched on top of Santa Teresa, Aprazível is known for its dramatic views. The food is just OK and expensive, but even so the place is always packed. The best way to enjoy it is to come after lunch (the restaurant is open from lunch through dinner), order some appetizers and caipirinhas and enjoy the view in the bucolic setting. 62 Rua Aprazível; 55-21-2508-9174 Bar dos Descasados The romantic bar and lounge of the Hotel Santa Teresa is a hidden gem offering an amazing view from its huge terrace. Hotel Santa Teresa, 660 Rua Almirante Alexandrino; 55-21-3380-0240

Flamengo & Botafogo Porcão This churrascaria serves a never-ending parade of expertly charbroiled beef, pork and poultry cuts, interspersed with sausages, the odd fish plate and side dishes that more than satisfy vegetarians. Porcão has four branches around Rio, including one in Flamengo with wonderful views and another in Ipanema, which has an indoor playground in the back. 218 Ipanema: Rua Barao da Torre; 55-21-3202-9158. Flamengo: s/n Av. Inf d.

courtesy havaianas


courtesy zuka; Oro; copacabana; baretto londra, credit felipe borges

Clockwise from right: Oro; chef’s table at Copacabana; Palace; Zuka; Baretto Londra

Henrique s/n, Aterro do Flamengo; 55-213461-9020

Reporter Nestor Moreira; 55-21-2279-7117

Further Afield Fogo de Chão Fogo de Chão, the top churrascaria in São Paulo, is not far from Porcão. Its arrival provoked debate on which of the two traditional “meat temples” was the best. Both serve top-quality cuts and have great salad buffets, plus amazing views of Rio’s bay. Some claim that Porcão has a larger variety of meats, but Fogo de Chão is bit more upscale. Av.

Bira This outstanding seafood spot is located in the fishing village of Guaratiba, just outside Rio. Ultrafresh fish and seafood are prepared in traditional ways—mostly baked or stewed with fresh herbs and seasonings—to be enjoyed in a rustic and authentic environment. Barra de Guaratiba, 68-A Estrada da Vendinha; 55-21-2410-8304


destination report: Rio de Janeiro

SEE & DO Going with a guide is crucial in Rio, because of the city’s sprawl and safety concerns. Plus a guide has access to such special experiences as a helicopter tour of the city, after-hours access to the Casa do Pontal and Museo do Indio museums, a private capoeira performance and visits to the favelas. Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team for help with trip planning, including customized recommendations and itineraries.

Tijuca National Park Floresta da Tijuca encompasses 3,200 acres of rain forest cascading down the Tijuca Massif into the city. In 1861 the national park was saved from extinction when Emperor Pedro II ordered all coffee plantations to vacate the land and had Tijuca reforested. Along its trails can be found orchids, spider monkeys, huge butterflies and waterfalls, as well as picnic areas, lakes, gardens and a perfect overlook, Vista Chinesa. The Lagoon Popular year-round with locals, Lagoa Rodrigo


de Freitas offers a multitude of relaxing ways to enjoy a sunny day in Rio, including bike paths, parks, decks and gardens. There are bike and roller-skate rentals for those seeking active pursuits, playgrounds for the kids, observation decks on the water for peaceful contemplation and inexpensive bars and restaurants. Sugar Loaf & Corcovado (Christ Statue) Rio’s most obvious sights are also its most beautiful: the Sugar Loaf and Corcovado Mountains, home to the iconic, 125-foot-tall Christ the Redeemer statue. The peaks look at each other across the arch of Guanabara Bay and provide two excellent vantage points to take in the city’s extraordinary landscape.

courtesy matuete

Jardim Botânico This 200-year-old park, founded by the king of Portugal, is located at the foot of Corcovado Mountain. From the entrance, visitors follow a beautiful path lined with a hundred royal palms, passing ponds with victoria lilies, sculptures and fountains, to numerous greenhouses containing thousands of native plants. Café La Bicyclette is a great place for a snack and coffee. 1008 Rua Jardim Botânico; 55-21-3874-1808

Rio’s Beaches

Climbing Sugarloaf

courtesy copacabana hotel

MAR Hip design firm Bernardes + Jacobsen united two vacant buildings to house an art museum and an art school. An undulating concrete canopy connects the two, and the new rooftop has a public terrace and a bar. 5 Praça Mauá, Centro; 55-21-3031-2741 Santa Teresa District One should not miss Rio’s version of Montmartre, a historical neighborhood on top of a hill affording splendid views of the city and filled with artist’s shops, cafés and bars. Don’t miss Aprazível restaurant, Café do Alto, Bar dos Descasados in Hotel Santa Teresa and cultural stops Parque das Ruínas and Chácara do Céu.

Wherever they live and whether they are young or old, fit or not, Cariocas go to the beach year-round. It’s Rio’s living room, lounge, gym and main playground—and a key part of what makes Rio, Rio. To enjoy the beach like a Carioca, remember that less is more: bathing suits (bikinis and Speedos are the norm); a kanga (pareo) around the waist for women, maybe a T-shirt for men; Havaianas (flip-flops) on the feet for both. A straw bag will carry essentials: sunscreen, a hat, a book, change for a snack. That’s it. Chairs and umbrellas can be rented, and food and drinks are plentiful, offered nonstop by vendors. A classic: ice-cold maté and Biscoito Globo, a crunchy, salty toastlike treat. Top beaches: Posto 9, Ipanema (musicians, colorful characters, gay crowd); Posto 10, Ipanema (stylish locals); and Pepê, Barra (the young and the beautiful). Next door to Ipanema, Leblon is more tranquil, with a local crowd and the dramatic Dois Irmãos hill to the north. A little more removed, below a residential area on a hill, is Joatinga, beautiful and secluded. Farther north (and harder to access) is the idyllic Prainha, wild and filled with beautiful girls and surfers. Indagare Tip: for a beautiful and very Carioca sunset, head to Arpoador, the rock that divides Ipanema from Leblon. It may be crowded, but it’s worth it.


destination report: Rio de Janeiro

SHOP Rio’s weather and lifestyle suggest simple, comfortable and inventive clothing. Shop for summer, resort and casual wear at Blue Man (351 Rua Visconde de Pirajá), a popular boutique with extravagant prints; Salinas (899 Estrada da Gávea), purveying beach-ready outfits for men, women and children; and Totem (547 Rua Visconde de Pirajá), whose wares display surfercool quality. No trip would be complete without a pair of quintessential Brazilian flip-flops from Havaianas (76A R. Farme de Amoedo). Among the great buys in the city is jewelry, because a fantastic pair of earrings is the best bikini accessory. To pick up a unique piece, stop by Antonio Bernardo (121 Rua Garcia D’Avila), one of the pioneers in Brazilian jewelry design who turned it away from its heavy, fake-colonial style, or Francesca Romana (351 Rua Visconde de Pirajá), who puts magnificent Brazilian gems in small settings. Many of the fashionable society ladies shop at


the delightful Casa das Meninas (Rua Pacheco Leão 758), in the Jardim Botânico, while Richards (95 Rua Maria Quitéria) offers casual clothes with an elegant, laid-back style. Reserva (77 Rua Maria Quitéria) carries relaxed but sophisticated fashion that is adored by Brazilians and Osklen (85 Rua Maria Quitéria) sells Brazilian eco-luxury clothes for men and women. Schutz (130 Rua Garcia D’Ávila) creates cutting-edge shoes favored by trendy Brazilian girls. Sementeira (414 Rua Visconde de Pirajá) is the source for comfortable yogawear. For traditional Brazilian crafts—including some with a modern look—head to O Sol (213 Rua Corcovado), which sells handmade pieces, and Parceria Carioca (728 Rua Jardim Botânico), a little shop that showcases a unique assortment of pieces by Brazilian designers and local co-ops. Beloved by Brazilian architects, Arnaldo Danemberg Antiquário (1782 Avenue Atlântica), in the traditional Chopin building (next door to hotel Copacabana Palace), is the

courtesy copacabana hotel; totem

The Copacabana boutique; a Totem dress

Flip Flop Tips Galleries: In São Paulo, don’t miss contemporary art galleries Raquel Arnaud ( and Galeria Vermelho ( Taste: chocolate truffles called brigadeiro and cheesy bread called pão de queijo.

courtesy havaianas; inhotim (“BEAM DROP INHOTIM” DE CHRIS BURDEN, credit EDUARDO ECKENFELS) and (A origem da obra de arte (2002)) Marilá Dardot, credit Pedro Motta

source for quality antiques Malls and markets are huge in Rio. One of the most sophisticated, Fashion Mall (899 Estrada da Gávea) in São Conrado, is home to Granado (470 Rua General Artigas), which has beautiful bath and beauty products. Surf/skate shops sit next to boutiques featuring hot new designers at the semihidden Galeria River (67 Rua Francisco Otaviano). Stop to grab a veggie burger or healthy snack in Hare Burger (67 Rua Francisco Otaviano), a favorite with beach boys. Rio Design Leblon (270 Avenue Ataulfo de Paiva) started as a design/decor/housewares luxury mall but found its place as a sophisticated consumer’s paradise. The new kid in town, Shopping Leblon (290 Avenue Afrânio de Melo Franco), is definitely worth a visit. CADEG, Rio’s municipal market (110 Rua Capitão Felix) is filled with flowers, produce and cooking equipment. The action peaks early

in the morning, when forests of tropical foliage are moved from trucks to the waiting stands. Locals go to the open-air Feira Nordestina (Pavilhão de São Cristóvão) throughout the week for authentic Brazilian heartland cuisine, plus arts and crafts. On the first Saturday of every month, the antiquarians of Lavradio Street open their doors and invite guest vendors to Feira Rio Antigo (Lavradio Street). Everything from 18th-century mirrors to Portuguese silverware can be found, but just taking in the street’s colonial architecture is a treat. Feira Orgânica do Jardim Botânico (Lago District), which takes place on Saturday mornings, is part of the organic market circuit and features local producer booths. The hippies may be gone from Feira Hippie de Ipanema (Praça General Osório), but the open-air market remains on Sundays, selling crafts, musical instruments and pottery.

Art Destination: Inhotim

Works by Chris Burden (top) and Marilá Dardot

When Brazilian mining billionaire Bernardo Paz set out in the mid-2000s to build Inhotim (pronounced in-yo-cheen), he surely drew inspiration from the world’s other top art establishments. The innovative contemporary-art wonderland located in Brazil’s southern region pushes visitors to rethink the nature of collecting, artistry and the outdoors. The 5,000 acres are home to 500 works by 100 artists, not to mention thousands of plants, birds, flowers and trees. As much a botanic garden as it is a gallery, Inhotim mingles art with nature and encourages visitors to wander the grounds following selfdetermined paths. Although it is not your usual museum, with audio tours and mapped-out guides, the collection it displays is most certainly museum quality. Creations by such boldface international names as Anish Kapoor, Matthew Barney and Olafur Eliasson sit alongside works by contemporary Brazilian masters like Tunga and Hélio Oiticica. Exploring the grounds and pavilions can easily take days, so visitors may choose to stay in the tiny town of Brumadinho. But Inhotim can also make for a lovely—albeit long—daytrip from Belo Horizonte, a ninety-minute drive away. Indagare has the contacts required to plan a one- or two-day excursion to Inhotim. Contact our bookings department for more details or for help arranging a visit. ~Amelia Osborne


cheat sheet: São Paulo

Clockwise from above: Hotel Emiliano’s penthouse suite; Firma Casa; a room at the Fasano


ingly flawed younger sibling, attempting to buck tradition at every turn while also emulating its older sister’s best qualities—and doing so with lovable flair.

STAY Hotel Fasano São Paulo The Fasano family is known throughout South America for its discreet, luxury hotel empire and chic restaurants. The boutique hotel is housed in a 1940s-style brick building in the Jardins neighborhood. Interior decor is eclectic: caramel-colored leather chairs sit beside European antiques. $$$.

courtesy hotel emiliano; firma casa; fasano


ll eyes have been on Brazil as the country has undertaken a slew of projects in preparation for hosting the 2014 World Cup. Much of the transformation has taken place in its largest city, São Paulo. The economic center of South America, São Paulo remains plagued by massive income disparities, and some of the preparations for the sporting event have been interpreted as indulgent and tone-deaf, leading to recent civil unrest. Locals are passionate about their city—and for good reason. At its core, São Paulo is an unabashedly optimistic place, with a diverse population, striking architecture and a thriving contemporary art scene. In some ways, it is Rio’s charm-

Flip Flop Tips Looking forward: Over the next four years, all eyes will be on Brazil as it hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic games Nicknames: Inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro are known as Cariocas, whereas those who called São Paulo home are referred to as Paulistas.

Hotel Emiliano This dramatically sleek contemporary hotel is set in the calming verdure of the Jardins neighborhood. The glass-enclosed lobby has stark white walls. This aesthetic is echoed in the penthouse suite, which is located inside a cube with 180-degree views of the city and an indoor pool. $$.

EAT Big Night Out: D.O.M. The best restaurant in South America for years deserves a spot on the list of every visitor to São Paulo. Superchef Alex Atala elegantly updates traditional Brazilian cuisine with local, sustainable ingredients, served in a chic two-story dining room. Neighborhood Place: A Figueira Rubaiyat With a dining room built around a 130-yearold fig tree, this intimate, rustic and romantic steakhouse is known for succulent meats. For a quintessential Brazilian experience, don’t miss the feijoada, the country’s twist on cassoulet. Family-Friendly: Braz Surprisingly, São Paulo has garnered a reputation for excellent pizza, and Bráz is widely regarded as serving the city’s best. The wait for the pies tends to be a long, but all agree that they are worth it.

courtesy of havaianas

SEE & DO Street Art Galleries São Paulo is known for innovative architecture—modernist Oscar Niemeyer practically designed the city—and has some of the best galleries in the world. But the city’s most representative art can be found roadside, framed by forsaken homes and boutiques. The most famous

graffiti gallery is Beco do Batman, a street lined with colorful designs that are regularly updated. Explore Local Neighborhoods São Paulo contains a number of wildly different neighborhoods, from the bohemian Vila Madalena, to the Liberdade district, or “Little Tokyo”. Avenida Paulista is picturesque and convenient: lined with the city’s poshest houses, the avenue is within walking distance of the Centro district and Ibirapuera Park.

SHOP São Paulo has an impressive fashion résumé: Gisele was discovered here, designer Carlos Miele is a native, and the city boasts one of the world’s largest Fashion Weeks. Vila Madalena boasts a trendy scene and local womenswear label UMA ( The classic luxury brands can be found around Avenida Paulista, where Clube Chocolate is a one-stop shop and Garimpo + Fuxique sells fabulous housewares. São Paulo’s best malls include Shopping Cidade Jardim (www.shoppingcidadejardim. com) and Daslu ( This must shop houses the boutique Village Daslu, with a curated selection of pieces from young Brazilian designers. The Alameda Gabriel Monteiro Da Silva area has a number of interior design stores, ranging from the Campana brothers’ Firma Casa ( to Dpot (, which sells modern pieces by Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

What to Know: * Leave your valuables behind when going out. * Don’t walk around late at night by yourself. * Have a car at your disposal at all times. * Minimize trips to the ATM.


beyond: Angra dos Reis

Kontiki restaurant

Getting There Angra dos Reis is a three-hour drive south from Rio or a thirty-minute helicopter ride. Contact our Indagare for help creating an itinerary. We have great house rentals in this area and Buzios.


STAY Contributing to its rustic nature and untouched beauty, Angra dos Reis has no luxury resorts. It is best to rent one of the many stunning villas that dot the islands, offering secluded retreats with dedicated staffs and boat captains included. Gipóla and Piedade have the best private homes, some of which can accommodate up to sixteen people, and no shortage of amenities. The southernmost beaches, such as Geriba beach, are lined with privately owned homes, small pousadas and family-run inn’s. Surrounded on each side by two large mountains, the surf is rough and the waves can be large, so body boarding or surfing is fun only if you know what you are doing. The water is crystal clear here.

courtesy kontiki restaurant


magine a boater’s heaven of islets with pristine beaches and hidden coves like those off the Maine coast or the San Juan Islands. Transport this Eden to the tropics, and swap pines for palms and cold seas for warm turquoise water, and you get an idea of Angra. This coastal region comprises more than 2,000 beaches and an archipelago of 365 islands with towering mountains covered in lush emerald green jungle. Brazilians don’t like to talk about Angra with foreigners; they prefer that it remain their secret paradise.

Flip Flop Tips Traditions: In Brazil, revelers wear all white to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The clothes must be new, and the white represents good luck.

EAT Villas come with chefs, so most meals should be enjoyed at home, but a lunchtime excursion to Kontiki ( is unforgettable. The charming restaurant sits on its own private island and serves delicious fresh seafood on a shaded patio. Kids can frolic on the sandy beach while waiting for the food, delectable pasta and simple grilled fish. The views are remarkable, and, unsurprisingly, the island is often taken over for private parties.


courtesy havaianas; hotel das cataratas

Boating The best way to discover Angra’s archipelago is by renting a saveiro, a local type of sailboat. To enhance the experience, hire a staff to man the bar and onboard grill, keeping you supplied with caipirinhas and Brazilian churrasco (barbeque) throughout the trip. Make sure to visit the Botinas Islands, for fabulous snorkeling in crystal-clear water. Sights For a dose of local culture, visit the charming 17th-century Portuguese colonial port town of Paraty, about an hour south by boat or car. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the village has cobblestoned streets lined with beautifully preserved Dutch and Portuguese houses featuring massive wooden doors, tiled façades and intricate metalwork. As the town has become a popular tourist spot, charming boutiques and cafés have opened alongside the historic churches. For those who can’t bear to leave, there are classes at the wonderful Academy of Cooking and Other Pleasures ( run by a chef who trained at the Ritz Escoffier in Paris. Offerings range from half-day cooking demonstrations to five-day culinary tours.

Iguazu Falls A trip to one of Brazil’s two Natural Wonders of the World is a must for adventure seekers, who will delight in Iguazu’s thrilling excursions and breathtaking views. Getting There Most who visit Iguazu Falls stop over in either Buenos Aires (a two-hour flight from Iguazu) or Rio de Janeiro (a two-hour flight from the falls). São Paulo also has daily flights to Foz do Iguaçu Airport that are just under two hours long. Two days and one overnight are recommended to experience the magic of Iguazu. Stay Hotel das Cataratas The best accommodations are found at Hotel das Cataratas, the only property within Iguazu National Park. The pink-hued Portuguese-colonial building exudes old-world tradition, but the real star is the falls, which are just a short walk away. Guests of this Orient-Express hotel get a head start on tourists, who are not allowed to visit the falls until the park opens. See & Do Iguazu offers more than enough activities and excursions to fill a day. Daredevils can brave heights during a magical helicopter flight over the falls, and children can enjoy a wet-and-wild boat ride that goes right up to the cascading curtain of water. The splendor of the surrounding flora and fauna can be taken in during jungle walks, including night hikes that are not to be missed during a full moon. The Hotel das Cataratas’s resident biologist guides monthly tours to the falls to take in the rare phenomenon of a lunar rainbow.


beyond: Búzios


obblestone streets run through charming Búzios, whose rugged terrain and stunning beaches have made it a go-to destination for jetsetters and surfers. Only 100 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Búzios is a perfect spot for a weekend jaunt full of sun, seclusion and a helping of Brazilian nature with beachside glamour on the side.

Getting There Búzios is a thirty-minute helicopter ride or two-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro. Contact our bookings team to make arrangements.

STAY Insólito Boutique Hotel Located about thirty minutes outside town (but well worth the drive for the serenity), the intimate Insólito property is surrounded by lush gardens and drop-dead-gorgeous sea views. Once a private villa, the hideaway is now a luxurious retreat with a quintessentially Brazilian beach-chic vibe, expansive grounds, three pools, a wellness center and eleven thematically appointed rooms: one suite was inspired by Brazilian black-and-white photography, while another’s whimsical décor gives the nod to Buzios’s butterfly reserve. $$. Read Indagare’s review.

EAT Hot Spot: Rocka Beach Lounge & Restaurant This buzzing hangout on Búzios’s popular surfing beach serves a perfect seaside meal of fresh grilled fish and simple sides. During the day, the sexy lounge is full of tanned, long-legged beauties reposing on the white recliners, drink in hand, while cabana boys cater to them. At night the scene becomes more sophisticated, with expertly executed seafood served in the casual,


refined dining room. Neighborhood Place: Chez Michou Serving fresh caipirinhas and delicious crêpes (the lasagna variation is a favorite), the openair Chez Michou is always packed with locals. Beach tunes provide a lively soundtrack to the meal, creating an authentic Búzian experience. Relaxed but Refined: Satyricon Búzios’s most sophisticated dining option, Satyricon serves Italian-inspired cuisine in an open-air bungalow ideal for a romantic night out. The crowd is glam and sexy, and the food is equally elevated: a selection of crudos comes out first, followed by homemade pastas and the house specialty, salt-baked fish. The dining room overlooks the local pier, where Satyricon’s own fleet of fishing boats offload the catch of the day. Av. José Ribeiro Dantas 500.

SEE & DO Beaches Surfers favor Búzios’s southernmost beaches for their gusty winds and rough seas, especially the mile-long Praia Brava. Praia de Geribá, near the center of town, is lined with privately owned homes, small pousadas and charming family-run inns. With two large mountains bordering the beach, the waves can be quite wild, so body boarding and surfing is outrageously fun. The water is clear and cool, and the beach is lively and engaging from dusk till dawn, with vendors parading up and down offering all kinds of goodies, including a local favorite, pão de queijo, or cheese rolls. The oasislike strand at Insólito offers a quieter alternative for hotel guests. Nightlife Búzios is famous for its nightlife, so a trip

Courtesy insólito hotel and rocka beach lounge, daniel pinhero

Clockwise from top right: Búzios’s coastline; Insólito hotel; lounges and drinks at Rocka Beach

should include at least one night out on the town. Rua das Pedras, the main cobblestoned avenue, has most of the well-known nightclubs, the best of which are Privilège and Pacha Búzios.

SHOP In Brazil bikinis are always in vogue (and itsy-

bitsy), so locals and savvy travelers swing by Búzios’s best swimwear shops including, Osklen (Avenida José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 116) for some barely-there beach coverage. The charming Rua das Pedras also offers a number of cute local shops to pop into. Most of the stores in the area all stay open late, so shopping doesn’t need to interfere with beach time.


beyond: Bahia


at one end, an ancient church overlooking the sea at the other and colorful stucco houses in between. Former residences have been turned into chic boutiques and restaurants, but it’s the endless beaches and inviting waves that make it worth the trip.

STAY Estrela d’Agua, Trancoso This hotel’s main building was once the private residence of legendary Brazilian singer Gal Costa and now houses a dining room, living room and study. Its verandah, lined with rocking chairs, faces a fabulous pool and twentymile-long white-sand beach. Inside, the décor is typical beach chic, with lots of white linens, mosquito-net-draped beds, Indian crafts and bright pillows. The twenty-eight guest rooms are located in cottages spread around the property. Huge daybeds surround the pool area, and a giant thatched hut on the dunes offers comfortable seating. There’s a small gym and a

courtesy estrela d’agua; uxua hotel


ahia—or, as Brazilians call it, “the land of happiness”—lies on the southeastern coast of the country, encompassing close to 600 miles of oceanfront land and the Mata Atlantica rainforest. In the 1800s more than 3.5 million Africans were brought as slaves to its capital, Salvador, and today 80 percent of its population is of African descent. Salvador, like so many colonial ports, wears its history on its building façades. Wandering the cobblestoned streets lined with colorful Portuguese-style houses is a great introduction to the Afro-Brazilian culture. To the north and south along the coast are laid-back beach resorts that have been catering to the Latin American jetset for decades and have more recently drawn a sophisticated international crowd. In two sleepy villages, Itacaré to the north and Trancoso to the south, fishermen and surfers now share the beaches with British bankers and models on break. The town of Trancoso has a hippy market

From left: Estrela d’Agua; the Bahia beach; Uxua Casa

courtesy uxua hotel; havaianas

boutique, and the concierge can organize water sports and excursions. No children under eleven are permitted. $$$. Read Indagare’s review. Pousada Etnia, Trancoso For those who don’t have to be right next to the beach, the romantic Pousada Etnia, near Trancoso’s Quadrado offers eight palm-shaded, themed bungalows, most of which are named after exotic locales and all of which have mosquito-net-draped beds. The pousada, or main house, faces a small pool, and hammocks are strategically hung from palms in serene spots. Children under fourteen are not allowed. $$. Read Indagare’s review. Txai Resort, Itacaré Ever since it opened, in 2002, Txai (pronounced “chai,” like the tea drink) has been a favorite retreat of wealthy Brazilians and a well-kept secret among discerning travelers. The original rooms are in simple cottages on stilts, set just

back from the beach under towering coconut trees (the land was once a coconut plantation) and up the tiered hillside. Accommodations are not fancy. Think supersized summer camp or eco-lodge cottages with air-conditioning, mosquito nets over the beds and outdoor showers. It’s a Brazilian idea of luxury: pretty and unadorned, like the girls on its beaches. The public areas, artfully outfitted with gorgeous coffeetable books, treasures from Asia and casually hung straw hats, include a wonderful glass cube of a library and two houses where guests gather for drinks before dinner. The restaurants serve delicious food that varies according to the chef ’s whim and what’s fresh at the market. With a cadre of sports guides on hand, the resort can arrange for surfing lessons, mountain bike and hiking tours, rafting trips—even overnight camping in the rainforest. Many guests, though, just spend their days moving from beach to pool to siesta. $$$. Read Indagare’s review. UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, Trancoso The überchic UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, on Trancoso’s buzzy Quadrado, was the sleepy fishing village’s first internationally recognized five-star hotel. The brainchild of Diesel’s former Creative Director, Wilbert Das, UXUA is composed of casas, over half of which date back to the 16th century, when Jesuits settled the region. The décor and ambiance are whimsical, barefoot-beach chic, with a sense of place. Each casa is a private abode, and all are equipped with a dining area, private garden or patio, indoor and outdoor bathrooms and kitchens or kitchenettes. The king-sized beds are made up with 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens and draped in dreamy mosquito netting. A short walk down a dirt road brings guests to UXUA’s rustic beach lounge, housed in a fishing boat set under a palapa. $$$. Read Indagare’s review.


beyond: Bahia Flip Flop Tips Drink: The beverage of choice in Brazil is the caipirinhas, a concoction of cachaça, which is similar to rum, sugar and lime. They tend to always taste best when enjoyed on the beach or at a barracas, or seaside bar.

Eat The dining options in and around Trancoso range from casual to very casual. Here are some of Indagare’s favorites: Los Negros The food at this simple, chic outdoor restaurant matches the décor: heavenly and straightforward. 121 Rua Carlos Alberto Parracho, 55-738804-1458 El Gordo Furnished with sleek, simple white and distressed-wood furniture, El Gordo serves delicious seafood alfresco, sushi in particular. Quadrado; 55-73-3668-1193 Maritaca  Popular with kids and their parents, Maritaca makes great pizzas. Rua do Telegrafo 338; 5573-3668-1258 Uxua Praia Bar Uxua Hotel’s beach bar prepares delicious lunch fare in a very fun atmosphere. Uxua Casa Hotel 55-73/3668-2277

Catinho Doce This very casual outdoor eatery is famous for its desserts and location across from the church. 55-73-3668-1410 Sylvinha’s This casual eatery on Praia do Espelho beach is just a couple of picnic tables where the chef serves meals whipped up for friends and visitors. Praia do Espelho; 55-73-9985-4157

Shop Cristina Pessoa Atelier Having made Trancoso her home, jeweler Cristina Pessoa makes and sells stunning pieces here featuring local gemstones. Quadrado Historico de Trancoso, 68 Lenny Trancoso Award-winning Brazilian designer Lenny Niemeyer has been creating breezy beachwear since the 1970s. Praça São João s/n Marcenaria Trancoso The focus of this chic showroom is furniture and design using organic and recycled materials. 12 Praça São João

Bahia Basics

Getting There Most international flights arrive in São Paulo or Salvador. You can get connecting flights from either of those to Porto Seguro (the closest airport to Trancoso) or to Ilheus (closest to Itacaré). There is also a private airstrip a tenminute drive from Trancoso’s Quadrado). Given the rough quality of many of the region’s roads, you are better off hiring a driver from your hotel than renting your own car. Dress Code Brazilian women wear abbreviated bikinis and kangas (pareos) and Haviana flip-flops most of the day and casual clothes in the evening. A good hat and lots of sun protection are essential.


credit TK havaianas courtesy

When to Go High season runs from December through March, coinciding with the major Brazilian summer holidays. The temperature year-round remains in the 75-to-85-degree range, but tropical showers are more frequent from May to September.

The pool at Txai Resort

Bela Estampa This funky shop sells home furnishings and linens made from colorful painted textiles. Beco do Capim Santo

See & Do

courtesy txai resort

Terravista Golf Course, Trancoso Terravista has been ranked the number one golf course in Latin America. Designed by Dan Blankenship, it is set on a dramatic cliff overlooking the Atlantic. Any of the local hotels can arrange for a tee time. Top Beaches In a state blessed with miles of glorious beaches, it’s hard to pick the most beautiful. Few are reached by paved roads, so a bouncy dirt-road ride is typically required. From Trancoso, visitors can drive and hike down to Praia do Espelho, or Mirror Beach, which has miles of soft white beach, rocks pools and dramatically high cliffs. As an added draw, there are a number

of casual beach restaurants located among the palm groves. Trancoso The fishing village’s main square, the Quadrado, is ringed with small pousadas. Their rooflines reflect the influence of early Portuguese settlers, and many have been restored and repainted in bright colors. A few are still locals’ homes, but most have been transformed into restaurants and shops that sell beach clothing and accessories at prices equivalent to those on Madison Avenue. At dusk teenagers come out to flirt, and occasionally the grassy center hosts a scruffy form of pickup polo with players riding bareback. At one end of the square is a 15th-century church, standing so close to the ocean that you can smell the sea when sitting in the pews. A palpable reverence for the water pervades the tiny structure, oriented so that the congregation would be facing the ocean if the back altar wall were removed.


beyond: Florianopolis

Ponta Dos Ganchos Visionary brother-and-sister hoteliers Nicolas and Virginia Peluffo collaborated on the construction of Ponta dos Ganchos’s original fifteen superior and deluxe bungalows, which are spread across the spectacular peninsula and overlook the ocean, with a small private beach. In the years since, they have added überluxe villas housing open-plan suites equipped with fire-


places, indoor Jacuzzis, wood-paneled saunas and outdoor plunge pools with stunning views of the surrounding green and turquoise water. The pace of the resort is very slow and relaxed, a feature that attracts couples and honeymooners. Guests can hike to the nearby fishing village, take a boat out to get fresh oysters and mussels, lounge on the beach or have open-air massages in one of the water-side treatment rooms. Many guests never leave their bungalows except to enjoy a world-class meal prepared by the property’s star chef, Luis Salvajoli. $$$. Read Indagare’s review.

When to Go The weather is unpredictable, but November through mid-March is the high and dry season. Whale watching takes place July through November. The population explodes to around two million at New Year’s and during Carnival.

Getting There Many regional airlines fly to Florianopolis (FLN) from São Paulo, Rio and Buenos Aires. Ponta dos Ganchos is a fifty-minute drive from the airport.

courtesy ponta dos ganchos


enowned for its beaches (it has fortytwo), gorgeous locals and Brazil’s highest levels of income, education and public health, the island of Florianopolis, or Floripa, has been attracting wealthy visitors since the 1970s. Jurerê Internacional resembles a less-developed version of Miami Beach with a big party scene, but other areas are home to low-key bohemian communities and surfing beaches. Two of the country’s oldest Portuguese fishing communities, Santo Antonio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da I’lha, are on the western and southern coasts. Although those areas are fun to explore, the exclusive Ponta dos Ganchos, about an hour outside of Florianopolis, is the most luxurious resort in the region.

courtesy matuete

Boating the Amazon An Indagare member recounts a family vacation in Brazil, during which they spent several days in Rio de Janeiro followed by a fiveday private boat cruise through the Amazon Rainforest. “I’ve always wanted to explore the Amazon, so when I needed to go to Brazil on business, I thought, “This is the moment!” We packed our bags and headed south, stopping first for some city living in Rio de Janeiro, where we especially enjoyed touring the favelas. Up next was the stunning wilderness of Santarem, where our boat tour of the Amazon

began. It took us about seven and a half hours, split among three flights, to get to the northern Brazilian city, which is bordered by the Amazon River. The breadth and majesty of the landscape were breathtaking and unlike anything we’d seen before. We were there during rainy season, which made the abundant foliage even more lush, the sunsets spectacular. We never wanted for activities—there was more than enough to keep us busy, and we could have easily spent another five days on the boat. My kids

loved swimming (and diving) off the boat and playing cards with our guide, while I particularly enjoyed watching them fish for piranhas, which we caught and later fried up into delicious fritters. The wildlife was truly spectacular: we saw baby crocodiles, various species of spiders and sloths. It was a fabulous trip, full of family fun, adventure and serenity. The only thing we wish we’d done differently was stay longer!” For help planning a Brazil itinerary, including the Amazon, contact Indagare’s Bookings Team: 212-988-2611.


last word

Q&A with Bebel Gilberto Grammy-nominated Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto, known for her sultry vocals and stylish flair, is part of Brazil’s music royalty. Music, in general, is a huge part of our culture. There is a tradition of having talented artists, theatre and of simply enjoying “quality of life”. Especially in Bahia and Rio, you can listen to music or batucada pretty much everywhere on the streets.    What is your favorite Rio secret? There is a restaurant in Rio called Bira de Guaratiba (Estrada da Vendinha 68A) with outdoor seating and beautiful views of the Atlantic forest and the sea below. It is breathtaking. The owner is the son of Tia Palmira, an incredible woman who has been cooking traditional seafood at a nearby restaurant for years.

How is life in Brazil different from residing anywhere else in the world? In Brazil we have different timing and a different approach to life. We feel free to enjoy things without guilt, so even on work days you will see people at lunchtime go to the beach for a dip before returning to work. Bossa Nova is an intrinsic part of Brazilian culture. What other traditions do you most appreciate from your home country?


Read more about Bebel Gilberto and order a copy of her concert DVD Bebel Gilberto in Rio on her website: Read interviews with many more Indagare insiders, at For help with your next trip, contact our Bookings Team: 212-988-2611.

courtesy bebel gilberto

World-renown, Grammy-nominated Brazilian singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto grew up in the world of bossa nova music. Her father, João Gilberto, and mother, Miúcha, are two of the most talented musicians in South America, and the maçã didn’t fall far from the tree. Bebel splits her time between New York and Rio. Here she shares highlights of her home country.

What should a first- (or fifteenth-) time itinerary to Brazil include? Brazil is huge and everywhere is special! You can’t miss Fernando de Noronha, a super ecofriendly island that makes visitors feel like they are in paradise. I also recommend the south including Bahia, Trancoso and Salvador and Maranhão, a state in the northeast of the country. In Rio you must visit the botanic garden, spend an evening in Lapa and visit Santa Teresa. The little town up in the Lapa looks like it is straight out of the 1930’s. What are your favorite Brazilian beaches? Fernando de Noronha, Trancoso, Arpoador in Ipanema (where I shot my DVD, and where I was raised), and Búzios, which is still super nice in the off-season.

PLUNGE INTO THE BEST OF BRAZIL A special Orient-Express Hotels package blends exceptional cuisine, culture and activities in seven thrilling days. Pair the ultimate in Rio glamour with Iguassu Falls’ untamed natural world. COPACABANA PALACE - RIO DE JANEIRO Arrive and transfer to Copacabana Palace hotel ● Jetlag massage and lunch by the Copacabana Palace pool ● Panoramic helicopter flight ● ●

COPACABANA PALACE - RIO DE JANEIRO Stand up paddleboarding close by Copacabana Fort ● Walking tour in Santa Teresa ● Lunch and cachaça tasting at Aprazivel restaurant ● Evening: Live Brazilian music and dancing at Rio Scenarium ● ●

COPACABANA PALACE - RIO DE JANEIRO Bike ride along Rio’s beaches and lake ● Lunch at Porcão, Rio’s renowned churrascaria ● Visit Sugar Loaf to admire the sunset and city lights ● Casual appetizers at Bar Urca, by Botafogo Bay ● ●

COPACABANA PALACE - RIO DE JANEIRO Hang glide over stunning São Conrado beach ● Visit to Christ the Redeemer statue (by train, car or Jeep tour) ● Chef’s Table dinner at Hotel Cipriani restaurant ● ●

HOTEL DAS CATARATAS - IGUASSU FALLS Arrive at Iguassu and transfer to Hotel das Cataratas ● Visit the fascinating Bird Park ● Sunset cocktails and dinner on the terrace overlooking the Falls ● ●

Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro. This classic art deco icon now boasts fresh, contemporary interiors: stylish new suites open onto balconies with breathtaking views of Copacabana beach.

HOTEL DAS CATARATAS - IGUASSU FALLS Exclusive morning walk to the Falls (before Iguassu National Park opens) ● Speedboat ride along the river to the thundering Falls. Free time for abseiling, kayaking, rafting, biking and canopy walks ● Relaxing massage at Cataratas Spa • Authentic barbecue dinner at the poolside Ipê Grill ● ●

HOTEL DAS CATARATAS - IGUASSU FALLS Panoramic helicopter flight over the Falls ● Depart hotel for Iguassu airport ● ●

Copacabana Palace and Hotel das Cataratas are just two of the many travel experiences by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. worldwide.

For reservations and travel advice please visit, call our US toll free reservations office (+1 800 237 1236), phone the hotel directly (+55 21 2548 7070) or contact your travel professional.

Hotel das Cataratas, Iguassu Falls. The only hotel in Brazil’s Iguassu National Park: enjoy exclusive visits to the Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of Nature, when the park is closed to other visitors.

To purchase back issues of the Indagare Magazine ($10 apiece), send an email to or call 212-988-2611. Copyright © 2013 Indagare Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Quotation, reproduction or transmission by any means is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

credit TK

“The really magical things are the ones that happen right in front of you… A lot of the time you keep looking for beauty, but it is already there. And if you look with a bit more intention, you see it.” ~Vik Muniz, Brazilian artist


An insider magazine about Brazil


An insider magazine about Brazil