See Brazil: Olinda

where to stay: 

Cama e Cafe Olinda: A fantastic little B&B in the middle of the colorful, colonial city of Olinda that comes at the perfect price.  Enjoy a delicious breakfast on the veranda each morning with distant views of the ocean and the sweet smell of jasmine.  Each room is colorful decorated (just like the entire city of Olinda) with an en-suite hammock to unwind after all the uphill walks.  Within walking distance of all the local food stalls, we recommend heading out to a tapioca stand!  Room pricing begins at $14/night. 

Pousada dos Quatros Cantos: Situated in Olinda's city center, this luxurious historical villa is the perfect place to relive the colonial era during your stay.  Green, lush gardens greet you as you enter Pousada dos Quatros and a small pool for guests is the perfect place to relax after a day in Brazil's heat.  You'll be served a delicious breakfast, composed of local nuts, fruits, vegetables, and grains.  We suggest asking for a room that is not facing the street, for ultimate quiet and relaxation.  Room pricing begins at $82 USD/night. 

where to eat:

Oficina do Sabor: You'll have to look closely for the entrance to this small restaurant, serving up DELICIOUS Brazil fusion dishes.  We recommend the lobster with mango cream baked in pumpkin,  unreal flavors!  You also can't go wrong with any of the shrimp main dishes, as they specialize in seafood.  Enjoy dinner with incredible views of Olinda and Recife, make sure to make a reservation though.  

Posted on November 23, 2015 .

Visit Brazil: Rio de Jainero

where to stay:

Hotel Fasano: A stay at Hotel Fasano will be nothing but trendy and fabulous.  Enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop pool while taking in an incredible view of Rio and Ipanema Beach.  You must get a room with an ocean view- absolutely worth the extra costs.  The concierge staff will help guests with their every need from planning day excursions to making special accommodations at the hotel (their English is top-notch too!).  Some say Hotel Fasano is the trendier, younger 5-star option to the Copacabana Palace.  Room pricing begins at $500 USD/night.

Belmond Copacabana Palace:'s all about the view!  Overlooking Copacabana, which is slowly recovering its former elegance, this hotel has a classic, stucco-fronted façade with dark-wood furnishings and heavy drapes that hark back to the hotel's 1920s golden era.  Sophisticated travelers are attracted by the ghosts of Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles.  The 245 rooms are traditionally decorated, with original artworks. Suites in the 1940s- built Tower Wing have the best views.  The hotel's restaurant, Cipriani serves well-crafted Venetian dishes, but it's more fun to eat by the pool, where locals go for Saturday's traditional feijoadastew.  The magnificent, 25-metre pool is open round the clock.  Room prices start at $418 USD/night. 


Oztel: Contemporary artwork by local graffiti artists brightens up Oztel's concrete-and-white walls, with recycled fittings, brightly colored wall tiles and modern furniture create a hip and relaxed atmosphere.  The long breakfast bar doubles as a cocktail bar  in the evening, serving drinks and snacks to cool sounds. Situated on a busy road, the building is set back from the entrance, which helps reduce the road traffic noise.  There are dorms for six to 14 people, plus six uniquely designed private suites.  There staff at Oztel can arrange tours to the Doña Marta favela, football games, samba schools and Brazilian funk nights in Rocinha.  Oztel is close to bars and restaurants, but you'll need to hop on a bus to get to the beach- in 15 or 20 minutes you'll be in Ipanema or Copacabana.  Room pricing for dorms begin at $23 USD/night or private rooms at $80 USD/night.

where to eat:  

Academia de Cachca: Caipirinhas are Brazil's greatest gift to the world of drink.   It is a rum sour made with crushed sugar, limes, and cachaça (the national white rum distilled from cane sugar).  The Academia de Cachaça has 2,000 different examples of cachaça, the oldest dating back to 1875, a Fazenda Capão Grosso.  The Academia is  something of an institution and over 11 years it has become a great visitor attraction and a source of pride to Cariocas.  It is a wonderful restaurant tucked away, where you can enjoy specialties such as shredded beef with cassava cream purée or a melting cheese sauce, or fillet steak sliced and cooked in ginger.  

Chumasco Lanchonete: Lanchonetes are cheap and cheerful help-yourself, buffet-style bars.  At Chumasco Lanchonete, there are 50 dishes offered along a central buffet, including dozens of salads and varied tidbits, as well as more substantial chicken, beef, and fish dishes.  

Posted on November 15, 2015 .

Brazil Wanderlust: Florianópolis

where to stay:

Pousada Santerina: Located right on the Lago de Conceiçao in Florianópolis, this sweet little spot with great ratings will be the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day in the sun.  Owners Simone and Miguel cater to your every need, making sure you stay in nothing but incredible.  This charming guesthouse is surrounded by gardens with pebble walkways  and colorful flowers.  Rooms in Pousada Santerina have warm colonial decor, large mirrors, and rustic wood furniture.  Reasonable pricing as well.  Click here to learn more and book a room

Beach House Rental: Located between Campeche and Morro das Pedras in Florianópolis, this 2 bed/2 bath sleeps 4 people and will make you feel as if you are at home.  Close to supermarkets so that you may cook at home during your vacation, with a grill and full kitchen available for your use.  The perfect place for you and your family to stay- enjoy the afternoons sitting around on the deck or laying in hammocks while enjoying fresh fruit juice.  Available for $124 USD/night, inquire here for booking 

where to eat:

Café Cultura: Floripa's best coffee is served in this renovated neocolonial building, roasted in-house by an ex-Starbucks barista from California.  Healthy breakfast, salads, paninis, and waffles round out an excellent fare.  Not only a great place to stop in for lunch, but an option for dinner as well- serving tender, juicy cuts of filet mignon and an array of soups.  You'll certainly feel at home with the large menu of coffee options and impeccable presentation of coffee.  

Casarão: Housed in an old colonial building, this breezy place has a huge perkilo buffet an an al a carte menu in the evenings.  Live music at night will round out a perfect dinner and prepare you for a night on the town.  Authentic Brazilian cuisine is offered and median priced dishes that won't break the bank.  

Posted on November 8, 2015 .

Explore Brazil: São Paulo

where to stay:

Hotel Unique: Plush, carefully styled, and comfortable-- Hotel Unique is a must when in São Paulo, whether you are passing through or on an extended stay.  Architecturally unlike any other hotel, Unique stands in an arc or boat-like shape majestically over the city.  Now most modern hotels can give off a cold feel to its guests, but while staying at Hotel Unique you will be greeted with nothing but warmth and friendliness (maybe even a glass of champagne).  Room prices begin at $260 USD/night.

O'Riley's Perdizes Hostel: Clean, quiet, hip, and located in a great neighborhood, this hostel is a great choice for those looking to save a few pennies in São Paulo.  A close walk to Allianz Parque and Espaco das Americas.  The staff will welcome you with warm smiles and frequently hosts barbecues for guest's to mingle and meet other fellow travelers.  Each room is artfully curated from floor to ceiling, leaving guests feeling as if they are staying in an art museum.  Rooms range from shared rooms of 4,6,8, and 10 for groups, as well as a private room for those who like to rest alone.  Room pricing begins at $19 USD/night.

Cozy 1 Bedroom Loft in Moema: Take a step out of the São Paulo buzz  and into this charming 1-bedroom loft.  The modern decor coupled with the sleek wood flooring will cause your jaw to drop when you walk in the door.  The loft includes a full kitchen to cook meals and a queen sized bed that will ensure a good night's sleep after a day of exploring the city. You will also have access to the apartment's gym for squeezing in a quick workout or the outdoor pool for an afternoon of relaxing. Amenities include maid service, 24 hour security, Internet, air conditioning, and free parking.  You'll be just steps away from the fabulous Ibirapuera center, plenty of bars, and the Museum of Modern Art.  A minimum stay of 7 nights, at a rate of $80/night.  Book here at

where to eat:

Vila Das Rosas: In a city like São Paulo, where the gastronomy industry is booming and one of the best in the world, restaurants like Vila Das Rosas prove this to be true.  It is a place of tranquility and harmony, located in the middle of a bustling metropolis.  Experimental vegetarian cuisine with dishes such as a falafel hamburger or homemade hummus, enjoy with a fresh-squeezed fruit juice as well.  Best for lunch!

Temakeria Paulista: A high-tech Japanese restaurant that will impress even the snobbiest of food snobs.  The owners and chefs are all Japanese, so you will be eating only authentic Japanese cuisine.  Located in the Zona Leste neighborhood of São Paulo, the restaurant caters to all, as well as English speakers.  Enjoy the fried salmon tekami and some sunomono salad to start- you won't be disappointed! 

Posted on November 1, 2015 .