Brazil is the antidote to the cliché fly and flop honeymoon. From sleek hotels and stylish beach lifestyle, to countryside fazendas and barefoot beach bliss, the country is a cocktail that shakes and stirs the senses making a trip here exciting at every turn. That is of course if you know where to go. The sheer size of Brazil may have you in a tailspin when thinking about where to begin, but the silver lining is that you can sit back and leave the hard work to the experts. We've handpicked the properties that offer a seamless journey within this jaw‐ dropping country of contrasts. What can we say? We revel in a challenge. The Olympics may be over but in the long run Brazil raises the bar.
The Fasano, Rio
If you're still reeling from the wedding then Rio de Janeiro is the city to keep your senses alive and kicking. It's also an ideal starting point whilst you still have remnants of a wedding diet. The Carioca body is no joke with lean bronzed figures adorned with barely there bikinis, most of which you can see at the Fasano Rio reclining by the rooftop pool alongside celebrities such as Cara Delevigne, Will Smith or Rihanna.
The Fasano is as on point as it is seductive with views out to Ipanema beach and the Corcovado, and staff are impressively pre‐emptive. The suites here are a modern indulgence showing what the stylish hand of Philippe Starck can really do when let loose on prime property.
If you arrive on an evening flight then there's no need to leave the hotel with its highly rated Italian restaurant, Fasano Al Mare and super glam Baretto‐Londra bar frequented by the hip, well‐heeled clientele.
Reserva Do Ibitipoca
From Rio, take a ride through the mountains until you reach Reserva do Ibitipoca. Time slows down in this 18th century fazenda soothed by the sights and sounds of its idyllic 3,000 hectare private reserve. Still one of Brazil's best kept secrets, Ibitipoca is an off the radar gem with suprises at every turn; wide open views from jungle enriched mountains, refreshing dips by waterfalls and caipirinhas at whatever time of day by the fazenda's private 'beach'. Extraordinary artwork can be found hidden in the mountains, such are the giant iron figures sculpted by Karen Cusolito (featured in Burning Man festival 2007). And if you keep climbing to the top of Stone Hawk Mountain, you'll find a cabin for two strategically designed to enjoy a breathtaking sunrise.
A taste of true Brazilian hospitality, all this activity is anchored by traditional countryside fare - hearty feijoada, grilled palm hearts picked that morning and home cured goats milk cheese that Minas Gerais is famous for. Its open kitchen policy means that the smiley chefs are always most willing to whip up a sweet cake or delicious picnic for a full day of activities.
On your way to the beaches in Bahia, Salvador is an eye‐popping stop off before you can even toy with the idea of resting your head. Step onto the cobblestone streets of the Pelourinho district for street parties, night markets and soulful drumming steered by the country's Afro Brazilian contingent. An oasis in the midst of the frivolity, Villa Bahia is a well‐located 18th century mansion and is as photogenic as its surroundings. It's a portal to the bygone era, (rooms have names such as Madagascar or Goa after destinations on the Portugese spice route) and each room comes with its own colonial style quirk; some have old world four poster beds, antique ceiling fans or wooden ottomans.
The tiny restaurant and bar have become a cool hangout in the evening, with the waiters wearing period uniforms and serving some of the best cocktails in town. It is likely that you will spend most of your time exploring, but come the late afternoon, the leafy courtyard and mini pool become enticing.
Bahia's beaches encompass the bare foot luxury that Brazil is so well known for, and although they are never private, Txai (pronounced Chai) Resort, Itacare has found one of the coast's sweetest spots. Situated in untrammeled paradise with no neighbours to be seen, tall leaning palm trees that nudge lazily in the breeze and endless golden sand are left unspoilt save for a few chairs for those who want to watch the waves lap and crash for miles. The resort itself is Relais & Chateaux approved but you can expect luxury without the white collared service and the rose tinted glasses.
Txai's natural poesy is coloured by the warm local staff and its continuous projects that aim to protect nesting sea turtles as well as its pristine flora and fauna. You're also never short of a view. Wake up every morning to panoramic wide stretches of ocean. Even the gym is worth a look in with an outdoor meditative feel and wide wooden deck so that you can lunge and squat with the most picturesque distraction.
The piece de resistance though is the Shamash spa which makes you work for its stunning views. Walk to the very top of the hill and soak it all in with a cinammon tea and then de‐knot with a Shamash massage, a tailor‐made and exclusive spa speciality.