An Art Deco masterpiece built in 1923, the Copacabana Palace is the crown jewel on Brazil's most iconic beach. The landmark hotel is an address long sought by international jet-setters and the world's most famous glitterati, including celebrated musicians, artists, film stars and royalty. Featured in the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, today the Copacabana Palace fuses historic glamour with contemporary chic. Notable highlights include a Michelin-starred restaurant, afternoon tea in the library, a luxury spa offering treatments with local botanicals, and rooms with expansive views directly over world-famous Copacabana Beach. Lavish interiors feature decor by French architect and designer Joseph Gire, with gleaming marble floors, imposing pillars and glittering chandeliers. Deluxe beach-view rooms have high ceilings, light and airy decor in cooling neutral tones, Brazilian freijo wood furniture, and spacious bathrooms of pink and white Brazilian marble. Play tennis on the roof, take a dip in the luxurious swimming pool as you sip a capirinha from the pool bar, or head for the powdery sands below. On the beach, exclusive pampering includes sun loungers, umbrellas and water—plus beach assistants will watch your belongings if you decide to head for the water.
North Pantanal, Brazil
Araras Ecolodge is located in the northern sector of the Pantanal, the primary wildlife sanctuary on the South American continent. Situated in an environment of mixed habitats and rare biodiversity, the lodge was built in harmony with its surroundings and is accessible via the Transpantaneira park road, 83 miles south of Cuiabá, the capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. Regional rustic style defines the lodge accommodations, and a simple, homey atmosphere prevails in its 19 guest rooms and shared spaces. Rooms have air conditioning with screened windows, ceiling fans and private bathrooms with cold and hot shower. Meals are served in the dining room or on the covered outdoor terrace adjacent to the swimming pool. The bar offers refreshing drinks, and hammocks invite relaxing on the large tiled veranda. Indoors, guests will find a reading room, gift shop and conference room for naturalist presentations. Food at Araras is a highlight, with delicious regional cuisine featuring locally raised meat and fresh fish from Pantanal waters, as well as organic salads, vegetables, seasonal fruits and fresh juices. Activities around the lodge include Jeep photo safaris, nature trails that offer close-up views of Pantanal flora and fauna, and canoe excursions along placid channels.
Hotel Pantanal Norte
Porto Jofre, Brazil
The Hotel Pantanal Norte lies in the heart of the Pantanal's best jaguar habitat. The family-run hotel was once the site of a small farm, run by the owner's grandparents. Its remote location was legendary for fishing, and as its reputation grew, so did the number of friends who wanted to stay in order to fish. And that's the beginning of what became the Hotel Pantanal Norte. While the hotel still attracts avid fishermen, it is also perfectly sited for jaguar tracking and wildlife viewing along the rivers that lace the region. The hotel, while simple, is bright, comfortable and spotlessly clean. Rooms in bungalow blocks front the river or flowering gardens, shaded beneath leafy trees. Abundant birds, including hyacinth macaws and toucans, frequent the grounds. A swimming pool, game room and pool tables offer recreation after boat safaris. On boat rides into the watery wilderness, look for jaguars, of course, but also for giant otters, caimans, capybara, sloths, monkeys and more.
Caiman Ecological Refuge
One of the most impressive ecolodges in the world, Caiman Ecological Refuge is part of a renowned private research, conservation and ecotourism initiative. Located deep within the southern Pantanal inside an enormous private reserve, the pousada offers comfortable accommodations, a broad slate of ecological activities, and by far the best wildlife viewing in the area. The ecolodge lies at the heart of a 130,000-acre sustainable cattle ranch that exudes the distinctive local cowboy culture, reflecting 200 years of melded Portuguese, indigenous and Paraguyan traditions. The lodge was the first ecotourism operation in the region and remains a conservation leader. When the refuge was established, 10 percent of the ranch acreage was set aside as a private conservation area, off limits to cattle but open to visitors. The protected area, chosen with the aid of research scientists from the University of Sao Paulo, is remarkably diverse, with habitats encompassing wooded and scrubby savanna, open pasture, stands of caranda palm, hammock forests, streams and seasonal channels – all providing sustenance for numerous Pantanal species. The result is the very best and most exclusive wildlife-viewing experience in all the Pantanal.
Hotel Deville Prime Campo Grande
Campo Grande, Brazil
Surrounded by green space next to the sprawling Indigenous Nations Park in downtown Campo Grande, the Hotel Deville Prime Campo Grande is notable for its streamlined contemporary feel in the heart of the city’s landmarks. Sink into the comforts of indoor and outdoor swimming pools, free high-speed WiFi, a fitness center and on-site restaurant and bar. Relax in air conditioned comfort from your spacious light-filled room featuring white linens, pale wood floors and colorful accents that look over Mato Grosso’s capital city from a wall of windows. En suite bathrooms include separate soaking tub and shower, plus an oversize vanity area complete with ample mirrors. Rooms also feature flat screen television, desk, refrigerator and minibar.
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