Abracadabra

Buzios, Rio de Janeiro Environs, Brazil Book from

Reviewed by Jo Foster
Laid-back, cheap and chic pousada within arms reach of all the best bits of Búzios
Perched on a hillside overlooking the main bay of Búzios, the Abracadabra is in the perfect spot for the indecisive. If you’re there for the shops, restaurants and bars, you're only a short stroll away from the heart of it all. If it’s seclusion you’re after, just find yourself a quiet corner and spend the day with a good book, as the world goes by below you.

Abracadabra is the baby sister to the successful Casas Brancas just down the road, she has the same magic touch from glamorous Argentine owner Amalia de la Maria making her just as popular as her sibling. Everything is geared towards helping you relax - from the airy rooms to the gentle sound of the staff’s flip-flops. Rooms are dotted around the gardens and pool area and the feel is chilled and cosy - perfect for unwinding and getting into Brazilian time. Leaving, of course, plenty of time to discover a different beach every day and a new restaurant every night - a task the ebullient town of Búzios lives up to admirably.

Highs

  • Great central location, hovering on the hillside overlooking the main bay
  • Chic without being too try hard - the laid-back tone of the place is set by the friendly management, who are on hand when you need them and ready to let you into all of Búzios’ secrets
  • Striking infinity pool and plenty of places to take in that gorgeous view!
  • On-site Mistico restaurant serving lunch and dinner daily

Lows

  • Búzios is a party place for much of the year so expect the sound of drinking and dancing to travel your way late into the night
  • Extensive renovations have taken place since our last visit, but feedback is good

Best time to go

Go in low season (March-June and October-December) to avoid the crowds and the heat. It can be quite cool from July to August (usually in the 70sF). The hottest time is from December to February, when temperatures often reach the high 80sF and it can be humid with frequent short bursts of rain. This is also the busiest time of year (New Year is one big party) and is often more expensive.

Our top tips

Eat somewhere different every night - each bay has its own cluster of bars and restaurants to discover - or wander along the main street of Rua das Pedras, where everyone heads when the sun goes down.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 16
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Children of all ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 16 bedrooms are all furnished in a simple but chic style - think white linens, polished stone floors and dark wood furniture.

Choose from the Classic Rooms scattered about the grounds - most with their own veranda but without a direct ocean view. If you want sight of the sea, then pick either a Superior Ocean View Room or Deluxe Ocean View Room, or the Suite with Ocean View and Veranda.

Every room has its own feel but all have fully equipped bathrooms, air-con, a minibar and a safe box. TVs are available on request (and soon will have a limited number of satellite channels). Many also have hammocks outside just waiting for you to watch the sun go down on another dia belo...

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Extra beds
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Continental buffet-style breakfasts are served out by the pool (or in your room) by the serene ladies who keep the place working smoothly. Look out for the homemade yoghurt and freshly baked breads.

For lunch and dinner, the on-site Mistico restaurant serves Mediterranean inspired dishes and fresh locally caught fish. Drinks, including freshly squeezed juices, are also available at the bar. The barman keeps the bar open until 9pm (later in high season) and will happily rustle you up fruit-laced cocktails either with or without alcohol.

If you want to head out, you'll need to wander down the hill to one of the many restaurants on the waterfront - or if energy is running low, head to sister hotel Casas Brancas a few doors down and try its great restaurant, which serves fantastic fish and meat dishes every evening.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Laze by one of the many beaches dotted around the peninsula, from the teen meeting point of Geriba to almost-empty Brava, or, hidden away from it all, the nudist hotspot of Olho de Boi

  • Hire a beach buggy and explore all the nooks and crannies the place has to offer... find yourself a peaceful spot away from the pack

  • If you use all those beaches up, take a boat trip to the nearby islands - the hotel can reserve places on an 8-person yacht for a really peaceful way of exploring the waters

  • Búzios is watersports heaven - a quick snoop around Manguinhos or Geriba beaches and you’ll find everything from bodyboards to windsurfing to snorkelling gear

  • Shop like crazy - swimwear, football gear, semi-precious jewels and the ubiquitous Havaianas flip-flops are what Brazil does best

  • Dance until the small hours - all the bars and several clubs keep going until the sun comes up... this is Brazil after all

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Adrenaline Sports
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Horse-riding
  • Nightlife
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Children are allowed but the hotel isn’t really geared up for them and the pool isn’t toddler-friendly. Extra beds can be set up in some of the rooms.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

7/
Rooms
9/
Food
8/
Service
7/
Value
8/
Overall

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