Villa Balthazar

Buzios, Rio de Janeiro Environs, Brazil
Book from GBP Book from £104 per night

Villa Balthazar

Buzios, Rio de Janeiro Environs, Brazil

Scandi chic meets Brazilian beach life in this dreamy family-run retreat on the shores of glamorous Búzios

Scandi chic meets Brazilian beach life in this dreamy family-run retreat on the shores of glamorous Búzios

Lifelong lover of all things Brazilian, Swedish-born Petra fulfilled her fantasy of running her own pousada (small hotel) when she founded Villa Balthazar with husband Felix in the coastal town of Búzios 10 years ago. A one-time fishing village, Búzios was discovered by Brigitte Bardot in the ‘60s, followed by the international jetset, leading to its nicknames ‘Búzios Aires’ and reputation as Brazil’s coolest resort. Nestling a mere 30m from Canto Beach and only 400 from the bustling Rua das Pedras, Villa Balthazar is a surprisingly quiet haven. There are just five guest rooms, each designed with a Scandinavian influence, surrounding a beautiful tropical garden and central pool and sun terrace.

The emphasis here is on unfussy luxury and next-level service, but with a comfortable family feel (Petra, Felix and their two children live onsite in the main house). After a breakfast featuring bread and pastries from the family’s nearby bakery, you can laze by the pool, lounge on the beach, relax in your own hideaway or mingle with other guests in the main house. Then take yourself off to sample the upmarket delights of fashionable Búzios with its maze of chic shops, elegant restaurants and trendy bars. Warning: those caipirinhas are strong!

Highs

  • Fantastic location – if nearby Canto Beach isn’t to your liking, there are 22 others in Búzios, plus shopping and nightlife in walking distance
  • Very family friendly – and children of all ages are welcome
  • Extremely competitively priced for such an exclusive and trendy resort
  • Exquisite service that has received phenomenal reviews on public forums. Petra’s own villa is an open house for guests to relax and mingle; we can't wait to do so
  • Eco-credentials include being entirely powered by solar panels, all food items are organic or produced locally, environmentally friendly cleaning products and toiletries

Lows

  • The pool is small and unheated – although this won’t be too much of a factor given the number of sandy beaches nearby
  • There are no sea views, which is unusual for hotels in Búzios
  • Búzios gets very busy, particularly at weekends when it’s a magnet for escapees from Rio de Janeiro, three hours’ drive away, but the immediate vicinity is calm and tranquil
  • Rooms cannot be set up with twin beds
  • No other meals except breakfast (but what an amazing spread!) and there are plenty of eateries nearby

Best time to go

November to February are the hottest and busiest months. However, most people recommend March/April and October/November when it’s less oppressive in terms of both temperatures and crowds. Villa Balthazar is normally closed June-August.

Our top tips

Try to spend a day at Praia da Tartaruga beach – where the water is calm and the sands are unspoiled and it’s the best place in the region to snorkel and see turtles. There are plenty of seafront kiosks selling simple snacks and chilled beers (and very strong caipirinhas), and most of the locals reckon it’s the best place to watch the sunset – and heaven knows there's plenty of competition.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5 rooms
  • Breakfast only + restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: May - August
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Blue

Rooms

Five rooms in total, each individually designed with a restrained Swedish influence – bright white-washed walls, dark wood, pale linens and splashes of florals.

The three Garden House King Rooms are spacious, airy havens with a colonial feel. Each has a private ensuite shower bathroom, a kingsize bed and a relaxation area with beautiful views over the garden. These are the ones to aim for if you're with family.

The two Pool House Queen Rooms are slightly smaller and more colourful with splashes of red or turquoise, a queensize bed and an ensuite shower bathroom (a crib/cot is available on request).

All the rooms are individually furnished with natural fabrics and are populated with antique knick-knacks. They also have WiFi, Bluetooth connections, Smart TVs for you to connect your Netflix account, aircon, ceiling fans and minibars. As Petra says, the ethos behind each of the apartments is that guests will want to spend as much time in their rooms as they do exploring their bustling surroundings.

The gorgeously appointed main villa, where Petra and Felix live, is also open for relaxing and socialising.

Features include:

  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

Although breakfast only, the home-made breakfast itself is something to savour. Boasting bread and pastries fresh from Petra and Felix’s own bakery (the sourdough is delectable), as well as homemade granola and jams, not to mention the organic eggs, fruits and juices and, naturally, the finest Brazilian blended coffees – it’s more than enough to set you up for a hectic day of sun worshipping and boutique browsing.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to nearby restaurants and Petra and Felix have a helpful list of their favourites. These include romantic La Gare in Ossos, while Trattoria Primitivo on Rua das Pedras serves great Italian fare. For lunch Rocka Beach on beautiful Praia Brava has wonderful water views. Also check out Bar do Ze overlooking the Orla Bardot (creamy risottos, grilled steak) and NAMI Gastrobar, an innovative eatery that fuses classic Japanese with South American flavours.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Buzios has something for everyone. There are, of course, the 23 beaches lapped by the aquamarine waves which lure sunseekers from across the globe (beachwear code is brief, briefer and barely-there) but which are also a mecca for watersports lovers too. Ferradura is a calm horseshoe bay great for swimming and snorkelling, while surfers both beginner and experienced gravitate towards Geribá (lessons are great value). Hang-gliding and paragliding are also popular as are boat trips across the bay
  • Culture vultures will want to explore the Igreja de Sant'Ana church above the Praia dos Ossos beach, built by Portuguese settlers – and no trip is complete without a selfie at the Brigitte Bardot statue on the Orla Bardot promenade, named after the woman who put Búzios on the map
  • Rua das Pedras (literally translated as Cobblestone Street) is just 350m away, and its labyrinth of back alleys offers all the retail therapy you could want
  • The Radical Adventure Park is hugely popular with kids (go-karting, paintball, bungee jumping, ziplines, climbing wall)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Nightlife
  • Parasailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • SUP
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Villa Balthazar is kid friendly and provides a calm and tranquil setting for you and your family to share the space along with other guests. Petra and Felix will do their best to accommodate your wishes. Kids are welcome in the small pool. There are plenty of beaches within walking distance to be enjoyed and local restaurants welcome families.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

In the Garden House King Rooms children up to 2 stay free and a cot is provided, an extra bed or two can be added to these rooms for older kids for an additional cost. Due to space, in the Pool House Queen Rooms only a cot can be provided. In all rooms children up to 5 stay for free if using the existing beds.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches (nearest is 1 minute away)
  • Adventure park (10 minutes walk)
  • Surfing classes
  • Boat trips

Families Should Know:

Keep an eye on kids around the unfenced pool. Parents are expected to maintain the peaceful atmosphere so all guests feel relaxed when staying.

Distances:

  • Airport: 3hr15m
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Villa Balthazar is one block in from the beach, in the famous resort town Buzios, which is around 3 hours eastwards along the coast from Rio de Janeiro.

By Air:
Rio de Janeiro is the closest city with an international airport. Another option is to fly to Cabo Frío Airport, which is about 40 minutes away by taxi, but there are no international flights, only domestic (operated by Azul).

From the Airport
Villa Balthazar can arrange a transfer or you can book a private taxi which takes about 2-3 hours. By airport bus it takes around 4 hours to reach Búzios.

By Car:
Alternatively rent a car in Rio de Janeiro but parking in Búzios is limited although you can park for free on the street outside the B&B; parking elsewhere incurs a cost. Check out our car rental recommendations

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Galeão International Airport 182.0 km GIG
  • Cabo Frío Airport 30.0 km CFB

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.3 km
  • Restaurant 0.3 km

Rates for Villa Balthazar

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