Latin America

Latin America for Lovers

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2010

copacabana palace Built in 1923 for the visiting King of Belgium and inspired by Nice’s Hotel Negresco, there is no debate today that it’s fun to honeymoon at the most distinguished address in Rio, Copacabana Palace, this Brazilian city’s iconic beachfront landmark and a happening place. Now an Orient-Express hotel, the 222-room Copa’s newest area is the Tower Wing building, which has 58 elegant and relaxed suites and bedrooms with water views. Leisure facilities include its pool (famous for its Sunday brunch), tennis courts, the new Copacabana Palace Spa and Fitness Center, and special beach services for hotel guests. The Copa invites honeymooners, offering a Celebration package that includes chosen room or suite accommodations, daily breakfast in the Pergula Restaurant, a romantic dinner in the Cipriani Restaurant, welcome fruit platter/flowers/champagne, daily newspaper and in-room high-speed Internet. The cost starts at $720 per room, per night. Of course, there are other reasons to decide to honeymoon in Rio, which enjoys one of the world’s most beautiful city-resort settings. It beckons lovers to ride a cable-car to the twin peaks of Sugar Loaf, walk in the city’s superb Botanical Gardens, step into many lovely churches and museums, or cruise on Guanabara Bay at sunset. By day, of course, enjoy Rio’s beach culture and do as carioca residents do: sit by the sea where everyone goes to stay and play, to see and be seen. Come sundown, the white-stucco exterior of the Copacabana Palace lights up—like a huge, decorative wedding cake.

vila d’este pousada The appeal of Buzios, a little more than two hours from Rio in Brazil, is really a credit to its string of two dozen gorgeous beaches strung out along a 5-mile peninsula and drawing visitors to surfing, windsurfing, boating, fishing, or just finding a beautiful place in the sun. Buzios itself is really just a fishing village that is sophisticated, fun, informal and charming. Brazilians credit Brigitte Bardot for “discovering” Buzios when she escaped from the paparazzi here in the 1960s, and the Vila d’Este has a private access onto what is called Bardot Promenade—marked by her statue. This charming inn is also an easy walk to the beaches and Rua das Pedras, where everyone goes to shop, dine deliciously and enjoy a lively nightlife. Overlooking the Armacao Bay, the Italian-style villa is distinguished by its artsy and imaginative Mediterranean decor—there are 14 rooms, each with its own cozy yet elegant ambiance and equipped with TV, mini-bar and other amenities. While oceanfront rooms have double beds and balconies, the Master Suite adds a heated jacuzzi with a terrace view and a king-size bed. The villa’s Bistro restaurant and bar can’t be beat for Mediterranean cuisine, sunset and candlelit ambiance, and other features include both an oceanview pool and a steam-heated pool and solarium. Vila d’Este’s Honeymoon package, featuring Master Suite accommodations, flowers and champagne in the room, a candlelit diner and one massage session, is priced at $2,174 for three nights, $3,426 for five nights and $4,678 for seven nights.

explora patagonia-hotel salto chico Located within the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, Explora Patagonia is set in 600,000 acres of breathtaking wilderness on the shores of Lake Pehoe. The lodge itself, called Hotel Salto Chico, was developed as an exploration base site, but has been fitted out with every refined comfort. Its 50 spacious, TV-free rooms come with big comfy beds, sitting area, hydro-massage baths and incredible views of the lake, waterfall and snowy massifs. And there are grand vistas everywhere, from the restaurant to the lounge, library and game room. Separate is the Casa de Baños del Ona with indoor heated pool, exercise machines, sauna, massage room and four open-air jacuzzis. Add to this stables with 26 horses and a ranch where guests can join in the tasks of herding and corralling, or sit down with the gauchos for outdoor barbecue feasts. Included in the Explora experience is its huge daily roster of beginner-to-expert excursions that come with great guides and gear and go out on foot, on horseback, by boat, and by all-terrain vehicles. Perhaps irresistible is Explora’s invitation to Honeymoon in the Remote: a 4+1 proposal or four paid nights, with the fifth night free. The package is priced from $2,360 pp, depending on accommodations selected, and includes the 5-hour transfer each way from Punta Arenas (worth the drive), all meals, and a full program of daily excursions. Additionally, honeymooners will be treated to a farewell bath with scents and oils, and on request, private meal in their room or a special Explora spot. No matter where, the view will be amazing.