Rio de Janeiro is one of the
world's most vibrant and hectic cities, epitomising a very
Brazilian brand of joie de vivre. That said, you need
to know where to go (and in some cases, where definitely not to
go), so we troubled Harry Brantly, co-founder of resort
wear brand Frescobol Carioca to whizz us around his favourite
haunts in the city of god.
What's your favourite place
to stay in Rio?
"I always recommend the Hotel
Arpoador. It’s at the quieter end of Ipanema Beach and has amazing
views of the Morro dois Irmāos (up which there is a trail that
leads you to one of the best views of all of Rio). The
Arpoador is literally a stone's throw from Ipanema and unlike some
of the other luxury beachfront hotels in Rio, doesn't cost a
fortune. It's understated, but the staff always
The best beach for
"It's so hard to choose as each Rio
beach has a slightly different vibe, but again, I like Ipanema
Beach, the Arpoador side, not least because you can just walk a few
steps from the hotel and have your feet in the sand. The best
thing about the beaches in Rio is that you barely have to move and
people come over and offer you whatever you need - açaí, granola,
sunscreen. It’s unbeatable, especially after a few too many
caipirinhas the night before!
Where do you go for great
food and drinks?
"I go for cocktails around the pool
at the stunning Copacabana Palace (belmond.com)
followed by dinner at Bar Lagoa for the authentic Rio experience
(even though the bar's origin is German). It’s on the lake and it
isn’t flashy at all. It’s a traditional open-air meat joint with
these hilarious, grumpy waiters, plus its always full of locals.
It's so entertaining."
What are your favourite Rio
places for shopping?
"The Granado store is a must
this traditional, family-style apothecary that makes really
beautiful and locally sourced natural body products, run by a
really good friend of ours. You can find some really amazing
products in here that you won't find anywhere else in the
Where do you go in Rio for
quiet time or to get a sense of the beauty of the
"I grew up spending weekends in the
Angra/ Ilha Grande region of Brazil. There’s a beach that’s
practically deserted called Lopes Mendes in the Ilha Grande that’s
about two hours south of Rio - it’s remote, you have to go by boat.
One side is really calm and beautiful, but at the other end of the
beach, there are the perfect waves for
surfing. Also, I recommend that
first-time visitors take a trip to Christ the Redeemer, even if it
is somewhat cliched. It gives you such a great sense of how vast
Rio is, and how interconnected the sea, mountains, forests and the
city really are, which you just don’t understand