Rio de Janeiro
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: Ipanema, one of Rio’s most storied districts, is known for its sugar-textured beach, where the bronzed and the buff strut their stuff. The area’s neat grid of tree-lined streets hosts an array of chic restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques, including Lenny, purveyor of itsy-bitsy bikinis. Should you tire of humming “The Girl From Ipanema,” Copacabana (“Her name was Lola…”) is also nearby.
DESIGN NOTES: Conceived by Philippe Starck, the Fasano aims for bossa nova chic, with plumped-up retro furnishings and straight lines abutting amoeba-shaped lamps and windows. Materials used include Brazilian ironwood, Greek marble, Chinese onyx and 19th-century Argentine brick. Oh, and lots of glass, which is a good thing given that the area’s most impressive visual element—the sea—lies just beyond the strategically placed floor-to-ceiling windows.
UNEXPECTED TREAT: Upon arrival, guests receive a pair of Ipanema RJ flip-flops, an homage to the sand-and-swank locale. Designed by local luxury designer Oskar Metsavaht, the sandals are the same off-white color as Ipanema’s beach. Flip them over and the soles emulate the wavy pattern of the nearby mosaic boardwalk. Classy.
IDEAL GUEST: Back in the 1920s, “doing Rio” was a favored pastime among the Hollywood jet set. Since its 2007 opening, the Fasano has more than lived up to the tradition, becoming Brazil’s premier pit stop for international celebs, many of whom can be spotted at the rooftop infinity pool.