Slightly set back from the beach and overlooking the shoreline on the Orla Bardot – named after the actress Brigitte Bardot who ‘discovered’ it in the 1960s – is the chic Casas Brancas.
   It was the first hotel to set up here and has been managed by the same family for 41 years. However, it is far from the stuffy old bed-and-breakfast you might expect, their frequent renovations mean it feels comfortably modern.
   With 32 rooms, it’s larger than we usually recommend but it deftly manages the feel of a much smaller place. The rooms are light and chic, though not individual, and decorated mostly in pastel shades with an abundance of white. But most look out over the harbour while the best have views across Buzios.
   Our reporter, Fiona Duncan, says the attention to the smallest details are impressive, the staff welcoming and attentive, and the atmosphere calming and relaxed. She especially liked the complimentary 15-minute massage.
   Casas Brancas also runs three restaurants that serve authentic Brazilian, and Italian food, and the best caipirinha along the Orla Bardot.