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Hotel Don Quijote 3.0

Armacao dos Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Location minutes from downtown Búzios and the beach
  • Spacious and clean rooms, some with balconies and kitchenettes
  • Large courtyard with loungers and a canopied daybed
  • Small lobby with charming decor
  • Tiny pool with loungers
  • Free buffet breakfast 
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby (except for Standard Room guests)

Cons

  • Located on a busy road; not on the beach
  • No views from rooms
  • No Wi-Fi in rooms
  • No on-site restaurant for lunch or dinner
  • No bar or room service
  • Some rooms have dingy bathrooms with rusty fixtures 
  • Pool is small

Bottom Line

The mid-range, 55-room Don Quijote has a location just a few minutes' walk from the beach and the charming cobblestone streets of downtown Búzios. But it lacks beach views, and there's little scenery aside from the busy main road it faces. Some rooms in the higher categories have kitchenettes, furnished balconies, and upscale furniture. But the lower categories can feel a bit sparse, and their bathrooms are in need of a refresh. A generous free breakfast is included, but there's no on-site restaurant to offer lunch or dinner. A petite pool gives a spot to splash around, but little else. (Although the hotel has plans to install a second pool by the end of 2014.) Travelers looking for lodging in this area could compare rates and amenities with the neighboring mid-range Pousada Bucaneiro.

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Scene

A casual hotel with stylish touches and a motel-like layout

The Don Quijote is marked by a large cream-colored sign topped by a weathered sculpture of a jousting man on horseback -- its namesake literary figure. Past the gravel parking lot, the hotel sits fronted by wrought-iron street lamps and a small decorative fountain. The cream-colored two-story buildings have terri-cotta tiled roofs, white-columned balconies, and preppy-green awnings. A small, cozy lobby has a Palm-Springs-by-way-of-Brazil look. Rustic, reclaimed wood furniture mingles with hanging drum lampshades, turquoise patterned rugs, and a white-glazed parrot figurine. Beyond that, the hotel's garden, centered around a romantic canopied daybed, is landscaped with tropical plants and greenery. Woven loungers and large clay planters decorate the grounds, and shaded walkways connect the rooms, which open onto the garden, motel-style. The light, airy restaurant has a bleached-wood bar, cream-colored walls, and white-tile floors. Pedestal tables and wrought-iron-and-wicker chairs give places to dine. Placemats with tropical flowers add a drop of color.

A long standing establishment, Don Quijote has been in operation over 25 years and serves mainly Argentinian and local Brazilian families and couples alike. 

Location

On a busy road, but well situated in the Búzios area with various beaches nearby

Map of Hotel Don Quijote

Don Quijote Hotel faces a busy main road, but the location is well situated, with the downtown area about a five-minute walk away and the charming beach town of Praia do Canto reached in 10 minutes by foot. The closest beach is a 10-minute walk away. 

The hotel is located in the Búzios area. Once a sleepy fishing village, Búzios blew up after a visit by Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s. Today it's become one of the top beach resorts in South America, but it still retains some of its charming, little-village vibe. The cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. The seafood from this region is especially excellent. The Rua das Pedras street, in the heart of the town, gets mobbed with tourists on summer weekend nights. 

More than 20 beautiful beaches of all different sizes and shapes are scattered around the peninsula. Some beaches, like the Geribá or Tucuns, are perfect for surfing, others, like João Fernandes or Ferradura, are better for swimming. 

Rooms

Simple rooms with basic decor, some with balconies and kitchenettes

Don Quijote's 55 guest rooms come in four categories: Standard, Superior, Deluxe, and Master. In general, the decor is in a neutral color scheme, with white-tile floors, beige or white walls, white bedding, and rustic, locally made wooden furniture. Standard and Superior Rooms feel a bit sparse, with little color aside from a framed beachy print above the bed. They also have a small patio opening onto the hotel's courtyard furnished with white plastic patio furniture. All rooms come with minibars, flat-screen TVs, safes, and air-conditioning, but no Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are basic affairs with toiletries, showers with old dingy tile, and rusty showerheads.

Deluxe Rooms in the main building have an apartment-style layout with living-room areas and kitchenettes equipped with microwaves, full-size refrigerators, blenders, toasters, dishes, and utensils. The decor is upgraded here, with plush modern couches, drum-lampshade lights, and red accent walls, placemats, and crockery. High, pitched wood ceilings give an extra elegance to the space. These rooms also offer spacious balconies with wire patio furniture, but views look out over the main road. Bathrooms are a little more spacious in these rooms and have better fixtures like gray-marble topped vanity sinks and walk-in showers. 

Features

Free buffet breakfast, small pool, and ample parking

The spacious breakfast room serves a free Brazilian-style buffet breakfast with hot and cold dishes including fresh fruits, juices, breads, cold cuts, baked goods, eggs, and sausages. But there's no on-site bar or restaurant to serve lunch or dinner, and no room service.

There's a small blue-plastic pool with an adjacent whirlpool on the grounds. It has a few woven loungers for sunbathing. (There are plans to install a second pool by December 2014.) The garden offers some relaxing spots to sunbathe on loungers or the courtyard's canopied daybed. There's also a small playground here for kids.

An ample parking lot provides parking at the front of the property, and free Wi-Fi is available in public areas, although oddly not for guests staying in Standard Rooms.

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Address

Estrada Nova da Usina 300, Armacao dos Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950-000, Brazil

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