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Pousada Alcobara 2.0

Armacao dos Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Breakfast is included in all rates
  • The small pool is well-maintained, and there's a tiny one for tots
  • Located in a quiet residential neighborhood
  • Rooms have air-conditioning, minibars, and (tiny) TVs
  • Free parking
  • Additional amenities include a grill area and a pretty garden

Cons

  • Wear and tear can be seen throughout
  • A bit far from the beach and downtown Búzios
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Rooms have tiny dated TVs

Bottom Line

The Pousada Alcobara is a budget hotel near(ish) the Geribá beach, located on a quiet street in a mainly residential neighborhood. It offers 30 simple rooms that come with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, tiny TVs, and minibars. The pousada features a restaurant and lobby area filled with memorabilia. There's also a small swimming pool and a tiny pool for tots, but little else. A simple breakfast is included in the room rates, but Wi-Fi requires an additional fee. The pousada has noticeable wear and tear; some rooms and public areas look dated, but rates are often more than reasonable.

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Scene

This no-frills pousada attracts budget travelers seeking a low-key spot.

Pouasada Alcobara is a budget option with no frills. It has a lobby and restaurant filled with old memorabilia -- and fresh bananas hanging from the ceiling. The decor looks pretty dated, almost kitsch, and the entire lobby appears in need of a solid cleaning. The entrance area has a front desk and on the other side of the lobby there is a sofa set and some rustic-style local furniture. 

The pousada guests are mainly local families, couples, and occasional young travelers. The pousada has some fruit trees, like bananas growing in the garden, and some colorful flowers that lend a tropical feel. Guests seem to spend much of their time at the beach, with the pousada simply providing a place to crash.

Location

On a quiet street between Geribá and downtown Búzios

Map of Pousada Alcobara

Guests visiting Pousada Alcobara normally arrive by car or taxi, as there are no immediate bus or minivan stops in the immediate neighborhood. Buses and local minivans run along Avenida Jose Bento Ribeiro Dantas, but it's about a 10-minute walk away. Búzios downtown normally takes about 10 minutes to reach by car, but during long holiday weekends, the New Year, and Carnival time, driving times tend to double or triple. The traffic can get really bad at times, as there is only one narrow street leading to the center.

The closest beach is Geribá. It can be reached within 15 to 20 minutes by foot. It is perhaps the most famous and popular of the more than 20 beaches at the Armacao dos Búzios Peninsula. The Geribá offers stunning views, soft white sand, and normally a great surf. The sea can get pretty rough at times, though, and swimming can become dangerous. The beach offers a casual and relaxing scene with prawn, beer, and bikini vendors, kiosks, and some bars. It also features a couple of surfing schools. 

Other beaches nearby are Ferradura and Ferradurinha, as well as Tartaruga, which is located on the other side of the main street leading to Búzios downtown. The nearest big city, Cabo Frio, is some 40 minutes away by car. It also offers great beaches, a domestic airport (with limited service), some shopping malls and bigger supermarkets, and good diving spots. Buses run regularly from Búzios to Cabo Frio, and taxis are available  (although rates are higher than those in Rio de Janeiro).

Rooms

Simple rooms with balconies

The Pousada Alcobara offers 30 rooms in two low buildings. Rooms are basic and quite spartan and feature air-conditioning, ceiling fans, minibars, and tiny 14-inch TVs. Rooms have bright Brazilian colors and ceramic tiled floors. All rooms offer small balconies with views of the garden. The rooms look dated and in need of a renovation, though. Bathrooms feature ceramic tiles, and also feel a bit dated.

Features

Free breakfast and a pool area -- little else

The Pousada Alcobara offers a simple lobby restaurant. It serves a basic Brazilian breakfast (with coffee, white bread, cakes, fruits, and juice) which is included in the room rate. The pousada also offers lunch and dinner service. Wi-Fi is available, but for a fee.

The Pousada has a pool area. It comes with a small lap pool and a tiny pool for tots. The deck has a shower, and a couple of plastic chairs  and sunbeds that are partly broken. Adjacent to the pool is a parking area. The pousada offers free and safe parking, which is particularly important as most guests arrive with cars.

The front desk staff sells city and boat tours. The popular boat tour lasts two to three hours, and takes passengers to a couple of nearby islands, offering an opportunity to snorkel, swim, and drink some Brazilian caipirinhas. The staff can also assist in organizing airport transfers. The drive to the international airport of Rio de Janeiro (Galeão) normally takes around three hours. However, the driving time can easily double around New Year and long holiday weekends.

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Address

Rua Bouganville 03, Armacao dos Buzios, State of Rio de Janeiro 28950-000, Brazil

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