Nestled in a valley in Brazil’s Mantiqueira Mountains, roughly midway between São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Botanique Hotel & Spa (Campos do Jordão; botanique.com.br; doubles from US$1,200) will be a talking point when it opens in November—and not just because its owners include a former AOL top executive, a well-known Brazilian businessmen, and Gordon Roddick, co-founder of the Body Shop. In addition to indigenous and Afro-Brazilian treatments at its expansive spa, the 280-hectare estate has a library filled with translations of Brazilian literature, stables housing Olympic-caliber horses, and a panoramic farm-to-fork restaurant, Mira, specializing in contemporary culinária Brasileira. Stone and century-old reclaimed beams anchor the main building, while several emerging local designers, including Adélia Borges, are responsible for the 11 villas and six suites. Better still, quietude is assured: no cars are permitted within a kilometer of the grounds, so expect to be met by a golf buggy at the gate.
Originally appeared in the October/November 2012 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Backcountry Beauty”)