The Big Six: Brazilian beach hotels

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Kenoa, Alagoas

This new beach resort is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and tropical forest of Barra de Sao Miguel. Stone, thatch, glass and timber are used to bold, modern effect for the exterior, while natural colours and fabrics create a subtler statement in the 11 suites and 12 villas (some of which boast traditional Japanese bathtubs, courtyard gardens or private pools). An elevated outdoor lounge scattered with cushions and low tables is the perfect spot for after-dinner stargazing.

Kenoa, Barramar, Barra de Sao Miguel, Alagoas (00 55 82 3272 1285; Doubles start at 1,020 reals (£388), including breakfast.

Insolito, Rio de Janeiro

Hugging a hillside on one the Buzios peninsula's 26 beaches, Insolito (meaning extraordinary) is the luxurious creation of French hotelier Emanuelle Meeus de Clermont-Tonnerre. The hotel has been personalised with African, Indian, French and Brazilian artefacts and most of the 14 rooms have sea views. There's also a spa and a French-Brazilian restaurant. Buzios is considered the St-Tropez of Brazil, and Insolito also has two private vessels available for hire.

Insolito, Praia da Ferradura, Búzios, Rio de Janeiro (00 55 22 2623 2172; Doubles start at 1,206 reals (£451), room only. Two-night minimum stay.

Uxua Casa Hotel, Bahia

Built on a village green in Trancoso, Uxua is the place to experience Bahian beach life in rustic luxury. The chic hotel offering from Diesel's creative director comprises nine brightly painted houses, which were designed by local artists and built using traditional methods and recycled materials. Some feature private gardens, plunge pools and Jacuzzis. Cook in your own kitchen, hire a chef for the evening or dine at the beachfront restaurant where bartenders shake up fresh fruit cocktails. There's also a quartz pool, spa and turtle sanctuary on site.

Uxua Casa Hotel, Quadrado, Transcoso, Bahia (00 55 73 3668 2277; Doubles from 1,346 reals (£504), with breakfast.

Chili Beach Boutique Hotel and Resort, Jericoacoara

Paved roads don't exist in "Jeri", as it's known by locals. This is barefoot luxury with a contemporary twist; suites have sea or parkland views and the white decor is brightened up with colourful wall hangings of local flora or sea life.

Chili Beach Boutqiue Hotel, Rua da Igreja, Jericoacoara, Ceara (00 55 88 9909 9135; Doubles start at 300 reals (£112), room only.

Txai, Bahia

Perching on stilts, this cluster of timber-frame apartments and bungalows rise from beach to hillside level, framed by lush forest and the wild Atlantic. Organic Bahian cuisine can be enjoyed in one of three dining areas or a posh picnic can be packed to dine by waterfalls or on the beach.

Txai, Rodovia Ilheus, Itacare, Bahia (00 55 11 2627 6363; Doubles start at 1,106 reals (£418), including breakfast.

Pousada Maravilha, Fernando de Noronha

This stylish resort is tucked into the mountainous island of Fernando de Noronha, named a Unesco World Heritage site for its dazzling wildlife. The contemporary rooms and bungalows overlook the perfect curve of a bay.

Pousada Maravilha, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco (00 55 81 3619 0028; Doubles from 2,710 reals (£1,023) B&B.

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