Ask an Expert: Simon Wescott on Brazil

The CEO of Luxe City Guides and a longtime travel publisher, Simon Wescott tells us about a steaming hot destination: Brazil. Hosting the Summer Olympics in 2016 (Aug 5-21), Rio de Janeiro is sure to be on lots of travel wish lists. Here’s a little inspiration for your itinerary.

HK Magazine: Aside from the Olympics, what else does Rio have going for it?
Simon Wescott: Rio is one of the most dizzyingly sexiest cities in the world—sea and sand meet Sugarloaf Mountain, high fashion flirts with favelas, and party rolls on to thumping party. Go for a week and I dare you not to want to stay forever. Hole up at Ipanema’s Casa Mosquito for drop-dead views (forgiving patchy service), snap Insta-worthy food pics at gastro-mecca Roberta Sudbrack, enter the giant embrace of arms-open Christ, and salsa and shop till you literally drop.

Keepin' it casual at Casa Mosquito
Keepin’ it casual at Casa Mosquito

HK: What side trip would you recommend?
SW: São Paulo is hardly a quaint “out of towner”—it’s the Americas’ largest city—but it is grossly undervalued by visitors to Brazil. City-lovers will find a lifetime’s pleasures in its museums, galleries, urban architecture, and design, fashion and food scenes. Sleep with celebs at the suavely nostalgic Emiliano, eat Amazonian ants at a world best, D.O.M, and shop street art, chic Brazilian furniture, and suitcase-fulls of spangle-studded Havaianas.

Ready to roll? The Luxe City Guides recently published inaugural Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo guides ($95) each from



Published by

Kate Springer

Freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong. Contributor at CNN, Forbes Travel Guide, BBC Travel, Fodor's Travel Guide, superfuture, Tatler, and more.

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