By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For the majority of foreigners arriving in Rio, the lively boulevards of Ipanema or the many beachside residencies overlooking praia de Copacabana are popular choices when it comes to finding a place to stay. However, those in the know and with the means also consider the luxury apartments situated along the tranquil waters of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas to be the perfect lakeside retreat.
The fact that the neighborhood, known simply as “Lagoa,” is situated in the heart of Zona Sul (South Zone) means visitors have easy access to Ipanema, Leblon, Copacabana and Jardim Botânico, plus a number of other exciting areas to discover in the Cidade Maravilhosa.
Arnaud Bughon is co-founder of luxury real estate agency Rio Exclusive. With six lakeside properties featured, Rio Exclusive understands as much as anyone the value of a high-quality view.
Bughon explains, “People who come to Rio mostly have their heart set on an apartment overlooking the beach in Copacabana or Ipanema because those are the areas that everyone recognizes. Therefore when trying to compete with that the apartments on Lagoa need to have a view that will rival that of the beach and appeal to guests.”
Joint co-founder Juliana Guzman agrees. “Sometimes guests are disappointed when we tell them that all of the beach side apartments have been taken but once we show them the Lagoa and the views from the apartments they are instantly won over. In fact one of our regular guests was so impressed by the Lagoa and now chooses to stay there instead.”
The misconception of the Lagoa seems to be that there isn’t a great deal to do there. On the contrary, long-term resident Gabriel Fernandes, who moved to Rio in 2010, is particularly fond of the area he now calls home.
“I love the quiet solitude I get on the Lagoa as well as knowing that I am within reach of the livelier parts of Ipanema and Leblon. I like walking or running around the lake when it’s sunny and there are a number of good bars and restaurants to visit. Then of course there is that stunning view which goes without saying.”
Guzman adds, “The lake itself is a source of activity. Very often we give our guests a bicycle to use so that they can get the most out of the lake and really take in the fantastic surroundings.”
The advantages don’t end there either. Bughon explains “Apartments on the Lagoa are also cheaper than those in Copacabana or Ipanema so guests who may not be able to afford a beach view are not left disappointed.”
Interest in the lakeside properties is set to increase as Christmas approaches. In December the Lagoa is lit up by a giant mechanical Christmas tree which moves around the lake on a motorized float and attracts both Cariocas and tourists to watch its grand opening.
According to Bughon, “The lake mostly appeals to people who are looking to stay in Rio on a mid to long-term basis and during the holiday season. Those who come here for business purposes particularly like the quiet atmosphere and pretty surroundings where they can unwind and relax.”