Casa Marques is built on the foundations of a colonial mansion in the Santa Teresa neighbourhood, boasting stunning views of Rio de Janeiro.
How would you describe Kenoa Beach Spa & Resort in a nutshell?
Kenoa Beach Spa & Resort in Barra de Sao Miguel, Brazil, feels like a small eco-chic boutique hotel but with the facilities and amenities of a world class five-star luxury hotel. It is one of the top beach resorts in Brazil and very much like a private sanctuary of peace and tranquility, paradise on the beach. Kenoa has 23 suites and beach villas, a restaurant and wine bar on-site, as well as a spa and fitness center. Enjoy the highest level of sophistication and comfort in an atmosphere that is intimate without being intrusive.
Please tell us a little about Kenoa Beach Spa & Resort.
The idea is to have a place where people can enjoy tranquility. We want them to feel at home in our care and with the attention we give them. The luxury here is very casual.
The ideas of sustainability and ecology were on our minds from the beginning, but always with a sense of simplicity and comfort.
For example, we tried to keep all of our materials sustainable. All our wood is reforested, we use LED lights to save electricity, we have a solar heating system, the employee uniforms don’t require ironing, nor do the napkins we use, and we use as little chemicals in our pool as possible — instead we use a salt water treatment.
What was your inspiration to open a boutique hotel?
We wanted to create a hotel from the guest’s point of view. I don’t have a background in hospitality and we didn’t visit many hotels in Brazil to not be influenced by them, so all we had was the guest’s point of view. We wanted to create something we really felt would go over well with vacation guests.
Brazil is very beautiful and there is nice weather year round but in the northeast region of Brazil, there aren’t many options for nice places to stay.
Also the whole idea of sustainability is something new in Brazil. It was our chance to create something luxurious and to show it’s possible to do it in this kind of place. Brazil has the natural materials and resources, all that’s needed to create something really different. It was just a matter of putting all the pieces together.
What's been the biggest reward to you personally running the resort?
The biggest reward is always seeing people happy and amazed, especially with us having no background in hospitality. But it is also great to be able to do something different with green materials and sustainability. We’ve made this possible without taking out the comfort and luxuries people are accustomed to.
Even more rewarding is seeing people coming back, mostly Brazilians, but international guests too, and having those guests invite others here by speaking highly of us.