Insider tips: Daniella Issa Helayels Rio de Janeiro guide

Insider tips: Daniella Issa Helayels Rio de Janeiro guide

Fashion designer Daniella Helayel is famous the must-have dresses she creates for Issa, the label she started in 2001. She has just created the Kanuhura poncho, a colourful poncho cover-up for the exclusive Kanuhura resort in the Maldives. Available from Issa and for ?99, all the proceeds from the sale of the poncho will be going to the breast cancer charity Too Many Women

Which city or destination do you know best?
Being Brazilian, Rio de Janerio is one I know very well and try and visit at least once a year around Christmas time. It’s one of the most beautiful cities I know.

What’s your first piece of advice to friends when they go
Make sure you go with an itinerary in hand; ask friends for restaurant, beach and bar recommendations so you know the right places. Plan ahead as much as you can!

If you only had one night in the city, where would you stay?
If you want to be more chilled and peaceful, then The Copacabana Palace is beautiful on Avenida Atlantica. If you are more of a party person the Fasano is a better bet. It’s located on Avenida Vieira Souto, in the heart of Ipanema beach, its very cool interior was designed by Philippe Starck.

If you only had one day in the city, where would you recommend visitors eat, and why?
I would recommend starting by breakfast at Confeitaria Colombo located at Forte du Copacabana. I like the restaurant Antiquarius for Sunday lunch. It’s a great place to soak up the city vibe and people watch! I order ‘bacalhau a portuguesa’ (salted cod fish Portuguese style). It’s located on Rua Aristides Espinola 19 in Leblon. I also love to eat Japanese at Sushi Leblon on Rua Dias Ferreira 256 in Leblon – it’s the best Japanese you can find in Rio. Oh, and one more place for lunch during the week is Celeiro: it is super healthy and lots of vegetarian dishes, all delicious. You can find it on Rua Dias Ferreira 199 in Rio.

Of Rio’s most famous tourist sites, which would you avoid, and which wouldn’t you miss?
The best beach is Ipanema beach – it’s a must if you’ve never visited Rio before. It’s great for relaxing with lots of friends. However, if you are into surfing then Prainha beach’s huge waves are great. You cannot miss seeing the view from Christ the Redeemer, the most fantastic thing I have ever seen! It’s a must in Rio.

What’s your best insider tip to Rio?
I have a little black book of the city! One of them being Praia da Joatinga (a beach). It’s the most gorgeous hidden treasure, totally secluded, beautiful and extremely hard to find! An all-time must is Christ the Redeemer: take your camera to you can capture the most beautiful scenery you will ever see in the world. Also, don’t leave Brazil without stocking up on bikini’s and Havaiana’s – I love the bikinis from Lenny.

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