It’s been 13 years since Martin Frankenberg founded Matueté Villas. Today it’s arguably the top concierge and private villa rental service in Brazil. You couldn’t be in safer or more experienced hands. Here’s how it all began.


“When I started my travel company, Matueté, in 2002, I had no idea it would produce a spin-off company, Matueté Villas. At the end of the 1990s, I was working for Microsoft, representing Brazil in an advanced technology group, looking at the future of technology. It was an exciting time to be there, with the first Internet boom and technology breaking through into all aspects of people’s and companies’ lives. I used to spend as much time as possible travelling, both for work and for pleasure. It had always been my hobby and with my job I finally had enough money to be able to really make the most of it!

“One day I understood that rather than spend money travelling I could make money out of my passion for travel. It was time to stop swallowing the blue pill of the corporate world and become an entrepreneur starting a travel company.

Angra-Villa-1-10-1024x683The stunning Angra dos Reis Villa I on Gipóia Island and just one of its two gorgeous coves

“The idea was to explore a niche of the market that had not yet been explored: take very wealthy Brazilians to explore their own country. Rather than build itineraries around the limited travel infrastructure that existed, we decided to create a ‘tailor-made’ soft expedition company where we actually ‘produced’ the experience. Much in the same way as a film is produced. Luckily, the idea caught on very quickly, and soon we had many Brazilian clients who were also the owners of some of the most gorgeous villas in the country. These villas were under-utilized them and through our business the owners started asking us if we knew of a company who could rent them out for them…

“Why not us? One thing led to another, and all of a sudden we were ‘renting out’ these villas to our whole Brazilian client base, and our ever-growing base of international clients.

“Matueté Villas was born out of the belief that deluxe villa holidays are a natural evolution of a trend where high end travelers are (i) demanding more and more personalization and (ii) travelling in larger groups or families, where a villa becomes a great option for intimacy and privacy.

RIO-Villa-7-5-1024x682The view of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon from the beautifully furnished terrace of Rio De Janeiro Villa 7

“Today we have over 80 properties all over the best beaches of Brazil including Trancoso, Angra dos Reis and Paraty and many special apartments and penthouses in Rio de Janeiro as well. What they all have in common is that they each have been hand-picked and represent the best the destination has to offer. Most villas are fully serviced and staffed and a Matueté Host will act as a private concierge guaranteeing everything works perfectly.

“We have organized trips for some of the World’s most demanding clients and had a hugely successful World Cup in 2014. We are now gearing up for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which is going to be spectacular. But don’t just take my word for it, come and see for yourself!”

Trancoso-Villa-21-Matuete-Villas-13-1024x574Swim in the lush pool of the delightful Trancoso Villa 21 high on a clifftop in the Trancoso 

To find out more about Matueté Villas and to see some of their properties exclusively on UltraVilla click here

As told to Ramsay Short