The Best Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro | © Rodrigo Soldon 2/Flickr
Rio de Janeiro | © Rodrigo Soldon 2/Flickr
Photo of Rainbow Nelson
13 January 2021

Overseen by the colossal monuments Sugarloaf Mountain and infamous Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro overflows with bustling Carnival culture and the spirit of samba. If you’re planning a trip to Brazil’s second largest city, look no further for the best hotels that live up to its enduring reputation.

MGallery Santa Teresa Hotel, Rio de Janeiro

Popular with artists and tourists, the surrounding neighbourhood here is known for its narrow, winding streets and spectacular views. The hotel itself, a former coffee plantation mansion, features traditional, elegant wooden furnishings, updated with contemporary design by popular Brazilian designers. Close by are a number of art galleries, restaurants and bars, as well as the Museu da Chacara do Ceu, which houses artworks by Matisse, Metzinger and Visconti among many others.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
Full-service spa
Express check-out
Conference space
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Limo or Town Car service available
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Le Relais de Marambaia, Rio de Janeiro

An hour from the bustling centre of Rio de Janeiro, the Le Relais de Marambaia is a relaxing escape from the madness of the carnival atmosphere, offering its guests incredible ocean views from its hilltop location. Inside, the hotel boasts a mix of minimalist European decor and Brazilian design. Guests can enjoy a bite to eat within the hotel where the underlying European influence comes to the fore, specialising in French cuisine.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Beach towels
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Multilingual staff
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Fasano, Rio De Janeiro

Sister to the Fasano Sao Paulo, the ultra-cool Fasano Rio de Janeiro is located on the Ipanema Beach close to a number of art galleries and cinemas. Inside, the hotel boasts the design work of French designer Philippe Starck, who styled the hotel with 1950s furnishings and plenty of darkened hardwood. The rooftop is occupied by a pool, sauna and fitness centre, while the acclaimed restaurant, Fasano al Mare, serves up fresh Italian cuisine from the region with a predominant focus on seafood.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
Full-service spa
Beach towels
Express check-out
Conference space
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Limo or Town Car service available
Fitness facilities
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Mama Shelter Rio

Philippe Starck protégé, Amor Jalil, is behind the design of this trendy, budget hotel in Santa Teresa – Rio’s bohemian hilltop quarter. Built around a beautiful colonial courtyard, high in the hills, Mama Shelter may not be the stereotypical Rio beach bum hangout, but it does put you in the thick of the city’s hottest hipster hangouts and a cool, fun-loving crowd.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
24-hour front desk
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Janeiro Hotel

Oskar Metsavaht, founder of high-end, Brazilian fashion brand Osklen, transitioned effortlessly into hospitality with this uber eye-pleasing debut in the swanky Rio beachfront neighborhood, Leblon. Architect Lia Siqueira was charged with creating a runway-ready place to sleep and has delivered a delightful mix of travertine marble, Brazilian freijó wood and raffia curved pews from which to admire the perfectly framed sea views, including world-beating sunsets from the rooftop infinity pool.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Restaurant
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Multilingual staff
Smoke-free property

Emiliano Rio

Emiliano set the bar for elegance in Sao Paulo’s hotel scene back in 2001, but it took mastermind Gustavo Filgueiras another 15 years to emulate his success and bring some panache to the jaded beach district of Copacabana – in time for Rio’s Olympics. Brazilian architect Arthur Casas and Miami-based Chad Oppenheim supply design details throughout, including a contemporary honeycomb brise-soleil facade, a top-tier infinity pool and a lush vertical garden in chef Camilo Vanazzi’s upscale eatery, Emile.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
Full-service spa
Wheelchair accessible (may have limitations)
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

La Suite by Dussol

Luxury, Boutique Hotel
Map View
La Suite by Dussol
La Suite by Dussol | Courtesy of La Suite by Dussol / Expedia
La Suite by Dussol is the tropical folly of French brothers, François-Xavier and Jacques Dussol, that shines brightly with seven rainbow-colored, maximalist suites in the exclusive beachfront district of Joatinga. Anywhere else and this high-end hotel would be considered the height of kitsch, but you can blame it on Rio and the stunning setting for its enduring allure. High up in the hills of Joa, the wraparound balconies and Oscar Niemeyer-inspired infinity pool are where you’ll spend most of your time, soaking up the dreamy views of Rio’s beaches.

Hotel Arpoador

From above it appears that Rio’s celebrated beach scene hinges perfectly on the triangular rooftop plunge pool of Thiago Bernardes’ slick refit of Arpoador Hotel. The hotel, named after the popular sundowner spot and the promontory between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, wears its prime location with pride. This boat-like, boutique hotel with 49 rooms makes the most of its tiny footprint with hammocks, ingenious hideaway furniture and a popular ground-floor eatery.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Beach towels
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Fitness facilities
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

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  • Selina Lapa

    At night, Rio’s Lapa district is street-party central for bohemian samba-slingers; during the day, it’s the startup-scene epicenter. With its work-hard, play-hard outlook on life, it’s no surprise that Selina landed in this part of town. There are rooftop cinema screenings, a South American-inspired restaurant, yoga deck and cocktail bar. Samba classics are piped into the building from the in-house radio station, located in the lobby, where a passing parade of musicians come to visit.
    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Restaurant
    24-hour front desk
    Bar/lounge
    Smoke-free property

    Hilton Barra

    Big for business travelers, thanks to its close proximity to Riocentro Convention Center in Barra da Tijuca, this hotel announced Hilton’s debut in the Cidade Maravilhosa as the city limbered up for the Olympics. It’s not by the beach, so you’ll appreciate the chance to take a dip in the rooftop pool and jacuzzi. The Abelardo Restaurant dishes up Brazilian staples.
    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Outdoor pool
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Restaurant
    In-room accessibility
    Express check-out
    Conference space
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Fitness facilities
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Smoke-free property

    Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro

    The Yoo2 hotel brand amplifies the essential Rio experience at this playful beachfront base in trendy Botafogo. The lush, tropical plant-filled interiors, Athos Bulcão-inspired azulejo tiles and an enviable view of Sugarloaf mountain provide a triptych treat for design-savvy guests. There’s also the 12-hour, slow-cooked barbecue ribs and glazed seafood risotto cooked in plantain cachaça at on-point Cariocally restaurant to keep you here, too.
    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Outdoor pool
    Restaurant
    In-room accessibility
    Beach towels
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Bar/lounge
    Smoke-free property

    Casa Amarelo

    Casa Amarelo
    This old bourgeois house, built in 1904, offers an authentic stay in the hills of bohemian Santa Teresa, popular with Brazilian writers, artists and musicians. Decked out with tropical prints, the seven suites of this charming ‘yellow house’ play a huge part in putting Santa Teresa on the map for visitors looking for more than the beach in Rio de Janeiro.
    Everything you need to know

    Belmond Copacabana Palace

    Since it opened in 1923, Copacabana Palace has epitomised the carefree abandon of a night in Rio de Janeiro. Dripping in decadence, it’s difficult to tire of the uplit, art deco masterpiece and the chance to rub shoulders at the pool with Brazil’s beau monde. The penthouse suites, with their own private terrace and pool, are a cut above the rest. Gourmands will want to stay for at least two nights to sample both of the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurants – Cipriani, serving northern Italian dishes, and Mee, Rio’s only pan-Asian restaurant to have earned the prestigious accolade.
    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Outdoor pool
    In-room accessibility
    Full-service spa
    Beach towels
    Express check-out
    Concierge services
    Fitness facilities
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Terrace
    Bar/lounge

    This is an updated version of an article originally written by Laurence Gardner.

    These recommendations were updated on January 13, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.