The Best LGBTQ-Friendly Hotels in Rio De Janeiro

Santa Teresa Hotel | © Santa Teresa Hotel
Santa Teresa Hotel | © Santa Teresa Hotel

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular gay destinations in the world. An LGBTQ beach in Ipanema, great gay clubs and a huge annual Pride celebration mean Brazil’s most vibrant city is an attractive vacation option indeed.

Rio’s gay scene is the stuff of legend: from the beautifully buff sun-chasers on Bolsa beach to the pulsing late-night bars and flamboyant drag shows around Farme de Amoedo. So it’s no surprise that there are fabulous, inclusive places to stay all over town, styled with a cutting-edge eye and staffed by locals who can connect you with the most exciting hangouts. Head to one of these LGBTQ favourites for a thrilling introduction to this inclusive party city.

Hotel Arpoador

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel
4.2/5 (483 Reviews)
Courtesy of Hotel Arpoador / Expedia

Keep your swimmers handy on arrival at this smart little block, overlooking the famous sands of Ipanema Beach. Direct access to the sands is a huge perk, as is a posey glass-wrapped rooftop pool; meanwhile, a trendy cafe right on the sands attracts a youthful, espresso-sipping crowd. Head to nearby Arpoador Rock to catch a flaming Brazilian sunset.

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El Misti Hostel Rio Copacabana

El Misti Hostel
© El Misti Hostel

Comfy but no-frills, with crisp white doubles or group rooms for three, this poshtel mixes low rates with the beach-fringed setting of Copacabana. Famous for great restaurants, luxury digs and live music streaming from beachside bars, this is also a prominent gay quarter, especially around the stretch of beach known as Bolsa, which you’ll find out front of the (rather more expensive) Copacabana Palace Hotel. Check out La Cueva, one of Rio’s oldest gay bars, towards the western end of the bay.

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Casa Cool Beans B&B

Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Courtesy of Casa Cool Beans B&B / Expedia | Courtesy of Casa Cool Beans B&B / Expedia

Reflecting the vibe of its bohemian Santa Teresa locale, this Crayola-bright guesthouse is all lime green walls and rainbow-hued paintings. Owner David loves to chat with guests and is full of tips for city outings; though you’re just as welcome to hang by the mellow outdoor pool or sip caipirinhas on the sultry patio. This village quarter is an artsy spot, with kaleidoscopic murals and quirky cafes decorated with bric-a-brac.

Casa Amarelo

Map View
Courtesy of Casa Amarelo / Expedia

Also among the sugared almond mansions of Santa Teresa, this boutique hotel was dreamt up by a suave French-Brazilian bag designer. High on the hillside, its tranquil pool terrace has a cracking view of Rio’s skyscrapers, while ornately tiled hallways lead to elegant rooms pepped up with custard yellows and crimson reds. With only seven suites, Casa Amarelo feels like an exclusive club, with a relaxed brand of luxury that’s popular with older couples.

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  • Che Lagarto Hostel Ipanema

    Hostel, Hotel
    4.3/5 (49 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Che Lagarto Hostel Ipanema / Expedia
    Rainbow flags flutter proudly at storied Ipanema Beach, where the stretch around Rua Farme de Amoedo thrums with gay bars, beach kiosks and volleyballers. This sociable, modern hostel is well placed for all of the action, adjacent to the beach and four blocks along from LGBTQ hotspot Posto 9. Check into cool white rooms at astonishingly low rates, load up on a simple breakfast of fresh fruit and pastries, then hit the buzzy beach bar out front.
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    Ritz Hotel Leblon

    4.1/5 (299 Reviews)
    Ritz Hotel Leblon
    © Ritz hotel
    Leblon is where you’ll find Rio’s swankiest restaurants, finest luxury apartments and no end of brunching socialites. This loftily positioned hotel, where balconies come with fab views of Sugarloaf Mountain, sits at the heart of it all. With unfussy but suave decor, the Ritz is popular with the LGBTQ crowd for its proximity to the beach, modern gym and a sultry cocktail bar done up in earthy straw and coffee tones.
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    Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery

    Boutique Hotel
    4.5/5 (222 Reviews)
    Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery
    Courtesy of Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery / Expedia

    It’s all about the rooftop at this stylish boutique pad in arty Santa Teresa; with views of the city’s rooftops, skyscrapers and coastline. Spanish tiling and monochrome striped loungers converge around a slim pool – perfect for resting that head after a big night out. White rooms are deliciously cool and calm with wicker furniture and hammocks on some terraces; head to the Moorish-inspired, sunset-view bar to sip cocktails on low cushioned benches.

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    Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Fasano
    Courtesy of Hotel Fasano / Expedia
    This grand design’s industrial-feel rooftop is world-famous for its mirror-like infinity pool that melds seamlessly with the Atlantic waves. Dreamt up by super-architect Philippe Starck, it’s wall-to-wall style, with a swanky Italian restaurant and one of the city’s top spas. Bag a room with a sea-view balcony for a real taste of the high life.

    Hotel Praia Ipanema

    3.7/5 (620 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Hotel Praia Ipanema / Expedia

    Bang in the middle of Ipanema’s sandy crescent, close to gay hub Posto 9, this slick boutique hotel is in a sociable grid of cocktail bars, steak restaurants and pavement cafes. Snap up one of its crisp white rooms with cool floor tiles or polished wooden surfaces, not to mention smart TVs and nippy air con. Dine at the indoor-outdoor rooftop restaurant for luminous views of the wave-splashed coastline and curvaceous mountains beyond.

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    This is an updated version of an article originally by Sarah Brown.

    These recommendations were updated on July 14, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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