Rio de Janeiro is not short of accommodation options, yet there are some hotels that combine stunning design and impeccable service to create an extra-luxurious experience. Sea-view infinity pools, Michelin-starred restaurants, and sublime spas are common features among the best hotels in Rio, and each one creates its own unique, show-stopping features to make it stand out. Here are some of the best luxury hotel options.
The name Sheraton is known throughout the world as a luxurious and upscale brand, and its branch in Rio de Janeiro only enhances the name’s quality reputation. Located just beside Leblon, Rio’s most affluent neighbourhood, the Sheraton sits at the ocean’s edge, affording it sweeping sea views and a calming natural charm. The immaculate interior design is modern and welcoming, and the outdoor pool is framed by tropical palm trees and neat, green gardens. Guests have a choice of facilities from tennis courts and an indulgent spa to private beach access for total exclusivity.
La Suite by Dussol provides a secluded haven away from the tourist traps such as Copacabana, in the jungle-carpeted hills of Joá. Located in between the wealthy neighbourhoods of Sao Conrado and Barra da Tijuca, the hotel regularly attracts famous guests who are seeking out exclusivity and privacy. The infinity pool nestles between natural rocks and looks out over the ocean, providing sublime panoramic views. The entire hotel exudes class and sophistication, yet it keeps a homely, cosy feel with a wonderful collection of antiques.
This cylinder-shaped hotel was designed by Brazil’s most beloved architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and has become an iconic feature in upscale Sao Conrado. Gran Meliá Nacional embraces its Brazilian heritage by capturing Niemeyer’s distinct artistic flair throughout the decor, with curved furniture and striking decorations. The warm marble creates an elegant interior look, which extends to the open-air swimming pool and the full-service spa. The gardens were sculptured and decorated in a collaboration between Roberto Burle-Marx and Alfredo Ceshiatto, resulting in an inviting outdoor space that opens up to a sea-view backdrop.
Set in the hilltops of Santa Teresa, this luxurious hotel invites guests to take a break from Rio’s shores and enjoy a relaxing, city experience. Nestled off the road behind large metal gates, Hotel Santa Teresa is the reform of a former mansion and comes complete with a pool that overlooks the city with surrounding palm trees adding a natural charm. The pristine spa offers the ultimate indulgence for guests before an evening of sipping smooth cocktails and eating delicious cuisine in the hotel’s immaculate tropical gardens.
Hotel Emiliano extended its luxurious Sao Paulo brand to bring a much-needed contemporary flair to Copacabana beach. Its netting-like architecture on the outside is striking, and the copious amounts of marble and natural-wood furnishings on the inside create a tranquil and elegant setting. The rooms offer panoramic views over Copacabana, and the swimming pool entices lazy afternoons in the sun. The restaurant serves sublime cuisine in a calming setting replete with tropical plants.
The Copacabana Palace has stood the test of time for years and still maintains its exclusive air. With chandeliers and marble throughout its 147 rooms, it preserves a timeless style. The hallways are peppered with ageing photos of past guests that include Hollywood stars from decades ago, rock stars and even royalty. With Copacabana beach at its doorstep, guests are spoilt for choice between golden sands and a dazzling swimming pool for a dip and sunbathing. The hotel is also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Perched on the edge of one of Rio’s most stunning beaches, the Hotel Fasano enjoys privileged views across Ipanema and Leblon. It’s little wonder that it has hosted an array of famous guests, from well-known Hollywood stars to pop singers and footballers. The meticulous interior design creates an elegant setting, with features such as shimmering curtains dividing the reception from the bar. The showstopper, though, is the infinity pool on the roof, with its open-air bar and sensational views.