For those taking a trip to the bustling Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in South America, rest assured that the area offers an abundance of romantic retreats and luxury hotels to take a much-needed break following a tiring day of sightseeing. Boasting first-class hospitality, adventurous design concepts, and perhaps most importantly, sweeping views of the historic monuments, famous beaches and lush rainforests of Brazil, here are ten of the best boutique hotels in the city.
Set upon a hill top in bohemian Santa Teresa, French-owned Mama Ruisa offers a luxury experience that provides quite the contrast to Copacabana’s beaches and pumping nightlife. The gated mansion is comprised of elegant wrought-iron verandas, stained-glass shutters, a luscious garden and a pool, offering guests the chance to take a refreshing dip at any time of day whilst marvelling at exceptional views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay. With only eight rooms on offer, the atmosphere is one of ultimate tranquility. However the boutique hotel is also within walking distance of the area’s colourful streets for those who yearn for the hustle and bustle of Brazilian life.
Directly overlooking Copacabana beach, the Belmond Copacabana Palace has been welcoming guests into its Art Deco surroundings since 1923. Today, it is a cultural patrimony of the city, remaining one of the most iconic boutique hotels in the world, and is repeatedly voted the best place to stay in Rio de Janeiro. It’s certainly easy to see why — the palace offers over 200 luxury rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a magnificent pool of half-Olympic proportions, opportunities for rooftop tennis and chances to pamper oneself in the hotel spa. All of this with the Copacabana beach a mere moment’s walk away.
In the heart of Rio stands The Villa, an 11-room hotel with stellar views over the Guanabara Bay and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Just a stone’s throw away from the busy cafes, galleries and local restaurants of Santa Teresa, the boutique establishment offers romantic suites to tired guests, taking the meaning of comfort to the next level, with the calming color schemes and luxury amenities catering to every taste.
Hotel Fasano is one of the leading hotels in the world and is located on Ipanema Beach, where its sophisticated design pays homage to the golden age of bossa nova of the 50s and 60s. The interior is similarly impressive, with intricate flooring, an enormous tree-stump that serves as an elegant reception desk, Grecian marble details and creative uses of Chinese onyx. All of the rooms in this boutique hotel come with luxury furnishings and offer stunning views onto the beach. Alongside this, Hotel Fasano boasts a world-class Michelin-starred restaurant that continues the establishment’s century-old legacy.
Occupying a stunning refurbished 120-year-old colonial building, the Quinta Azul offers chic accommodation within an oasis of calm in the Santa Teresa hills. Surrounded by lush woodland, the thirteen rooms all boast wonderful features and breathtaking views of the sprawling city. Just moments away from the bohemian, cobble-stoned neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, guests can retreat to individually decorated rooms equipped with queen-sized beds, air conditioning, free WiFi and a delicious Brazilian breakfast to be enjoyed outdoors.
The Gavea Tropical Boutique Hotel is located in a serene spot in the Atlantic Forest, immersing guests in the environment of the dense jungle upon arrival. Boasting a decor of Thai and tropical influences, every luxury suite on the premises offers panoramic views of Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. A colonial-style breakfast is served every morning to guests on the patio — an occasion often joined by the an inquisitive group of tamarin callithrix jacchus (small grey monkeys) who live in the undergrowth of the premises.
Set in the heart of Lapa right next to Aterro do Flamengo, the Monument to the Dead of World War II and Oi Futuro, the Da Lapa Design Hotel is a relatively new boutique hotel, boasting innovative architectural concepts by well-known architect Helio Pellegrino. As the 25-room hotel is set on the doorstep of Rio De Janeiro’s Centre district, it serves as the perfect location to experience the city’s bustling nightlife. A free breakfast is served every day, ensuring that guests are set up right for a full day of exploring.
The pool | Courtesy of Serena Boutique Resort Hotel
Serena Boutique Resort is an upscale hotel that is situated a mere couple hundred meters from Geriba Beach, with quick access to Tortuga Beach and Rua das Pedras. Offering guests a 24 hour reception, a leisure area with a large pool and free surfing lessons, it’s easy to see why patrons keep coming back. For those looking for ultimate relaxation, Serena also boasts a commendable on-site spa center which offers shiatsu massage, hydromassage and a solarium.