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.
Situated just ten minutes north of Ipanema, La Maison by Dussol is a first-class boutique hotel that resembles the intimate air of a private residence. Offering a selection of exquisite rooms in a stunning villa designed by renowned French architect François-Xavier, the elegant haven boasts a bohemian style and a vintage design thanks to the admirable array of Brazilian antique furniture. At the hotel, each room is unique and has its own private terrace — the themes of the rooms being especially inspired by Indian, Chinese, French and American influences. For those looking for the ultimate La Maison experience, the Copacabana and Reclaimer suits offer breathtaking views of the Tijuca Forest and the iconic Christ the Redeemer monument.
La Maison, R. Sérgio Pôrto, 58 – Gávea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 3205-3585
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.
Mama Ruisa, Rua Santa Cristina, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2508-8142
Belmond Copacabana Palace
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.
Casa Mosquito is a colonial mansion occupying a glorious spot in the beautiful hills of Rio de Janeiro. Restored by French owner Benjamin Cano, these days it is the perfect stop off point for those in the area. Exuding a welcoming home-away-from-home atmosphere in Ipanema, the beach-side boutique hotel offers luxury suites, each with a private terrace and stunning views of the valley below. The original wood floors and paintings of old-world Rio merge beautifully with the white minimalist style, with the rooms decked out with all the essential mod-cons such as iPod docks and widescreen televisions. Casa Mosquito also offers ever-changing dinner menus for those who prefer to stay in after a long day exploring the vibrant area.
Casa Mosquito, R. Saint Roman, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 3586-5042
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.
The Villa, R. Dr. Júlio Oton, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2225-1480
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.
Hotel Fasano, Av. Vieira Souto, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 3202-4000
Quinta Azul Boutique Pousada
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.
Quinta Azul Boutique Pousada, Rua Almirante Alexandrino, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 3253-1021
Gavea Tropical Boutique Hotel
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.
Gavea Tropical Boutique Hotel, Rua Sérgio Porto, 85 – Gávea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2274-6015
Da Lapa Design Hotel
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.
Serena Boutique Resort
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.
Serena Boutique Resort, R. Campo de Pouso, 1630 – Geribá, Armação dos Búzios, Brazil, +55 21 3521-9624