The Best Boutique Hotels in Rio de Janeiro

The Courtyard
The Courtyard | Courtesy of Da Lapa Design Hotel
Photo of Laura Field
7 May 2021

From the sloping streets of Santa Teresa to the sweeping beach of Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is a city bursting with life. From chic spots to sip a fresh caipirinha as you look out at the city to sumptuous swimming pools overlooking Guanabara Bay, our collection of the best boutique hotels in Rio de Janeiro is guaranteed to have something for you.

Vila Santa Teresa

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Vila Santa Teresa, Alexandrino
Courtesy of Vila Santa Teresa / Expedia

Bringing the pages of a glossy magazine to life is the exquisite Vila Santa Teresa. The seven signature suites all feature contemporary design with touches of color to mirror Rio’s natural surrounds. Each suite guarantees an exceptional view of either the city, the sea or the garden. Take a refreshing dip in the pool overlooking the city or indulge in a massage at the spa, which uses only natural products. To top off your stay, enjoy a three-course meal at Restaurant Beatriz – the menu changes seasonally and features fresh produce grown in the hotel’s own vegetable garden.

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Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery
Courtesy of Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery / Expedia

Set on the site of a former coffee farm, Santa Teresa Hotel is adorned with the works of pioneering Brazilian designers such as Sergio Rodrigues, making the interiors feel more like an art gallery than a hotel. Natural materials including coconut fiber, tropical woods and raw cotton feature throughout and the rooms are so bright and tranquil that you might even forget you’re in the city at all. Unwind at the pool lounge overlooking Guanabara Bay or the seductive Bar Dos Descasados with its stone archways and pristine tiled floors.

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Mama Shelter Rio De Janeiro

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Mama Shelter Rio De Janeiro
Courtesy of Mama Shelter Rio De Janeiro / Expedia

Another great spot in the artistic and musical neighborhood of Santa Teresa is Mama Shelter. The 55 rooms conveniently range in size from small to extra-large so you can enjoy a tailor-made stay. The modern design includes eclectic features – think straw hats hung on the walls, Looney Tunes characters on display and psychedelic murals. There’s definitely a sociable feel about the place (you can even use the onsite photo booth to capture snippets!). From wood-fired pizzas to Brazilian dumplings, the restaurant serves dishes as diverse as the interior design.

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L'homme de Rio Hotel

Boutique Hotel
Map View
L'homme De Rio Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of L'homme De Rio Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Stylish Ipanema is home to L’homme de Rio Hotel and its ten immaculate, contemporary suites, all stocked with minibars and espresso machines. Both Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are a convenient walk away so you can stroll along the seafront before enjoying the sunset from the hotel’s expansive Pikok Rooftop. complete with a pool, luxurious loungers, panoramic vistas and a cocktail menu to give Miami a run for its money, the apple breeze gin and tonic is dangerously good.

JANEIRO Hotel

Luxury
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JANEIRO Hotel
Courtesy of JANEIRO Hotel / Expedia

Set a step away from upmarket Leblon’s beach, the effortlessly luxurious JANEIRO Hotel proves that sometimes less really is more. You’ll be sure to wake up greeted by a sea view in one of the 53 apartments, with windows purposefully created to frame the pristine coastline outside. The photogenic theme continues on the hotel’s rooftop, frequented by supermodels and designers, which is an ideal spot for sipping a lychee caipiroska or dipping in the dazzling pool.

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Ritz Copacabana Boutique Hotel

Hotel
Map View
Ritz Copacabana Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Ritz Copacabana Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Just over the road from the iconic Copacabana beach lies the Ritz Copacabana Boutique Hotel. The 46 rooms and suites are designed with minimalism in mind and incorporate strokes of terracotta and mocha colors to complement the light wooden headboards and furniture. Its well-stocked rooftop bar will quench your thirst as you take in the sweeping views of the renowned Copacabana scenery.

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Hotel Ipanema Inn

Inn, Hotel
Map View
Hotel Ipanema Inn
Courtesy of Hotel Ipanema Inn / Expedia
Ipanema Inn lies in the heart of the eponymous neighborhood, conveniently close to the beach and the area’s many swanky bars and restaurants. The light-filled rooms designed by Rio architect Bel Lobo combine modernity with inspiration from the 1950s. If you fancy some beach time, just ask for the complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas and you can pitch up right on the coast outside. Expertly developed by the hotel’s chef, Ale Maidana, there’s also a traditional Brazilian menu using local and seasonal ingredients for when you get peckish.
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Mama Ruisa

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Mama Ruisa
Courtesy of Mama Ruisa / Booking.com

Set upon a hilltop 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 marveling 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 colorful streets for those who yearn for the hustle and bustle of Brazilian life.

Belmond Copacabana Palace

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Belmond Copacabana Palace
Courtesy pf Belmond Copacabana Palace / Expedia

Directly overlooking Copacabana beach, the Belmond Copacabana Palace has been welcoming guests into its Art Deco surroundings since 1923. Today, it is a Rio de Janeiro institution and one of the most iconic boutique hotels in the world, repeatedly voted the best place to stay in town. 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 Copacabana beach a short walk away.

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The Villa

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Villa
Map View
The Villa
Courtesy of The Villa / Expedia

In the heart of Rio stands The Villa, an 11-room hotel with stellar views over Guanabara Bay and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Just a stone’s throw from the busy cafes, galleries and local restaurants of Santa Teresa, this boutique establishment offers romantic suites to tired guests, taking the meaning of comfort to a new level, with the calming color schemes and luxury amenities catering to every taste.

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  • Hotel Fasano

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Fasano
    Courtesy of Hotel Fasano / Expedia
    Hotel Fasano, one of the leading hotels in the world, enjoys a prime spot on Ipanema Beach, where its sophisticated design pays homage to the golden age of bossa nova music from the 50s and 60s. The interior is similarly inspired, with intricate flooring and luxurious materials like Grecian marble detailing and Chinese onyx featuring heavily. All of the rooms in this boutique hotel come with luxury furnishings and offer stunning views onto the beach. If this wasn’t enough, Hotel Fasano boasts a world-class Michelin-starred restaurant that continues the establishment’s century-old legacy.

    Quinta Azul Boutique Pousada

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Quinta Azul Boutique Pousada
    Courtesy of Quinta Azul Boutique Pousada / Expedia

    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 13 rooms all boast wonderful features and breathtaking views of the sprawling city. Just moments away from the bohemian, cobble-stoned neighborhood 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.

    Gavea Tropical Boutique Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Gavea Tropical Boutique Hotel
    Courtesy of Gavea Tropical Boutique Hotel / Expedia

    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, where the hotel’s resident primate population often show their faces.

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    Da Lapa Design Hotel

    Budget Hotel, Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Da Lapa Design Hotel, Rio de Janeiro
    Da Lapa Design Hotel, Rio de Janeiro

    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 property, 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 central district, it serves as the perfect base from which to experience the city’s bustling nightlife. A free breakfast is served every day, ensuring that guests are sufficiently fuelled for a full day of exploring.

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    Serena Boutique Resort

    Resort, Hotel
    Map View
    Serena Boutique Resort
    Courtesy of Serena Boutique Resort / Expedia
    Serena Boutique Resort is an upscale hotel situated just 200m 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 returning. For those looking for ultimate relaxation, Serena boasts a commendable on-site spa center offering shiatsu massage, hydromassage and a solarium.

    Varia Fedko-Blake contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on May 7, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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