Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro, Buzios & the Costa Verde

Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro, Buzios & the Costa Verde

Belmond Copacabana Palace

Originally opened in 1923, this impressive property is Rio's most traditional and luxurious hotel, and has been the go-to-place to stay for everyone from Fred Astaire to the Rolling Stones.

The 226 bedrooms and suites in this Belmond property are tastefully decorated and spread throughout the main building and tower wing. Each is decorated with period furniture and original works of art, but also modern touches such as iPods and Wi-Fi.

The hotel also boasts a wonderful large outdoor pool, spa and a rooftop tennis court (the only one in the city, unsurprisingly). It also has a couple of great restaurants, including the Cipriani, which is one of the best places to eat in the city (their breakfast is particularly good) and the new Pan-Asian MEE, fronted by Celebrity Chef Ken Hom. The restaurant is by the pool and serves classic dishes from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, China and Japan in a contemporary Asian-inspired dining room with a dedicated sushi bar and even a sake stewardess.

Only minutes from the centre of Rio and sitting right in front of Copacabana beach, there is nowhere like the (fondly known) Cop Palace for its service and the element of old style grandeur.

Why We Love It

The hotel's floodlit tennis court is located, rather unusually, on its roof, so do try to keep the ball down.



One of the slickest hotels in Rio, Fasano is situated on Rio de Janeiro's fashionable Ipanema Beach.

Designed by Philippe Starck, the elegant interiors give a modern twist to 1950's and 60's retro style. All rooms and suites come with terraces, high speed Wi-Fi Internet connection, plasma TV, DVD/CD player and marble bathrooms. The deluxe rooms overlook the Atlantic Ocean.

Facilities include a lobby bar, beach service, spa, gym, steam room and a rooftop infinity pool with a sun terrace. From here there are panoramic views, and you can watch the Cariocas going about their daily fitness routines or playing volleyball on the beach.

The rooftop bar serves light meals and fresh juices, and is a great spot for a sundowner drink, while the hotel's ultra-chic Fasano al Mare restaurant serves gastronomic Italian cuisine. The sights of Rio, including Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer are within easy reach.

Why We Love It

Benefiting from a prime location on Rio's Ipanema beach- this hotel is the epitome of 'cool'.


Santa Teresa Hotel RJ

The Santa Teresa Hotel RJ is now under the MGallery by Sofitel umbrella.

The hotel is located in the heart of the historical district of Santa Teresa and boasts wonderful views of Guanabara Bay below.

There are 44 rooms in total and their tropical design is reflected in the ambience of the entire hotel, where natural materials are used throughout - the doors are constructed of the seven noble woods of Brazil and elements such as the linens, lime stone and Portuguese tiles evoke Brazil's colonial era.

There is a wonderful pool with those superb views, and guests can relax in the hotel's own Spa. The hotel's restaurant, Tereze, showcases excellent modern Brazilian fare.

Why We Love It

For Caipirinhas, the perfect spot is in Bar dos Descasados or on its adjacent terrace, the bar is constructed under the arches of the restored slave quarters, with quirky pieces of art by local artists adorning its exposed brick walls.


Vila D'Este

Situated on a cliff overlooking the famous Joao Fernandes Beach, this pretty little pousada is perfectly situated near the centre of town but at a privileged position with spectacular views over the bay.

All rooms and suites are quite small and plain, but very well decorated individually with quirky pieces of furniture and decked out with all modern amenities. There is a small plunge pool on the terrace and a Jacuzzi linked to the steam sauna and a sophisticated Brazilian and Mediterranean cuisine is served in the onsite restaurant, in a candle light atmosphere overlooking the ocean.

Why We Love It

With Buzios being so close, it's worth venturing in to the town to sample some of the local cuisine in the many shops, bars and restaurants or hiring a beach buggy to explore one of the many beaches nearby.


Casa Turquesa

Now this a pretty chic boutique! Casa Turquesa is a lovely B&B idyllically situated down Paraty's cobbled town streets right on the waterfront.

The property has a sophisticated, yet relaxed feel to it, making it that little bit more welcoming for its guests. With just nine rooms, Casa Tourquesa is intimate in size, and the design is contemporary meets the façade of an 18th Century town house. The rooms have views either of the bay of Paraty itself, the roofs of the historic centre, the mountains, or the dome of Santa Rita Church.

Each room is named and decorated after a particular colour and has high ceilings, an en-suite bathroom, LCD television and extremely comfortable bed with Egyptian cotton sheets and mosquito netting made by craftsmen from Bahia. The convention in Paraty is to take off ones shoes when entering a home, so the owners provide each guest with a pair of havaina flip flops on arrival.

The peaceful courtyard is home to a plunge pool surrounded by decking next to a chill out area that is the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the town.

Why We Love It

Turquesa means turquoise in Portuguese, and it's a colour on view throughout the hotel, from the exterior trim to the floor of the swimming pool.


Mama Ruisa

The French owners of this boutique property believe that personalized service is paramount to maximising the Brazilian experience whilst staying in Rio de Janeiro.

This is a wonderful, luxurious mansion house perched on the hillside of the bohemian district of Santa Teresa, offering breathtaking views of Sugarloaf and the bay below. At only 15 minutes from Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 10 minutes to Rio's historic centre and Lapa, the heart of the samba bars and cabarets, this guest house is perfectly suited to those wanting the best of all worlds: relaxation, culture, activity and an interesting evening.

This brand new guest house has an exotic Brazilian feel, combined with a unique and modern french touch. All the modern designed, luxurious rooms have unique designs with unusual photography and sculptures, sourced from all over Brazil and look on to the stunning view of the bay. The swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees and birds of paradise, is an ideal location to relax and allow the attentive staff of Mama Ruisa to meet your every need.

Why We Love It

An exotic combination of all things Brazilian colliding beautifully with the French culture, to produce an unusual yet fantastic hotel.


Rio Internacional

As one of Copacabana's top hotels, the Rio Internacional has an excellent location overlooking Copacabana beach and fantastic views over the Corcovado mountains.

After a recent refurbishment, the hotel has taken on an almost artful quality. All the rooms are decorated in cool, elegant tones and have a light and airy feel. Large white quilts, light hardwoods, stylish furnishings and simple artwork all complement each other nicely. Big windows get lots of natural light - whether you opt for the front-facing ocean views lateral ocean views and most of the rooms have balconies.

Its new stylish yet comfortable demeanour is further encouraged by the wide range of facilities it has: a roof top pool, fitness centre and an elegant restaurant with a superb view no matter where you sit.

Why We Love It

This top hotel offers you the best of both worlds a sensational city and breathtaking views over the beach, in an elegant and stylish setting.


Casa Paraty

An immaculately restored colonial mansion located in the heart of the colonial old town of Paraty which is entirely closed to traffic.

The understated colonial exterior and walled garden do not hint at the luxury and level of comfort inside.

The house is very private with a wrap-around walled garden, circular blue-tiled swimming pool, and inside and outside dining areas. The bedrooms are air-conditioned, with state of the art en suite bathrooms, and there is a barbecue area for grilling the catch of the day.

The house comes with its own schooner (for an additional charge) for guests to explore the nearby bays and islands, and it is fully staffed, with an English-speaking concierge, a cook, housekeeper, butler and maid.

Why We Love It

The house comes with its own schooner (for an additional charge) for guests to explore the nearby bays