The Best Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Including Beach Butlers and Sigh-Worthy Infinity Pools

Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
Photo by microgen/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Doug Gray, The Telegraph, October 11, 2019

Where once the Copacabana Palace was the first and last word in luxury accommodation in Rio, the arrival of Rogerio Fasano’s first foray in the city right on the Ipanema beachfront (where else?) emphatically raised the bar. The famous Palace still delivers bygone glamour and facilities galore including a spectacular pool, but the Fasano and, more recently, the Emiliano both arrived from São Paulo with added contemporary cool to go with the undeniable luxury. These are the places to see and be seen, with exclusive rooftop pools, famous guests and sumptuous spas, all delivered with discreet but welcoming warmth. Here's our pick of the best luxury hotels in Rio. 

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

9Telegraph expert rating

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Fasano has single-handedly revolutionised the city’s hotel scene with its superior service and understated cool, making it the place to see and be seen. Elegant to the hilt, the signature dark-wood panelling makes the building as attractive from outside as in. Entry to the guest-only rooftop infinity pool is so sought-after that São Paulo's high-flyers book rooms on weekends just to facilitate a Saturday afternoon's lounging across the state border. The impressive suites have drawn the likes of many a celebrity, from Beckham to Beyoncé. Watching the sun set (or indeed rise) over Ipanema beach from your balcony is something magical. Read expert review. From £300 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  An insider guide to Rio de Janeiro

Belmond Copacabana Palace Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

9Telegraph expert rating

The dozens of black-and-white photos of Hollywood, rock 'n' roll and, indeed, genuine royalty that line the corridors of this gorgeous, neo-classical wedding cake of a hotel hint at the opulence that has been ingrained in it over the years. It very much maintains a classic rather than contemporary style, with vast chandeliers, copious amounts of marble and forests-worth of polished Brazilian wood. Service to the sunloungers on Copacabana Beach includes fresh fruits and coconut water, and the spa is a first-class retreat. Michelin-starred Mee, directed by Ken Hom, completes the picture, as do the stunning black pool and rooftop tennis court. Read expert review. From £280 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best hotels in Rio de Janeiro

Hotel Emiliano Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

9Telegraph expert rating

If you're staying at Hotel Emiliano, opt for the sea view and be seduced by the views and sound of crashing of waves. Anyone looking to hit all the classic Rio high notes will find plenty to fawn over here at the southern tip of Copacabana beach. Pop on personalised flip-flops and head to the magnificent rooftop pool that L-shapes in front of the sun-loungers to deliver a stunning tropical refuge. You don't even have to lift a finger here; friendly and informed staff are eager to please, and the on-call butler, room turn-downs and beach service add to the sense of luxury. Read expert review. From £329 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

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Santa Teresa Hotel RJ MGallery Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

9Telegraph expert rating

This converted mansion, once part of a former coffee plantation, is deceptively large, its rustic features preserved and shot through with a dash of contemporary Brazilian style. Palm trees pepper the lush, green gardens and arc over the pool to conjure up a genuine tropical paradise. In keeping with the overall feel of the hotel, all rooms are casually elegant, the muted tones and reclaimed wooden furniture, including rustic four-poster beds in some rooms, creating a cosy feel. The hotel's Térèze restaurant has collected a raft of awards for its Franco-Brazilian fusions, drawing customers from all over the city. Read expert review. From £174 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best romantic hotels in Rio de Janeiro

Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

8Telegraph expert rating

Janeiro may be 18 floors high, but with only five rooms on each, a real sense of spacious calm pervades – it is Brazilian lifestyle impresario Oskar Mestavaht’s first foray beyond his Osklen clothing label into the Rio hotel scene and is suitably stylish from top to bottom. The overriding mood is that of an ultra-modern take of classic 1970s luxury, right down to the wonderfully retro phone perched on the sturdy dark-wood desks that run the length of the room. Behind the glamour, Janeiro is also a brilliantly thought-out slice of boutique that gives upmarket Leblon a hotel to shout about. Read expert review. From £180 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best things to do in Rio de Janeiro

LSH Hotel Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

7Telegraph expert rating

A grown-up hotel in Barra with enough pulling power to tempt visitors away from Ipanema. All rooms have ample balconies, with the lateral as well as front-facing options all getting a fine view of the rolling Atlantic. The glass-bottomed pool a playful reminder that the hotel has been conceived with Miami’s Delano in spirit – complete with Saturday night DJ sets – and exudes the showy Barra lifestyle. Beach service means complimentary towels, parasols, deckchairs and water await whenever you want to venture onto the sand. Read expert review. From £98 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best budget hotels in Rio de Janeiro

Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

8Telegraph expert rating

From the strikingly minimal, contemporary lobby to the sandy tones and palm-lined pool, the designers have done their level best to reflect the city’s emblems and distinguish it from cookie-cutter chain hotels. Fantastically high ceilings, open spaces with ‘living’ walls of plants and homages to the great local landscaper Roberto Burle Marx show a genuine effort to interact with the region’s topography and bring the outdoors indoors. The basement spa is pure escapism, mercifully insulated from the joyous weekly samba classes held in the adjacent studio and the pumping limbs of the next-door, high-tech fitness suite. Read expert review. From £93 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best beaches in Rio de Janeiro

Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

8Telegraph expert rating

The Sheraton juts out majestically into the ocean at the end of Leblon beach, arguably the city's finest stretch of sand. The inviting lobby has an elegant bar overlooking the sea while below, the pool area’s swaying palms instil a genuine rustic tropical charm, so that despite being in the heart of the city, you could almost be in a Bahian hideaway up the coast. Upstairs, the magnificent, golden spa is the height of luxury, attracting local celebrities as well as guests in search of pampering. The 26th-floor Etoile restaurant is the showstopper, however, with classic French cooking in a unique, elegant setting. Read expert review. From £104 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

 

This article was written by Doug Gray from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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