Rio de Janeiro has recently been named (and arguably shamed) as the city with the most expensive lodgings in the world, and anyone planning to make their base within easy reach of Ipanema or Copacabana beach will find that even a substantial travel budget may be stretched to cover anything but the most basic of hotel rooms.
While those with serious money to spend can do so in style at top spots such as Ipanema´s Hotel Fasano Rio, and the enduringly stylish Copacabana Palace, others would be wise to sacrifice a little beach time in order to relax in style at some of the stylish and characterful guesthouses to be found up in the hills of Santa Teresa.
The steep cobbled streets of this boho-chic neighborhood are lined with rambling colonial mansions, many of which have been transformed into seriously stylish boutique lodgings.
Prices tend to compare extremely favorably with beachfront hotels, and guests will receive the kind of warm welcome that a high rise chain hotel just can´t provide.
Of the many good options in Santa Teresa, Mama Ruisa is a standout. The French owners have combined a tropical Brazilian cool with French chic, and each of the rooms and suites is individually designed. A swimming pool set beneath monkey-filled trees has a picture-perfect view of Sugar Loaf and is the perfect setting for an early evening fruit cocktail. With a setting this picturesque, you may find yourself tempted to give the beach a miss.