If you're looking for beautiful people, top-notch restaurants, lively bars and a stunning beach, look no further than Leblon. Separated from its more famous neighbor, Ipanema, by a narrow canal, Leblon is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Rio, and accommodation here comes at a price.
See & Do
While Leblon's beach is less celebrated than near neighbor Ipanema (it's really a continuation of the same beach, divided by a small canal), it has plenty to recommend it. Sitting at the foot of the towering Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers) mountains, it is popular with the well-groomed, immaculately (if scantily) attired residents of this exclusive neighborhood, and is a favorite destination for families, being less busy, with calmer waves, than Ipanema.
Leblon is famous for its upscale restaurants, and those with a healthy budget will find no end of opportunity to dine on everything from top-quality Italian to sophisticated Japanese fare. Those with less cash in the kitty can tuck into vast portions of local dishes at the many informal botequins) (neighborhood bar-restaurants), while vegetarians and health conscious types should make a beeline for Vegetariano Social Clube - its entirely meat free organic menu has been known to tempt even the staunchest of carnivores.
Leblon's status as the hangout of Rio's monied elite may lead one to expect that the neighborhood's nightlife scene would be dominated by 'see and be seen' posing palaces but, while there are plenty of opportunities to mingle with the beautiful people at upscale spots such as Melt and Bar d'Hotel, there is ample opportunity for more laidback socialising too. At Cobal do Leblon, a neighborhood square flanked by bar-restaurants, you can eat, drink and chat until the small hours, while Jobi is a legendary spot for post-beach drinks that stays open late until the night.
While there are fewer accommodation options to be found in Leblon than in Ipanema or Copacabana, the choices available are almost uniformally of good quality. Marina All Suites is a chic design hotel favoured by model Gisele Bundchen, and there are several smart apart-hotels to choose from. With the beach and top bars and restaurants on your doorstep, it's small wonder that accommodation in Leblon tends to be on the pricey side.
Those with a taste for the finer things in life will be in their element in Leblon. The upscale neighborhood is packed with chic boutiques selling everything from teeny weeny bikinis in flattering cuts to super-fashionable jewelry and delicious gourmet goodies. To find all these things and more under one roof, head for Shopping Leblon - a US-syle mall home to scores of designer stores.