10 Rio Beachfront Lodgings That Put the 'Hot' in Hotel



As one of the world's most celebrated beach cities, it is no surprise that Rio de Janeiro offers plenty of beachfront hotels. What can take visitors to Rio by surprise, however, are the prices for hotels along the beaches. Soaring prices in the city have seen Rio become one of the world's most expensive cities for lodgings, with hotels along the waterfront commanding the most eye-watering prices of all. 

Rooms with sea views are always more expensive, but are worth it for those who can afford to dig a little deeper, while rooftop swimming pools offer sweeping vistas out to sea and over the jungle-clad mountains. 

While many Rio de Janeiro beach hotels offer little more than standard accommodation in return for their sky-high prices, those at the top end certainly deliver a memorable experience. 

Visitors with the budget for a luxury beachfront base will find truly awesome views from the beach-facing rooms at the enduringly beautiful Copacabana Palace, while sipping a cocktail in the rooftop infinity pool at the fabulously flashy Fasano Rio will have you feeling like an A-lister in an instant. 

Prices for beach hotels in Rio de Janeiro are at their highest during Carnival and New Year's, while visitors heading to Rio for the2016 Rio Olympics will also likely face sky high rates. Booking outside these times will make things a little more affordable. 



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Sol Ipanema is one of several tall hotels along Ipanema beach front, and is a solid option that delivers a good quality of accommodation for prices that less eye-wateringly high than some of its neighbors. Sol Ipanema attracts a mixed crowd of families, couples and business travelers, and while the building is not the last word in chic, the rooma are comfortable and well equipped,and the breakfast is good. The real draw here is the location right in the middle of Ipanema beachfront, and the chic shops, bars and restaurants of this illustrious neighborhood are just steps away from the hotel, too.


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Truly off the beaten tourist track, this hilltop hotel is located in Joatinga - a super-exclusive neighborhood known as the Beverley Hills of Rio. Each of the suites is unique,and all feature luxurious touches such as vast double showers and spacious dressing rooms. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean and Rio's magnificently verdant mountains, the hotel's infinity pool has views that will truly take your breath away. The hotel is a favorite with the international fashion press, who regularly use it for photo shoots. Almost next door, a tiny beach is so secluded that couples will almost feel they have it to themselves.


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Hotel Praia Ipanema
Photo courtesy of Ipanema Inn


 

Walk-up prices can be expensive, but book well in advance and you can bag good bargains at this beachfront hotel. With a desirable location close to the point where upscale Ipanema meets even-more-exclusive Leblon, the hotel is not the last word in chic, but it offers spacious rooms with balconies, most of which have a view of either the beach or the Christ Statue. There's a good gym and pool, the breakfasts are lavish, and the location is ideal for anyone whose dream break in Rio involves lazing on the beach, sipping an ice cold drink and watching the beautiful people glide by.


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For anyone looking for privacy and independence along with hotel services and a prime location, Leblon Flat Service is a good call. As well as being footsteps from the beach, guests have the use of the building's pool, and can take advantage of a decent breakfast in the communal dining area. Maids will keep your apartment spick and span, while you'll have the freedom to whip up your own meals in the decent-sized kitchens of these stylish apartments. This is Leblon, so expect steep prices, but Leblon Flat Service is economical compared with hotels nearby. The Leblon location means that prices are on the steep side, but compare well with hotel accommodation in the area.


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Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is one of several big name regulars at this chic hotel on Leblon beachfront, and it´s not hard to see what attracts the A-listers to the hotel. While most of Rio de Janeiro´s boutique lodging options are to be found some way from the beaches, in leafy neighborhoods such as Santa Teresa and Gavea, Marina All Suites sits right in front of the beach in upscale Leblon. Each of the Design Suites has been signed by a different interior designer, and each features luxuries such as surround sound stereo systems and spacious lounge areas. A private cinema and bar can be reserved by guests, while the public bar-restaurant Bar d´Hotel is a hotspot for Rio´s young, rich and beautiful.


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Hotel Arpoador
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


 

Okay, it's not bargain-basement cheap, but prices at Arpoador Inn are extremely favorable in comparison with other beachfront lodgings. The location - right on the sands at the point where Copacabana meets Ipanema - is unbeatable for sunseekers and surfers, and transport links to the lively nightlife of Lapa are good. While rooms with a beachfront view are by far the most desirable, it goes without saying that they command a higher price than those with views of the back streets. Prices here drop considerably outside of peak tourist season, but it's likely to be out of the price range of budget travellers during New Year and Carnival.


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Sheraton Rio comes as close to having a private beach as is possible for any Rio de Janeiro hotel. The hotel is located to the west of Ipanema and Leblon, beneath the pacified favela of Vidigal, that clings to the mountainside. The hotel's section of beach is little visited by anyone other than guests, while those looking to sun themselves on more famous sands will find it just a quick cab ride to Ipanema. This is one of the largest hotels in Rio, with several pools, restaurants and facilities such as play rooms for kids, making it a solid option for families visiting Rio.


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Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


 

Anchoring one end of Copacabana Beach, Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana is a favorite among business travelers and politicians visiting Rio. Although less luxurious than it once was, the hotel still offers smart, modern facilities and front-facing rooms have spectacular views. The in house hotel, Le Pre-Catalan, is considered one of the best spots in the city for fine dining, while the Horse's Neck bar is a nice place to grab a cocktail and try to spot a famous face - actors, models, musicians and sports stars have been known to hang out here. The attentive service is another plus.


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The first hotel to rival Copacabana Palace in the glamour stakes, Fasano Rio's prime spot on Ipanema beachfront makes it an ideal base for those with cash to splash. The discreet facade masks a wealthy of quirky design details - crafted by French designer Phillipe Starck, the interior blends cool white minimalism with playful details such as candy-striped pod chairs on each corridor. The hotel's crowning glory is the rooftop infinity pool - order a cocktail at the poolside bar, sink into the warm waters and enjoy the magnificent panoramic views over Ipanema beach, out to sea and up into the twinkling lights of the hillside favelas.


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The grande dame of Rio de Janeiro's hotels, the 1920s-built Copacabana Palace is still a byword for luxury and lavish living in the Cidade Maravilhosa. The hotel of choice for A-listers visiting Rio, Copacabana Palace had welcomed such celebrated guests as Madonna, Will Smith and the Obamas, and the service is as attentive as befits a hotel whose staff are accustomed to attending the whims of the very rich and very famous. The hotel's two restaurants are among the best in the city, while the addition of an upmarket nightclub and luxury spa have brought Copacabana Palace bang up to date.


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Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.

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