Synonymous with beaches and beautiful people, Rio de Janeiro is unarguably one of the most glamorous destinations in the world and our top pick - Copacabana Palace - remains the most famous hotel in South America.
But while the famous sands continue to attract the crowds, savvy travelers are also making a beeline for the breezy, bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa and its many stylish boutique hotels and welcoming guest houses, such as the funky Casa Cool Beans. For the ultimate romantic escape, book a room at La Suite Rio - high on a clifftop in a super-exclusive enclave, this chic spot is a favorite of international fashion photographers.
In Centro, Copacabana and Ipanema, large chain hotels with all mod cons attract business travelers, while the grande dame of South American hotels, Copacabana Palace, continues to be the destination of choice for A-listers - rivaled in the glamour stakes only by Ipanema's sleek, Phillipe Starck-designed, Fasano Rio.
Budget travelers will need to plan ahead when heading to Rio - lodgings here are expensive even by Western standards, but the weakened Brazilian currency means that dollars, euros and other currencies stretch a lot further now than they did in recent years, and there are some good deals to be found if you book well in advance. A modest travel budget can be stretched further by self-catering facilities, and there is an excellent hostel scene in Rio, with many spots offering comfortable doubles as well as dorms.
Up in the jungle-clad hills, the colorful, characterful neighborhood of Santa Teresa is packed with small guest houses, at prices that compare extremely favorably with beachfront locations.