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.
Rio de Janeiro may be synonymous with beaches, but savvy visitors to the city are increasingly venturing inland and up into the hills of Santa Teresa. This luxury hotel, complete with palm-fringed pool and acclaimed French restaurant, cemented Santa Teresa's reputation as a major tourist destination when it opened in 2009, and gained worldwide attention when Amy Winehouse made her base here during her 2011 tour of Brazil. It's now managed by Sofitel, but maintains a boutique feel. The artsy neighborhood is chock full of handicrafts stores and vintage clothing outlets, and its drinking and dining scene is one of the most celebrated in the city.
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.
This hotel might not be deluxe, but its location right opposite Ipanema beach and close to the upscale neighborhood of Leblon makes it a hit with family visitors to Rio. Along with a plum beachfront spot, the hotel 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 there are good bus and metro links to other tourist hotspots. There are many good restaurants, cafes and shops within easy walking distance, too. Staff are friendly, and children are warmly welcomed.
The hotel itself is less than spectacular, but the location right on the beachfront at Arpoador is unbeatable for surfers and sun worshipers. This strip of sand is the spot where Ipanema meets Copacabana, so guests have two of the world's most famous beaches within easy reach. For those who are looking for beachfront accommodation but who don't have the advantage of a bottomless travel budget, this is the place. Prices are competitive for the area, and the breakfast on the beach is a feast for all the senses. Ask for a room with a sea view if the reais will stretch a little further, the sunset views are unforgettable.
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.
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.
Beach-loving families will adore Arpoador Inn's location - on a traffic-free spot by the beach where Copacabana meets Ipanema. This is one of the less hectic stretches of sand in Rio, making it good for families with young children, and the sunset views will wow the grown-ups. Rooms themselves are basic rather than luxurious, but they are comfortable and there's a good breakfast. Prices are reasonable for the area, although those planning to be here during major holidays such as New Year's or Carnival should be aware that the beach front can be noisy with celebrations that last through the night.
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.
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.