RIO DE JANEIRO

Set between idyllic golden beaches, the sparkling blue of the Atlantic Ocean and towering mountains shrouded in lush tropical forest; it is easy to see why Rio de Janeiro is nicknamed the ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ (‘The Marvellous City’) by locals and tourists alike.

Famed for a party atmosphere like no other city on earth, Rio offers travellers the opportunity to experience the unequalled joie de vivre of Brazilian quotidian life. From the pristine sands of Ipanema and Copacabana, the kaleidoscope colours of the charmingly chaotic favelas sprawled across the mountainside and the serene features of Christ the Redeemer perched atop Corcovado Mountain, Rio de Janeiro is a patchwork of such iconic sights that even the most well-travelled explorer cannot fail to be astounded by its beauty. Having long been the playgrounds of the rich and famous, Copacabana and Ipanema – the world’s most famous city beaches, are emblematic of the relaxed and carefree carioca lifestyle. Such is the majesty of the sunset over Ipanema beach that every night a crowd gathers on the rocky outcrops of the bay to applaud it. For those seeking activity, playing beach volleyball or joining in with a football match on the sand is the perfect way to spend an afternoon on the beach like a local, whilst for the sun-worshippers, there is no better place to be than in the sheltered bays of this magnificent urban coastal paradise.

Founded by Portuguese settlers in 1565, as one of Brazil’s oldest urban centres, Rio is also a city of enormous historic interest. Besides the exquisite Imperial Palace, famous for having once served as the seat of the Portuguese Monarchs living in exile during the Napoleonic Wars, Rio is home to an abundance of structures that tell the story of Brazil’s colourful history. From the crumbling walls of old Portuguese forts dotted along the Rio coastline, to the strikingly avant-garde Metropolitan Cathedral – Rio is a city in constant artistic and social evolution. Some of the highlights of the city include the Central do Brasil bank building, the colourful and bohemian Santa Teresa neighbourhood, the baroque Candelária Church and the stunning classical-looking Lapa arches. As the host of the most celebrated Carnival on the planet, Rio pulses to the rhythm of Samba music 365 days of the year and the Samba clubs in Lapa are well worth a visit. Truly a city that never sleeps, the nightlife here is unmatched by anywhere else in Brazil and drifting down the twisted streets of the old town you’ll be enveloped by the sounds of classic rock n roll, jazz, old-school bossa nova and the hip-hop beats of Rio’s dynamic urban music scene. Just outside of the city can be found the historic town of Petropolis whilst the endangered Golden Lion Tamarin is only found in the forests an hour from the city and is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts.

Whether it’s a relaxing beach break, a week of partying to the rhythms of the Samba clubs, catching a football match at the Maracanã, time spent exploring the exuberant nature of the city’s surroundings or a leisurely wander around the points of cultural interest; Rio de Janeiro has it all. Unmatched in terms of vistas and its festive spirit – The Marvellous City is simply impossible not to love.

WHERE TO STAY

Our favourite luxury hotels

Belmond Copacabana Palace - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Belmond Copacabana Palace

The iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace is an art deco jewel set on the world’s most famous beach.  Perfectly located for guests wishing to experience both the beautiful sands and the urban jungle of Rio, a stay offers the unique opportunity to rest in ultimate luxury in the most desirable location on the Rio strip.

Hotel Fasano - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hotel Fasano

Located on Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Ipanema Beach, the Fasano Rio is the first building to be designed by Philippe Starck in Brazil and is a celebration of the Bossa Nova era of Brazilian design from the 1950s and 1960s.

Hotel Emiliano - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hotel Emiliano

Located on the desirable Copacabana beach, the Hotel Emiliano Rio offers a sophisticated package. With only 90 rooms, this hotel strives to create a mixture of high-level city luxury with the restfulness and intimacy of a boutique beach resort.

Sofitel Ipanema - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sofitel Ipanema

The Sofitel Ipanema (formerly the Caesar Park Ipanema) faces the iconic Ipanema beach and overlooks Arpoador and Leblon. This gorgeous hotel is known for combining an ideal location with an elegant, charming atmosphere.

Hotel Santa Teresa MGallery - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Santa Teresa Hotel Rio MGallery by Sofitel

Nestled in the middle of Santa Teresa, the historic and cultural heart of Rio de Janiero, this luxurious antique gem dates back to the 1850s.  The converted mansion, once part of a coffee plantation, is located close to iconic sights such as Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Hotel Grand Hyatt - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro

Situated in the heart of Barra da Tijuca, the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro lies between the ocean, lake and the mountains and stands opposite the Reserva Beach. This minimal, open-planned and contemporary hotel works to reference Brazilian history and culture whilst remaining cutting edge.

Hotel Miramar by Windsor- Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miramar Hotel by Windsor 

The newly renovated Miramar Hotel by Windsor is in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, just steps away from the famous Copacabana Beach.  Situated on Avenida Atlântica, the hotel is on the doorstep of the dynamic Arpoador and Ipanema beaches and a short walking distance from the lively bars and restaurants of Rua Bolivar.

Hotel Yoo2 - Luxury holidays to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Yoo2 

Located in front of Botafogo beach, the Hotel Yoo2 is well-situated to offer spectacular views of the Sugarloaf and Corcovado Mountains. Local creativity is embraced with murals from local artists displayed throughout the hotel. Set on the north-eastern edge of Botafogo, the hotel is ideally placed to access one of the most vibrant and interesting districts in Rio.

Hotel La Suite - Luxury holiday to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

La Suite

Located in the exclusive hilltop neighbourhood of Joatinga, this cliffside retreat is the stylish pioneer of the boutique hotels in the city of Rio.  Located less than half an hour’s drive from Ipanema and Leblon, La Suite offers breath-taking views with its 180-degree view of the ocean, the São Conrado and Ipanema beach, the forest of Tijuca, Christ the Redeemer and the Cagarras Islands.