When it comes to getting romantic in Rio de Janeiro, there are no shortage of accommodation options. Take care, though, when booking your hotel if you want somewhere that offers beautiful views and luxurious fixtures and fittings rather than mirrored ceilings and blacked out windows. The concept of the ‘love motel’ is hugely popular in a city where high property prices mean that many people continue living with their parents well into adulthood.
Motels generally charge per six hours or 12 hours, and while they tend to be much more affordable than standard hotels, the vibe is more raunchy than romantic. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you are spoiled for choice – look for places with such subtle names as Sinless and Hotel Love Time, and you won’t go far wrong.
Should you be looking for something a little classier, there are options in every price range, from budget-friendly to blow out. Rio is a city that gets the heart racing, and romantic hotels here will be sure to have you falling head over heels in love with the city. Here’s our pick of the top five romantic hotels in Rio.
1. Copacabana Palace
Age has not withered this classic beauty, which has been syonymous with glamour and luxury since its construction in the 1920s, and it is still the hotel of choice for VIP guests, with the Obamas, Madonna and Will Smith among the long list of stars to have stayed at Copacabana Palace in recent years. Rooms with sea views are well worth the extra cash, and the hotel’s pool is a wonderful place for a cocktail and a bite to eat. The more formal restaurant, Cipriani, is one of the top restaurants in Rio.
2. Fasano Rio
Yes, it’s expensive, but as a blow-out romantic treat this Phillipe Starck-designed hotel overlooking Ipanema beach is worth it. The rooms and restaurant are elegant, and the rooftop infinity pool with views over the beach is the perfect place to be at sunset. Just add a champagne cocktail to up the wow factor even more.
3. Hotel Santa Teresa
This five-star hotel opened in 2009 and brought a touch of luxury and glamour to the boho hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa. It was the hotel of choice for the late Amy Winehouse during her 2011 Brazilian tour, and its location some distance from the beaches of the Zona Sul means that it offers its five-star luxury at prices that are a fraction of those in Ipanema, Leblon or Copacabana. If you don’t mind taking a cab to the beach, this hotel, with its sweeping views, large pool and romantic rooms and suites, could be for you.
4. Marina All Suites
This design hotel is located on the beachfront at Leblon, Rio’s most exclusive neighborhood. Each suite has been signed by a different designer, and all feature luxurious extras such as stereo systems and beautifully appointed mini- kitchens. There’s even a private cinema, and guests can make film requests with the friendly staff downstairs. One regular guest is the supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and the bar and restaurant, Bar d’Hotel, is a hangout for Rio’s beautiful elite.
5. Casa 579
Hidden away in Santa Teresa, this hilltop guesthouse offers some of the best views in Rio from its rooftop pool. The double rooms (there are dorms too) are much more affordable than many hotels in Rio, and each is themed around a separate Rio samba school. For romance on a realistic budget, this is our top choice.
Photo: Copacabana Palace, courtesy of hotels.com