At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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You’ve done your research, you’ve picked your destinations, and your flights have been booked – but you are completely overwhelmed by all the accommodation choices in Rio de Janeiro!

I’ve traveled the world for the past decade years, so I understand the challenge of filtering dozens of hotels and trying to balance cost, location, amenities, and comfort.

By leveraging my extensive travel knowledge and experience living in Brazil, I’ve created this guide for savvy travelers – from backpackers to those with no budget seeking luxury – looking for a place to stay in the vibrant Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Join me as I uncover some of the best luxury, mid-range, and budget hotels, helping you find the perfect place to stay while exploring “Cidade Maravilhosa” – the Marvelous City.

Best Luxury Hotels In Rio de Janeiro – Feel Like Royalty

There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Rio de Janeiro. The city is brimming with 5-star resorts, private hotels with beach access, rooftop bars, relaxing spas, and fine-dining hotel restaurants.

When you stay in any of these 5-star luxury hotels, you’ll feel like a celebrity – waking up in a cushy king-sized bed, sipping coffee with ocean views, and snuggling into a fluffy robe on your way to your private outdoor swimming pool.

Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Copacabana Palace

1. Copacabana Palace – Best for socialites

The 5-star Copacabana Palace is right across the street from the famous Copacabana Beach.

This hotel is unlike any other luxury hotel in the area. It is not stuffy or uptight; instead, it fosters a party spirit, where you can celebrate life with a poolside cocktail as the sun sets over the ocean.

Copacabana Palace has stood on the shores of Brazil for almost a century, and its historic glamor lives on, with some modern twists.

The hotel has both rooms and suites available. Although the rooms are comfortable and spacious, why not treat yourself to one of the Penthouse Suites, complete with butler service?

You can easily keep to yourself here – the private booths at the Pergula restaurant are perfect for this – but I encourage you to mingle with the other guests.

Enjoy exotic Asian dishes at Mee, sample Italian flavors at Hotel Cipriani restaurant (don’t get confused, the restaurant is simply named Hotel Cipriani), or clink champagne glasses at the Pool Bar.

Copacabana Palace is constantly striving to bring its guests the best, most memorable experiences. You can book a boat trip and head to the beaches of Zona Sul and Niterói, marvel at the architectural wonders of Rio on a guided tour, or book a customized tour to explore the highlights of the city.

And after all that travel and exploration, you’re definitely going to need a spa day to recuperate! In my opinion, there’s no better place to do that than at the Copacabana Palace Spa (the Signature Experience is highly recommended by yours truly!).

Fairmont Rio Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Fairmont

2. Fairmont Rio de Janeiro Copacabana – Best glamorous escape

Infinity pool? Check. Stunning views of Copacabana Beach? Check. Incredible cocktails and tapas? Check. Epic rooms and suites with 1950s glamor and marble bathrooms? Check, check, and check!

Honestly, what more can you want?

The Fairmont Rio de Janeiro hotel at Copacabana Beach oozes charm, luxury, and old-world charm. But, of course, this stately hotel has been modernized with all the guest amenities you could ever want.

My room tip: Book the Fairmont Gold Junior Suite. It’s one of the most affordable options but still has just about everything you need, including a small balcony with ocean views.

What the Fairmont lacks in restaurant options (there’s only the Marine Restô), it makes up for with incredibly delicious food. With the ocean on its doorstep, it is no surprise that you will find fresh seafood here. Fish and meat are grilled in a Josper charcoal oven, giving each dish a unique, smokey flavor.

The hotel also has two bars, one serving alcoholic drinks and the other coffee and sweet treats. Both are equally amazing.

With valet parking, a concierge, the Willow Stream spa, and a gorgeous infinity pool, it is no surprise that the Fairmont Rio de Janeiro is one of the best hotels in the city that offers a glamorous escape from your mundane, daily life.

Villa Paranagua in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Villa Paranagua

3. Villa Paranaguá Hotel and Spa – Best home away from home

Do your visions of your Rio holiday include sipping fresh coconut water by the poolside? Or enjoying a private garden after a shoulder massage at your hotel’s spa?

Look no further than the Villa Paranaguá Hotel on the outskirts of Santa Teresa. This hotel is perfect for couples looking to rekindle their romance or celebrate their love. Despite being close to plenty of restaurants and bars, the hotel somehow feels like a little bubble of luxury, surrounded by nature and landscaped gardens.

The hotel doesn’t really feel like a 5-star hotel. Instead, it feels like you are staying in someone’s very nice home. The decor has been meticulously chosen to create a warm, inviting atmosphere in public guest spaces that you’d never want to leave.

But, oh – you might just leave the private pool or guest lounge behind once you hear what the rooms are like!

The suites have modern fittings, balconies, king-sized beds, seating spaces, air conditioning, and coffee machines. So, no matter which of the spacious rooms you choose, you won’t be wanting for more!

When it is time to eat, the Villa Paranaguá Hotel doesn’t disappoint either. The Bar serves Mediterranean dishes fused with Brazilian flavors. You can dine at the bar, or request a variety of finger foods to be served poolside.

And breakfast? That is served daily in the gorgeous gardens – the perfect way to start your day!

Yoo2 in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Yoo2

4. Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro

Yoo2 offers you the best views in the city. Look out one window and you’ve got panoramic views of the ocean and Botafogo Beach. Look the other way, and there is Christ the Redeemer, and the Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountains.

And when you turn around and look toward the hotel, you will see eclectic decor, a rooftop pool, comfortable rooms, and unreal restaurants.

Let’s start with the restaurants. First, there’s the rooftop bar. Here you will find mixologists practicing their craft (they even offer masterclasses if you want to learn, too!). To accompany the crazy cocktails, you can sample some tapas. I can recommend the Couvert – a bread platter with fish, eggplant, and spreads.

The Cariocally Restaurant serves contemporary Brazilian food, prepared with local ingredients. There is also the Cariocally Bar, a more informal meeting place for coffee during the day and drinks at night.

What really stood out to me was how social all these dining settings are. The small plates and lively atmosphere encourage sharing and chatting with your fellow diners.

Okay, on to what you care about: the rooms. There are a couple of room options here. I stayed in the Sugar Room, which had unreal views of Sugarloaf Mountain and the city. The rooms have king-sized beds, walk-in showers, and Nespresso coffee machines, and offer all-around comfort!

Regarding experiences, the Bossa Spa is a must when you’re staying at Yoo2. And, on Thursdays, you can get your jig on with live Bossa Nova (a type of samba) on the rooftop.

Hotel Fasano in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Hotel Fasano

5. Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

Hotel Fasano is right across the road from Ipanema Beach. So, if you want to explore the lively vibes of this neighborhood, then Fasano is the perfect comfortable accommodation for your visit.

This hotel is luxury at its best. It has an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Ipanema Breach, and the mountains of Arpoador and Corcovado serve as a backdrop.

The hotel showcases the contemporary architectural values of Brazil, with a 1950s and ’60s design that recalls the glorious days of Bossa Nova.

There are a couple of different room types to choose from, including suites and superior rooms. The Deluxe Frente Mar is my go-to, with a balcony, mirrors that enlarge the space, a king-sized bed, and amazing ocean views.

When it comes to dining, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There’s the Varetto-Londra Restaurant and Bar, where you can sample world-class cocktails and finger foods. Gero Rio is the hotel’s formal restaurant, serving fresh dishes made with local ingredients.

I highly recommend the prawn and pumpkin risotto! And lastly, there is Bar Da Piscina, the pool bar on the 8th floor.

Best Mid-Range Hotels In Rio de Janeiro – Save Cash But Stay Comfortably

Good news: You don’t have to empty your life’s savings to have a comfortable stay in Rio. There are plenty of hotels in the city that offer amazing rooms and great dining and are well-located to explore the bustling city.

Ibis Rio Centro in Rio de Janeiro
Image by ibis

6. ibis Rio de Janeiro Centro – Best mid-range hotel in the city center

There is no doubt that you’re in Rio de Janeiro when you step into the lobby of the ibis Rio de Janeiro Centro Hotel.

This hotel is vibrant; filled with life, color, and fun decor. It offers modern amenities, including WiFi, aircon, and even pet-friendly rooms!

The location of this hotel is perfect if you want to explore the city’s streets. The Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião (Rio de Janeiro Cathedral) and the Carioca Aqueduct are less than 10 minutes away on foot.

Nine minutes down the street are the relaxing vibes of Campo de Santana Park. And if you want to take a longer walk, the National History Museum is 20 minutes away.

Even though you probably won’t be spending much time in your room, I bet you still want to know what it’s like sleeping at the ibis Hotel in Centro. There are standard rooms available with city views.

These rooms are basic but offer everything you’d need for a good night’s rest. The hotel also has a Standard Apartment, which is spacious with views of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sadly, there’s no pool at this hotel, but luckily the aircon is pretty good at keeping the worst Rio heat away.

If you’re feeling peckish and don’t want to walk the streets to find a restaurant, the ibis Kitchen serves grilled meats, pizzas, and sandwiches.

Lagune Barra Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Image from Instagram

7. Lagune Barra Hotel – Best escape from city life

The Lagune Barra Hotel is about 30 minutes outside the city center, but it is still close enough to drive or take public transport into the city if needed. From the hotel’s rooftop pool, you can enjoy views of the tall city buildings as they rise up in the distance, across Jacarepagua Lagoon.

Just because you’re not in the city doesn’t mean you’ll be bored, though! The Lagune Barra Hotel is situated in Riocentro, one of the largest event complexes in Rio de Janeiro. Nearby you will find Anfiteatro Rio Centro where live events are often held.

Other nearby tourist attractions include:

  • Barry Olympic Park: This area served as the Olympic Park for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • Museu do Pontal: One of the most significant popular art museums in Brazil.
  • Ilha Pura: The gorgeous fountains are a must-see.
  • Praça Professora Heley Batista: This pet-friendly park has a couple of tennis courts and is a great spot to relax.

The hotel’s rooms are quite basic, but they have everything an international guest would need. The beds are comfy, there is a work desk and seating space, and the bathrooms are modern and clean.

There is a lovely gym and wellness area where you can work off all the food you just scoffed at one of the two restaurants. Breeze Restô has an international menu and a laid-back atmosphere. The Bar do Lobby is located right in the hotel’s lobby (if that wasn’t obvious from its name), and serves drinks in a relaxed setting.

Intercity Porto Maravilha in Rio de Janeiro
Image from Facebook

8. Hotel Intercity Porto Maravilha – Best hotel for business visitors

If you’re in Rio for business, then the Hotel Intercity Porto Maravilha is a great stay. Of course, those traveling for leisure will also be happy here.

But the reason I tout it as being a great hotel for those traveling for work is because of its prime location in the city center and how close it is to the airport (about 15 minutes). There are five rooms at the hotel that can host business meetings and free WiFi so you can work from your room or any of the public spaces.

Speaking of rooms… if you’re looking for lots of space, the Deluxe Apartment is a good option. There is a desk for working, as well as a phone to make calls and a safe box to store valuables. The Standard Apartment is practical and comfortable, perfect for those who booked a shorter stay.

But let’s face it, you won’t always be working! The hotel has a lovely outdoor swimming pool with sweeping views of the renovated harbor, as well as a bar and fitness room.

The free breakfast buffet is pretty standard, and there’s also an on-site restaurant and lounge if you’d rather stay in to eat.

Novotel RJ in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Novotel

9. Novotel RJ Porto Atlantico

Just down the road from Hotel Intercity Porto Maravilha is the Novotel RJ Porto Atlantico Hotel.

This 4-star hotel is modern and well-situated for exploring the city. It’s perfect for all kinds of travelers, including couples, families, digital nomads, and solo adventurers.

Novotel RJ Porto Atlantico might be in the heart of the city, but this Rio de Janeiro hotel is all about relaxing. You can unwind in the swimming pool, sweat it out in the sauna, or work out some frustrations in the gym.

And once you’ve worked (or relaxed) up an appetite, the 365 Restaurant offers a 24-hour menu served either in the restaurant or as room service in any part of the hotel!

Novotel calls their rooms “apartments”, but really they are just standard hotel rooms. There is also a “room office” you can book from 8 am to 8 pm on the same day – this hotel room was converted into an office (so you can’t sleep there) and is the perfect workspace for digital nomads.

There are plenty of amazing attractions close to the hotel. The Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã) is just 10 minutes away, and the AquaRio aquarium is even closer!

Windsor Palace Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro
Image from Facebook

10. Windsor Palace Copacabana Hotel

Don’t confuse the Windsor Palace Hotel in Rio with the UK royal family’s home in Berkshire!

But, by staying at this hotel, you’ll basically feel like royalty, despite the mid-range costs of the rooms.

The Windsor Palace Hotel in Copacabana is just a block away from the famous beach with the same name. And thanks to the rooftop bar and pool, you will get to enjoy drinks and stunning views of Copacabana Beach.

If you pick your room wisely, you might just enjoy partial sea views from your private balcony. The Executive Superior Double Room is on the more expensive side but offers this view. If you’re more budget-conscious, the standard rooms will do, with aircon, cable TV, comfortable beds, and modern bathroom amenities.

The hotel’s restaurant serves traditional Brazilian fare as well as international cuisine, so even fussy eaters will find a plate to savor. There is also room service if you want to stay in bed and sample the flavors of the country.

Best Budget Hotels In Rio de Janeiro – Don’t Break The Bank

Rio has plenty of hostels and budget-friendly hotels that get brilliant reviews. The hotels and accommodations I list below might be cheap, but they are comfortable and provide you with everything a discerning traveler needs in Rio de Janeiro.

Copacabana Street in the Summer

11. Hostel Princess Copacabana – Best for solo travelers

Hostel Princess Copacabana offers affordable accommodation just a block away from Copacabana Beach.

This hostel has the feel of a hotel because of its modern amenities. But the shared spaces and dorms are perfect for solo travelers or backpackers who want to experience Rio and, more specifically, Copacabana!

You don’t have to stay in one of the dorms if you don’t want to. There are also family rooms and standard rooms for travelers who want some privacy.

The shared lounge is a great place to meet fellow guests or get some work done. You can then invite your new friends for dinner and drinks at the on-site restaurant and bar.

If you’re looking for something to do, check out the concierge. The hotel staff has expert local knowledge of both popular and less-touristy attractions that might interest you.

Hotel Sign at Night

12. B&B Hotels: Rio de Janeiro Norte – Great for walkability

Just north of the city center, you will find the bright cream and yellow facade of Rio De Janeiro Norte by B&B Hotels. This new hotel was built by the popular chain in 2021, so you know you’ll find some really modern touches in this hotel.

The hotel is perfect for someone without a car (although there is a paid-for parking lot), as restaurants, bars, and dancing venues are within walking distance. If you love barbeque, definitely stop in at Norte Grill across the road. If you’re craving some food from America, Burger King is also right there, at Norte Shopping Mall.

Many people who attend events at the nearby Nilton Santos stadium book their stay at the Rio De Janeiro Norte Hotel because it is just a 15-minute walk away.

The country’s bold color palette has made its way into the rooms, too. The rooms are clean, sleek, and modern, with space to unpack and a neat bathroom with a shower.

The cafe serves a healthy, delicious breakfast, and I swear I’d go back to the hotel just to sip on the refreshing green juice again.

Hostel Maresias do Leme in Rio de Janeiro
Image by Hotel Maresias

13. Hostel Maresias do Leme – Best for an authentic Brazilian experience

The Hostel Maresias do Leme is located just east of Copacabana, in the neighborhood called Leme. Although it is in the heart of a favela, it is incredibly safe and you will get to experience the real Rio at this location.

This is the perfect place for a group of friends to settle down and explore the famous beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

Leme Beach is a 10-minute walk away, offering a laid-back atmosphere. If you’re after something a bit more vibey, you can walk to Copacabana Beach in just 20 minutes. But, honestly, the entire stretch of sand between Leme and Copacabana is gorgeous and you’re sure to find a sunbathing spot.

This hostel is fun! You will know you’re in Rio when staying here. Picture bright colors, wooden furniture, city views, and even a friendly parrot.

There’s a shared kitchen, barbeque facilities if you really want to cook up a storm, as well as a bar and terrace for drinks.

The dorms offer shared bathrooms (which are spotless, by the way) and there’s also a double and a triple room with stunning sea views.

It’s not a rowdy, party hostel. Guests are respectful and friendly, with meaningful conversations often happening on the terrace.

Hotel Atlantico Business in Rio de Janeiro
Image from Facebook

14. Hotel Atlântico Business

You might be surprised to see a 4-star hotel under the budget section of this article, but here we are…

Hotel Atlântico Business is not as affordable as the hostels listed above, but if your budget is slightly more than “backpacking” and you want a bit more luxury, then this hotel in Centro is a very good option.

Here you can cool down in their outdoor swimming pool with crazy views, as well as enjoy a jacuzzi with hydrojets (your muscles will thank you!).

And let me tell you – breakfast at Hotel Atlântico Business is unreal. Each day kicks off with freshly baked bread, fruits, cold cuts, and a variety of juices. It is just the fuel you need to explore the city.

The restaurant has an a la carte menu serving both Brazilian and international cuisine. There is also a lobby bar if you just want a quick drink before heading out.

The rooms are slightly old-fashioned, with pine furniture and colorful bedspreads, but they are clean, comfortable, and perfect for a shorter stay in Rio de Janeiro.

Nobile Inn Dutra in Rio
Image by Nobile Inn

15. Nobile Inn Dutra Rio de Janeiro

Nobile Inn Dutra Rio de Janeiro is to the north of the city in the Sao Joao de Meriti neighborhood.

It is right on the main highway so you can quickly get into the heart of the city if you have to. The hotel has 110 rooms (called “apartments”), each with air conditioning, TV and WiFi. It’s a pretty standard chain hotel, but the outdoor pool and terrace are nice bonus offerings, considering Nobile Inn Dutra is a budget hotel!

You can order food from the restaurant and enjoy it in the spacious dining room. There’s also a pool table to keep you entertained if the weather turns bad.

Even though you’re not in central Rio de Janeiro, there are still plenty of things to do in Sao Joao de Meriti.

The Parque Playcity Diversão amusement park in the Grande Rio Mall is great for the whole family. For a historic day out, wander over to the Praça da Matriz square or visit the Parque Natural Municipal de Nova Iguaçu (30 mins away) for some quiet time in nature.

FAQs

How much should I budget for hotels in Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro is unfortunately not the most budget-friendly destination in Brazil, with many of the prices rivaling those in the US and Europe. But, you can cut down costs by choosing budget-friendly stays. Here are a few average prices per night for hotels in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Luxury hotels: $120 – $370
  • Mid-range hotels: $50 – $105
  • Budget hostels: $25 – $47

Note that these prices are only averages and can vary based on time of year, room choice, and location.

Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro

Which area of Rio de Janeiro has the widest selection of hotels?

You’ll be able to find hotels in almost every neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. That said, most of the hotels are in Copacabana and Ipanema, the main tourist spots. Here you will find everything from luxury hotels to budget backpackers. There are also plenty of mid-range hotels within Centro.

Are there any good family hotels in Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro is a very family-friendly city! Some noteworthy hotels that are kid-friendly are:

  • Windsor California Copacabana: All ages are welcome at this hotel. They serve a kid-friendly buffet lunch, and rooms can sleep a family of three.
  • Hotel Rio Othon Palace: The hotel has a great kids’ area as well as a kids’ club to keep the little ones entertained.
  • Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort: The Kids Club at the Sheraton Grand Rio is available for kids between the ages of 4 and 12 (any younger must be accompanied by a guardian).

Which hotel in Rio de Janeiro is perfect for my honeymoon?

There are plenty of romantic hotels in Rio de Janeiro! I highly recommend the Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro Hotel for young newlyweds. The Villa Parangua Hotel is also another great option, and in Ipanema, you will find L’Homme, a hotel with only 10 rooms. This boutique hotel offers accommodation in an intimate setting that’s perfect for honeymooners.

Rio de Janeiro Landscape in Brazil

Final Thoughts

That wraps up my list of the best hotels in Rio de Janeiro for every kind of traveler! From massive 5-star hotels with spas to welcoming hostels in favelas, Rio has a home away from home for you.

All the hotels I mentioned above have sterling reviews and are highly recommended by fellow travelers. I’ve stayed at a couple myself and had a great experience at all of them.

Each hotel may come with different amenities, price points, and locations, but every single one is a perfect base to explore the many wonders of the Marvelous City.

15 Best Hotels in Rio de Janeiro for Every Budget - Brazil
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