Joatinga’s sleek guesthouse La Suite is every bit the fashionista paradise. Giselle has stayed here, magazine covers are regularly shot beside the infinity pool and there is a relaxed, anything goes approach to hosting. Depending on your timing, therefore, you could just be sharing your evening with a wrap party or a bevy of bikini models, but even when quiet, the elegant, French-run boutique can come into its own. Those who like things a little dark should go for the black room, with a private patio, black granite bathroom and views out to the ocean and the snaking, double-tiered road cutting in and out of the hillside. R$840 per night (Black suite).
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An altogether more ‘specialist’ type of accommodation, the fact that the rates here are calculated in six-hour slots tells you almost all you need to know about VIPs. But this being Rio, motels don’t have to be sleazy. Okay, so the bedspread has various karma sutra positions all over it and there are mirrors on the ceiling, but the Milennium Suite is a three-floor behemoth of a fun palace, complete with swimming pool, hot tubs, sauna, an amazing view of the ocean and even an erotic chair (which might take some figuring out). Parties of less than twenty will probably be more interested in the comparatively modest Freedom suite, which still packs two floors, a pool, and sauna into the quarters. An experience. R$890 for 6 hours (Milennium suite).
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Jutting out of mother nature’s Tijuca Forest but every bit a part of it, Tuakaza might be further off the beaten track than most city hotels, but it certainly makes the most of its assets. Looking over Pedra da Gávea and Pedra Bonita and across to the famous (and increasingly hip) Pepino beach, the terrace area is undoubtedly one of the best places within the city to take a sundowner and contemplate its treasures. Each room is named after a different fruit, but it is Mamão (papaya) that takes the prize thanks to its huge living space, beautiful dark wood floors, open fire and spectacular private deck. R$1,000 per night (Mamão suite).
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In the land of arty, independent pousadas and B&Bs, the big, expensive, but nonetheless beautiful Santa Teresa Hotel took a little while to bed into the neighbourhood. Once the likes of Amy Winehouse helped to put it on the map, however, there was no turning back, and the ample terrace and poolside bar now attract the well-heeled and beautiful as much for for sunset cocktails as a weekend slice of luxury. For out and out wow-factor, there is really only one room – the beautifully wooden Loft Suite – to consider. Considerably bigger than your average apartment and with a panoramic balcony overlooking Guanabara Bay, this is the epitomy of cool, end of story. R$3,300 per night (Loft Suite).
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It takes a special kind of ‘cool’ to charge close to R$1,500 ($750) a night for a room with a view of a car park (the sea view will set you back R$1,750) and still charge another R$50 a day for a wi-fi connection. Or should that be ‘fresh’? Perennially packed, however, it would seem that, being the city’s hotel of choice for jet-setters and hip-holiday makers, all is forgiven despite such absurdities, and probably forgotten once the rooftop pool bar is settled into and the view up the beach ogled in all its glory. Undoubtedly one of the best places in the city from which to watch the midsummer sun dip into the Atlantic, it really is all about the sea view in the loft-style, 130 square-metre top-floor Deluxe suite, so best splash out on some Philippe-designed and leave the credit card bill for another month. R$7,300 per night (Deluxe suite).
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