Accommodations in Rio de Janeiro

By Deanna Palić

(Part 2 of 4 on Rio)

The range of accommodations in Rio de Janeiro is overwhelming. To simplify the process I will list, under the appropriate category, properties that I personally visited in September ’03.


Rio’s Santa Tereza district is a favorite among visitors due to its traditional architecture and bohemian flavor. Cama e Café, a network of bed-and-breakfast facilities, offers accommodations at Casa da Ana for $55 single and $66 double. Photos: Palic

The most effective way to integrate yourself into the Rio lifestyle and feel completely at home is to rent a condo. Condo living offers the opportunity to shop with the locals in neighborhood grocery stores for, at the very least, breakfast supplies.

During my stay I had the opportunity to inspect one of the condos advertised in ITN by Rio Condo, a San Francisco Bay Area company (call Silvia at 510/236-3684, e-mail

This comfortably furnished, completely equipped condo is across the street from Copacabana Beach, just steps away from shopping and restaurants. Their other condos are near Ipanema.

When I checked Rio Condo’s website, a studio was on special for $55 per day and a 2-bedroom for $150. Rio Condo also can assist with airport transfers and sightseeing arrangements.

B&B accommodations

The bed-and-breakfast craze has come to Rio’s Santa Tereza district, close to downtown. This residential area, a historic neighborhood, is a favorite among visitors because of its traditional architecture and Bohemian flavor.

Gabled Victorian mansions are intermingled with alpine chalets and prosaic dwellings set among flower-encrusted hillsides. Distinctive trolley cars, bondes, run between Santa Tereza and downtown. The best traditional Brazilian bars are located here. The chief drawback to this district is its distance from the beaches, approximately 20 minutes by car.

Cama e Café (Rua Progreso No. 67, Santa Teresa CEP 20240-060, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; phone/fax 55-21-2221-7635, e-mail is the first bed-and-breakfast network in Brazil and comprises over 50 certified houses and apartments. The network specializes in finding accommodations to suit your taste.


All the hotel rates listed below are for standard rooms, are in U.S. dollars, include breakfast and taxes and were in effect in September ’03.

Four-star first class

• Our group was hosted by the Rio Othon Palace Hotel, a comfortable highrise property facing Copacabana beach.

The 30th-floor Skylab Restaurant offers a wonderful buffet lunch featuring international and Brazilian cuisine. The view of the Copacabana area from this height is nothing short of breathtaking.

Room rates are $300 single and $330 double. Complimentary airport transportation is provided in air-conditioned vans.

A room at Casa da Ana B&B.

For reservations and information, call the hotel at 55-21-2525-1500 or visit

• The Excelsior Copacabana Hotel was a real surprise. I stayed here during my first visit to Rio in the 1960s and wasn’t prepared for its superb transformation. The new owners, Windsor Hotels, certainly put a lot of creativity into the renovation. $145 single or double.

Call the hotel at 55-21-2545-6000, fax 55-21-2257-1850, e-mail or visit . . or call their U.S. representative, Utell International, at 800/448-8355.

• A short walk from the beach, 1½ blocks, the cozy Hotel Vilamar Copacabana opened two years ago. The Vilamar boasts spectacular rates: $68 single and $75 double.

Call 55-21-3461-5601, e-mail or visit

Five-star luxury

• In the February ’04 issue, page 97, my article on Paraty elaborated on the spectacular Copacabana Palace Hotel, one of the finest hotels in South America. Single and double rates start at $305.

For reservations or additional information, visit the website or call The Leading Hotels of the World at 800/223-6800.

• Another of my favorites, remodeled in 2001, is the elegant Caesar Park, facing Ipanema Beach. Vinicius de Moraes, a writer of poems, chronicles and plays, made this beach internationally famous with his composition of lyrics to the song “The Girl From Ipanema.”

Integrate youself into the Rio lifestyle by renting a condo. Here’s a partial view of a modernized kitchen at a Rio Condo’s unit in Copacabana.

$306 single and $341 double. Call the hotel at 55-21-2525-2525, fax 55-21-2521-6000 or visit . . or call toll-free in the U.S. 800/343-7821.

• The former Rio Palace Hotel, facing Copacabana Beach, is now the Sofitel Rio de Janeiro. $190 single or double.

Call the hotel at 55-21-2525-1232, fax 55-21-2525-1200, e-mail or visit . . or, in the U.S., call 800/SOFITEL.

• The newest entry into the luxury category is the J.W. Marriott Hotel, facing Copacabana Beach. Single and double rates start at $227.

Call the hotel at 55-21-2545-6500, fax 55-21-2545-6555, e-mail or visit
. . . or, in the U.S., call 800/228-9290.

For additional suggestions, call the Rio Convention & Visitor’s Bureau at 55-21-2259-6165, fax 55-21-2511-2592, e-mail

In the U.S., the Brazilian Tourism Office is a treasure trove of excellent information. Call 800/727-2945, e-mail

Coming up next time — a taste of Rio! We’ll explore Rio’s magnitude of restaurants, trendy nightspots and special events!