Welcome to South America, friends! South America is a continent I have always dreamed of visiting, and what better place to visit than one of the most acclaimed and cultured cities in the world – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Home to the 2016 Olympic Games, the city did a fantastic job hosting millions of visitors from around the world in the biggest event of the summer! Despite the overly dramatic media on Zika Virus, naysayers and asshole American athletes (yeah, I’m talking to you, Lochte), nothing could take away the joyful spirit of the Olympics held in RIO! Oh hey, girl, as always if you wish to skip the mumbo jumbo of what I have to say, fly on down to the bottom of this post for quick hotel fast facts and safety tips for traveling to this touristy neighborhood of Rio.
With Rio placed in the spotlight for the recent Olympic Games, I am excited to share with you a few featured hotspots and luxury accommodations to inspire your next travel adventure. Being such a big and diverse city, I decided to split my trip up by experiencing both the beach and old-town neighborhoods Rio has to offer. To do this, I started the trip by staying right along the beach for a few days, and then transitioned up to a gorgeous hotel in the mountains of Santa Teresa for the second part of the trip (more to come on that later). First, let’s start with my top choice recommendation for a hotel located right at the pulse of Rio daily life – the beach.
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
Searching extensively for the “it” hotel in a prime location along the beach, I was intrigued by the pool, stellar reviews, and services offered by the five star luxury rated Miramar by Windsor. The newly renovated Miramar Hotel by Windsor defines seaside luxury in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Just steps from Copacabana Beach, the hotel affords captivating views from some guestrooms and an amazing rooftop terrace that hosts an infinity-edge swimming pool and poolside bar. The hotel was an easy 40 minute drive from the major international airport and check-in was seamless as they immediately offered us champagne cocktails (even at 7am) to kick-off the vacation.
Each of the hotel’s 200 guestrooms provide complete relaxation with plush linens by Trussardi, Brazilian paintings, and on-call butler service. We were amazed with the sweeping views of the ocean and mountains that we would be waking up to each morning from the window of our suite.
After getting settled, we made our way up to the rooftop pool and restaurant. A perfectly sized soaking pool with expansive views of the entire stretch of sandy beach, all to the backdrop of dramatic mountain tops and the bluest shade of ocean water I have ever seen – this lady was in heaven. Enjoy a fresh made margarita or the national cocktail of choice, the Caipirinha along with some fried fish balls for an afternoon snack. Directly behind the restaurant, I discovered views of authentic favelas, which are best known as Brazilian slums. The city is so densely populated around the beach, creating a sense of community that I found astonishing and unique of life in Rio. From lavishly fabulous beach resorts to favelas, everyone is joined together around the energy of beach life.
Other elements of this hotel that I absolutely adored… All guests are offered a complimentary hot breakfast spread each morning, including mimosas and morning cocktails. Also, for active travelers like myself who wanted to get out and see it all, the hotel offered options for hiring affordable, safe and reliable private drivers who could take you seamlessly to every famous Rio landmark you have on your list.
Below you will find glimpses of my experience at this five star accommodation set at the footsteps of Brazillian beaches. Through the lens of a lady, trust that this hotel is a go-to option for travelers looking for a prime location, convenience to the main attractions, and some of the best views the city of Rio has to offer.
Hotel Fast Facts
- Av. Atlântica, 3668 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22070-001, Brazil
- 45 minutes from the airport, located directly across the street from beaches
- 200 rooms with luxury linens, on-call butler service, complimentary breakfast
- Private drivers available for hire to arrange airport pickup and tours
- Courtesy beach service including towels, chairs, and umbrella set-up
- Pricing – $200+/night
- Leave the diamonds and fancy jewelry/designer bags at home, this is a beach town
- Do not blatantly hold out your i-phones/i-pads while taking photographs, be discrete
- Carry copies of your passports and leave passports in the safe at the Hotel
- Be wary of children that approach you, Rio does not prosecute minors, so oftentimes gang leaders use the children to carry out the crimes (very sad, but true)
- Take authorized taxis or verified private drivers, do not just get in a car with anyone who claims to be a “driver”
- Do not bring valuables to the beach, you will not be able to leave them alone when you want to run down and jump in that gorgeous water
- Just like any major city, something I am used to as a New Yorker, simply be on alert and pay attention to your surroundings