Why we love it: a chic, modern space that strikes just the right balance between buzz and a laid-back attitude
- a sugar-white beach with towels, umbrellas and sun loungers
- a small 18th-floor pool with a round window girdling views of the iconic Dois Irmãos rock formation
- the elegant, leafy Leblon neighborhood has better restaurants than neighboring Ipanema and is also more family friendly
The review: This swanky 53-room property opened in mid-2019 and sways to a bossa nova beat in Leblon, a beachy neighborhood known for its lively bars, superb restaurants and Beautiful People. Eco-chic reigns at the Janeiro Hotel, where windows frame jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic, the white cliffs of the Cagarras Islands and Rio’s magnificent Christ the Reedemer statue.
Sustainable luxury pervades the hotel, which draws on ecologically friendly materials at every turn. Expect minimalist design in the rooms, heavy on wicker, Travertine marble, blond freijó (white laurel) wood and scads of light, amplified by sheer curtains, backed by blackout drapes. Ocean-view standard rooms run 269 square feet; splurge on a 549 square-foot oceanfront suite for more space, gramworthy views and a living area, complete with a couches and swing chairs. Double rainforest showers dominate the bathrooms, which are stocked with toiletries from the natural Brazilian brand Granado. Other elegant touches include cotton laundry bags crafted by a weaving co-op and blown-glass lamps made with recycled materials.
Don’t miss the hotel’s Bar do Janeiro, which ranges from seasonal vegan fare to sashimi and also gunkan sushi (rice and fish roe in a nori seaweed wrapper). Watch for oyster specials showcasing shellfish from Florianópolis in southern Brazil. The restaurant, run by Carioca Chef Daniel Pinho, also focuses on seafood, as does the omakase (Japanese tasting dinner) served on the 18th floor Wednesdays to Sundays.