Boutique & Romantic Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
View hotels on map or
- Bed & Breakfast
- Boutique Hotel
Rio de Janeiro
Sexy, sassy and larger than life Rio de Janeiro is one of the 26 states of Brazil, though it is, of course dominated by the city of the same name.
Located in the Southeast, it has boundaries with Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and São Paulo and borders the Atlantic ocean, to its East and South. With an area of 43,653 km2, its capital is the city of Rio de Janeiro, which was the capital of the Portuguese colony as of 1763 (the first one being Salvador da Bahia).
The state's most populous cities are Rio de Janeiro, Nova Iguaçu, Niterói, Duque de Caxias, São Gonçalo and São João de Meriti. The main rivers are the Guandu River, the Piraí, the Paraíba do Sul, the Macaé and the Muriaé.
The climate is considered to be tropical. In 1975, the states of Guanabara and Rio de Janeiro were merged under the name of Rio de Janeiro, with its namesake as the state capital. The symbols of the former Rio de Janeiro state were preserved, while the symbols of Guanabara were curiously kept by the city of Rio de Janeiro. It should be noted that European presence in Rio de Janeiro is as old as Brazil itself, dating back to 1502 under this same name.
Gastronomy “Feijoada” (a black bean and pork stew) has become the national dish for Brasil. It is typical Saturday lunch – both at home and at the better restaurants. This speciality is served with white rice, finely shredded kale, “farofa” (manioc root toasted with butter) and sliced oranges.
Seafood (shrimp and lobster in particular) is excellent in Rio – but expensive whilst fish is not.
Sidewalk cafes can have surprisingly good food. Snacks and aperitifs are normally served at the tables outside, complete meals inside. One recommended dish is “Frango Pasarinho” – wonderfully deep-fried bits of chicken with lots of garlic.
Don't miss trying the refreshing but dangerous "caipirinha", made from Brazilian cachaça rum, sugar and lemon juice. Rio also has excellent beer - order "chop" for small size draft. And remember – always drink bottled water.
History Rio de Janeiro was created from parts of the captainships of Tomé and São Vicente. Between 1555 and 1567, the territory was swamped by Frenchmen who intended to create a colony – France Antarctique.
In the 17th century, cattle and sugar cane encouraged the state’s progress which was definitively confirmed when the port started to export gold from Minas Gerais in the18th century. In 1763, Rio de Janeiro became the headquarters of the Colonial Brazil and the capital of the colony. With the move of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil in 1808 – escaping the French invasion – the region benefited from various urban reforms to lodge the Europeans.
These included the transference of agencies for public administration and justice, the construction of new churches, hospitals, central bank (Banco do Brasil) and the Imprensa Régia, with the Gazette do Rio of Janeiro.
Later on this was followed the Botanical Gardens and the Royal Military School. Culture The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is famous worldwide. It is the great explosion of joy in Rio with a huge celebration that unites emotions, creativity, plasticity, colours, sounds and a lot of fantasy – some consider it the greatest popular party in the world. New Year’s Eve festivity involves the whole of the population.
Locals and visitors join to celebrate euphorically the fact that they are in Rio. It takes place on the famous beach of Copacabana, gathering thousands to enjoy musical performances and fireworks – increasingly exuberant year after year.
Activities Along the coast north of Rio there are beaches famous for their clear blue water and fine white sand. The long stretch of coast around Cabo Frio contains the nation’s most spectacular beaches, perfect for swimming, excellent for surfing, and a ideal for sunbathing.
The peninsula of Buzios has more than a dozen fabulous beaches, from the cute and nearly deserted inlet of Ferradurazinha to the popular Tartaruga Beach with its excellent beachfront restaurants and offshore pools for snorkeling. Just an hour or two inland from Rio you will find some of the most lush, tropical mountains in the country.
There, you can practice white-water rafting, mountain climbing, rappelling, and camping. The main area is the Serra dos Orgãos National Park, where you’ll find the spectacular Finger of God.
Many travelers stay in Rio de Janeiro and take day or week-end excursions to the mountains or northern beaches, which are the main attractions of the state.
Romantic Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Romantic & boutique hotels by city in Rio de Janeiro
Tips from Travellers
Find Traveller Tips on restaurants, cultural activities and things to do
Read about our Favourite Destinations and Itineraries
Suggest a Hotel that you think should be part of the Secretplaces selection
Post a Tip on restaurants, culture and what to do
Sign up to receive news on our favourite destinations, new hotels and promotions by email