Dec 31, 2008

The best hotels in Leblon, Rio

Leblon, for those who don’t know, is the Southern half of the same beach which, to the North, is called Ipanema. They’re separated by a narrow canal.

Leblon is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Rio, because not only it the beach great but it also has great boutiques, tranquil residential streets, some of the best casual bars in town (such as the ultra-famous Bracarense) and a street called Dias Ferreira where several of the top restaurants of Rio are located (more on that in a later post).

Here are the best places to stay in Leblon:
Marina Palace
Rua Delfim Moreira, 630
Tel. (55-21)2172-1000
This is run by the same owners as the Marina All Suites and is just across the street, also facing the ocean.

Ritz Plaza
Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, 1280
Tel. (55-21) 2540-4940

Marina All Suites

Avenida Delfim Moreira, 696
Tel. (55-21)2172-1100
This is considered the hippest hotel in town by many. Rooms are actually on the small side, except for the oceanfront suites named after precious gems, each decorated in a different style by famous local designers. There’s a pool on the rooftop, a very nice business center/internet room and a cool restaurant/bar called Bar d’Hotel, which is hopping most nights. My tip? Go there for drinks and to take in the ambiance, but not for dinner: the food is not great but very pretentious. As their site says, “Options include medium rare filet mignon with foie gras and balsamic, salt flower, apples and caramelized potatoes; Duck confit with hoissin sauce and shitake pasta; Fig ravioli with tomato and thyme sauce, and Goat cheese ravioli with pesto rugula sauce and almonds. All deserts are mouthwatering: Hot apple Tarte Tartin with cinnamon ice cream, Nutella crepe and creme Brullé to mention a few.”

The Bar d’Hotel is also where the generous yet not-so-great-tasting breakfast buffet is served.

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