The Janeiro Hotel may be the new kid on the block but it has already hosted flocks of Brazil's finest and most fabulous hot young things. Embodying everything Rio stands for - modern and chic with an inimitable energy and laid-back attitude - right in the heart of leafy Leblon, it's as popular with locals trying to escape the crowds of tourists at neighbouring Ipanema and Copacabana beaches as it is among in-the-know globetrotters. If you're looking to get a taste of Carioca lifestyle while you're in town, this is the place you want to be.
There are three types of rooms - standard, standard deluxe and suites. The suites are enormous penthouses with expansive window views of the Atlantic Ocean, but all rooms are spacious and have a view of the ocean, including from within the walk-in shower. Whichever you choose, you'll get access to a guest service that fulfils all your wishes via WhatsApp message - the most widely used communication method in Brazil.
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is served on the second floor and offers a full view of the ocean and the beach in front. An extensive buffet has sweet and savoury options as well as a never-ending supply of the jewel-coloured fruits and freshly baked Brazilian breads, including pão de queijo (a cheese-filled dough ball that is to die for). Fill your boots with coffee made from aromatic Brazilian beans.
How about lunch and dinner?
There are three restaurants to choose from. The Janeiro offers a modern twist on Brazilian classics (open for lunch and dinner), the bar downstairs serves an exceptional Brazilian-Japanese fusion menu and the pool bar upstairs offers a full omakase experience (dinner only).
Is there a bar?
Yes - head to the 18th floor for striking views of Rio's beaches and imposing hills. We won't blame you if your head is spinning after a few caipis, but we do recommend staggering back downstairs to continue the party at the other bar before disappearing off for a heady samba-fuelled night that Rio is so famous for.
There is a small pool on the 18th floor, where a round window perfectly frames the Dos Irmaos hills. But who needs the pool when there's a sugar-white sandy beach laid out in front of you? The hotel has its own area just in front of the building, where you can get sun-loungers, umbrellas and beach towels.
Things you should know
There is no gym onsite but the hotel has a partnership with an enormous fitness centre just two blocks away. Alternatively, do like the locals and go for a run along the beach - on Sundays one of the lanes is closed to cars and Cariocas of all ages come down for a walk or jog.
Within a short walk you can find…
Plenty of lunch spots on the beach, such as Riso and Marea, but to get a proper feel for Rio, take a 10-minute stroll into the heart of Leblon to Academia de Cachaça. This establishment has been serving traditional Brazilian cuisine like feijoada alongside an extensive drinks menu for over a century. Try the coco gelada - frozen coconut soaked in chachaça - and you will understand why Rio is known as the "cidade maravilhosa".