Accommodation in Rio
The best places to stay in Rio are the ones located near the sea shore: Copacabana, Flamengo, Ipanema and Leblon
It is very easy to travel around, as apart of Taxi and Uber, there are Subway stations and many bus lines.
Sao Conrado and Barra da Tijuca are located 30 minutes from Copacabana, but this ride often takes an hour and a half. So if you will be working in Barra da Tijuca or in the nearby neighborhood, you better look there for accommodation to avoid spending 3 hours in the road every day.
Premium Dates: During Carnaval and New Year's Eve Rio receives over 2 million tourists and this is the reason why different rules may apply when booking a hotel room, youth hostel or short term apartments for these dates:
Packages - a minimum payment of 3 to 5 nights are required. You may stay less, but pay for the whole period...
Deposit - some hotels and even youth hostels require a deposit of 50% to 100% of the package in advance to guarantee the booking.
If you intend to arrive during Carnaval or New Year's eve, we recommend to book a place well in advance.
The best and most reliable hotel guide to Rio and all Brazil is Guia Quatro Rodas. it is published only in Portuguese and updated every year.
Motel- There are many motels in Rio, mainly located in the exits of the city towards to the highways. BUT, in Brazil a Motel has a different meaning than in the United States. In Brazil it is known as honey-moon motels, and the rate is calculated per 3 hours stay.
There are several Youth hostels in the city, Some offer air-conditioned rooms (Very important in hot days) see links.
Pousada is the local definition for guest house. Located all over Brazil, including in Buzios, Parati and Ilha Grande. In those cities building construction are not allowed, so many historical houses have been adapted for guest houses.
Short term apartment rentals
Rio has many flats for short and long term rentals, from small studios to luxurious apartments. Some locations put a minimum stay of 2-3 days, some charge fixed cleaning fee - regardless of the stay time, so it is less economical to stay only one day. Our advise is to rent a flat if you stay a minimum of 3 days, or if you are a group of over 5 people that would like to stay in the same big apartment.
Apartment for rent during holidays in Rio: This kind of accommodation is very popular for tourists who want to spend more time in Rio and feel how 'cariocas' live. There is a higher advantage for families or groups of 4 members or more. The flats are very comfortable, many of them are better than some tourist class hotels. They are located in buildings with guard/door-man, elevators and close to the sea (typically, less than 10 minutes walking to the beach).
The flats are fully furnished and equipped with refrigerator, microwave, air-conditioning, TV, etc.
The guests receive towels and linen that are changed every 4-7 days or more often at additional charge.
During low season (March to November) you may find good flat starting at about US$ 60 a day (for 4 people), and Rooms starting at US$ 35 a day (for up to 2 people).
High-season - (December to February and local holidays) the rates may be higher - depending on availability.
Premium dates (Last week of December and Carnaval week): A minimum stay/payment of 5 to 7 days is required and deposit or down payment also requested.
Note that when you rent a flat you will be required to pay for the rental period upon check-in, and leave a deposit that will be returned upon check-out - unless if you damage the apartment...
At the check-in the owner or the broker should go together
with you through a check-list with all items and their cost (in case of
damage), and an agreement determining that you should leave the apartment
at the end of the rental period.
Maid Service - If you would like to have a personal service: clean the room, iron your cloths, or even have someone to serve your meals while you stay, the cost of a maid is US$ 25-30 per day.
How to book an apartment:The best sites: Airbnb, Booking.com. Additional sites are hotels.com Expedia. HomeAway. HometoGo. Tripadvisor. Tripping. You may find several companies that offer apartment rentals. Do insist to get all documents and requirements in English, and if you do not know the language do not sign any document in Portuguese - to avoid misunderstanding.