Rio de Janeiro has golden-sand beaches, gorgeous verdant rainforests, and sultry vibes. The charming ‘Wonderful City’ is also one of the most open-minded and culturally diverse cities in the world. It was elected as the world’s sexiest and best gay destination twice in a row. Not surprisingly, it has morphed into a must-visit gay area for LGBTQ travelers from around the world. A dazzling nightlife, sculpted bodies, and a sexy, laidback vibe put Rio right in the center of the gay travel map. As a result, there is no dearth of gay hotels in Rio de Janeiro for LGBTQ travelers to choose from.
Farme de Amoedo in the rainbow flag-flying Ipanema is Rio de Janeiro’s fabulous LGBTQ epicenter with many gay-friendly bars. Nowadays, monthly parties are a breath of fresh air for Rio’s LGBTQ scene. They make for a great night out on the town. The fun-filled Copacabana and Centro, Rio’s bustling downtown, are also home to some fantastic gay clubs and places. Farme de Amoedo is also home to one of South America‘s best gay beaches. And of course, there’s Rio’s spectacular Pride Parade, which is one of the biggest in the world. It’s no wonder then that Rio de Janeiro is known as the ‘gay capital of the world.’
So, if you’re gay in what is also the party capital of the world, why not make your stay comfortable? Here is a selection of gay hotels in Rio de Janeiro specially handpicked for you.
Hotel Santa Teresa
Stay away from the bustle of Rio at this gorgeous former coffee Finca (plantation), now turned into Hotel Santa Teresa. The gay-friendly hotel sits on the lovely cobblestoned landscape of the eponymous Santa Teresa neighborhood. This hillside retreat might look quaint but it features a plethora of amenities, including one of Rio’s best spas.
Hotel Santa Teresa is rustic with a dash of modern Brazilian style. The huge pool with a sun terrace is perfect for a healthy dose of sunbathing and people-watching. The spa offers a host of classical massages, body treatments, and even couples massages. So, if you’re here with your partner, a massage could do wonders to spike romance levels during your Rio vacation. Lush, verdant gardens peppered with palm trees are fantastic for lounging around and meet-cutes. Rooms are cozy to the hilt, with four-poster beds, reclaimed wooden furniture, and lovely garden-front balconies.
Ipanema might be a 30-minute drive, but Centro and its fabulous gay scene is just a 15 to 20-minute walk from Hotel Santa Teresa. If you’re the party-till-dawn kind, Hole Lacraia, which is open till the wee hours of the morning, will serve you well. In fact, one of the best gay saunas in Rio, Club 117, is just 15 minutes away. What makes it interesting is that Hotel Santa Teresa’s relaxed guest policy allows you to bring guests over.
If you’re looking to splurge on your Rio gay-cation, look no further than the Hotel Fasano on the eastern end of the fabulous Ipanema Beach. Soak yourself in the luxury and service of what is one of the only five-star hotels in the area. Rooms at the Fasano are contemporary with huge beds and some with fabulous views of the ocean.
Apart from a gym and a spa, the hotel boasts a swoon-worthy infinity rooftop pool with luxurious daybeds. The view here is the best as far as views go in Rio, with exceptional panoramas of Ipanema and the sunset. The glorious guests-only pool is so sought-after that high-flyers book rooms at the Fasano just for weekend lounging. What’s more, the hotel is chock-full of interesting older men and younger eye candy. So, the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant are perfect for any dates you might make.
Golden Tulip Ipanema Plaza
In the heart of Ipanema gay district and practically kissing the beach, Golden Tulip makes for a practical gay-stay. Tiled-floors and spacious rooms with pastel colors are comfy to the hilt, albeit a bit dated. If you wish to splurge extra, go for the ones with a sea view or a terrace. The best part about the hotel, however, is the rooftop terrace-lounge and the pool. The tons of lounging space make for a fabulous spot for people-viewing. Plus, it comes postcard-perfect views. It’s one of the best views you could hope for while digging into breakfast before leaving for a day of frivolities. The gym also boasts these fabulous views, giving you the motivation to work out a bit more than usual.
What makes Ipanema Plaza so perfect for gays is the fact that the best gay bars in Rio are close to the hotel. The legendary Tô Nem Aí, which is where the gay nightlife of Rio begins. The gay area in Rio de Janeiro is a minute’s walk from the hotel.
Praia Ipanema Hotel
There’s no better a place to dive into Ipanema’s dazzling gay scene and Rio’s sun-sand-and-sea vibe than the Praia Ipanema. The hotel is located right on the beachfront and just one block from Farme de Amoedo, the gay area in Rio de Janeiro. Hop into Copacabana’s oldest gay bar La Cueva, 20 minutes away. If you’re looking for something steamier, get hot n’ heavy at Rio G Spa five minutes away.
Rooms at Paria Ipanema are modern with stunning views, albeit a bit dated, and feature super-comfy king beds. The gym overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and the hotel’s beach services are fantastic for enjoying a lazy beach day. A huge breakfast buffet with great views is the perfect way to begin the day. However, Praia Ipanema’s highlight is the attractive rooftop infinity pool. Plus, there’s the glass-sided rooftop 7Zero6 bar with incredible 360-degree views of the ocean, mountains, and Rio. It is the perfect spot for a sundowner cocktail before heading out to enjoy Rio’s nightlife.
Sol Ipanema Hotel
Located right on the Ipanema seafront, the gay-friendly Sol Ipanema Hotel is perhaps most known for the unbeatable views it offers of the ocean. What’s more, the hotel sits right on one of Rio’s best beaches – Ipanema Beach. In fact, the stretch of beach in front of the hotel attracts a fabulous-looking young and gay crowd, making for fantastic people-watching. So, if you belong to the LGBTQ set and are looking to have some fun, Sol Ipanema is one of the best gay hotels in Rio to stay.
An open, wide rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and poolside bar is an excellent relaxing lounging space. Gym junkies have the fitness room all to themselves, while those looking for some pampering can head to the beauty salon. The rooms are spacious with huge beds, and the ‘luxury’ ones at the back overlook the beach.
Mar Ipanema Hotel
Rio de Janeiro is a culturally rich city, with tons of historic and gorgeously natural attractions to explore. The simple yet elegant Mar Ipanema on the neighborhood’s main boulevard is one of the best gay hotels in Rio for exploring the city. In fact, if you stay here, we’d highly recommend that you take this all-encompassing full-day tour of Rio’s best attractions. Apart from discovering Rio’s history and seeing its best sights, the tour ends with stunning, sweeping views of the city.
Mar Ipanema has a distinctive 50s feel, complete with slatted paneling, wooden floors, and designer furniture. Rooms are muted, with the sketches of Rio’s beach scenes and palm trees lending a distinct beachy vibe. Rooms facing the street are livelier, and the standard triple rooms are great value-for-money options for a group on a budget. The hotel even has a tie-up with the neighboring traditional Brazilian beer bar, Devassa, which serves up a hearty breakfast. Furthermore, the gay area in Rio de Janeiro, Farme de Amoedo is also just two blocks away.
The ocean-inspired, gay-friendly boutique beach Hotel Arpoador boasts one of the best beachfront locations in Rio. In fact, the hotel directly overlooks a gorgeously attractive stretch of sand perfect for a day at the beach. Gay travelers will particularly love Hotel Arpoador for the gorgeous people-watching opportunities it provides.
The best rooms at Hotel Arpoador are the ones at the rear, which are long-ish with beachfront balconies for maximizing sea views. All rooms are modern and comfy, though. Breakfast here is no ordinary buffet, what with the in-house restaurant’s brilliant Brazilian-inspired menu. There’s a large sauna and steam room perfect for a relaxing soak, while the small rooftop pool is great for a swim. The complementing rooftop bar is extremely popular with gay locals and is one of the best spots in the city for an evening cocktail.
Hotel Arpoador’s location is perfect for LGBTQ travelers to explore the fantastic gay nightlife of both Ipanema and Copacabana. In fact, we think you’ll love this exciting gay nightlife tour which allows you to dive into the best of Rio’s Brazilian gay nightlife.
El Misti Hostel
In the heart of Copacabana, the hottest spot north of Havana, lies the three-story, gay-friendly El Misti Hostel. The hostel lies right in front of the Siqueira Campos subway station, with fantastic access to Rio’s best attractions. Three blocks away, the blue waters of the Copacabana beach beckon. Moreover, the hostel has a tie-up with the Marquinhos beach point, allowing you to leave your things in the tent and go frolicking in the waters. Another plus-point, Ipanema is just a short subway ride away.
Guests at El Misti Rio have the options of mixed/female-only dorms as well as private double, twin, triple, and quadruple rooms. All dorms offer individual lockers for storage and safekeeping. While there’s a rich, paid breakfast buffet, El Misti has a large common kitchen for whipping up your own quick meals.
While Ipanema and Copacabana’s gay area in Rio de Janeiro is 10 minutes away, the gay-friendly music venue, Fosfobox nightclub, is right next door. This long-running place has particularly gay Friday nights.
Casa Cool Beans B&B
Casa Cool Beans is the sole gay-only hotel in Rio de Janeiro, complete with gorgeous decor and a chill ambiance. The charming, three-storied, adults-only Casa Cool Beans is housed in a converted, purple-colored colonial mansion. The B&B lives up to its name, with leafy outdoor spaces and cozy sundecks peppered everywhere. The lovely swimming pool terrace with palm-shaded loungers adds to the B&B’s Bohemian vibe. There, breakfast’s served every day, making for a lovely start. What’s more, the B&B can schedule private tours and guides, and can even arrange for on-site massages with 24-hour notice.
Rooms are spacious and have all the necessary mod-cons. They’re dotted with interesting artwork by local artists, vibrant walls, dark wood furniture, and leafy plants. Bathrooms in the larger rooms have tub/shower combos. You can go for an evening walk in the lovely Santa Teresa hilltop neighborhood, one of the top places to see in Rio. All-in-all, Casa Cool Beans makes for a great romantic getaway for you and your partner.
Centro’s amazing gay scene is a 10-15 minute cab ride from Casa Cool Beans. If that wasn’t enough, some of Rio’s best attractions like the Modern Art Museum, Catete Palace, and the Pedra do sal are a 20-minute cab ride away.
The iconic Casa Amerelo is of the best boutique gay hotels in Rio de Janeiro. Set on a hillside of the pretty Santa Teresa neighborhood, the quaint designer hotel has beautiful French-inspired interiors. The hotel is housed in a striking, yellow-colored mansion from the early 19th century, keeping up with the neighborhood’s eclectic architecture. Vast terraces, quaint turrets, stained-glass windows, and plush fabrics dot the Bohemian property, which also has a tiled winter ‘garden.’ From samba dance lessons to massages, everything can be booked in advance here. Finally, the charming swimming pool with loungers is perfect for relaxation.
Rooms at Casa Amarelo feature dark Brazilian wood against tropical floral designs, antique furniture, chandeliers, and fantastically high ceilings. Breakfast is a smattering of cold and hot items, coupled with an array of local fruits. The bar is perfect for guzzling a cold Brazilian beer before stepping out to explore Rio. Gay travelers with discerning tastes will definitely love Casa Amarelo for its thoughtful character and attentive service.
Casa Amarelo is a 10-20-minute walk from downtown Rio’s best sights like Glória Marina, Paris Square Park, and the Modern Art Museum. Even the 18th-century Passeio Público, which is the oldest park in Brazil and one of the oldest in the Americas, is also within walking distance. If that wasn’t enough, The Week, the gay club to party in Rio is a 15-minute cab ride away.
Che Lagarto Hostel
Live it up Brazil-style at the fantastic party hostel Che Lagarto in Copacabana. Located just two blocks from the beach, the gay-friendly, bustling social hostel is a perfect base in Rio for gay travelers looking to mingle and party.
Socializing is the catchphrase at Che Lagarto. Kickstart your evening of fun by sipping on hostel-offered free evening caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail. After a good round of pre-drinking, head out to Copacabana’s gay area in Rio de Janeiro for fabulous gay bars like Pink Flamingo and Boate La Cueva. The hostel knows the exact recipe for easing away hangovers – a fantastic buffet-style breakfast. The rest of the day can be spent lounging around Rio’s fabulous beachside just two blocks away.
Rooms at Che Lagarto Hostel are vibrant with panoramic views of the sea from the terrace. If you aren’t in the mood to step out of the hostel, there’s even a shared kitchen to whip up quick and cheap meals. What’s more, the hostel also offers walking tours that will take you around parts of Rio that aren’t in guidebooks.
Just So You Know:
- Rio de Janeiro is popularly known as the ‘gay capital of Brazil’, with 14 percent of the population calling themselves ‘non-heterosexual.’
- Rio has been a major destination for gay travelers since the 1950s when much of the world did not even acknowledge homosexuality.
Get Some Culture in Rio de Janeiro:
- Rio’s Gay Pride Parade: Copacabana Beach becomes the epicenter of Rio’s Gay Pride Parade, the city’s third-most important event after New Year and Carnival. Rio’s Pride Parade is a massive gay beach party and celebrates Brazil’s progressive stance on LGBTQ rights. After the Parade, party monsters head to Papa G and dance the night away.
- Gaily Tour of Rio de Janeiro: Delve into Rio’s long and iconic history and explore its best sights on this small and intimate gay-friendly tour.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Rio de Janeiro:
- Buraco da Lacraia: Have a truly unique Brazilian experience at this gay dance club with a legendary cabaret show and a darkroom.
- Fosfobox: This long-running gay-friendly Copacabana music venue has particularly fantastic gay music nights on Fridays.
- La Cueva: Rio’s oldest remaining gay bar with a small dance floor and a cave-like appearance. It is particularly favored by older guys and bears.
- Papa G: Outrageous drag shows and big parties make a night at this popular LGBTQ club memorable to the hilt.
- Pink Flamingo: Pink Flamingo has been a gay nightlife hotspot in Copacabana since it opened its doors in 2019.
- The Week: The world’s biggest gay club with performers, DJs, and a whole crop of cute and handsome Brazilian boys.
- Tô Nem Aí: Translating to ‘I don’t care,’ this fabulous gay bar in Rio is popular with the good-looking younger LGBTQ crowd.