For a little hotel, La Suite packs a big punch. We arrived at night and as the gate in the high brick wall swung open it revealed a sweeping terrace and pool area looking out over the twinkling lights of Rio. The hotel clings to the side of a cliff on Rio’s South shore and the rooms cascade downwards ensuring uninterrupted views from each room’s private balcony. There are only seven rooms at La Suite giving the overall impression of staying at a luxurious private beach house rather than a hotel.
Breathtaking view from the infinity pool at La Suite
Each of the rooms has its own distinct character and is decorated predominantly in one colour. MTV boyfriend and I were invited to stay in the black room which was painted in dramatic midnight tones complete with huge black chandeliers beside the bed and two black marble tiled bathrooms. A four poster bed decorated with slinky white fringing and a soft animal skin white rug add a touch of decadence to the room.
The black room at La Suite
Thoughtful touches included a pre loaded ipod by the bed, free wifi and sun cream and insect repellant alongside the usual toiletries in the bathroom. As impressive as the black room was, it was hard to even take in because of the amazing views from the room. La Suite features what are hands down, the best views from a hotel in Rio. Windows lining two walls display the entire south coast of Rio including Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugar Loaf mountain. A major freeway snakes along the cliffs and while the hum of the freeway is audible from La Suite, it was interspersed with birds chirping in the trees around the hotel and waves crashing on the rocks below.
Entrance hall at La Suite
Service was friendly rather than polished and most of the staff do not speak English but are still eager to help and managed to teach us some Portugese in the process. During the day, Rodrigo the manager of La Suite was usually around and was enthusiastic and helpful with lots of advice for exploring Rio’s restaurants and bars. He noticed my Wallpaper* guide to Rio (which features La Suite) and laughed “We are the guide book, these are all the places I have always recommended guests visit.” Sure enough, every recommendation Rodrigo gave me was spot on.
Breakfast at La Suite
There is no bar at La Suite but caprihinis flowed freely and no restaurant but breakfast was served at whatever time we wanted on the terrace. Breakfast began each day with freshly squeezed orange juice and a fruit plate of mango, pineapple and even fruta do conde, a fruit I had never tasted before but which was refreshingly tart. Tea and coffee was accompanied by a tiered cake stand bearing warm bread rolls, croissants and pastries. There was ham and cheese to eat with the rolls along with a selection of jams. Again, the attention to detail which is a key part of La Suite’s appeal was evident in the delicious berry jams and choice each morning of several loose leaf teas.
More breakfast at La Suite – check out the view as you eat breakfast
Although La Suite’s location feels remote it was only 15 minutes in a cab (and about R$25/ £8) to Ipanema beach and Leblon so we did not mind staying out of central Rio. It was a perfect oasis to retreat to when the crowds and heat of Rio got too much.
Video of the black room at La Suite
Details: La Suite, Jackson de Figueiredo 501 Joa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Ph + 55 21 81 87 61 23)
Damage: Budget breaking although I did not have to pay on this occasion. Rates start at €280 a night in low season and soar to €475 a night and a five night minimum stay for Carnaval.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- We flew to Rio from London with British Airways, prices start from around £650 return.
- In Rio you can catch the electric train to the top of Christ the Redeemer statue (sit on the right hand side) or a cable car to the top of the Sugarloaf for more spectacular views.
- We also hired bikes for a day from the lake area and cycled along Copacabana and Ipanema beach.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of La Suite.