A gorgeous and impossibly stylish luxury hotel, far enough off the main tourist drag to escape the crowds, but close enough to feel like you're in on the action. In that case, this means Joatinga, one of Rio's most exclusive residential districts, at the end of a gated street, with some of the best ocean views in the city and access to a well-kept secret: Joatinga Beach.
Seven rooms is about as intimate as it gets, and as rooms, they're remarkable — well-designed, individual, luxury but not ostentatious, and best of all, all seven take advantage of the phenomenal view, from full-length windows or private balconies.
There's no restaurant per se, and nothing but houses within walking distance, but the house's kitchen is run by a highly accomplished chef — eat on the terrace taking in the view of the beach and the Atlantic, or in the swanky modernist dining room. Getting out means a taxi ride, as Ipanema is a good ten minutes away.