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By Alison McGowan, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – New York and London may well be renowned for their spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations, whether it be the countdown at Times Square, or fireworks on the River Thames. However, Rio de Janeiro is fast becoming the top city in the world to bring in the New Year, with its famous ‘all white celebration’ at Copacabana beach.

View from the rooftop of Casa Florence, Leblon, photo by Hidden Pousadas Brazil.
View from the rooftop of Casa Florence, Leblon, photo by Hidden Pousadas Brazil.

Tens of thousands will be descending on the city over the next week to experience Réveillon 2011 Carioca style, where Brazil’s exuberant culture and dynamic party spirit comes to life. Accommodations of any sort will be hard to find, and even at this late stage there may be some visitors still looking for somewhere to stay.

A last minute answer may be found in Rio’s ‘hidden’ boutique pousadas. Unique places located in areas close enough to easily access Copacabana beach and other holiday must-sees, while also offering a welcoming and personal style of hospitality.

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Right in the heart of Leblon, Rio’s most upscale neighborhood is Casa Florence. Overlooking the Lagoa, this boutique Bed & Breakfast boasts spectacular views of the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf mountain) and is a short walk from Leblon beach.

Bars and restaurants are in abundance in Leblon for pre-New Year’s dinner and drinks. However, the most exciting place to see the firework display itself is right on Copacabana beach. There are plenty of cabs and regular buses from Leblon to Copacabana if you want to go early. However nearer to midnight these become unavailable, so the best thing is to walk along the beach with the throngs of other party goers.

For visitors wanting a different, more bohemian flavor, Santa Teresa is a wonderfully hidden part of Rio, perched on a hill between Centro (the center of the city) and Zona Sul (South zone). Casa da Carmen e do Fernando is a friendly artistic Bed & Breakfast there with views over Guanabara Bay.

It is close to local celebrations, which will be taking place in many of Santa Teresa’s bars and restaurants so visitors have several options. Getting to Copacabana is straightforward: by taxi, local bus or vans, which drop you walking distance from the beach, or alternatively by Metro from Glória station going to Siqueira Campos station, also a short walk away from the beach.

Villa Corcovado Boutique Hotel, Cosme Velho, photo by Hidden Pousadas Brazil.
Villa Corcovado Boutique Hotel, Cosme Velho, photo by Hidden Pousadas Brazil.

To bring in 2011 in ultimate style, Villa Corcovado Boutique Hotel in Cosme Velho offers sophisticated, tailor-made living. It sits beneath the Cristo right next to the Atlantic rainforest and offers an escape from the heart of the action if you don’t want to join the masses a twenty minute taxi ride away in Copacabana. You can order your New Year’s evening celebration meal in advance and break out the champagne around the pool at midnight.

Whether partying close to the action, or relaxing in luxury, New Year’s Eve in Rio will definitely create memories that will linger well into 2011. To find out more about these pousadas visit the Hidden Pousadas Brazil website.

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