By Jake Marmulstein, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Arpoador, located in Zona Sul between the fort of Copacabana and Ipanema beach, spans just over 500 meters of coastline. As the natural separation point between Copacabana and Ipanema beach, the Arpoador Rock provides beautiful views of Rio’s most famous beaches.

Arpoador's small stretch of quiet beach between Ipanema and Copacabana, photo by Jake Marmulstein.

In the past, the coast was common ground for Indians and Portuguese who would hunt whales and fish using harpoons. Now the area is most famous for the surf scene.

Arpoador as a neighborhood offers a safe option to stay just a stone’s throw from popular beaches and the chic parts of Zona Sul, as well as relatively convenient access to public transportation. For a decent price, beautiful three and four star hotels in Arpoador make staying comfortable and convenient.

The Mercure is a 3-star apart-hotel on Rua Francisco Otaviano located almost equidistant from Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. Rooms feature city or sea views and provide ample space for two. Individually furnished and decorated, rooms include a living area, bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. Televisions have digital channels, free movie channels, and DVD players.

Nightly turndown service and housekeeping are provided. Guest reviews highlight the comfortable beds, attentive service, and convenient English speaking reception. Amenities and services feature a fitness center, sauna, swimming pool, parking, complementary wired high-speed internet access, laundry facilities and breakfast. Room rates average at R$300 per night. The Mercure is the most luxury option available in regards to facilities and service available in Arpoador.

Next door is the 24-room Hotel Crystal Palace. Decorated with classic Italian standards, the Hotel Crystal Palace creates a cozy vibe for its guests. Rooms are large and air-conditioned, featuring a bathroom, cable television, direct dialing to international and national calls, 24-hour room service, mini bar, and safe service.

Guest reviews adore the breakfast and praise the staff for being hospitable and well attending to customer needs. The Hotel Crystal Palace delivers you a traditional Mobile Six two-star hotel stay and guest experience. With fewer amenities than the Mercure, you can get a good deal renting a double for around R$200 a night.

A view from the rocks of Arpoador towards Ipanema, photo by Jake Marmulstein.

Adjacent the coast is the Arpoador Inn, the only hotel in Rio right next to Arpoador Beach. Whether you’ve come to surf, tour, or be a beach bum, this hotel has the best location and views overlooking the beach. Apartments are larger than standard size and are recently renovated, offering similar amenities to the Hotel Crystal Palace.

A standard double costs R$212 and an ocean front double costs R$440 in the low season. If being on the ocean is an important factor, this is the hotel for you. Otherwise, bars and restaurants are slightly further to get to than in other options, and the location can be noisy at night according to some guest accounts.

In Arpoador, you are situated in an advantageous position to enjoy the city of Rio and stay in a comfortable hotel that delivers a pleasing customer experience. Since Rio de Janeiro’s traffic makes getting around the city very time consuming, it is truly very helpful to be located within walking distance, metro access, and short bus distance to many of the best restaurants and bars in Rio.


  1. sounds like a wonderful place.
    Smack/Dab right between where two of the most famous songs were written.
    Great article ~ keep up the good work.

  2. Very informative article on Arpoador’s accommodations. The nightly rate at the three-star Mercure Hotel of R$300 ($180 U.S.) is a very good rate for a hotel with that location in Arpoador——- halfway between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches ——– and for its amenities. The photo “A view from the rocks of Arpoador towards Ipanema” is great.

  3. Sounds like the Arpoador Inn is the place for us, as I love the sound of the surf and the idea of just steeping out onto a sandy beach is very inviting. The pictures are wonderful and make me want to book my trip now!

  4. The article was great – and this is were I stayed during my visit this year. It was a perfect location with a beautiful view. For me when you give the price, it would be helpful if you also gave it to the reader in US dollars with approx amount. Some people may see the R$300 and think it is $300, which it is not.

  5. Hi Jake, thanks for sharing these wonderful Rio photos and information! Might be very useful for my next visit to Brazil. Enjoy your traveling and get home happy and full of new impressions! With full support for our young travelers, Marina

  6. All I can say is RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL , Arpoador looks absolutely beautiful! The article makes me want to book my trip right now!

    Well done Jake.


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