Portinari Design Hotel, Rio de Janeiro $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
One of the first hotels in Rio to squeeze into the "designer boutique" bracket—just—the 66-room Portinari is located down a side street in Copacabana. Various Brazilian designers decorated one or two floors each, and the looks vary from minimal modern to pastels and florals: Do some research before requesting a room so you'll know what you're getting. None of it is breaking new design ground, but it's elegant and more imaginative than the competition. We like the second floor, by Gustavo and Sandra Pena, with its strident reds, mellow whites, elegant drapes, and humorous round windows. The Carioca-pride theme is carried over to the lovely rooftop restaurant by designer Chicô Gouveia, with china painted with reproductions by prominent Brazilian artist Cândido Portinari. There's also a little fitness center with a hot tub up there.
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