Lonely Planet Writer

Take a sneak peek inside the design-forward Hotel Emiliano on Rio's Copacabana Beach

The Summer Olympic Games saw a 37% increase in hotel rooms in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but perhaps none quite as cool as the forthcoming Hotel Emiliano in Copacabana Beach.

Fachada Emiliano
The facade of Emiliano features a unique Brazilian architectural surface

The sleek contemporary hotel, a longstanding hotshot in São Paulo’s sleep scene, makes its first foray outside of Brazil’s biggest metropolis, trading concrete and steel for the sun-kissed sands and tropical Atlantic rainforested environs of Rio, which is sorely in need of decent, design-forward boutique beds.

A suite in the Emiliano
A suite in the Emiliano –  raising Copa’s cool quotient

On a privileged piece of real estate along Av. Atlantica on storied Copacabana Beach, Emiliano is scheduled to officially open to the public in November or December. Steeped in Brazilian Modernism, the hotel easily clocks in as one of the hottest South American hotel openings of the year and will help raise Copa’s cool quotient, along with the new Museum of Image & Sound, to catch up with the hipper offerings in the chic beach neighbourhoods of Ipanema and Leblon.

Emiliano Rio1
An amazing infinity pool with a wet deck helps frame the panoramic view

The façade of the hotel will feature a unique Brazilian architectural surface known as cobogó, specifically created for the hotel by famed Brazilian designer Arthur Casas, which features partially hollow panels that can be controlled to reveal (or hide) the inside of the 90 rooms, allowing guests to manipulate their experience of light and landscape from their hammock-strewn balconies and giving the façade a vibrant and fluid feel. The style is prominent in Brazil’s futuristic capital of Brasília and through the Northeast of the country.

Emiliano Restaurant2
The restaurants are divided by a lush vertical garden of Atlantic rainforest

Once inside, guests are greeted by a large painted panel from renowned artist Roberto Burle Marx and green-shaded selected fabrics and textures of the lobby furniture pay tribute to the nature around Rio’s Guanabara Bay.  Staff will be outfitted in stylish, neutral-toned uniforms by contemporary London-based Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola.

French Chef Damian Montecer of Botafogo’s La Villa fame will helm the hotel’s contemporary kitchen, with a focus on Brazilian organic ingredients. The two-room restaurant space will be divided by a lush vertical garden of Atlantic rainforest and will exclusively feature Casas’ “lampião” chairs which recently debuted at the Milan Furniture Show.

Guests can manipulate their experience of light from their balcony hammock

The 500-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, Hungarian goose feather pillows and Japanese heated toilet seats in guestrooms – along with some seriously sink-into chaise lounges – ensure top-shelf comforts while the concept of SPA suites (rooms featuring spa facilities for in-room treatments) will be making its Brazilian debut here.

Of course, no Rio hotel worth its salt would skimp on its rooftop pool and Emiliano is no exception: An amazing infinity pool with a wet deck helps to frame panoramic views from Leme to the Copacabana Fort – the entirety of Leme and Copa’s 4km of paradise.