If you're looking for an extra-special place to spend a romantic night in Rio, this luxurious cliffside hideaway is the one to book. La Suite's off-the-beaten-track location amid the secluded mansions of Joatinga—often referred to as "the Beverly Hills of Rio"— gives it an ultra-exclusive feel, and the French owners have imbued their boutique hotel with real Parisian chic. The infinity pool, perched right above the ocean, takes in sweeping vistas over mountains and
out to sea. The exterior and outdoor spaces are all clean lines, white walls, and sleek modernism, but the suites themselves are an exercise in indulgence, with twinkling chandeliers, Oriental screens, vast beds, walk-in wardrobes, and colored-marble shower rooms. Old school glamour meets modern sophistication in the form of high-tech extras like iPod decks. While guests sip perfectly crafted caipirinhas on the velvet sofas of the living room, the in-house chef, Pascal Joly, performs culinary magic for dinner, which is served in a lavishly appointed dining room. Breakfasts, served on a patio with views of the Christ statue, include tropical fruits, house-made breads, cakes and jellies, and farm-fresh eggs. Service is attentive but never stuffy, security is super-tight, and while the location feels a world away from the rush and crush of the Zona Sul, Leblon is just a 10-minute cab ride away. For those who prefer to maintain a sense of splendid isolation, there's a small, practically deserted, beach just a couple of minutes' stroll away.