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5 extraordinary rooftop pools in Rio

Rio de Janeiro is a spectacularly cinematic city. And its rooftop pools provide the perfect opportunity to marvel at the cityscape while also cooling down in the tropical heat.

Take our advice and visit one of the city’s five most extraordinary rooftop swimming spots.

Hotel Santa Teresa

An unusual inner-city calm prevails in the rooftop garden of this boutique hotel

An unusual inner-city calm prevails in the rooftop garden of this boutique hotel

Striped sun loungers face the slender swimming pool and an unusual inner-city calm prevails in the rooftop garden of this boutique hotel. It rests on a hillside above Santa Teresa, the tree-filled, bohemian neighbourhood after which the hotel is named, with an unblemished view of the city. The Rio panorama is perhaps even more striking at sundown, when it lights up to glittering effect, and guests fill up the cushioned seating area enjoying evening Negronis. If a stay here is a bit beyond your budget, don’t fret because members of the public are also welcome at the hotel’s sophisticated Bar dos Descasados; visitors come from all over the city to sample its mango and tangerine caipirinha cocktails, live Brazilian music and sophisticated ambience.

Hotel Fasano

Ogle the view of the Morro Dois Irmãos and Ipanema beach from Hotel Fasano's rooftop pool

Ogle the view of the Morro Dois Irmãos and Ipanema beach from Hotel Fasano's rooftop pool

Hotel Fasano sits smugly on Ipanema beach, bang slap in the middle of some of Rio’s most sought-after real estate. Up on the 8th floor is where you’ll find the pièce de résistance of this Philippe Starck-designed hotel – the guest-only rooftop pool. It’s as exclusive as they come, filled with bronzed Brazilians and visitors who apparently will book a suite just to get access to the party. Make the most of the infallible, stunningly swift service and order a cocktail while ogling the view, with the Morro Dois Irmãos peaks framing the beach perfectly.

PortoBay Rio International

This minimalist pool stands 20 storeys high in one of Rio’s most fashionable neighbourhoods

This minimalist pool stands 20 storeys high in one of Rio’s most fashionable neighbourhoods

The minimalist, square swimming pool at this luxurious Copacabana hotel stands 20 storeys high in one of Rio’s most fashionable neighbourhoods. It may not be deep enough for a proper swim but its cool temperature proves fantastically refreshing on a typically hot Brazilian day. Grab a mustard-striped sunlounger and a caipirinha and enjoy the view of the favelas, Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro

See pastel sunset skies through the Hilton pool's state-of-the-art sunroof

See pastel sunset skies through the Hilton pool's state-of-the-art sunroof

The Hilton Barra’s mosaiced, infinity rooftop pool is a thing of beauty. Thin and rectangular, its clean shape and bold lines match those of the hotel’s modern architecture, with grey columns holding up a state-of-the-art sunroof. Order a sundowner while gazing out over the mountains and the nearby Jacarepagua Lagoon.

Miramar Hotel by Windsor

Swim and sunbathe with the silhouette of Sugarloaf Mountain as the backdrop at the Miramar

Swim and sunbathe with the silhouette of Sugarloaf Mountain as the backdrop at the Miramar

The almost-invisible glass border of this hotel’s rooftop pool means that – from a certain angle – its ice-blue waters blend beautifully with the sea and the sky. Just after sunset, the scene is most heavenly, with the pastel-coloured sky reflecting on the pool’s still surface, and the silhouette of Sugarloaf Mountain becoming shrouded in fluffy clouds. With a location on Avenue Atlantica, on Copacabana beach, guests are also conveniently placed to explore Rio’s main attractions.