Casa Mosquito

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil Book from Book from £184 per night

A chic little Franco-Brazilian retreat, elegant but friendly, central but secluded, and worth climbing the cobblestone hill for
Perched above 2 of the world’s most fabulous beaches is a colonial mansion built in 1942. Today it's a leafy, laid-back boutique hotel run by charismatic French owners Benjamin and Louis. Head up the steep winding street (leave the high heels behind), up the cobbled path (illuminated at night), and you'll find billowing white curtains on a beautiful veranda and a seriously cool rooftop pool with sweeping views. Ahead is Copacabana and the sea; to the side and rear, a picturesque favela climbing the hill. Reward yourself with a passionfruit caipirinha in the sun-streamed living room, where books, lilies and eclectic artwork vie for attention, a cowhide rug is strewn across the polished floor, classic jazz plays, and greenery bursts through the window.

The 9 bedrooms are spread across the main house and a glass-fronted annexe, and many have terraces and Sugar Loaf views. Wake to a magical sunrise and a tropical breakfast in the courtyard garden, then head out to explore; you’re a 7-minute stroll from Ipanema beach, so you’ll soon have the sand between your toes. Return to a drenching shower, a massage, and a delicious meal served at the big friendly table (or discreetly à deux, if you prefer).


  • A small hotel in trendy Ipanema, close to the beach, bars and boutiques - we've waited years for something like this to open
  • A sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance (no kids under 14)
  • Vintage-chic rooms with nods to the 50s and 60s
  • The rooftop pool terrace with its jaw-dropping views, live music (Thursday and Friday until 10pm) and weekend DJs
  • Tasty food and great cocktails, served by charming staff for whom nothing is too much trouble


  • Full pre-payment due at the time of booking. Expensive extras, too, like laundry
  • Access for fitties only - you need to ascend a steep cobblestone alley then steps to get here
  • No twin rooms so it's best for couples, and no ceiling fans for those who don’t like air con
  • The hotel's regular pool parties may not suit those seeking a quiet stay

Best time to go

Rio is always up for a dance. November to April are the hottest months. February and New Year are best if you want to be around for the carnival and the biggest parties; if not, these times are best avoided as prices soar. July to September are the coolest months but also the driest, and September/October are wonderful - springtime in South America.

Our top tips

  • Bring a sarong, sunglasses, sunscreen and a rain mac (short downpours can occur at any time), but buy your bikini and flip-flops in Rio - they're cooler than you'll find at home
  • This is the perfect base for anyone who’s looking for the real Rio - stay at least 4 nights
  • Enjoy rooftop views to the beat of live Bossa Nova on Thursday and Friday evenings. The hotel’s parties attract Rio’s cool crowd

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 9
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Ages 14+ only
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Carioca Terrace - Machado de Assis


Kitschy keyrings open doors to bedrooms of laid-back luxury, all named after famous Cariocas. In the main house are the Sugarloaf Deluxe rooms, all beautifully arranged with big firm beds and clouds of linen. Most have palm-potted balconies, too - imagine sitting outside and raising a glass to Sugar Loaf Mountain. Madame Sata (legendary drag queen, outlaw and hustler) and Tom Jobim have a partial bay view; Pixinguinha and Villa Lobos overlook the lush courtyard. Rooms in the annexe (where the pool is) come in 3 sizes - Carioca Terrace, Carioca Terrace Junior and Carioca Terrace Deluxe. All have private outdoor spaces with views of Copacabana and Ipanema, and the largest have sofa'd sitting areas.

Every room is different - a mushroom scheme contrasted by red pendant lights, gold paint enhanced by lemon-yellow cushions, 50s-style palm-print wallpaper behind the bed. As for the bathrooms, expect mosaic showers, swathes of glass or polished concrete, and lashings of hot water. If you fancy a soak, request Villa Lobos or one of the Carioca Terrace Deluxes, which have tubs; we particularly like the clawfoot bath in Vinícius de Moraes.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach basket with beach towels
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


The tropical breakfast, taken at little tables in the courtyard, comes with breads, fruits, homemade cake, homemade jelly and preserves, plus eggs if you’d like them. Not a bad start to the day, and on Sundays brunch is served on the rooftop from noon to an indulgent 7pm - perfect if you need to recover from a night on the town. Light meals (grilled steak, croque monsieur, salade fraîcheur) are also available daily from noon until 7pm, and come evening dinner is served at a long candlelit table with other guests (or in a private corner or your room on request). Produce is the freshest the daily market can offer, and Mediterranean cooking holds sway.

For a change of scene, there are loads of eateries nearby. Fun, friendly and near the beach are Zazá Bistrô Tropical, serving delicious, wholesome food, and the Felice Café, known for its tasty dishes and even tastier ice cream cocktails. You can also treat yourself to energy-boosting smoothies at one of Ipanema's many juice bars.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Communal dining
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Private dining
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


  • You’re a 7-minute stroll from the golden beaches of Ipanema and 10 minutes from Copacabana. If you prefer more secluded sands, jump in a taxi and ask for Prainha, a peaceful beach just south of the city, or the secret surfers’ hangout of Joatinga
  • You'll find designer shops on Rua Prudente de Morais and Rua Visconde de Piraja. If markets are your thing, head for the Sunday hippy market on Praça General Osório - the best place to buy a hammock
  • Rio has 'cleaned up' some of the favelas (shanty towns), and the hotel can arrange a guide to show you around the largest, Rocinha - a swarming anthill of narrow alleys that's a hotbed of musical talent
  • Or let the guide take you to Petropolis, the Imperial City of Brazil, tucked into the green hills of the Serra dos Orgaos. See the wonderful Summer Palace of the second Brazilian emperor (now the Imperial Museum), then take a walk in the mountains - complete with a waterfall to dive into
  • Rio's hottest nightlife is in Lapa, an edgy district half an hour by taxi from the hotel. Join the locals for live samba at Rio Scenarium on Fridays and Saturdays

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Beach volleyball
  • Historical sites
  • Live music
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures


Only guests aged 14+ are accepted.

If you're coming with teenagers, some rooms can fit 1 extra bed, and Vinícius de Moraes has a sofabed which can sleep 2 additional guests on request.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests


We adored Casa Mosquito! Our only mistake was not staying there, and in Rio in general, for a few more days. First of all the house is exquisite. It's an aerie above the city's bustle, and makes you feel like you're in a photo-shoot in the sky. Be prepared to climb lots of winding stairs to the first level, which houses the lobby, which is really a living room, and the outdoor garden where you eat a delicious breakfast. Then climb more stairs (also more than worth it!) to your well-designed room and even further to the rooftop pool and bar, which is so fantastic and has such an astonishing view of the city, the sea and the mountains you won't want to leave! But besides its beauty and thoughtful design, Casa Mosquito has a lovely, welcoming, helpful staff. Especially Benjamin, one of the owners, and Rosa, who works at the desk. Since they speak English, we relied on them for all manner of assistance, and they came through every time, making recommendations and reservations, setting up tours, etc. One last thing to note is that it's a 10-minute walk to the Ipanema beach! All around, Casa Mosquito is a gem.


I would recommend Casa Mosquito to anyone! The hotel is uniquely beautiful - from the reception in the main house, to the breakfast courtyard, to the rooftop pool - everything feels carefully selected and fabulously stylish.
A real highlight for me was the service. Benjamin and Louis make you feel like guests in their home rather than paying customers, from the big things they did (like upgrading us to one of their Carioca Terrace suites when we returned for our second visit) to all their tips for good food and bars in the area. They clearly know and love the city, and they gave us all the benefit of their knowledge and experience.
So glad we found this place through i-escape - if you want a truly boutique hotel in Rio de Janeiro, with a friendly, laid-back ambience, this has to be the one!


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Rates for Casa Mosquito