There''s nowhere quite like Rio. Maybe it's the heady blend of urban cool and laid-back beach culture - one minute you can be pounding the city streets on a shopping mission; the next, you're sunning yourself on the sands of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. And overlooking it all is that incredible statue of Christ the Redeemer.
There are lots of chic accommodation options across the city, but for something truly special, it has to be the Belmond Copacabana Palace. Set mere steps from the beach, this the hotel has become a real Rio landmark.
Belmond Copacabana Palace may have a whole lot of history behind it - the Art Deco hotel opened its doors in 1923 - but the accommodation is all about contemporary comforts. My bed was quite ridiculously comfy, and the vast bathroom was stocked with plenty of beauty treats.
The hotel has several restaurants. I particularly enjoy the inventive Italian dishes at Hotel Cipriano restaurant, as well as lunch at Pergola, which overlooks the glamorous pool.
In terms of Rio sightseeing, a visit to Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) is a must. You can take the red cog train (slow but scenic), the official van, or hire a guide. If you're feeling particularly active, you can even hike it.
For more stunning scenery, take the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.
Soak up the atmosphere with a stroll along Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If you're keen for a bit of tranquility, the botanical gardens are a lovely option.