Ask a local: The perfect weekend in Rio, according to fashion designer Chica Capeto

Ask a local: The perfect weekend in Rio, according to fashion designer Chica Capeto

  • Travel
  • March 18, 2023
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Hotel Arpoador is one of Rio’s iconic beach hotels, complete with a sunny rooftop lounge.

Leonardo Finotti

On steaming Praia, Chica recommends stopping at a beach kiosk for a thirst-quenching coconut water and fresh seafood snacks: her favorite is Soga Beach in Sao Conrado: “DJs often play there as the sun sets over the beach.” Dining on the sand Chica also likes Peruvian fusion cuisine at La Carioca Cevicheria on Ipanema Beach.

While the sun still shines over her vibrant city, Chica enjoys exploring the photography, music and literature collections at the Instituto Moreira Salles, a converted mansion and a jewel of fine arts in Gávea’s lush Tijuca Forest. Or she visits the galleries, library and cinema of the Banco do Brasil (CCBB) Cultural Center to see the work of local city artists such as muralists Cibelle Arcanjo, Jairo Torre (aka SCRAU) and Rodrigo Sini.

The hotel for beach view and rooftop pool

Chica’s dream stay is at Hotel Arpoador, one of the few hotels in Rio that sits directly on the beach between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. With gentle waves outside and muted tones inside, this is the perfect spot for chica to unwind before the evening’s adventures. She recommends a dip in the unique triangular rooftop pool, where watching the sunset is “a must”.

Arp Bar at Hotel Arpoador is one of Chica’s most popular breakfast cafes.

Andre Klotz

The Arp pancake from the Arp Bar breakfast menu

Arp bar

Night after day: Samba dancing and Bahian food worth a day trip

Rio’s exciting nightlife might begin with refreshing caipirinhas in Pedra do Sal, a historic neighborhood and birthplace of samba “where people just park their cars, get out and dance.” For a downtown samba bar, there’s Botequim Vaca Atolada, “a lively, no-frills little spot” that hosts live bands.

On Sunday morning, Chica lingers over an “insanely good” breakfast at Hotel Arpoador’s Arp Bar, where she enjoys a cup of local coffee with oat milk. Tempting offerings on the hotel’s restaurant menu include poached eggs with charcoal-grilled mushrooms and a dash of truffle oil. Once she’s had enough, Chica wanders through even more of the city’s artist enclaves — like Casa Bicho, tucked between the arches of Rio’s iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, or the avant-garde studios of whitewashed Casa Voa. “My home is filled with art,” she says, “and so much of it comes from going to these places and picking up prints or pieces.”

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