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Rio Dolphin Inn

Rua Bulhoes de Carvalho 480, Casa 6 Ipanema/Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, 22081-000 Brazil (Show map)
12 Reviews
$110 - $130
per night

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The Rio Dolphin Inn is a top quality yet quaint and cozy home on a quiet cobblestone street on the border of Ipanema, Copacabana and Arpoador beaches. You will not find a better location: you can actually see the beach from the entrance, the metro station is a block away and the main city bus lines pass right in front of the gate. This exclusive home has 2 bedrooms, both of them comfortable suites with modern bathrooms, air conditioning, fans, new comfortable beds and large bright windows. It's the perfect spot for couples, families, friends and single travelers. The inn is acclaimed as one of Rio's best bed and breakfasts. It is rated 5 stars and was winner of Trip Advisor's Excellence award in 2012 and 2013. We pride ourselves in taking care of our guests and helping them get their most of their visit. Check out our reviews on bedandbreakfast and TripAdvisor. We were closed for renovations but opened in April of 2014 again. World Cup dates still available.

Rooms & Rates

Little Prince Room

Charming bedroom ideal for couple or family (couple and one child or three adults). It is our largest room and has a queen and a single bed with a pullout bed underneath. The room has a ceiling fan, AC, desk, a spacious private bathroom next to the room and two bright windows which face the vila.

  • Maximum Capacity: 3
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Nightly Rate: $110 - $130

Dolphin Room

A cozy dolphin-themed suite with AC, ceiling fan, a new private bathroom, queen and single bed, and two large windows which face the vila where the inn is located. Ideal for a couple or three persons.

  • Maximum Capacity: 3
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Nightly Rate: $110 - $130

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  • Guest room4.5
  • Service5
  • Value4.5
  • Cleanliness4.8
  • Dining4.4

Score Breakdown based on
12 Reviews

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Renovations WOW- its getting even better

4.4 on September 14, 2011

This was our 2nd trip to the Blue Dolphin. Technically, it was closed for significant improvements. (Having met John, the owner, during our previous stay, we convinced him to let us stay in spite of the construction, AND the fact that he was going to be out of the country! Although John's personality and knowledge of the area played a part in our first trip's success, his absence was easily filled in by his local team. The inn is chock full of travel guides (many loaded with photos taken by the owner himself, a former Time magazine photographer and writer), restaurant recommendations, and suggestions for "off the beaten path" activities. With the assistance of the Inn manager, we went deeper into Rio than we did our first time around. We had a fascinating tour of the Favella hosted by a young man that grew up there, left, and now has returned. We took an outstanding Brazilian cooking class, and went into downtown Rio where we found the most amazing 1/4 mile of "street art" by a local artist named Selaron. The Rio Dolphin Inn is small, quaint, and packed full of character. Its not the place you want to go if you prefer a 5 star hotel, but then, you wouldn't be reading this if that's what you want. With the construction, each bedroom has its own private bath, where previously there was one community bathroom for 3 bedrooms. When the Rio Dolphin is full, they have the ability to rent out a handful of other rooms very close by in this very safe and quiet gated community. When we were there, a previous guest purchased a beach bicycle and donated it to the Inn. We borrowed the owners bike and this community bike, and had a GREAT time seeing all that Copacaban and Ipanema had to offer. A bike is absolutely the best transportation in this beautiful beach town My only regret is that we had to leave long before the construction was finished. We can't wait to see the Rio Dolphin during our NEXT visit!

Great place, awesome host, and close to the best of what Rio has to offer.

4.6 on April 14, 2011

I recently stayed at the Rio Dolphin Inn for a couple of days and had an awesome, and relaxing time. John was so helpful- giving me directions, providing recommendations, walking me around the neighbor, showing and drawing me maps. I enjoyed the coziness and eclectic feel of the guesthouse. The location is very central, within 3 blocks of the beach and in between Ipanema and Copacabana. As a single female traveler, I never felt unsafe in the neighbor around the guesthouse. When I come back to Rio in the future, I'll definitely be staying here!

Paradise between Ipanema and Copacabana

4.8 on May 27, 2010

This cozy paradise is located right smack between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, within easy walking distance of both, and was by far the highlight of our 6 week vacation in South America. The very personable owners, John and Nina, took us on a morning-long walking tour of the area on our first day, and were instrumental and very helpful in setting up the rest of our activities while we were there. John, who is also a very accomplished journalist, gave us fantastic advice on all things touristy and culinary, and Nina gave us great tips on what to do/see at night. The house itself is in a "villa," a small gated community about 4 blocks from the Forte de Copacabana, and is very secure. The decor is a delightful pastiche of surfer and marine-life art, with a lot of emphasis on dolphins, of course. Both rooms are comfortable and the bathroom is clean and spacious. Overall it was almost like a home-stay with very attentive friends; both John and Nina are very interesting people, delightful to talk to, and they were constantly concerned with keeping us well-informed and happy. They even went out for breakfast and to the beach with us a couple of times, and are fun to be around. The only reason I rated "dining" with 4 dots is that when we were there, which was last year, they did not have in-house cooking, but John pointed us to some great eating establishments in the neighborhood. I recommend Rio Dolphin Inn for anyone traveling to Rio de Janiero, it's our best vacation discovery in recent years!

A great place to stay in Rio

4.8 on March 28, 2010

I stayed for couple of days in this unforgettable place in Rio - cozy, beautiful (and of great location). John and Nina know everything about the city, helpful, smiley, friendly people :) great memories from the place!

Excellent Rio location

4.8 on December 14, 2009

We had seven wonderful days at the Rio Dolphin Inn,staying in the Cosy Corner,a self contained apartment in a security controlled block right opposite also owned by hosts John and Nina. It's smallish and has limited self catering but is clean and comfortable and is only a 5 minute stroll to both Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. On our arrival,John gave us a quick walking tour of the local recommended restaurants in Ipanema which we really appreciated. The "kilo restaurants" where you pay by weight on the food you choose were great in choice and value. It can be a great help to get John or Nina to assist with arranging airport transfers and sight-seeing with their local contacts if you have limited understanding of the language! A great place to stay in Rio. Thanks! Mike and Helen,England,UK

Exceptional Rio experience

4.4 on November 27, 2009

Nina and John are exceptional. They actually host you not like clients but like firends whom they have not seen for quite a while... They create a very open atmosphere and involve you in Rio life as much as you only want. You can count on them and on their recommendations. And the Inn itself, so surprisingly decorated, that it becomes a tourist attraction itself :-) Last, but not least - perfect and safe location, half way between Copa and Ipanema beaches. We have spent there 3 wonderful days. Highly recommendable. Tomasz and Anna from Poland

Great Hosts. Great Location.

4.6 on November 04, 2009

John and Nina were the perfect hosts. Having never visited Rio before, they filled me in on where to go and what to do to make my fairly brief stay as interesting and fun as possible. I feel like I now have friends in Rio. The Inn is so nice to return to after a busy day. Once you make your way through the security gate, all streets sounds are replaced by the sounds of birds. And close enough to the beach to walk (while carrying a surfboard). I highly recommend Dolphin Inn. I had an exceptional time in Rio - and I have John and Nina to thank.

Bravo Rio Dolphin Inn!

4.2 on August 31, 2009

Staying at the Rio Dolphin Inn's 'Cozy Corner' was like having a charming, beach-y pied-a-terre in Rio. John & Nina were wonderful; it felt like having family friends right around the corner to help point out the way around the city. The location was fantastic as the Inn is where Copacabana and Ipanema meet. All in all, a great choice!

A must stay

5 on July 22, 2009

John and Nina are super nice and super informative. They are the kind of people that you will stay in touch with when you leave. The place is very comfortable as well, and in a great location in Ipanema and next to Copacabana. Make it your first stay in Rio... -pt

Idyllic Villa

4.6 on July 08, 2009

I am 23 year-old traveler who stayed at the Rio Dolphin Inn for 6 days with two friends. It was the most tranquil, beautiful, and idyllic place I have ever stayed. The owners, a charming couple with knowledge of every square inch of the city, have done a great and thoughtful job making their villa feel like home to travelers. My experience in Rio would not have been the same had I not had such comfortable accomodations. ~Jennifer Bassell

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Location Type

Beachside, City, Oceanside, Tropical


RIO - Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 25 miles

Directions to property:

We are nestled in a wonderful vila, a small community of homes, on the border between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, at the corner of Rua Francisco Sa. When you come to Rio, whether it’s for a few days or a lifetime, you want to be near Copacabana or Ipanema. With Rio Dolphin Inn you get both. While most of Rio’s neighborhoods such as Santa Teresa, Lapa, Botafogo, Urca and downtown are fascinating and worthy of a visit, only Ipanema and Copacabana have it all. Rio is a huge city--12 million people—and though it is fun to visit these other neighborhoods and attractions, you really want to stay in a place that is centrally located, where there are cool neighborhoods to explore, where you can walk out at night and visit local restaurants, cafes and bars, where it’s fun to get around on foot or bike, and where—perhaps most important-- you are by the beach. In this case, you actually have your choice of four beaches within a few minutes walk from Rio Dolphin Inn: Copacabana, Ipanema, Diabo and Arpoador. What more could you want? Yet at the Rio Dolphin Inn there is more, since you have all this at your fingertips and yet your home in Rio is hidden away in a picturesque vila.

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Beach, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Lake, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Ocean, Sugar Loaf, Christ Figure, Carnival, Maracana soccer stadium, Surfing

Inn Details

Establishment type

Private Home Bed and Breakfast

On-site amenities

Board games, CD player, DVD Player, In-room internet, Library, Radio, Satellite/Cable TV, TV, Telephone, VCR, Videos, Wi-Fi

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Ceiling fans, Desk, Fridge, Hairdryer, Internet Service

On-site activities

Bicycle rental, Bicycle riding trails, Bicycles, Billiards, Bird watching, Boating, Canoeing, Fishing, Golfing, Kayaking, Mountain Bike trails, Spectacular Sunsets, Surfing, Hang gliding, paragliding, Monkey Watching, Bird Watching, Sailing, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Swimming, Tennis courts, Tennis racket rental, Water sports, Whitewater Rafting

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  • Check In:: 1 pm
  • Check Out:: noon
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: Outside only
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided Outside only
  • Suitable For Children: No No children under 12; all minors are charged as adults.
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: Prior approval required

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: 3 day minimum stay, 5 day minimum for New Years, 5 day minimum for Carnival.
  • Accepted payments S, y, s, t, e, m, ., C, o, l, l, e, c, t, i, o, n, s, ., G, e, n, e, r, i, c, ., L, i, s, t, `, 1, [, S, y, s, t, e, m, ., S, t, r, i, n, g, ]
  • Deposit Amount Required: We ask for a 50% deposit to hold the reservation (payable through PayPal). The balance is to be paid in Rio in cash. Note all prices are in US Dollars.
  • Cancellations: We will refund your deposit, minus a 10% cancellation fee, until 14 days prior to the beginning of your reservation date.




Languages spoken

Portuguese, English, Spanish

About the innkeepers

Surfing and preserving nature and working to make the world a better place to live

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  • Serving Location: We have a round the clock open kitchen so you can come and go and eat as you like. You are welcome to buy your own groceries, and to use the kitchen at any time. We are also surrounded by about a dozen Brazilian juice and açai bar and cafes, and we think eating out in Ipanema or Copacabana is a great way to sample local delicacies, meet native Cariocas (as well as other travelers), and get into the local culture. What can beat sitting out on a street-side cafe in Ipanema and watching the locals walk by on their way to the beach while you feast on an Acai-Mango juice, pao de queijo, a latte and nutela croisant?

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Innkeepers: Elaine

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Details Diamond Collection

Rua Bulhoes de Carvalho 480, Casa 6 , Ipanema/Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, 22081-000 Brazil (Show map)

Property highlights