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Rio Ball

Belmond Copacabana Prepares for Rio Carnival Ball

Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro prepares to take centre stage on 2nd March 2019 during Rio Carnival to host the world-famous Carnival Ball. This year’s ball, ‘Dolce Carnevale,’ pays homage to the glamour and global influence of Italy.

The Rio Carnival, considered one of the greatest shows on earth and regularly attracting over two million revellers to its famous samba street party, has since 1924, starred the hotel’s legendary ball. An event that has become as synonymous with the carnival as samba itself.

Andrea Natal, General Manager, Belmond Copacabana Palace explains, “You come to our ball to party like a Brazilian – to enjoy a moment in time with people who love life. It is special this year to be celebrating Italy – a country we Cariocas love for its beauty, heritage, food and wine, strong women and of course designers that are adored worldwide. It promises to be an unforgettable theme and spectacular night.”


Guests are taken on a fantastical journey through Italy – where the history, art, fashion, design, music and gastronomy is brought to life in the hotel’s iconic and recently refurbished Golden Room. For one night only the famous ballroom will be transformed into Venice landmark St Mark’s Square; the very square that can be viewed from the hotel’s European counterpart Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice.

Music is at the heart of the party and live bands will perform throughout the different art deco ballrooms, continuing on until dawn and the last revellers leave the dance floor. One of the most iconic scenes from which to enjoy the party is from the hotel’s spectacular veranda, which is alive with the sound of samba and overlooks Copacabana Beach. Italian food and delicacies will be served in keeping with the theme and bars will over flow with Aperol Spritz, Prosecco and Bellini’s as famously served at Belmond Hotel Cipriani.


Whilst samba costumes light up the streets of Rio, the Carnival Ball upholds a sophisticated black tie dress code and has created a ‘catwalk culture’ and sensational stage for guests to showcase their couture fashion and custom-made gowns. This year is no exception and female guests are encouraged to wear designer Italian gowns and embrace the theme.


From modern day style icons such as Christian Louboutin to Hollywood royalty such as Gerard Butler and Sir Ian McKellen; each year well known celebrities, politicians, socialites and the city’s elite flock to the party.

The hotel, which opened in August 1923, held the first Carnival ball in February 1924. In 1959, Jayne Mansfield caused a sensation when her dress strap came loose, and Brigitte Bardot was one of the attractions in 1964, when the ball celebrated Rio’s 400th anniversary with décor by Júlio Senna in seven rooms representing the streets of old Rio. Other memorable figures to grace the ball over the years include Orson Welles, Ginger Rogers, Mary Pickford, Joan Fontaine, Rhonda Fleming, Walter Pidgeon, Lana Turner, Ann Miller, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kim Novak, Romy Schneider, Kirk Douglas and Rita Hayworth, who even strutted through the room dressed in a “Baiana” costume. In 1973 the hotel took a break from hosting the ball, but the allure of the party was too strong and it was officially restarted 20 years later.


Dolce Carnevale ticket prices per person vary; R$2,100 /$552 for standing, R$3,040 /$800 for Nobre Salon, R$3,990 /$1,050 for the Golden Room, and R$5,786 /$1,522 for a VIP seated box, for a minimum of ten persons. Guests can choose to wear a costume complementing the theme, or black tie.

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