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“Just the best place to stay in Foz do Iguassu”

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Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
Ranked #1 of 79 Hotels in Foz do Iguacu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 December 2012

The hotel is at the end of the road inside the National Park, a good ten minutes drive from the park entrance and about twenty minutes from the airport. The Iguassu Falls are huge and seem to extend in every direction from whichever viewpoint you choose. The hotel faces a good collection of falling water but to get even the best local views you have to leave the hotel and cross the road. There are rooms facing the falls but guests who pay extra for the view may be a bit disappointed.
The hotel is charming and very well run. Everything works. It has a spacious "old Colonial" appearance with high ceilings, wide corridors, lots of polished wood and a feeling of calm efficiency.
We had a Junior Suite on the first (top) floor of the main building. There was a good sitting area and a spacious entrance lobby with ample storage. The large bathroom had a bath and separate walk-in shower and there were quality amenities including various kinds of good soap. The bed was superbly comfortable and room service kept the bottled water topped up as it was used. There was free WiFi with a good signal.
There are two places to eat. The formal dining room has an outdoor terrace at the front of the hotel, facing the falls though with no real view. Among the local dishes on the menu was alligator and fresh water river fish. There were plenty of alternatives to keep the less adventurous contented.
A less formal dining area near the pool served breakfast and the dinner service was from a generous fixed price buffet. For someone wanting to go easy the best alternative option was the pool bar with snacks or the room service menu. There are no other restaurant option in the park but guests can go into the local town which is about thirty minutes away. Foz do Iguassu (the locals pronounce it with the emphasis on the last syllable - IguasSU) was larger than I expected and is very hilly. The main area has steep streets and you think twice about walking up some of the hills when the temperature is in the mid-thirties. Across the river is Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in Paraguay but we were warned that immigration back into Brazil can sometimes mean a long wait, so we did not cross the bridge.
To see the falls properly you need to visit both sides of the river. Brazil faces more of the falls than Argentina but Argentina has a lot to offer as well and is well worth the several hours it takes from the hotel. We took a private tour with a driver-guide from the hotel. You can tour the Argentinian National Park on your own but our guide steered us around the park, unrushed, and made sure we saw the falls easily, picking the best of innumerable options.
The main part of the Argentinian park is on the opposite bank of the river from the hotel but it takes a good hour to get there. One minor point to watch is where the hotel tour office told us that we needed Argentinian pesos to purchase our park entrance and that they did not accept Brazilian currency, nor credit cards. It had to be cash and the only place to purchase pesos was a money exchange en-route, cash only. We accordingly made a stop at a souvenir shop with a vast display of tourist tat and surrendered dollars for pesos. Passage through Brazilian and Argentine immigration was fast, we never left the car, then in the park entrance found an ATM that took all cards including AmEx. There was only one dispenser and a small line waiting to use it but we took more for use on our proper entry to Argentina in Buenos Aires later on. Do we hear 'commission' on the exercise we accepted in good faith? It did not seem up to the fine standards the hotel otherwise sets.
You can explore the Brazilian side of the falls from the hotel. A trail begins opposite the hotel and is described as a 750m walk. It does not mention that it also involves hundreds of steps down, up and then down more than once gradually descending to the river below the falls. It is a safe walk with innumerable views and some odd animals like iguanas that are not concerned about passing humans. The trail might concern people with mobility problems who feared the walk back up to the hotel. However, at the far end there is an elevator to the road above and the park's free bus service will get you back to the hotel. The trail can be avoided completely by taking the bus from the hotel to the elevator to start the tour.
The Iguassu Falls make up the largest and grandest waterfall in the world and this hotel is the place to stay for the greatest enjoyment of them.
One small and odd point in conclusion: On our arrival as our luggage was unloaded and we stepped inside the lobby we were warmly greeted by a well dressed man in a dark suit and welcomed to the Hotel with a friendly handshake. We were quite impressed that the management had turned out to meet us as we were booked into only a fairly standard Junior Suite. When the greeter then pressed an advertising brochure into our hands and hoped we would spend a lot of money in his jewellery outlet we did cringe at being taken in this way. The real management should send the fellow back to his counter and let the hotel staff welcome guests in their own way.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank GBSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 December 2012

We stayed here for two nights and I easily could have stayed longer. We had a deluxe falls room which was finished beautifully. The hotel has plenty of facilities and is a true first class hotel. It is in the park which is shut to the public from 6 pm to 9 am so you have it all to yourself. Staff are accommodating and courteous. Cannot fault it all. Even cosmetics in the room are a good standard

Room Tip: Definitely a falls view. I had 1111. Perfect
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank feliceh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2012

Beautiful property! Orient Express has done a terrific job with this hotel. Bravo!
The grounds, the spa, the terrace, the bar, the lobby lounge are all exquisite.
The cleanliness is impeccable, the service is superb.

Room Tip: There are very few rooms overlooking the falls but it's worth paying extra! The restaurant is f...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Orit C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2012

We were there in our honey moon for two nights and it was fantastic. Excellent service from the hotel staff and the level of comfort is very good. The falls of Iguazu are in walking distance another great feature. They could improve the restaurant especially for the dinner. I fully recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lacri D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2012

I have stayed in an Orient Express hotel in the past and I trust that brand - far I have not been dissapointed. If you ever plan a trip to se ethe Iguacu Falls Cataratas is the place to stay without the doubt. First the location. It is the only hotel located inside of the Cataratas National Parc on teh Brazilian side. The hotel sits right on the edge of the Falls. In the evening or early morning, when the parc closes you have the Falls just to yourself - quite incredible. We could see them actually from our hotel room window. The hotel is beautiful, elegant and just a place you don't want to leave. Everything is done with high quality materials and the decor is just lovely - not over the top - but simply just right and classy. Rooms are of a good size with very comfortabble beds, soft sheets, and all the needed amnenities. We have even gotten a free Hawaiana flip flops ;-). Bathroom was large and had great local toletries in big sizes, which we could take home. The decor had a local/colonial flavor and it was simply beautiful. All facilities were great. the pool was heavenly and we felt very well taken care off. Food was very good, drinks even better. I also went to the spa and had a heavanly treatment. I could talk and talk how wonderful the hotel was bu the bottom line is that it is just great and if you have a chance to stay there, do it.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Pysiu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2012

I would stay here are least 1 night, because the best thing we did all trip was wake up at 6am and walk to the waterfalls for sunrise. Only hotel guests have access to the Falls at this time. There was not a single other person on the walks, you have it all to yourself! After the Falls, you go back to the hotel and have a perfect breakfast, then relax at poolside. The pool is perfect. Can swim at all hours, under the stars. There is a nice fitness center as well.

Everything said about the hotel is true. The grounds are amazing, the pool service is impeccable. The falls are directly across from the hotel and you can hear them from the front of the hotel. Like others, I also wish there were a viewing balcony from the hotel, but it's not that important. There are many sitting rooms in the hotel to relax.

I recommend taking a taxi into town and spending some time there. The hotel arranges it for you. We took hotel shuttle to the Park entrance and taxi picked us up there. It was flat rate 50 reais to go to town and 35 reais coming back (using taxi meter). We went to the large supermarket Super Muffato and bought Brazilian coffee, candy, etc as gifts. This is a gigantic supermarket, with everything. There is also a nice buffet where we had a nice meal for very cheap, about 12.70 reais per kilogram.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jamblix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataratasManagement, Rooms Division Manager at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, responded to this reviewResponded 11 December 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind review on the Hotel das Cataratas.

We are very pleased to hear that you did enjoy your stay with us and our services.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Sincerely yours,

Stephan Hauser Ferreira
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2012

I have spent 3 nights at this hotel in September. I have chosen this hotel for the location and because I am familiar with Orient Express having stayed with them before in Myanmar and Peru.
I was not dissappointed in terms of location. It was unique having almost an exclusive access to the falls early in the mornings and in the evenings.
My room, booked through Expedia was fine and comfortable. Breakfast was excellent including a good Brasilian sparkling wine. Service was attentive and polite. It was a pleasure just to relax next to the beautiful pool after earlier walks to the falls. Food at the restaurant was good although expensive. I have had a good Feijoada as part of the lunch buffet on the Saturday of my stay and I have loved it.
So everything seems so good right? Then why I am not rating this hotel better? The main reason is that this hotel does not provide adequate and impartial information to clients about how the options to arrive from the airports to the hotel or about how to move independently in Foz de Iguassu. They do not have a well informed Concierge. They delegate queries to a tracel agency located at the hotel, who seem to be more interested in selling their overpriced services, than providing adequate information to clients. See below why I have got this impression.
I have arrive with an airline from Asuncion in the nearest Ciudad del Este Airport. I have asked for options to arrive from there to the hotel to the reception and was put in contact with the travel agency located in the same hotel. This agency informed me that the price of the transfer from that airport to the hotel was Reais 400 one way (about US 200) and that the drive was one and half hour. No additional information about other options. To my question about how much a taxi service would charge, they did not provided a price, but the information that taxis could not enter the park. Based on this information, I took the transfer. When I arrived at Ciudad del Este, I have realised there were plenty of taxis who could have taken me to the gate of the Park, where there is the free hotel shuttle bus, for half the price of what the agency was charging. As a matter of fact, since my flight was leaving also from Ciudad del Este, I have arranged a taxi to come to the gate and take me to the airport for Reais 150.
I find that a luxus hotel like Orient Express, must have as first priority the clients interests and not selling their overpriced products. Accurate and complete information for arriving guests is part of a luxury service. The hotel rate per night is expensive, but we come because of the location and the name Orient Express as a symbol of pampering and luxus. To this luxury feeling, belongs in my opinion, a good concierge.
During my stay in Foz the Iguassu, I have found a magazine which provides good information about best restaurants and activities in Foz. Their online page is www.iguassumagazine.com.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank travelBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Hotel das Cataratas

Address: Rodovia Br 469 Km 32 | Iguacu National Park, Foz do Iguacu, State of Parana 85855-750, Brazil
Phone Number:
Region: Brazil > State of Parana > Foz do Iguacu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Family Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#5 Business Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
Price Range: £243 - £505 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Hotel das Cataratas 5*
Number of rooms: 193
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facing the spectacular Iguacu Falls in Iguacu National Park, the 5-star Belmond Hotel das Cataratas provides free Wi-Fi internet access. Guests can enjoy a cocktail by the swimming pool or play a game of tennis on the provided court. The falls can be experienced by speed boat, rafting or by a helicopter flyover. For excitement and adventure, guests can enjoy abseiling, rock climbing and canopy walks. Walking tours allow for the surrounding lush rain forest to be explored. Belmond Hotel das Cataratas offers traditional Portuguese styled rooms with a flat screen TV, dark wood furniture and warm natural tones. Some rooms provide a balcony and seating area. The two restaurants on-site provide views of the falls and of the hotel's pool. They serve a selection of international and local Brazilian cuisine. In the evening live music can be enjoyed in the downstairs bar. The Iguacu Falls lie between the Brazilian state of Parana and Argentina. The Brazilian side offers postcard panoramic views, while the Argentinian side provides varied, up-close views. The hotel is located in a privileged position, alongside the Iguassu Falls. It is in fact the only hotel situated in the Iguassu National Park. Because of its prime location, the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas offers its guests a unique experience - taking walks along the trails by the falls which may be done at any time during the day, with the added advantage that from 7 a.M to 9 a.M, the trails are for guests of the hotel exclusively. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Das Cataratas Hotel
Tropical Das Cataratas
Hotel Das Cataratas
Hotel Tropical Das Cataratas
Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil - Parana

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