I thought I would share my recent trip for those traveling to Brazil especially for the World Cup or the Olympics. We were there over the New Years holiday so a very busy time of year.
First and foremost, Brazil has changed considerably and the crime rate seems to be under control. You can now walk around Rio and take public transportation like most major cities. Be cautious when using a cash machine, we used an HSBC machine, the company we use at home. The card number and code were stolen from the machine and used. We did not have to pay for the other withdrawals since they occurred after we returned home, but it is something to deal with and it is unsettling.
The hotel of choice, for me the only place to stay, is the Copacabana Palace. Truth be told, I have a soft spot for old established hotels. They offer the glamour and services that were more common of days gone by. The location is perfect and the service is impeccable. The staff is young, vibrant and they smile warmly. The entryway or reception area is busy and bustling, a friendly environment with old-world charm and class. Checking in is a breeze and your luggage is whisked to your room.
The property is extremely comfortable with a well-polished staff so they can offer all the services one appreciates when on vacation. Fresh flowers are everywhere. When you open your room door you are greeted with taste and a sense of coziness that allows you to feel at home. The room and bathroom are large and well-appointed, closets and draws galore.
The hotel spa and gym are outstanding. Snacks, fresh water, robes and flip-flops are at your disposal to ensure comfort before, during, and after your work out. Staff is on hand to assist in setting up spa treatments, dance lessons or a personal coach. There is a relaxing room where you can calmly drift and relieve stress after a steam or sauna. Everything was clean and designed to create welcoming environments.
Walk around inside the hotel and the annex to appreciate the its history and glory. Play a game of tennis on the roof court.
The huge pool is an amazing haven to escape the city’s commotion or to enjoy a relaxing meal. Attendants are available to insure your comfort and the clear blue water is inviting.
You should not miss the experience of beach life in Rio. Once you cross the six lanes of traffic and all the excitement that passes in front of the hotel, you will be well attended too when relaxing in the Hotel’s private beach section. You are served cold water and chilled, sweet tropical, fresh fruit while relaxing under a white and blue umbrella shading you from the strong sun. You can even get a soothing massage, which I recommend. The beach can be crowded; vendors will approach you with their wears. You can buy their souvenirs as you forget about life. People do not always remove their garbage so the beach in general is not pristine even though it is cleaned. I am hoping that this will be addressed and changed.
We used the hotel cars to take us on city sightseeing trips. The luxurious cars are comfortable and the local drivers are informative. Sometimes we were taken to see little out of the way nooks to experience something we would have missed on our own. The hotel has standard pricing and can assist you in mapping out a day’s adventure.
We had two minor glitches during our ten-day stay and mentioned them to the hotel more out of a courtesy so they could address and prevent reoccurrence. Guest relations apologized by sending chocolates with a bottle of cold Champagne to our room, something we certainly did not expect. A applauded them with a huge BRAVO for their concern to insure quality and a willingness to be the best.
The concierge staff is knowledgeable and facilitates ones needs. There are many restaurants in walking distance from the hotel but rely on the Concierge to insure that you will get a good meal. Otherwise you could end up hungry. Explore some of the local juice bars and their homemade snacks. Do not be afraid to experience the wonders of this amazing city and the warmth exuded from its people.
Restaurants not to miss, ask the Concierge to make your reservations, they are popular spots: Satyricon (seafood) – Rua Barao da Torre 192, Ipanema. Carlota (Brazilian) Dias Ferreira, 64 - Leblon. Bazzar (fusion) R Barao da Torre, 538 – Ipanema. Brassierie Rosario (lunch when visiting the old center or for coffee and wonderful desserts) Rua do Rosario, 34 - Centro. La Fiducia Café - (for baked goods and coffee or a light lunch – it is just around the corner from Copacabana Palace) Rua Duvivier, 12, they also have a restaurant across the street. Celeiro (salad lighter type lunch) Dias Ferreira, 199 - Leblon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the famous Copacabana Beach, the Belmond Copacabana Palace is known as the most luxury hotel in Brazil. A symbol of sophistication and refinement, the Belmond Copacabana Palace offers an impeccable service, excellent cuisine and luxurious accommodation, confirming its tradition of ideal place to stay in Rio de Janeiro. The Belmond Copacabana Palace offers three restaurants inside its facilities; the Italian Cipriani, the Pergula Restaurant, with Brazilian and international cuisine, located next to the pool and the new Pan-Asian restaurant awarded with a prestigious Michelin Star, Mee. Apart from being a landmark in one of the most beautiful areas of Brazil, the hotel is also a center of wellbeing. It offers one of the main spas in the country, with different types of treatments, as well as a beauty salon, both open to the public. It also has a boutique with national and international brands and exclusive pieces. The exclusive Beach service offers sun loungers, umbrellas and water for the guests. The personalized treatment enchants the guests and provides a family atmosphere, making everybody feel at home. The hotel is also known as one of the most sort after venues for parties and Rio´s social events. It has a convention center with ten different rooms and salons of different sizes and shapes, to suite the various needs of the clients. For parties, the hotel offers the luxurious Golden Room, the Nobre Room and the Copacabana Rooms, which can be used for cocktails, dinners, wedding receptions, business meetings and other large parties. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Copacabana Palace By Orient-Express Hotel Rio De Janeiro
- Copacabana Palace Rio De Janeiro
- Copacabana Palace Hotel
- Belmond Copacabana Palace Rio De Janeiro, Brazil