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“I think we struck lucky”
Review of Mar Ipanema Hotel

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Mar Ipanema Hotel
Ranked #82 of 282 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Sitges, Spain
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“I think we struck lucky”
Reviewed 20 August 2012

I was frustrated back in June trying to find a hotel in Rio that was of a decent standard ... that was also affordable, easy to get to/from, and would suit my family (M+D+2 teenagers). I settled on the Mar Ipenema as 'this will have to do'.
And struck lucky. No complaints. A good little hotel. Not swanky or posh, but neither is it shabby or lacking in any way.
Would stay here again if ever back in Rio.
The rooms were quite small .. but then we didn't plan to spend much time in them so that didn't bother us. All the plumbing worked ok and the shower was actually quite roomy.
Breakfast is really good - lots to choose from.
Tip: don't bother to take lots of smart 'city' clothes for Rio. It's perfectly permissable to wander about in swimmies with shorts+t-shirt or a kaftan/beach-dress on top. Oh, and the obligatory flipflops! 80% of Brazilians seem to live in flipflops ... stock up in a shop on the hotel's Piraja road.
The weather was warm enough (in July - the winter) to dress 'for the beach' all day and just throw on a light jacket/cardigan on some of the evenings (though the teenagers weren't chilly even then) when we ate at outside restaurants.
Ipenema beach is literally a couple of minutes walk from the hotel.

Room Tip: We were on the 7th floor. As the bathroom windows overlooking the main street of Piraja were designe...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lifes_an_illusion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 3 October 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you so much for your incredible review! We are so glad to hear that you had a wonderful stay with your family! I am so very happy to know that you would stay with us again should you visit Rio in the future. This is the best compliment we could ever receive!
Let me thank you also for the tips you provided to future travelers about clothing in Rio! Yes it is warm all year long, and flip flops are a must in our city! Rio is a very laid back city which makes it perfect for vacations!
Thanks again for your comments and we hope to see you and your family soon!
Best wishes,
Amanda Abreu
Sales Manager
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

Here goes my first review on Tripadvisor:

I have just spent 4 nights at Mar Ipanema and i must say it delivers on all fronts.

My wife and I had a superior room and compared to some of the rooms I've stayed in in Europe, the room was HUGE. Cleanliness was top notch, albeit a few signs of ageing (brown stains on counter tops).

The bed was uber-comfy, and had lots of pillows. Street noise was a bit excessive, but being heavy sleepers we didnt mind.

The breakfast was awesome, in the adejacent restuarant. Decent spread and everything was very tasty.

Front desk staff might not seem friendly or approachable, but they were helpful enough to arrange beach chairs and towels, and a cab to the airport at 3am!

Yes, it does not have a pool, gym or spa, so its not 5 star. But in terms of value for money, service and bang for buck, its hard to beat

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Claud N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 17 August 2012
Dear guest,

Your review brightened our day!! Thank you so much for your amazing comments about your stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel!

I am very proud that you joined Trip Advisor solely to compliment our property! What an honor! Thank you so much for doing so!

I am very glad that you enjoyed our superior rooms, as well as our amazing breakfast buffet (always included on the daily rate) at Armazém Devassa!

We hope to see you again very, very soon! In the meantime, we wish you all the best, and thank you again for sharing your experience at Mar Ipanema Hotel with Trip Advisor´s users!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager
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WA
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

After an exhaustive month travelling Peru & Argentina we hit Brasil & Mar Ipanema & it was the best accomodation of the trip. The beds were comfortable, the rooms were clean, well furnished & spacious. The location of the hotel was ideal - Ipanema beach, shopping, great restaurants only a short walk away. Unlike all the hotel staff in Argentina the staff here were always helpful, spoke English & there are tours & activities available at the desk. There seems to be a security guard near the lifts all the time - not sure what that was all about. The breakfast was varied but pretty random in what they offered. Overall - very very happy & would say again in a flash. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ophelite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 17 August 2012
Dear guest,

I cannot express in words our gratitude for such an amazing review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel! It makes us all very happy to hear that you had such a great experience with us!
I am very glad to know that you enjoyed our rooms, as well as our awesome location!
Our staff is incredible, and love to help our guests with tours and sightseeing! I am happy you took advantage of that!
Concerning our security staff, they are close to the elevator to make sure that only guests access the rooms. We value our guests´ security a lot! We have 24 hour security personnel onsite to ensure our guests´ safety.
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to post your lovely comments about your stay. We can´t wait to have you stay with us again!

Wish you all the best!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager
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London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2012

We were here for 9 nights on holiday to Rio. I appreciate that a briefer stay may show only what is lacking. For a 4* venue (with 4* rates) the Western traveller may note a small room and a lack of amenities (no pool, robes etc). However, staying longer you become very familiar with what IS there - utterly helpful and accommodating staff, cleanliness, great food in the attached bar/restaurant, and a venue in the very heart of Ipanema. They will lend deckchairs, call venues and companies for you, offer advice, hail your cabs and do so all the above with a smile. Indeed, we became very fond of the hotel and those who staffed it.

Room Tip: There are only 2 lifts and it can be a wait, so a lower floor makes the stairs a more viable option.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AFC_Andy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 8 August 2012
Dear guest,

What an amazing review! Your feedback about our service just makes us even more proud of our great staff! We are very glad to know how much you enjoyed your stay with us. Our location and restaurant (a typical "carioca" pub) are fantastic indeed.

Thank you so much for your kind words and comments about our property.

I truly hope you can visit us again soon!

Wish you all the best,

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chiangmai
Level Contributor
157 reviews
142 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

Many visitors to Rio opt out for private apartments on several websites that specialize in leasing such properties. If you insist on staying in hotels in Rio, those at Copacabana are nice inside, but look awful outside, and the neighborhood has seen its age. Ipanema is a nicer place to stay than Copacabana, but there are not many hotels around here, and all of them are fairly pricey. Mar Ipanema charges about US$250 and above, with breakfast for a room during winter season, and it is always packed all year round. It looks like a property out in the 1960s. The lift is very small, you will feel claustrophobic with 4 people inside almost kissing each other or smelling other´s breath. There are only 2 lifts in this old property, and so they are always people crowding to get in and out. The room is cramped, especially the bathroom. Although I like the tiled walls in the bathroom, the shower area looks like a little prison cell for solitary confinement, and definitely not for big-sized people because it is very narrow space to shower. The toilet bowl is so close to the wash basin you can scrape your arm against the basin while you´re doing your daily business there. What I dislike is the fact that the hotel gives you a tiny bottle of shampoo, and a tiny bottle of conditioner: (a) it´s very hard to squeeze the gel out, (b) a tiny bottle is not enough for party of 2 or 3 guests, (c) such tiny offerings are not a sign of environmental friendliness at all, but stinginess.

Breakfast is alright, with fruit, cereal, ham, and lots of bread. Avoid the sweet confectionary, because it is all sweet but tasteless. Coffee is weak. Staff at Mar Ipanema are great people, very helpful even if their appearance at first does not look like approachability. Location of Mar Ipanema is on west end part, about 10 to 15 minutes walk to the Metro stop.

Tip to visitors to Brazil: in general, exchange rates for ALL currencies to Brazilian real are very poor, especially at the airports, where a commission of 15 real is charged for commission. It is very hard to get Latin American currency in your home country, so you are at the mercy of the exchange businesses. Many tourists have complained to the Brazilian tourism authorities, but with no avail. Some people prefer to use the ATM to withdraw cash rather than pay hefty fees or ridiculous exchange rates to change money.

Another alert: don´t be shocked that going to the airport can cost about 90real. If possible, find someone willing to share the cab, but then again, many yellow cabs in Rio are so tiny they can't fit in huge suitcases.

At the beach, you don't see as many teeny tiny bikinis as you would imagine. Just remember the teeny tiny cabs, the teeny tiny hotel and rooms in Rio.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hilltriber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel.

I was very disappointed that you had so many complaints about your stay and Rio. I am very surprised to be honest. I am glad though that you thought our staff was helpful. Let´s address each topic you mention:

Our hotel was built in 1987, and gone through a complete renovation as of last year, therefore, the Mar Ipanema Hotel is the only 100% renovated hotel in the Ipanema/Leblon area. Our decor is based on Brazilian themes, valuing our culture, through Brazlian furnishings, handcrafts and arts. Since we are a small property, with only 86 rooms, we do believe that we do not need larger elevators or more elevators for that matter (we have two elevators that hold up to 7 people).

About the toiletries offered by the hotel, as you could have read on other reviews, this is the nicest cosmetic brand in Brazil: Natura (sold everywhere around the world), and we are very proud to offer these amenties to our guests. All toiletries are produced from fruits, flowers and nuts from the Amazon Forest, and all of our guests love it. All of the packages of these toiletries are made from recycled material, and are eco friendly. Also, our housekeeping staff would be glad to give you more shampoo should you need it. I am surprised you didn´t like them.

About our breakfast, we serve strong Brazilian coffee, and we never had any complains about it being weak, especially because it is not the characteristic of the Brazilian coffee beans. The sweets served are varied and include: chocolate cake, orange cake, vanilla flan, pastries, porridge, and fruit cakes, therefore I don´t believe they all taste the same, as they are made from completely different ingredients.

Concerning the price of the cabs to the airport, the airport is far away from the city center, and as a comparison, the flat rate is absolutely the same as in NY: approximately US$45. Plus in Rio you do not pay tolls or gratuity. On all large cities, international airports are far from the center, and the prices charged in Rio are in no way different than big cities as NY, Paris, London (taking cabs from the airport in Paris and London are even more expensive).

I am sorry that even the bikinis at the beach were not of your satisfaction.

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager
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Washignton, DC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012

This hotel is a great value! We stayed 4 nights in early March. It is in a great location within Ipanema. It's only two blocks from the beach and within walking distance to the restaurants, bars, and nightlife in Ipanema (the area is very safe to walk at night). It's also only 10-15 minute cab ride to the restaurants in Lebon or Copacabana beach. The hotel has been recently renovated. Rooms are simple with modern elements and very clean. The breakfast is excellent. It offers a good variety of fruits, pastries, cold and hot dishes. The breakfast is actually in the DeVassa restaurant, which is adjacent to the lobby. The hotel also offers complimentary beach towels and chairs. You can just pick them up/drop them off in lobby. We felt the staff was very helpful whenever we had questions about the places we wanted to go. Mini bar prices are very reasonable and the fridge has plenty of space for you to put your own things. The only thing that I would note as a room for improvement is that we noticed a few instances of the towels having stains on them. They were clean nevertherless, and other than that, our stay was great. Given the narrow selection of boutique, new, or newly-renovated properties in Ipanema and Copacabana, this hotel is a solid 4 st arand a GREAT VALUE. We would definitely stay there again and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DCFrequent_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 24 July 2012
Dear guest,

First of all thank you so much for your great review! I have to say that I love when our guests post pictures of the hotel. These pictures are the most reliable source of information for future guests staying with us, and I can´t thank you enough for doing so!
I am so happy to know how much you enjoyed your stay with us! All of our rooms are 100% renovated, and yes, sometimes it could be difficult to find a brand new hotel in Rio. I am glad you pointed that out!
About the towels, please rest assured that I´ll meet with our housekeeper and our general manager urgently to address this matter, which is absolutely not acceptable for us.
Again, thank you so much for your kind comments! I hope you can stay with us again very soon!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012

I stayed here in March with some friends after a business trip in Rio. The hotel was clean and perfectly serviceable. We had three ladies -- this two weeks' worth of luggage each -- in a very small room with three twin beds. It was cramped to say the least, but very comfortable.

I emailed the hotel ahead of booking with some questions. The management replied within 12 hours answering all of my questions. I only have nice things to say about the management -- from reservations, to dining suggestions, to splitting the bill onto our three credit cards at the end -- super helpful.

We had friends staying on the Copa side, so we never used the umbrella and towel services available during the day time, but we did use towels one night to go down to the beach for night time beach drinking. Very convenient location to the beach, well lit and well situated.

Breakfast is offered in the neighboring restaurant / bar. It's pretty standard Brazilian breakfast buffet fare -- just fine and included in the price.

Overall, a very good value and location!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrDarcyAndElizabeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this review, 24 July 2012
Dear guest,

What a great review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel! Thank you so much for taking the time to post it and sharing your experience with other future guests!

I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, and even happier to know how helpful our staff was during your stay. Your feedback is very important to us!

I have to say that going to the beach for sunset/night drinks is definitely a great idea!! It is so relaxing to sit down at the beach, having a cold beer or coconut water and enjoying the sea breeze. Good tip!

Again, thank you so much for your comments! Wish you all the best!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mar Ipanema Hotel

Property: Mar Ipanema Hotel
Address: Rua Visconde de Piraja 539, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22410-003, Brazil
Phone Number:
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Ipanema , Lagoa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Romantic Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#45 Family Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#51 Business Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Mar Ipanema Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 86
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Mar Ipanema
Mar Ipanema Rio De Janeiro
Mar Ipanema Hotel Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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