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“almost a four star hotel”

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Merlin Copacabana Hotel
Ranked #28 of 281 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“almost a four star hotel”
Reviewed 30 January 2013

The hotel is very close to the four stars displayed in the lobby. It is very near to the Copacabana beach and to a big shopping mall where you can eat a decent and not expensive meal in a different restaurant every day.
It’s clean: they clean the room and change the towels (good quality) daily’ The breakfast is diverse with a special mention for the pastries. The rooms are big and the view is either on the street going to the ocean, or (the back side) to a woodened hill. On top of it you can bathe in a tiny swimming pool and admire a fantastic view.
People are very nice but with two exceptions nobody (and I mean NOBODY) speak any other language except Portuguese. The same on the street and in each public place. I speak some five other languages besides English but it was useless. Probably the best advice for you will be to have a conversation book with you. Two annoying things: in the breakfast room the air conditioned is set to maximum fan speed and minimum temperature; it is almost impossible to find a place where to hide in order to be protected from getting a bad cold.
But the most annoying thing was the fact that after a few nights when my body was soaked in perspiration, I lifted the sheets and I found a plastic foil inserted between the sheets and the mattress. Such a thing I saw for the first time in a cheap hotel, in Paris, long time ago. I assumed that the place was used for romantic meetings. But you definitely wouldn’t expect such a thing in a four stars hotel. So, my advice is the first thing you should do when you first enter the room is to remove that plastic, if you wish to sleep in a dry pajama.
About the town: it is almost impossible to say something that never has been told about Rio. I have always been curious to see it with my own eyes. The impressions are mixed up. Do not think Rio is perfect. Because it isn’t.
But Rio is one of a kind. The landscape is unique. The world people divides itself in halves: people who has been and people who hasn’t been yet in Rio.
The town is huge and if you want to see the most beautiful places is best to board a full day sightseeing tour. It includes the lunch, which is served in a restaurant specialized in beef meat and also in seafood. My advice is to save place in your stomach for the last kinds of meat that will be served, they are made out of the best meat. The best advice will be not to buy the tour in the hotel (and not change money, either). You can find much better prices next door: for example, the one day tour you pay in the hotel with 230 R$ and in an agency few meters away with just 190 R$. The Euro is changed with 2,50 in the hotel but with 2,58 in the same agency. If you do not have a laptop of your own, do not buy computer time in the hotel: you will pay 10 R$ per hour but on the adjoining streets you find it for less than half.

Room Tip: On the back side of the hotel you will have more silence and a better view. But you can also book a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank soare47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,256 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
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Copenhagen
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2013

First thing is first there is no free wi-fi no matter what it says on booking.com or trip advisor. The price at the time of our stay was 5R for 30min.

The place was cold all the time as was the atmosphere, after coming in from 40 degree Celsius heat you are welcomed to a thermal shock inside the hotel lobby. I suspect the temperature was so low due to the staffs need to be comfortable in their uniforms. It didn't take long for my boyfriend to get a cold, since every guest was coughing and sneezing due to the cold AC. There was not an ounce of friendliness from the staff. Some of them hardly bothered with their jobs, like the doorman when we requested a taxi. Instead of helping us he insisted that we go away from the hotel to get one.The room service was also incredibly unresponsive, once we didn't get our room cleaned at all despite hanging a sign on the outside of our door, and another day the cleaning service was 4 hours overdue, and finally there was one day where we had to actively look for a maid to get us new towels because they had neglected to clean our room again.

The room had a good size but a terrible view to other buildings.The walls were also incredibly thin and little was left to the imagination in regards to our neighbors activities.The bathroom was reasonably sized, but there was no refill on soaps and other products like you would normally expect from a four star establishment. The rooftop had a few beach chairs and a small pool, with an unremarkable bar. The fitness room is non existing, it only consisted of two treadmills a bike and a cross trainer, located underneath some stairs. No free weights or any other kind of accessories.

The breakfast was a standard buffet with little to offer in good taste. What was especially disappointing was the fact that they served the left overs from dinner for breakfast, very unappetizing. However on the new years day the food was surprisingly good, either that or it was the hang over.

During new years eve we figured having a bar and a slightly obscured rooftop view of the beach would have been very beneficial and ideal to witness the fireworks, unfortunately the staff decided to close the rooftop.

Before that we had decided to go on one of the tours, that was arranged by an agency the hotel co-operated with. We had traveled Brazil for some time before we came to RIo, and this was without a doubt the worst tour we have ever experienced in our lives. The pick up was atrocious, we had to run from our hotel to another across a very busy street, because our guide was running late and didn't organize a proper pickup. The tour kept getting worse and worse, and i will spare the details as the tour was not operated by the hotel. however despite our complaints when we got back, the hotel staff seemed indifferent or unable to do anything about our abysmal experience, let alone reimburse us.

We chose this place for the location, which wasn't even very good because it was cut off from the rest of copacabana because of a busy street that took 20min to cross. i would have gladly resorted to live further away and pay for a taxi each day, instead of spending a night at that cold and awful place. The price that was payed quite simply did not match the service, comfort or expectations.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sandra G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Novi Sad, Serbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2013

Hotel was much better than it looked like in the pictures. It's close to the beach, large rooms, good service, and a solide breakfast buffet. The pool is very small, but with a nice terrace on the 11th floor on the top of the hotel.

The exchange office and supermarkets are close by, so is the beach, some 5min of walking. When the night falls it could be little busy and with some avoiding characters around the hotel, but in general, I think it's very safe.

Room Tip: Go to the higher floors, there is a good soundproof isolation when windows are closed, but since you...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
101 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

This hotel was an amazing value for my trip to Copacabana Beach for the big New Years Eve celebrations 2013. The staff was very professional. The room was beyond expectation. Very large room with a very large comfortable bed. Rooms were quiet even thought you are on a busy street. The hotel is just a short 2 block walk to Copacabana beach. The free breakfast buffet was exceptional with anything you could imagine wanting for breakfast or brunch. The only reason this place is not 5 star is because it is a slightly older property even though it is clean and in good repair. A complete remodel would make it a 5 star.

Room Tip: Love the 10th floor suites facing the mountains.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jefre O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adrian, Michigan
Level Contributor
2,126 reviews
261 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 830 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2012

This hotel was chosen for me by my Brazilian distributor. Our rep in Rio lives in Copacabana so it was partly driven by his convenience. We arrived at the local Rio airport and took a taxi to this hotel (about 15 minutes). The location was superb. It was clear that this was Rio and that it was Copa as it was full of life and activity. The area was impressive. When I walked into the hotel, the appearance was a bit nostalgiac. The lobby was nice enough. The person checking me in was not partcularly warm and friendly but he got the job done. The hallways and room showed some age but it was not bad. The room was more spacious than I expected. The furniture was a bit dated but, again, not bad. The internet worked flawlessly. The bed was comfortable and I was able to sleep well. The morning breakfast buffet was relatively good though the breakfast room was a bit cramped. The checkout was efficient and quick. The room rate was a bit high but I thought it was worth it. It is a good place to stay if you want to be in Copa.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Debbie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2012

The hotel is in a busy street next to the tunnel to Botafogo, the walk to the beach is relatively short but I would not recommend anyone to do that at night, some dodgy dark corners do not feel too safe.
The hotel must have been very majestic in the 40's, too bad that no one took the time to refresh the deco or the rooms, we stayed in a room on the inner side of the hotel, towards the "morro", which was good because the street side is very noisy.
The staff had a general sense of indifference towards the guests and the breakfast was mediocre, we had much better food at simplier pousadas.
Locationwise it's relatively close to the beach (some 500m), but if you want to reach the better spots it's quite a walk, ipanema and leblon are reachable only by taxi or other mean of transport.
We stayed at the Merling using miles from AAdvantage (miles program from American Airlines, very little choice of hotels in Rio), so pricewise I don't know how the Merlin does, but if they charge more than R$ 300,00 / night it's a ripoff.
We did not hate our stay, but back in Rio we will definetly choose a better place on the Ipanema/Leblon side of town.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Daniel_S012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2012

The Merlin Copacabana hotel is located on the Avenida Princesa Isabel, which is very very busy and just near the tunnel connecting Copacabana and Ipanema to the center of Rio. But in my room on the back side, I had absolutely no problem of noise...
The hotel is only some 200 m from the Copacabana/Leme beach. There are a lot of shops and restaurants around.
The room was very spacious and nice, but the furniture was a bit old. Excellent and big bed.
Good and friendly service.
Good breakfast and restaurant.
Horribly slow WiFi, but then they gave me a cable and that worked rather well.

Room Tip: Ask for a back side room.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vangrieken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Merlin Copacabana Hotel

Property: Merlin Copacabana Hotel
Address: Avenida Princesa Isabel N0 392 | Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22011-010, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Copacabana , Leme
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#16 Family Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#18 Business Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Merlin Copacabana Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 145
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Merlin Copacabana Hotel! In the heart of Rio de Janeiro at the world-famous Copacabana Beach, the Merlin Copacabana Hotel is ideally placed just minutes away from Rio's business district, tourist attractions, leisure and shopping areas. On business or holiday, guests will enjoy all the amenities needed to make their trip a success. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Merlin Copacabana
Merlin Copacabana Hotel Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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