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“Payed for the view”
Review of Brisa Barra Hotel

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Brisa Barra Hotel
Ranked #28 of 286 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 May 2013

I took this trip with two foreign friends. For the most part, our trip was more business than tourism, except that we stayed in Rio de Janeiro from Saturday night until Monday morning. Considering that Sunday was Mother's day, the hotel was surprisingly empty... or perhaps not so surprising, given the rate (US$300/night for a triple-room). Yes, it is expensive, but the view/location might just be well worth the price we paid. Furthermore, proximity to the Yellow Line makes it relatively easy to commute to the International Airport or out of Rio. The staff was professional, friendly, polite and helpful. The few interactions we had, they were very accommodating. Valet parking is also included, although one of the drivers did not know how to start a key-less car. Beds were narrow, but I had no problem sleeping through the night, even with the AC working (not too noisy). Breakfast was included in the price and was plentiful, with a variety of fruits, juices, and breads. There were a few (and rather small) annoyances: internet was paid (US$10-US$13 depending on R$ exchange rates), the loss of the magnetic/electronic room key would incur in surcharges, and don't ask for an espresso: at US$2.50 a shot, you would think that coffee was imported from Europe... but in reality it did not taste that great. All in all, it was worthwhile as my friends got to wake up to an astonishing view of Barra Beach.

Room Tip: 1. Wireless internet worked better near the corridor, away from the balcony. 2. The staff explains...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank vini00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 May 2013

Stayed 2 nights in April 2013. This is a modern luxury hotel. The internet cost was approx. 10.00/day. The buffet breakfast was very good. A nice assortment of fresh fruit, eggs that were prepared in many different ways, crepes etc. We paid more for an ocean view. It was beautiful. The rooms were very clean. The staff at the front desk spoke English & were very helpful. I like firm beds so I found them comfortable. Never used the pool as the ocean was across the street. The only negative I found was that the patio window is only single pane. The traffic on the streets is heavy during daylight hours & you could easily hear it with the patio door closed. Having the ocean view was nice as at night we could hear the waves crashing. If noise is an issue bring ear plugs. Our flight left in the evening & they accommodated us by storing our luggage & provided us with an area to change in prior leaving. They arranged reasonable Taxi service for us back to the airport. Rio is very expensive. You may not be getting the same for this price as in other countries but in comparison with other hotels in Rio was equivalent or better. I was concerned about booking this hotel when I read some of the reviews but very relieved when we arrived & it met our expectations.

Room Tip: Rooms that had ocean view may be noisy as patio door is single pane. The noise of the waves is soot...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank babageda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2013

The hotel is quite new and modern, on the beach, with boa vista. The staff is very helpfu and friendly. The breakfast was just reasonable. For a modern, rather expensive business hotel, however, the WiFi should be free. If you misplace the plastic room key and you cannot return it, you have to pay 21R$, and if you return the plastic card later the hotel does not bother to refund such a small amount.

Room Tip: The rooms with a view to the beach are nice and spacious
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Exp_Trav_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2013

Between August and December of last year (2012), I made many trips to Rio for business (10+). On average, I would travel with 3-4 colleagues and we all started staying at Brisa Barra due to its proximity to our work location. The rooms were decent and very clean but the beds are hard as concrete slabs. Actually, concrete slabs might be more comfortable. The windows are not insulated at all so all of the road noise and waves crashing on the shore were bothersome at first but I got used to it over time. The waves were kind of nice and the hotel is far enough down the beach that traffic wasn't a huge issue at night. A/C units in the rooms worked more of the time but there were issues on several occasions. Water draining from sinks and showers is a common problem. I was often standing in water up to my ankles while in the shower.

With the exception of two wonderful ladies (Viviane & Paula) at the front desk, the hotel management was awful!! I wouldn't even employ them at McDonalds!! They were rude and condescending to all of our employees at one point or another and didn't care if we stayed or left. You would think they would do everything in their power to keep a large corporation such as ours using their hotel bringing them, at times, nearly $30K per month based on a $200 USD per night rate. Nope...they couldn't have cared less when we pulled all of our employees out and informed them that Brisa was no longer an option for us in Barra da Tijuca. You have to pay completely upfront for your room which leaves absolutely no flexibility if travel dates change as they often do for business travelers. Trying to get a refund to a credit card if we had to leave early was impossible. I got in the habit of only letting them charge me for a week or two at a time in case I had to leave early. They wanted to give hotel credits vs. refunds. What if we didn't return...then what? The front desk people are actually trained to tell everyone "No" regardless of the request. I know this first-hand because I became friends with one of them. They are reprimanded for trying to provide a level of service you'd expect in any other hotel for simple things. It's deplorable that they are supposedly marketing the hotel as a business hotel. They are SO NOT business traveler friendly!!

The location is crappy too. While there over the course of those months, there were several violent crimes in the area. Granted it's "Rio" and that risk is everywhere but at least if you stay further up the beach toward central Barra, it's more populated at night so walking around and things is more comfortable. Safety in numbers. Options to eat within walking distance of Brisa Barra are few and far between...two restaurants to be exact other than the so-so food in the hotel. Further up the beach where there are more hotels, there are endless choices for meals all walkable. As for the beach, the one plus is that it's far enough down at the edge of Barra da Tijuca that it wasn't crowded very often. The hotel does also have a nice pool and a shallow dip-pool for kids.

Do yourself a favor, look elsewhere in the area before considering this hotel. There ARE other options. Barra does tend to be pricier than some of the more touristy destinations and space availability is often very limited. Ipanema, Copacabana or Leblon are much better options if you don't need to be in Barra specifically. There is also a lot more nearby to see and do in those areas.

Room Tip: If you must stay here, request an ocean view room. They have nice balconies and the higher up you a...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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3  Thank KurtSFO72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2013 via mobile

Hotel is recent but is lacking service and price paid is far too expensive for what you get. I had a very bad experience at this hotel with poor service at the reception, employees complaining about their manager, no taxis in the area (45min wait). Bed wasnt confortable and the beach location is where the waves are biggest in Barra so dangerous for children but great for surfers, poor restaurants options in the area so overall this hotel is tricky because it is newest comparing to Rio's average but location and bad service made it a very bad experience. There are better options for same or cheapest price in Barra.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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2  Thank Gustavo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Brisa Barra looks like a nice place to stay..but only on pictures.
The Rooms are ok, but they didnt insulate their windows. All night you hear the noise of cars passing by. You get the impression as if they are driving through your room.
The staff is incredibly incompetent. They hardly speak any english. If you finally manage to explain something to them, than unfortunately they cant help you for some reason.

For example: we needed to get something print out from the reception desk. ( Because the businesscenter was out of order !) We went downstairs and queued infront of reception...for "just "20 minutes. When we finally made it to the bored receptionist he told us that he cant help us in the moment because his colleague will be having lunch soon and because that there are people checking out at the moment. So we have to wait till everybody has checked out. He told us that in a very rude way, as if it would be obviously and very stupid of us to ask him for that "favour" NOW...
We didnt know that there is a special checking out time where it is forbidden for guest with other issues to queue at the desk !?&%.

And dont think of asking them for an envelope for example...they dont have any at reception !

The breakfast is horrible and we didnt bother to try the lunch buffet. It looked far from delicious.
Once we tried to order something from room service. it took ages. They forogot half of the order in the kitchen. Also the vinegar for the salad. We tried to explain it to the guy on the phone. But he didnt understand what " vinegar" means...after 5 minutes he got the intuition that "vinegar" could probably mean " vinegre".

After we left we noticed that we forgot our laptop cable. So we called the brisa barra reception.
Luiz was on the phone, he told us that he is the manager and that he will take care of it.
Several days were passing till we called again, because we never got any confirmation email from them.
We talked to Luiz again, he couldnt remember us...
We waited again...than we called again. This time we talked to Ana A. She spoke fluently english. Much better than we did...
But still unfortunately she did not understand what we are trying to tell her. We told her that we talked to Luiz...and she told us that there is no Luiz working there.
She was extremely rude and incompetent.
15 Minutes of misunderstandings and disgussions were following.
Finally someone remembered our case. He told us that the cable is on its way and that we will get a confirmation email sooooooon....

After several emails again ...We are still waiting for the confirmation email and we are still waiting for the laptop- cable...( after over a month)
Well done, thank you brisa barra.

By the way. This hotel is not really IN Rio. It is far away from the center.
And beware let them call a taxi for you. It is a complete ripp off.
We had a good impression of the yellow taxis though. Although they dont have good reviews in travel books.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank dickbratze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2012

I would NOT recommend this place for a long term stay - a week or longer. Actually not even a night if you can avoid it. Look else where especially if you're travelling on business. Even if you're not, there are better choices out there in Barra da Tijuca. Try Sheraton or Windsor. Just remember to book them in advance. They tend to get sold out very early.

This isn't a place for you unless you don't mind 0-star (yes, zero) treatment at the $250/night rate. The property is new and located right at the beach but that's about where all good things come to an end.

The hotel management is quite rude and extremely inflexible on things you would consider norm at any other hotels.

Just to list a few examples:
1. The hotel makes you pay for your whole trip upfront!!! I've never seen this policy at any other hotel unless I am offered a hefty discount. This may not be a problem for some people. But I was staying here on a business trip and there were times I had to check out early and ask for a refund. The thing is that they wouldn't refund any remaining credit back to your card. They would only refund you in cash. You know how much trouble that would cause if you have to file an itemized expense report like me.

2. Absolutely NO early check-in or check-out.
If the room is ready, why not allow your customers to unpack and take a hot shower after a long flight. I'm not sure how they don't realize that most of their customers just got off a 10+ hour flight.

3. Hotel restaurant
The room rate I received included free breakfast. The breakfast buffet is ok. However do expect exact same menu every morning. If you're a hardcore coffee fan, bring your own coffee as their coffee is unconsumable. They also offer lunch and dinner but I never tried.

4. Room features
Internet speed is mediocre and the price is at R$20/day ($10US).
The mattresses are very firm. This could be a problem for some.
They have a central A/C system and cold air may not reach your room in timely manner.
You have to leave your room key (RFID) in the key holder to activate the power in your room. So there's no way you can leave the A/C on all day.

This is not just my observation. Our company has had 4 to 20 people staying at this hotel at any given time for past three months but we all are checking out of the hotel by the end of this week and moving to other hotels nearby. Hopefully the management will realize that they've screwed up and turn things around because some people work there actually care about the customers.

Room Tip: Request an oceanview room. The rate is slightly higher but the view is better.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank tadvisor77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Brisa Barra Hotel

Address: Avenida Lucio Costa 5700, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22630-012, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Barra da Tijuca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#41 Business Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: £57 - £100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Brisa Barra Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 138
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Also Known As:
Brisa Barra Hotel Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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