The Prodigy is a brand new hotel integrated to the terminal at Santos Dumont Airport, dedicated to domestic flights and located right down the city center. Not worth getting a room there but if you have the opportunity to fly to other parts of Brasil, don’t miss a laid-back hour admiring the view, one of the best on Pão de Acúcar (dixit a guinuine Carioca), or even a healthy lunch around the pool on the roof (a buffet restaurant is available at ground floor too).
Here is an awesome mirador to watch Gloria’s marina, which will host the Olympics sailing events. Yep, Suzette gives you great tips !
Av. Alm. Silvio de Noronha, 365 (Centro) T. +55 21 3478-4100
At ground floor, a mini-mall where among half a dozen of stores, the trendy carioca brand Osklen deserves the attention of fashionistas. Nearby, Museo de Arte Moderno (MaM) stands the emphatic modernist architecture of Alfonso Reidy (surrounded by Burle Marx swirling gardens) that houses the collection of Gilberto Chateaubriand, tireless collector of modern and conceptual arts. The Maxxi museum (by Zaha Hadid) temporary exhibition ends in September 2016. Pay attention to the building itself in its oversize performance. Nice restaurant Laguiole, open Mon to Friday, 12am-5pm. Tel. +55 (21) 2517 3129 http://mamrio.org.br Open Tuesday-Sunday 12am-6pm and 11am-6pm weekends. R$14. Then, walking towards Gloria’s marina, you’ll reach Parque do Flamengo, with another pure modernist construction, a martial WW2 memorial. Beyond, the 20ha garden (also designed by the smart Burle Marx in the 70’s) where are usually held big crowd events …Rihanna’s shows and that kind of stuff.
Few months ago, Hotel Santa Teresa entered the world famous French group Accor under MGallery portfolio, upscale boutique-hotel brand. It doesn’t make much difference as its 44 rooms, garden pool and trendy bar dos Descasados (literally, bar of divorced people) were already a cosmopolitan showcase of tropical flair and wood furniture tempo by renowned designer Sergio Rodrigues.
Further down at back street of the hotel, the manager keeps an eye on the upcoming Mama Shelter (since Accor eventually entered Mama’s board). Two separated mansions and 55 rooms are standing both sides of the road. Let’s find again the Mama’s successful usual gimmicks (although Philippe Starck has now stepped out of the boat) : a huge turn-around bar, here in a mix and match of “grecques” and azulejos, sketches and tags on ceilings… At ground floor of Bela Vista aisle, rooms have their own terrace. Opposite to the lobby and courtyard, the restaurant is a tribute to the Sambodromo and its overexcited scenery : a high stepped platform (or tribune) where wannabes and hipsters will go crazy, fore sure. Officialy opens in September, but the Olympics is the right time to check if the software is on duty.
About 100€ for a standard double room, breakfast in extra.
Highlight of Copacabana beach, long time considered as the first hospitality gem in South America, the elite hotel has been refurbished from top to toe in the last few years (at the same time, Orient-Express hospitality group was switching name to Belmond). Its « hall of fame » counts a collection of celebrities and leaders around the world for the past century. In their Art Deco flair, the 239 rooms (sorry, they mentioned appartments !) of the Copacabana Palace are pure luxury pampered by 650 dedicated employees. The sixth floor of the main building has only seven suites facing the beach of course, large marble bath room and tubs and an exclusive access to the rooftop black pool’s intimacy …a rooftop where lays a tennis court too, yes Serena ! Right down the Chopin building (a glimpse at its Bauhaus façade) and the Tower wing, the main pool is named after olympic champion Maria Lenk (1915-2007), teacher at this pool for years and who also gave her name to aquatic center of Rio’s Olympics in Barra da Tijuca. The Pergula is the perfect spot around the pool for a laid-back afternoon and a fresh salad before a drop down the spa. Here, you realize that treatments are more than small treats. Try the Sapucaí (the real name of Sambodromo), a thirty minutes foot massage …in heaven (R$ 155, best value for money). Time for diner now ? At the edge of the pool, Cipriani restaurant expresses Northern Italian cuisine inspired by venitian Laguna’s classics (yet another Belmond hotel) that may also be served at the nearby library, a peculiar place full of antiques. The Michelin star restaurant Mee is held by BBC’s renowned presenter, Ken Hom. Time to time, the sino-american chef stops by (from French Lot region or from Bangkok where he works and lives) to check a Sichuan miso eggplant or one of his famous Asian recipes. By chance, he was dining at next table to mine. He recommended the “Don’t kill my vibe” cocktail. Well done Ken !
From R$2000 (city view room) to R$12000 (penthouse suite).