Lounging at Lagoa

Time to hang out at Lagoa de Freitas, in Zona Sul, the wealthy residential neighborhood, a few blocks away from Ipanema and Leblon pristine beaches. Although the Cariocas prefer its flat runway for their morning jog on 7.2 kms of bike paths all around (rowing, skating and horse riding are also available), my guilty pleasure remains to sit in Palaphita Kitch, trendy tiki-like spot to enjoy a piña colada in diving my eyes into the silver sparkling waters that shade the Pedra Dois Irmãos at sunset. Down the morro do Cantagalo, Quiosque 20.

tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-lagoa-sunset-2A picture is often worth a thousand words…

tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-lagoa-sunsetBefore that, further west from Leblon beach, you may visit the Instituto Moreira Salles, a flawless modernist house surrounded by gardens also signed by landscape architect Burle Marx – father of iconic b&w organic swirling pattern of Rio’s sidewalks he designed in 1971. tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-moreira-salles-burle-marxNowadays, the place is a great cultural venue through relevant photographic exhibitions.

Rua Marquês de São Vicente 476 (Gávea). http://www.ims.com.br

tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-moreira-salles-modernistWhile you’re in Leblon, don’t miss to shop at Granado, an fancy old-school pharmacia that sells hip brasilian beauty products (a centenary antiseptic powder, delicious soaps and also some barber’s stuff…). Very nice packaging patterns and mostly organic recipes. Phebo perfumeria is now part of the brand. A much better choice for presents than the very common “bonfim” bahia bracelet (or do buy both ?!)

Rua General Artigas, 470 (Leblon).

In this neighborhood, the casual – and just reopened – option for diner late at night remains Braseira da Gávea, crowded by artists, students and intellectuals who are sharing the same passion for typical picanhas (beef) or linguiças (sausages) with vegetables and farofa (manioc semolina).

Praça Santos Dumont, 116 (Gávea). Tel. +55 21 2239-7494


Sun bath over the bay …watching the Olympics sailing events

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

Gloria’s marina, the Olympics sailing venue

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. tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-mamPay 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.


Gloria’s marina will host the Olympics sailing events


Palace attitude

tripsuzette-rio-de-janeiro-roadbook-copacabana-palace-buildingHighlight 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 tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-copacabana-palace-tennis…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. tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-copacabana-palace-poolThe 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. tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-copacabana-palace-mee-ken-homThe 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).

Av. Atlântica, 1702 (Copacabana) Tel. +55 21 2548-7070 www.belmond.com