In a city where all hotels are clustered together, I jumped at the occasion of staying out at the “out of the action” Brasilia Palace. Its lakeside setting made for a quiet alternative, and the opportunity to stay in a Niemeyer original is an added bonus for those interested in architecture.
The hotel is set in the “North Hotel Zone”, which is right next to the Alvorada Presidential Palace, but quite far from everything else. Therefore, if staying here, renting a car is recommended (as is a GPS, since navigating the city’s complicated airplane-shaped geography is quite complex). Apart from Oscar, the pretty-good onsite restaurant, the only other option within walking distance is a German bar-restaurant “Bar do Alemao”, also on the lake.
The lobby décor makes for a great first impression, although the hallways and rooms quickly erase those in favour of a mid-70s institutional (yet clean and functional) feel. Check in is swift, and all rates include breakfast, which is a very good buffet served at the Oscar restaurant, with a nice outdoor area by the pool. The rooms are all laid out along one side of the rectangular building, facing east, and the building itself is “divided” between the north and south wings. North wing rooms apparently feature a lake view from its balconies, although they are directly above the function room, which featured a wedding on every night of our weekend stay (the place looks like a popular wedding venue), so it might not be recommended for light sleepers. Our room, in the south wing was very quiet, but the view from our balcony facing the hotel’s kitchen/service entrance was less than desirable.
Rooms are spacious, and have all mod cons, but are generally soulless. No complaints regarding comfort. The main point for staying here is to admire the design, the murals, and to relax by the very nice and quiet pool. We did not see any kids during our stay, so can’t comment on whether it would be kid-friendly. Other facilities include a gym, although few would want to venture in the 5 x 5 aquarium just outside reception. Check out was quick and painless. Probably would not stay again as the novelty factor is now gone, preferring the convenience of a more “central” hotel, but I would still urge first time tourists to stay here, if only for one night as it is a truly unique place.