If you like Oscar Neimeyer's architecture then a visit to this hotel is a must. It was sympathetically rebuilt in 2005 following a fire in the 1978 - it's not identical to the original, but that's probably a good thing! I think the public areas have been restored to a close representation of the original. The rooms are simple, clean and modern. They now have balconies and modern bathrooms. Other people have complained about the showers, but my shower on the third floor was fine. It had separate hot and cold taps rather than a thermostatic valve, but it worked well.
The hotel is on the shores of the artificial lake, a long way from downtown. If you want a quiet relaxing hotel, it's better than the bustling downtown hotel district.
The hotel is let down by service.
The breakfast in the Oscar restaurant was nice, but I arrived both mornings to a room full of dirty and unlaid tables. There was only one guy cleaning and refreshing tables - nowhere near enough for a room containing 66 covers - let alone the additional tables outside.
The hotel has a pleasant, if small, pool separated from the restaurant by a low hedge. But if you want a drink by the pool, it may as well be on a separate planet. It was impossible to convince any of the staff to serve drinks by the pool. A visit to the reception to complain was met with 5 minutes of frantic typing on the computer, a delay while the receptionist answered the telephone, presumably because the receptionist knew that the caller was far more important than me, followed by me being passed a writing pad, for me to write down my complaint. I don't expect everyone that works in Brazilian hotels to speak English, but there were staff there that spoke good English - so why not simply pass me to one of them!
The hotel doesn't have a bar, although there's plenty of space for one. The only option is to ask for a drink in the restaurant, which is closed from 3pm to 7pm, or from room service, which cannot be called from the poolside. It's easier to get a poolside drink by walking to the Golden Tulip hotel next door! You get a nice view of the Oscar Niemeyer hotel from there too.
Access to the restaurant and pool is via the ballroom. If there is an event in the ballroom, then the hotel puts up a sign asking you to use access the restaurant form the elevator in "Ala Sul". There's no map showing where "Ala Sul" can be found. There's no sign pointing the way to "Alu Sul". I'm just expected to know where the hell it is. How hard is it to add a map, or even a simple arrow, to the sign?
I get the feeling that the hotel cares more about its conference guests than its resident guests. Lunchtime services in the restaurant looked much better organised than breakfast, the tables were laid beautifully, and there seemed to be enough staff attending to the meetings.
WiFi is not free. I'd have prefered to have paid an extra R$15 per day on my bill than have to keep logging in all the time. Most inconvenient.
In summary: I love the deisng of the hotel, but I'd like to feel more valued as a guest.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Designed by Oscar Niemeyer and founded in 1958, the Brasilia Palace Hotel's history is truly beautiful, full of glamour and style that have marked the life of Brasilia in the 50s and 60s. Rebuilt and restored just like in the golden times, after many years of oblivion, the hotel reappears as the most charming accommodation alternative in Brasilia, a truly historic hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Brasilia Palace Hotel Brazil