After the tackiness of Foz do Iguacu, a city built on profits from the falls and day trips to Paraguay, the Cataratas Hotel is an oasis of civilsation. Even though it is currently undergoing major renovations by its new owners (who also own the Copacabana Palace in Rio), the work in no way compromised our stay. When it is finished, the hotel will be luxurious in the extreme.
The bedrooms have been beautifully done up, with fabrics reflecting the lush flora and vibrant colours of Brazil. No neutral hotel brown in sight, thankfully. As a family with children aged 11 and 10, we had two rooms at the end of a corridor, which could be shut off with an external door, making a kind of suite. It was perfect. The only discordant note in the rooms concerned the huge flat screen TVs, ostentatiously framed and facing the bed in each room. If you have better things to do than watch TV, you are inescapably left looking at a large black rectangle in a gilt frame. We would have preferred another botanical print, like the beautiful ones elsewhere. Minibar items are even more astronomically expensive than usual - including 300ml of still water for R$6.
Bathrooms are luxurious and sparkling - full of deliciously scented traditional Granado and Phebo products. In true Brazilian tradition, though, there are no baths - only showers. We liked the special children's bath robes - and the havianas (flip flops) which were provided, in the right size, for each of us.
The public areas of the hotel are generous and tasteful and the gardens are glorious - although there aren't as many coatis roaming around as there were 15 years or so ago. We particularly liked the pool, which is properly deep and surrounded by comfortable loungers. There is a poolside bar and periodically, we were offered skewers of fresh fruit by very attentive staff. The hotel's manager is obviously genuinely interested in guests' views too - he responded very promptly to comments in our customer survey form.
Although only the poolside restaurant was open, the food - whether buffet or a la carte - was of a consistently high standard. Breakfast was sumptuous, with everything you could possibly think of on offer.
The biggest advantage offered by the hotel, however, is free access to the park before the hordes arrive. Two mornings in a row, we stood alone on a viewing platform and looked out over Iguacu Falls - which are surely one of the wonders of the natural world - ringed with rainbows in the early mroning sun and we had the place to ourselves. It was magical.
- Also Known As:
- Das Cataratas Hotel
- Tropical Das Cataratas
- Hotel Tropical Das Cataratas
- Hotel Das Cataratas Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is located in a privileged position, alongside the Iguassu Falls. It is in fact the only hotel situated in the Iguassu National Park. Its colonial architecture is beautiful and its buildings are in complete harmony with the surrounding environment. The scenario is one of peace and tranquility. Because of its prime location, the Hotel das Cataratas offers its guests a unique experience - having breakfast whilst watching the falls and taking walks along the trails by the falls which may be done at any time during the day, with the added advantage that from 7 a.m to 9 a.m, the trails are for guests of the hotel exclusively. ... more less
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