Our stay was quite disappointing and I wouldn't recommend the hotel.
Things about the hotel in general:
The location is quite far from the action, shops, and cafes in Ipanema and Copacabana, so you can feel trapped unless you take a taxi most places. The tradeoff is that you are right on the beach and don't have a sidewalk and street to cross. But it does feel removed from the local spirit of Rio.
You have to pay $13/day for wifi in the room. This could easily be free. There is access in the lobby, but at $600/night, I expect wifi access throughout.
Breakfast isn't included and is an additional $22/person. Most other hotels offer free breakfast, making the Sheraton feel poor value for money.
Things about our stay in particular:
The central Starwood reservation line reserved the wrong room type and for the incorrect amount of people, but CHARGED us for the larger room and larger party! We noticed immediately but they would not correct the reservation or refund it as the booking was "non-refundable". It took an hour and a half on the phone and 2 days of wait time to correct the situation. To Starwood's credit, they gave us 2 free nights of accommodation. That we STILL felt the overall value was poor even with 2 free nights is a testament to our experience.
Our room cards were deactivated by reception once a day, which is annoying when you are wet and coming back tired from the beach. Adding insult to injury, each time we went to have them reprogrammed, reception staff would imply that we had deactivated the cards by putting them near cell phones (not the case).
The cleaning staff arrived late in the day (around 3:00 PM) and made the beds only. The incorrect number of towels were given and toiletries were not replaced. We had to call and ask.
The on-site money exchange gave us only half of the amount of currency we should have received. We had to go back and ask the rest, and received it with no argument. The way it was handled made it seem like the teller was simply hoping we didn't notice.
The concierge staff was great and very helpful.
The balconies have walls between them so you have privacy when outside.
The on-site pizza restaurant was tasty and good value.
The pool area is very nice and service is great. Large fresh beach towels provided. In the rain, staff prepare an umbrella for you as you walk outside to the dining area.
The hotel has a lot of potential. Even operating at 100%, the location might not be my preference, but it could definitely be a luxurious, secluded place to enjoy the beach. At the price point of this hotel, things should run smoothly and all the small details should be taken care of and all staff should have a guest-centric attitude.
I appreciated the efforts of the manager Felipe to correct a few of the issues we had, such as removing the wifi charges from our room, taking the issue with the exchange office seriously, and giving me his business card so we could follow up. The lady at the concierge desk also provided exceptional service and helped improve our stay.
Personally I would book at a private apartment and enjoy the city's energy without the expense and hassle.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Report response as inappropriate
We are really sorry to hear that your stay with us wasn't as you expected. We would like to apologize for the inconveniences you had during your stay such as the problem with the Starwood's Central, with the magnetic keys, the housekeeping service and the issue with the Money Exchange. Be sure that this isn't our standard and all the directors of the areas involved were warned about all this issues and are taking actions to solve this inconveniences.
We are also glad to know that you enjoyed our Concierge staff, the room balconies, Pizza Place, pool area and Filipe's efforts to fix the problems. Be sure that we will congratulate Filipe and the staff for their good work.
We are deeply sorry about all the problems you mentioned and we would like to thank you for your comments about the issues you encountered during your stay - we would like to be able to correct this immediately. Please feel free to contact one of our Guest Relations at Sheratonemail@example.com so we can investigate and fix all the problems, as we would appreciate tha chance to prevent similar events from occurring.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.