The Sheraton is one of the topmost luxury hotels of the city, but even this upscale behemoth cannot shelter you from the contradictions of Rio.
The position is outstanding, at the end of the upper class neighborhoods of Ipanema and Leblon, on a windy road to the even more upscale Barra de Tijuca, at the foot of the peaks called Dos Irmaos (Think of the Pao de Acucar, but even more wild, with vultures circling them all day long, as the sun changes the shades on their slope).
The hotel opens on a secluded beach, making it almost its own private beach; but seashores are public property in Brazil, and the hotel cannot limit access to it, nor prevent black sewages leaking through, cutting it in the middle with a malodorous slime (thou it has to be said that the hotel seems to maintain the sand squeaky clean).
The beach therefore appears paradisiac on photos and from the windows of the upper floors, but it is actually much grittier up close, with graffiti on its containment walls and surfers from the favelas squatting under the trees. It is probably safe, but you cannot help feeling slightly uneasy taking your phone with you to snap some photos of what is, after all, an amazing landscape.
Up the stairs back to the hotel, there is an amazing set of pools (some heated) in a checkered shaded and sunny area, perfect for kids and infants. Unfortunately the smell of the sewage can be felt in the green areas around the pool, reminding you that you are not in a tropical paradise but in the middle of a urban development. The small restaurants on the ground has exceptional food at relatively reasonable prices.
Breakfast is fantastic, with great choice and a even better view of the sunrise over Ipanema, right on the other side of the bay.
Rooms are debatable: on arrival we had been offered an upgrade to a (half view) family suite, but declined as we wanted to enjoy our full sea view room, only to discover that, on the 2nd floor (ie below the concierge), the room's view was covered by trees and the balcony was directly above the beach (smells included).
We immediately run back to accept the upgrade offer, and we moved to an amazing 22nd floor suite, with two rooms partially opening on a nice view of the beach, and partially facing the closest favela (which, paradoxically, is very pleasant to look at a distance, at sunset).
We certainly cannot complain, and would love to return at the Sheraton at the conditions we experienced, but the rack rate of the room we stayed at was 1,000 Usd (Wi-Fi included), much more than we could normally afford. The room we originally received for 300 Usd (no wi-fi) was a lot less value for money.
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Rio Hotel Rio De Janeiro
- Sheraton Rio Hotel And Resort
- Sheraton Rio De Janeiro
- Rio De Janeiro Sheraton
- Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort Rio De Janeiro, Brazil