My girlfriend and I stayed at the Copacabana Praia for five nights over NYE (Reveillion) 2008. We were hesitant to book it, as it had no English reviews on tripadvisor, but they had available rooms and while it was expensive, they were not charging a fortune (US$250 per night). That was back in April, and yet I find this hotel still has no english reviews.
We were very happy with the Praia. Its location is excellent - a two minute walk to the sands of southern Copacabana, and a five minute walk to Ipanema. It is also a street which all taxi drivers know.
The hotel foyer is relatively small and somewhat dated, reminiscent of 1980s style. At check-in, the receptionist was nice, but the porter was extremely helpful and spoke quite good English. When we arrived at our room and found it had twin beds, we asked if it was possible to move to one with a Queen - the hotel was booked solid, so it was not, but he immediately got the maid to push the beds together and remake them. In general, the staff are helpful and trustworthy.
Our room (#310) had an outlook into an open lightwell, and no street view, which was somewhat disappointing. Though it was good because of the quietness. The bed was comfortable, and so were the pillows. The air conditioner was very effective. There is a small minibar in the room. The bathroom had just been remodeled and was clean - though they chose style over substance and the basin was ludicrously shallow. The shower provided hot water most of the time, though was erratic. Cleaners always seemed to clean our room when we first went out that day, even though we kept irregular hours and were not always out for long, which was excellent. In general the room was clean, though we had a few ants from time to time.
Eating breakfast on one of the days was an experience - there were no free tables, coffee pots were dry, no clean plates, bowls, cups or cutlery. Staff were worked off their feet trying to deal with a full hotel on NYE. Otherwise, breakfast was good, and the fresh mango every day is excellent. When we were there the pool reopened from a remodel, which is on the rooftop. It has nice views and a sundeck, though the pool itself is very small. The hotel also provides free wireless internet.
All in all, I would recommend this hotel for budget travellers to Rio. The rooms are nothing special, though they are relatively spacious and comfortable, and the location is very good. It is an excellent choice for those coming to Rio for New Years Eve.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.