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Reviews (1,289)
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All reviewsdevassa restaurantattached restaurantgreat locationstreet noisefew blocksspoke good englishrooftop barbreakfast is servedhigher floorfelt very safechrist the redeemeripanemaumbrellasbrazilneighborhoodclosetmetro
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Reviewed August 20, 2012

I was frustrated back in June trying to find a hotel in Rio that was of a decent standard ... that was also affordable, easy to get to/from, and would suit my family (M+D+2 teenagers). I settled on the Mar Ipenema as 'this will have to do'.
And struck lucky. No complaints. A good little hotel. Not swanky or posh, but neither is it shabby or lacking in any way.
Would stay here again if ever back in Rio.
The rooms were quite small .. but then we didn't plan to spend much time in them so that didn't bother us. All the plumbing worked ok and the shower was actually quite roomy.
Breakfast is really good - lots to choose from.
Tip: don't bother to take lots of smart 'city' clothes for Rio. It's perfectly permissable to wander about in swimmies with shorts+t-shirt or a kaftan/beach-dress on top. Oh, and the obligatory flipflops! 80% of Brazilians seem to live in flipflops ... stock up in a shop on the hotel's Piraja road.
The weather was warm enough (in July - the winter) to dress 'for the beach' all day and just throw on a light jacket/cardigan on some of the evenings (though the teenagers weren't chilly even then) when we ate at outside restaurants.
Ipenema beach is literally a couple of minutes walk from the hotel.

Room Tip: We were on the 7th floor. As the bathroom windows overlooking the main street of Piraja were designed to stay open - for ventilation - we learned early on that simply closing the bathroom door at night cut out most of the street noise.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank lifes_an_illusion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

Dear guest,

Thank you so much for your incredible review! We are so glad to hear that you had a wonderful stay with your family! I am so very happy to know that you would stay with us again should you visit Rio in the future. This is the best compliment we could ever receive!
Let me thank you also for the tips you provided to future travelers about clothing in Rio! Yes it is warm all year long, and flip flops are a must in our city! Rio is a very laid back city which makes it perfect for vacations!
Thanks again for your comments and we hope to see you and your family soon!
Best wishes,
Amanda Abreu
Sales Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Here goes my first review on Tripadvisor:

I have just spent 4 nights at Mar Ipanema and i must say it delivers on all fronts.

My wife and I had a superior room and compared to some of the rooms I've stayed in in Europe, the room was HUGE. Cleanliness was top notch, albeit a few signs of ageing (brown stains on counter tops).

The bed was uber-comfy, and had lots of pillows. Street noise was a bit excessive, but being heavy sleepers we didnt mind.

The breakfast was awesome, in the adejacent restuarant. Decent spread and everything was very tasty.

Front desk staff might not seem friendly or approachable, but they were helpful enough to arrange beach chairs and towels, and a cab to the airport at 3am!

Yes, it does not have a pool, gym or spa, so its not 5 star. But in terms of value for money, service and bang for buck, its hard to beat

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank Claud N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

Dear guest,

Your review brightened our day!! Thank you so much for your amazing comments about your stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel!

I am very proud that you joined Trip Advisor solely to compliment our property! What an honor! Thank you so much for doing so!

I am very glad that you enjoyed our superior rooms, as well as our amazing breakfast buffet (always included on the daily rate) at Armazém Devassa!

We hope to see you again very, very soon! In the meantime, we wish you all the best, and thank you again for sharing your experience at Mar Ipanema Hotel with Trip Advisor´s users!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed August 12, 2012

After an exhaustive month travelling Peru & Argentina we hit Brasil & Mar Ipanema & it was the best accomodation of the trip. The beds were comfortable, the rooms were clean, well furnished & spacious. The location of the hotel was ideal - Ipanema beach, shopping, great restaurants only a short walk away. Unlike all the hotel staff in Argentina the staff here were always helpful, spoke English & there are tours & activities available at the desk. There seems to be a security guard near the lifts all the time - not sure what that was all about. The breakfast was varied but pretty random in what they offered. Overall - very very happy & would say again in a flash. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank ophelite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

Dear guest,

I cannot express in words our gratitude for such an amazing review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel! It makes us all very happy to hear that you had such a great experience with us!
I am very glad to know that you enjoyed our rooms, as well as our awesome location!
Our staff is incredible, and love to help our guests with tours and sightseeing! I am happy you took advantage of that!
Concerning our security staff, they are close to the elevator to make sure that only guests access the rooms. We value our guests´ security a lot! We have 24 hour security personnel onsite to ensure our guests´ safety.
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to post your lovely comments about your stay. We can´t wait to have you stay with us again!

Wish you all the best!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed July 30, 2012

We were here for 9 nights on holiday to Rio. I appreciate that a briefer stay may show only what is lacking. For a 4* venue (with 4* rates) the Western traveller may note a small room and a lack of amenities (no pool, robes etc). However, staying longer you become very familiar with what IS there - utterly helpful and accommodating staff, cleanliness, great food in the attached bar/restaurant, and a venue in the very heart of Ipanema. They will lend deckchairs, call venues and companies for you, offer advice, hail your cabs and do so all the above with a smile. Indeed, we became very fond of the hotel and those who staffed it.

Room Tip: There are only 2 lifts and it can be a wait, so a lower floor makes the stairs a more viable option.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AFC_Andy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

Dear guest,

What an amazing review! Your feedback about our service just makes us even more proud of our great staff! We are very glad to know how much you enjoyed your stay with us. Our location and restaurant (a typical "carioca" pub) are fantastic indeed.

Thank you so much for your kind words and comments about our property.

I truly hope you can visit us again soon!

Wish you all the best,

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed July 26, 2012

Many visitors to Rio opt out for private apartments on several websites that specialize in leasing such properties. If you insist on staying in hotels in Rio, those at Copacabana are nice inside, but look awful outside, and the neighborhood has seen its age. Ipanema is a nicer place to stay than Copacabana, but there are not many hotels around here, and all of them are fairly pricey. Mar Ipanema charges about US$250 and above, with breakfast for a room during winter season, and it is always packed all year round. It looks like a property out in the 1960s. The lift is very small, you will feel claustrophobic with 4 people inside almost kissing each other or smelling other´s breath. There are only 2 lifts in this old property, and so they are always people crowding to get in and out. The room is cramped, especially the bathroom. Although I like the tiled walls in the bathroom, the shower area looks like a little prison cell for solitary confinement, and definitely not for big-sized people because it is very narrow space to shower. The toilet bowl is so close to the wash basin you can scrape your arm against the basin while you´re doing your daily business there. What I dislike is the fact that the hotel gives you a tiny bottle of shampoo, and a tiny bottle of conditioner: (a) it´s very hard to squeeze the gel out, (b) a tiny bottle is not enough for party of 2 or 3 guests, (c) such tiny offerings are not a sign of environmental friendliness at all, but stinginess.

Breakfast is alright, with fruit, cereal, ham, and lots of bread. Avoid the sweet confectionary, because it is all sweet but tasteless. Coffee is weak. Staff at Mar Ipanema are great people, very helpful even if their appearance at first does not look like approachability. Location of Mar Ipanema is on west end part, about 10 to 15 minutes walk to the Metro stop.

Tip to visitors to Brazil: in general, exchange rates for ALL currencies to Brazilian real are very poor, especially at the airports, where a commission of 15 real is charged for commission. It is very hard to get Latin American currency in your home country, so you are at the mercy of the exchange businesses. Many tourists have complained to the Brazilian tourism authorities, but with no avail. Some people prefer to use the ATM to withdraw cash rather than pay hefty fees or ridiculous exchange rates to change money.

Another alert: don´t be shocked that going to the airport can cost about 90real. If possible, find someone willing to share the cab, but then again, many yellow cabs in Rio are so tiny they can't fit in huge suitcases.

At the beach, you don't see as many teeny tiny bikinis as you would imagine. Just remember the teeny tiny cabs, the teeny tiny hotel and rooms in Rio.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Hilltriber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2012

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel.

I was very disappointed that you had so many complaints about your stay and Rio. I am very surprised to be honest. I am glad though that you thought our staff was helpful. Let´s address each topic you mention:

Our hotel was built in 1987, and gone through a complete renovation as of last year, therefore, the Mar Ipanema Hotel is the only 100% renovated hotel in the Ipanema/Leblon area. Our decor is based on Brazilian themes, valuing our culture, through Brazlian furnishings, handcrafts and arts. Since we are a small property, with only 86 rooms, we do believe that we do not need larger elevators or more elevators for that matter (we have two elevators that hold up to 7 people).

About the toiletries offered by the hotel, as you could have read on other reviews, this is the nicest cosmetic brand in Brazil: Natura (sold everywhere around the world), and we are very proud to offer these amenties to our guests. All toiletries are produced from fruits, flowers and nuts from the Amazon Forest, and all of our guests love it. All of the packages of these toiletries are made from recycled material, and are eco friendly. Also, our housekeeping staff would be glad to give you more shampoo should you need it. I am surprised you didn´t like them.

About our breakfast, we serve strong Brazilian coffee, and we never had any complains about it being weak, especially because it is not the characteristic of the Brazilian coffee beans. The sweets served are varied and include: chocolate cake, orange cake, vanilla flan, pastries, porridge, and fruit cakes, therefore I don´t believe they all taste the same, as they are made from completely different ingredients.

Concerning the price of the cabs to the airport, the airport is far away from the city center, and as a comparison, the flat rate is absolutely the same as in NY: approximately US$45. Plus in Rio you do not pay tolls or gratuity. On all large cities, international airports are far from the center, and the prices charged in Rio are in no way different than big cities as NY, Paris, London (taking cabs from the airport in Paris and London are even more expensive).

I am sorry that even the bikinis at the beach were not of your satisfaction.

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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