I just got back from a 6 night stay in Rio at Ocean Drive, and I have
to say was l was not very impressed. This was my first time in Rio, and I would NOT recommend this hotel/condo to a first time visitor to Rio, especially a foreigner.
First of all is the location, which is called Barra de Tijuca, or just plain "Barra". Be aware that although it is technically still within Rio, it is still a 30-45 min taxi ride (with no traffic, much longer with traffic) to the main attractions in Rio (Impanema, Copacabana, Sugar Loaf, etc). There is no metro/subway (as of yet) that runs out to Barra), and while there are bus lines, taking the bus would probably double the travel time, and is not a good option for travel at night.
The setting is very suburban, much like the outer parts of Miami, nothing is really within walking distance, except the beach, which is right across the street. So, if you are without a car as we were, you feel kind of trapped. There were two restaurants next to Ocean Drive which were decent. But no bank (international) and no shopping.
Shopping malls were only a 10 min taxi ride away.
Second, if you do not speak Portuguese, then you will run into trouble at Ocean Drive. Before you write me off as an American snob, who expects everyone to speak English, keep reading. My primary reason for being in Rio was to attend an international conference, at which English was the main language. The conference organizers recommended this hotel, so I expected at least some English would be spoken there. However, no one at the hotel...manager, door person, etc, spoke a work of English. Fortunately, one of the people in our group spoke Portuguese, otherwise, check in would have been a nightmare. It was quite a hassle trying to deal with any issues that came up....broken locks, access to the pool, how to get breakfast, etc. And the staff (especially the people who check you in) were not especially friendly and somewhat impatient with the fact we could not speak Portuguese.
And the final reason I would not recommend this hotel (although the first two were certainly enough), is that it is a bit run down and grungy. The rooms had adequate space and there was a kitchen/balcony/
living room. However, the linens and carpeting were old and ragged and the room had an odor we couldn't get rid of. Although we only saw
a few dead bugs in the room, we were greeted to a big can of bug spray left out in plain view when we got to the room. Lovely.
In fairness, I have to mention the good features of the hotel: a beautiful pool, good security, and easy access to a beautiful and quiet beach. These are good features if you just want to relax and get some sun. However, if you want to explore Rio, be prepared to spend lots of time and money traveling back and forth and don't expect the hotel staff to help you out in your travels, unless you speak Portuguese. Rio is beautiful and unique, and I may go back, but
I will definitely stay in a more central area next time and do more research before I go!
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- Also Known As:
- Ocean Drive Resort And Services
- Ocean Drive Resort & Services Hotel Rio De Janeiro
- Ocean Drive Resort & Services Rio De Janeiro, Brazil