This magnificant hotel, built like a French palace, first opened in 1923 as the most luxurious hotel in Brazil, if not the whole of South America.
Today, almost a hundred years later, it still sets the standard and is known as the “it” place to stay in Rio de Janeiro.
The Copacabana Palace only has 216 rooms and suites, all located across the road from the famous and lively Copacabana Beach.
We checked in on a Sunday and there must have been at least 50,000 people on the beach swimming, sun baking, playing beach soccer or volleyball and walking or bike riding along the promende. An amazingly colourful and exciting place to be!
We were luckly enough to get a room at the front of the hotel over looking the beach, via two sets of glass doors that open up to the fresh Atlantic Ocean air.
The room itself was massive and very contemporary in style.
It had a nice sitting area, king size bed and large 42 inch TV. The room had every amenity you can imagine, including a Nespresso coffee machine.
The bathroom was very large with a separate bath and shower, double vanity and was generously stocked with Etro bath products and fresh flowers.
The Copacabana Palace Hotel has many different dining options, ranging from a trendy pool side (and ocean view) restaurant called Pergula, offering Brazilian and international fare; to the fancy Cipriani, with its Italian cuisine; and Mee Restaurant, serving Asian delights.
We enjoyed breakfast at Pergula, overlooking the pool and beach, and it was such a beautiful setting (plus, the breakfast pastries are to die for…!).
The hotel has a great range of activities for those who want to burn off the breakfast pastries, such as the big 25 metre swimming pool, tennis courts, fully equipped health club and bike rentals.
We opted for bike riding along the beach promenade which stretches for 4 kilometres, right outside the front of the hotel. Its a great way to explore the local area and feel part of the colour and excitment that is Copacabana Beach.
The hotel pool is where the trendy and fashionable enjoy expensive cocktails and soak up the sun on comfortable day beds with luxurious fluffy towels.
I did feel a little out of place, drinking a coke and wearing colourful australian boardshorts, but the setting is amazing and a great place to cool off and enjoy a lazy afternoon.
I have to make a special note of all the hotel staff – from the front office, to the concierge to the pool attendants, they were the most friendly and helpful I have experienced in a long time. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was done from the heart with a big smile.
If you are planning a trip to Rio and want to experience the best, then the Copacabana Palace Hotel is the place to stay, for its style, ambience, luxury, history, outstanding staff and “wow” location.