The Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel
No account of hotels and resorts from South America and especially Brazil would be complete without a detailed discussion of The Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel of Rio de Janeiro Brazil. As far as South America is concerned, this is bound to be the most well known, the most luxurious and a must go to the location.
The first look you get at it will make you fall in love with the building; being constructed in the Victorian style, it is an art deco based structure that stands 14 story tall and a solid square-like structure covered with windows all over.
The hotel was originally constructed back in the year 1923 and has had a renovation in 1989 after a drastic plan of its demolition was evaded. Nowit is certainly one of the most interesting sights at the Copacabana beach. There is a semi-Olympic swimming pool, exclusive swimming pool, tennis court, a spa, a nightclub, bar, fitness center and two pretty awesome restaurants.
However, that is not what you must visit the hotel, the reason you must go there is the legacy that it has and on top of that, the location that it is situated in. It has been featured in the movie Flying Down to Rio where the hotel’s legacy of a bygone era was showcased in pure beauty. If you are there, and if you are lucky, you will get a bedroom with a view of the beach itself – and trust me when I say it, nothing compares to that.
The closest airport that you will get to the hotel is Galeao International Airport from where it will take only half an hour to reach.
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
The second best hotel in my view is even closer to the airport – for starters – I am talking about the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, which is situated elegantly at 15 kilometers from the Iguazu Falls Airport. This is 28 kilometers away from the city, but it might just be one of the only incidences where you wouldn't mind being away from the city.
This is so because of the close vicinity that the hotel has to the Iguazu Falls. If you don’t know what that is, you have a lot to learn about tourism around the world. Iguazu Falls is a combination of over 275 different waterfalls that are naturally placed in the middle of a forest. And yes, that is exactly where the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is. Now the point is, even if you are comparing this hotel with any other top notch luxury hotel around the world, the latter will have a tough time because of the location. More importantly, if you are in Brazil and wish to visit Iguazu Falls, this is the only hotel that you will find in the national park. The only other hotel is a Sheraton that is on the Argentinian side of the border (and the falls).
The combination of such natural scenic beauty with a classical luxury is what the management of Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is all about. Tennis grounds with tropical gardens and palm tree lined swimming pool stopped with marble vanities and colonial furnishings; the place is just like a dream come true. Take your favorite drink from the bar at any given evening and go out in the lawns; you will practically be able to feel the spray of the waterfalls on your face!
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
Now if you have to pick only three hotels out of a long list of hotels, picking up the last one is the hardest. This is because there always are dozens of other options and one can often get indecisive. However, one thing in the Miramar Hotel by Windsor made me choose it: ahuge open swimming pool that stands parallel to the sea!
Just like the Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel, the Miramar Hotel also lies on the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The best portion of the hotel is the rooftop that has a panoramic view of the ocean. This is also where you can either relax in the sun lounges or the pool. If you have spent enough time on these two spots, you might also be interested in the steam room, fitness center, the two bars, beach service and more importantly the beach houses!
The hotel is a fine combination of comfort and modernity. You get all the facilities that you would expect from the top notch hotels and get it combined with the English style of decorations.
If you are in Rio, you will only be a few minutes’ walk away from the city and on top of that, the location is pretty close to the major shopping centers, shops, cinemas, restaurants and bars. So it is almost as good as it gets for you if you wish to get a full-fledged experience with all the ingredients like natural beauty, modern facilities, shopping and relaxing.