In the heart of Ipanema, close to high-class shops and gourmet restaurants, this beachfront hotel has established itself among business travelers, celebrities, and heads of state, who appreciate its impeccable service; and while the suites are impressive, other rooms feel more functional than luxurious. Now managed by Sofitel, the hotel has been given a dash of French savoir faire through elegant touches such as candlelit lounges, a dedicated pastry chef, and wine-tasting events. The hotel has a business center including secretarial services and fax machines. Disappointingly, rooms lack balconies, and although the rooftop pool has excellent views, it's very small. However, the fitness center is superb, and the hotel has an excellent Italian restaurant, Galani, which serves good executive lunches as well as feijoada every Saturday. The black-theme lobby is comfortable, and cool, but corridors and rooms have plain furnishings, and some fixtures and fittings in standard rooms are looking worn.