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Rio de Janeiro hotel - Sofitel, Sheraton Barra, or JW Marriott?

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Apr 12th, 2005, 07:51 AM
  #1
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Rio de Janeiro hotel - Sofitel, Sheraton Barra, or JW Marriott?

Hi,

I am planning to travel to Rio in May. It will be a relatively short trip of about 5 days. I have the choice of staying in the Sofitel, the JW Marriott, or the new Sheraton hotel, the Sheraton Barra.

The Sheraton is about 40% less than the JW Marriott. The Sofitel is midway between the Sheraton and the Marriott in price.

This is our first trip to Rio, so I would like it to be special. I am balancing between price, convenience, safety, and comfort of hotel room.

For example, the Sheraton Barra is new, and received a few good reviews on TripAdvisor; however, it is away from Copacabana/Ipanema. (I also understand that the Sheraton's beach is nice and clean.) Bottom line: If it were on Copacabana or Ipanema beaches, I would not hesitate.

Compare this to the Sofitel - great location, but run-down rooms from what I understand. Not the best way to relax on vacation.

Finally, the Marriott seems fine - except the price is almost twice the cost of the Sheraton per night. If I did not see the Sheraton, I would probably have just accepted the price, and booked this hotel. However, is the hotel/location worth the price difference?

I ask that all you Rio experts please provide some of your expertise! I need to make up my mind within the next few days.

Thanks in advance,

Chels
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Apr 12th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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While reading your post all I can think of is that the Marriott is the better choice, I know this hotel well and I have stayed in all you mentioned except the Barra Sheraton.

The Marriott is brand new too, great location, nice small roof top pool with great wiew, walking distance to bars and restaurants. But of course you have to consider the money and if money was important then my second choice would be the Sofitel again for its location which is perfect being so close to Ipanema and Copacabana and I can't imagine the rooms are so bad but I stayed there over 20 years ago when it was new but it is still a nice hotel.

The Rio Sheraton would be third as it has like a big olympic pool but it is away from the action but its nice and a good choice and more spread out, the beach is nice, smaller and you don't have to walk across the street to get to it but if you are only going to go once in your life to Rio then you should stay in the middle of Rio and that would be the Marriott.

Forget about the Barra Sheraton, its probably there for business people who have to do business in Barra, if you stay in Barra you could be anywhere , Rio is Copacabana and Ipanema.
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Apr 12th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Agree, forget about Sheraton in Barra, it is far away from the action and you will spend lots of time back and forth. Ipanema, Copacabana or Leblon are the places to stay.
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Apr 12th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Hi.Consider Caesar Park Hotel at Ipanema Beach and ask for a room with sea view.I've stayed there and it's very good,specially the location.
Forget about Sheraton Barra.
Have a good trip.
George
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Apr 12th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Count me in: definitely skip the Sheraton Barra hotel if you want be in or experience Rio. Its too far. Barra is lots of small malls and a long beach. You could be in Santa Monica.

As between the Marriott and the Sofitel I'd opt for the Sofitel. We were in Rio about a month ago and checked out a number of hotels. If money is no object then, hands down, the Copacabana Palace wins - even if it is in Copa (you want to be in Ipanema or Leblon, period). It is an incredible property. But, you need to splurge, room with a view, etc.

We saw the Sofitel and it had two nice pools. Way bigger than anyplace else, save for the Copa Palace or the Rio Sheraton; the one directly up a hill from Leblon, not out in Barra. The Sofitel did not appear dated or worn and I believe the rooms were recently renovated. Lobby area was nice, but smallish. It too is in Copacabana but, at the very end, closest to Ipanema. A short walk or cab. I would certainly stay there over the Marriott, no question. Good restaurant right next door, also.

The best Ipanema spot is likely the Cesar Park. It has the best location there, in the middle of everything. The beach there is great. Everyone is friendly and you can sit back and watch the world go by with a chilled coconut in hand. Best shopping and dining is also nearby. Modern design and a very "modern" almost "too modern" lobby. Tiny pool on the roof, however. Great views. Rooms were good. Also expensive.

The Rio Sheraton is also an option. Just a few minutes by taxi from the Leblon area but, traffic up the small hill can be bad. This hotel has the largest pool/beach area of any Rio hotel. Also, its right on a small beach. It is essentially self-contained. But, it also gets lots of tour groups and conventions and needs some renovation. It is very 1970s, with way too much chrome and mirror. Yet, staff are friendly and everything works well. Frankly, unless you are with kids or need a huge pool I'd certainly opt for in town, you are going to Rio for a reason, to see Rio.

We went with our two children and never felt threatened. Use common sense. Rio was fantastic. Both the food and the shopping were great. We will return there. Have fun.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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Thank you for the responses. We have opted out of the Sheraton Barra, and we will stay either at the Marriott or the Sofitel depending on which package is still available.

Thanks again,
Chels
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Apr 16th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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We are planning to be in Rio in August and are trying to decide on a hotel ourselves. Have been thinking of the Sofitel or the Caesar Park. We're having trouble finding good rates/packages for either, however. Chels - have you found a website or other that you recommend? Also, for those who've been to both -- is there a reason to book at one over the other (we are only in Rio for two nights)?
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Apr 16th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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We stayed at the Marriott 2 years ago after it first opened. Food, service and location was great. They have a section of beach across the street from the hotel complete with chair, umbrella's etc. Lots of good restuarants in the area.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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The difference between the Sofitel and Ceasar park to choose from is first of all cost, with the ceasar park costing more money also ceasar is a nicer hotel and it is right in the middle of Ipanema enjoying a much more prestigious location than the Sofitel. But if you are inclined to stay in Copacabana then the Sofitel is perfectly fine, in its hey day it was one of the top hotels in Rio but it is still a fine hotel.

For a good Brazilian travel agency google BACC travel they have offices in NY NJ and Rio and sometimes have good prices on packages.
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