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Originally opened in 1923, this impressive property is Rio’s most traditional and luxurious hotel, and has been the go-to-place to stay for everyone from Fred Astaire to the Rolling Stones.
The 226 bedrooms and suites in this Belmond property are tastefully decorated and spread throughout the main building and tower wing. Each is decorated with period furniture and original works of art, but also modern touches such as iPods and Wi-Fi.
The hotel also boasts a wonderful large outdoor pool, spa and a rooftop tennis court (the only one in the city, unsurprisingly). It also has a couple of great restaurants, including the Cipriani, which is one of the best places to eat in the city (their breakfast is particularly good) and the new Pan-Asian MEE, fronted by Celebrity Chef Ken Hom. The restaurant is by the pool and serves classic dishes from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, China and Japan in a contemporary Asian-inspired dining room with a dedicated sushi bar and even a sake stewardess.
Only minutes from the centre of Rio and sitting right in front of Copacabana beach, there is nowhere like the (fondly known) Cop Palace for its service and the element of old style grandeur.
The hotel's floodlit tennis court is located, rather unusually, on its roof, so do try to keep the ball down.
Will, Original Traveller