Grace, elegance, and kindness are really what this hotel is all about. In addition to an enviable location on the Copacabana seafront, the Golden Tulip Regent boasts an experienced and very approachable team of multilingual staff who will do their utmost to make your stay a pleasant one. The hotel offers clean and pleasant guest rooms that are not at all pretentious, although those in the higher category are certainly more refined, aesthetically-speaking. The few deluxe rooms and most of the standards enjoy sea views, though there is a panoramic terrace that all guests can use up on the top floor, where you'll also find the swimming pool, gym, and massage room. The restaurant at the hotel serves meals as a buffet only, but the menu is nevertheless very diverse and the cuisine superb.
This hotel review is a translation from the French version published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
The Golden Tulip Regente stands on the Avenida Atlântica, the hugely famous Copacabana seafront, in a prime location for those looking for a holiday on the beaches of Rio.
Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport is around 15 and a half mi away, with a transfer time of 30 minutes by taxi when the traffic's moving well and at least double that at peak times.
The Golden Tulip Regente is one of the few hotels in Rio to be popular with an international rather than a Brazilian clientele.
The façade of the hotel is clearly marked 'Golden Tulip Regente'. The Regente is a fine establishment that opened some 40 years ago and belongs to the Dutch hotel chain. It's not what you would call luxurious but it is certainly well furnished and offers all the services you would expect, even on the beach. The ground floor bar is perhaps the most pretentious part of the hotel, with its little cream leather sofas and elegant black coffee tables. This is a nice place to come for a drink and maybe watch television (there is a large flat-screen television behind the bar itself), or even the people on the street outside or on Copacabana Beach, clearly visible beyond the picture window. On arrival at reception you'll find yourself surrounded by mirrors, a series of uniform columns, and rectangular reception desks, and will be greeted by the hotel's extremely approachable and very pleasant reception team.
The 218 guest rooms at the Golden Tulip Regente are divided between two adjoining buildings, the second of which, to the rear of the hotel backing on to the sea, has been fully renovated. The hotel's other facilities are found on the twelfth and top floor: a panoramic terrace with an average-sized swimming pool, which, incidentally, was due to be renovated in 2010, a bar, a fitness centre with two rooms and a large number of machines, and even a small massage centre, the only service that incurs an additional charge (bookings can be made at reception).
The 218 guest rooms at the Golden Tulip Regente come in 3 categories. The standard rooms are the most basic and are tastefully furnished but with more outdated materials: carpeting (which has been removed from the recently renovated rooms), bedspreads in patterns that don't really match the rest of the room, and chairs and a small table that are quite frankly old-fashioned. However, the surroundings are well-appointed and clean, just like the bathrooms, which are rather on the small side but smell nice and even have a bidet! In keeping with Brazilian tradition, the wash basin is located at the door to the bathroom. The standard rooms are equipped with a flat-screen television broadcasting international channels, a minibar, a telephone, a safe (available to hire), and Wi-Fi (also charged).
The superior rooms are in the second category but do not have any ocean views either. On the plus side, these rooms are located in the rear building, which has just been renovated, so they have all been done up and furnished in a much more modern and sophisticated style than the standard rooms. The carpets have been replaced with far more practical cream-coloured tiles, the lovely light wooden desks and headboards are more uniformly-shaped, and the pale green on the far wall matches that of the bedspread, for a welcome touch of colour to alleviate the dominant white surroundings. There are two black and white pictures of Rio on the wall, separated by the large mirrored wardrobe door, whilst the wash basin in the bathroom is set in a modern vanity unit.
Last but certainly not least, the deluxe rooms are the only ones that boast direct views of the sea.
The restaurant at the Golden Tulip Regente is located to the rear of the hotel on the ground floor, and is also open to the general public. It's not in the best location, but the dining room itself is rather bright and tastefully furnished, with a colour scheme of light browns combined with ethnic patterns on the walls and colourful striped chairs. The restaurant has an additional room on the second floor and serves all three meals of the day - breakfast from 6:00am to 10:00am, lunch from 12:00pm to 4:00pm, and dinner from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. All of the meals are served as a buffet here, and what a buffet it is! A dozen or so dishes are kept hot in gas-heated tureens and arranged in a line on a table. To the rear you'll find the words 'Forno & Fogao' repeated in a cheerfully chaotic design. You'll really be spoilt for choice, with a delicious selection of meat dishes, fish with vegetables, potatoes, rice, fish soup, and local and international specialities. These hearty dishes are complemented with a buffet of hors-d'?uvres including salads, cheese, pastas, and a buffet of dessert and fruit that is truly superb for Brazil, including chocolate cakes, coconut pralines, succulent creams, and other delights that vary from one day to the next, depending on what inspiration the chef finds!
Just across the road lies one of the world's most famous beaches: Copacabana. The cycle path here is lined with little bars, so why not stop off for a fruit juice, a beer, an 'aqua de coco', or even a Caipirinha! These bars are separated from the ocean by a wide, open stretch of sand. In fact, the entire Brazilian coastline is public property, but the Golden Tulip Regente does provide some beach services, like 'branded' parasols and beach towels. Do be very wary of the ocean here though - it's not the warm bath that is the Mediterranean! The waves here can be very powerful at times and the water is generally pretty cold.
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