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Hotel Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
AV.ATLANTICA 4240 22070002 RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

In an ideal location at the end of the legendary Copacabana beach, and a stone's throw from the equally alluring Ipanema beach, the Sofitel Rio Copacabana is one of the French hotel chain's flagship establishments, and is in no danger of losing its reputation as one of the best addresses in Rio. If you stay here, you are sure to remember the comfort of the guest rooms and their panoramic views, the hotel's 2 swimming pools, the free Internet access and, the icing on the cake, one of the finest gourmet experiences in the whole of Brazil. The Amazon menu is a delight!

This hotel review is a translation from the French version published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.

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    • Hotel Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana

      Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana

      Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.83 /10

    The Sofitel Rio de Janeiro overlooks the fantastic Copacabana beach, and its location at the right-hand end of Avenida Atlantica sets it close to Ipanema beach as well. Whichever way you go, you will soon find yourself on one of the city's legendary stretches of sand! The historical centre of Rio is 9 mi away (allow 20 minutes), the nearest metro station (Cardeal Arco Verde) is 7 minutes away, the nearest railway station (Central Do Brasil) is just over 9 mi away, Santos Dumont domestic airport is 8.7 mi away, and Tom Jobim International Airport is 15 mi away (allow 40 mins).

    Accommodation 8.95 /10

    Upon entering your room, your attention will immediately be grabbed by the big balcony and its exceptional panoramic view over the legendary Copacabana beach, with Sugarloaf Mountain providing the backdrop! Indeed, the Sofitel is one of the few hotels in Rio in which all of the rooms have a balcony, 80% of which overlook Copacabana beach and the bay. The balcony is furnished with 2 wooden chairs and a round table, also made of wood. The generously dimensioned rooms (35m²t) are carpeted and very well equipped. They are adorned with pictures of French and Brazilian landmarks, for example, the Eiffel Tower and Christ the Redeemer. All of the rooms are equipped with individual air conditioning, an LCD flat screen satellite television (70 channels), a large electronic code safe (free), a DVD player with a free selection of films to choose from, a minibar fridge, a desk, a telephone, and free Wifi and ADSL wired Internet access. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The bed is very comfortable and guests even have the luxury of choosing their own pillow! The clean and shiny granite-clad bathroom is accessed through a mirrored double door. It is brightly lit and fitted with a large fixed tropical shower doubled up with a flexible shower head (there is no bathtub), a toilet, telephone, hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers, tissues, a magnifying mirror, cotton buds, verbena hospitality products, and even a condom! If you raise the blind, you can watch television or enjoy the view from the balcony!

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The Sofitel Rio opened in 1997 and its most recent major renovations took place in 2007. It is an 8 storey hotel housing 388 guest rooms. When it comes to passing the time, there are 2 swimming pools to choose from on the upper floors. It quickly becomes apparent that Sofitel has thought of everything, as one of the pools enjoys the sunshine in the morning, the other in the afternoon. The first swimming pool is circular and has the bonus of a panoramic view over Copacabana beach, while the second one is square-shaped and provides a quieter setting. They are both just over 1m30 deep and are open from 7:00am to 7:00pm. There is also a solarium space with cushioned deckchairs shaded by white fabric parasols. On the same floor you will find the Atlantis restaurant, where breakfast is served, and the fitness centre, which is kitted out with the latest exercise machines, not to mention a whirlpool bath, a sauna, a hammam, and 2 massage rooms.

    Food and drink 9.45 /10

    This is without a shadow of doubt one of the Sofitel's biggest draws! Boasting 3 stars in the Quatro Rodas guide, Brazil's equivalent of the Michelin guide, the Pre Catelan was voted one of the world's 10 best hotel restaurants by Hotels Magazine. Run by French chef Roland Villard, it is certainly well deserving of its good reputation. We tried the Amazon menu, which consists of ingredients entirely sourced in the rainforest of the same name, and it soon becomes clear that you won't taste anything like it anywhere else! It features delicious fish caught in the Amazon river, although not necessarily piranhas! Indeed, some of the species listed can be poisonous if they are not properly prepared. There are also fruits and vegetables that only grow in the rainforest, introducing flavours totally new to us. One of these features in a sorbet and tastes like cheese! This tasting menu is, of course, served in the same manner as at any great restaurant with stars to its name, as a succession of small portions delightfully presented on designer dishes and accompanied with fine wines: what bliss! The 'haute cuisine' of the Pre Catelan is a treat served only in the evening, from 7:30pm to 11:30pm, in a dining room that can seat 65 guests. Breakfast is served in the Atlantis restaurant from 6:00am to 10:30am. In addition to the tropical fruit juices, which are of course freshly prepared, you can enjoy croissants as good as at any French bakery! The room is air conditioned, but you can also head outside onto the terrace to take in the amazing panoramic view of Copacabana beach and Sugarloaf Mountain. The Atlantis can seat up to 90 guests and is also opens for lunch (from 12:00pm to 4:00pm) and dinner (from 7:00pm to 11:00pm), when you can choose tasty Brazilian and international dishes either from the buffet or à la carte. We would definitely recommend the desserts dreamed up by French pastry chef Dominique Guérin. Finally, the Horse's Neck is an African-style bar with zebra and leopard skin armchairs. Snacks are served here over the course of the day. With a piano and a big plasma screen television, it remains open until 2:00am and stages Brazilian music concerts every Friday and Saturday evening. Its terrace boasts amazing views of Copacabana and Rio bay.

    Beach 8.20 /10

    The legendary Copacabana beach is just across the Avenida Atlantica from the hotel. The superb 2.5 mile long crescent of fine sand stretches out before your eyes! It is a great place to go for a jog, thanks to the promenade that runs alongside the beach, and you might be lucky enough to witness the seagulls fishing. You will soon feel like a true citizen of Rio! The beach is empty in low season from May to October, but in the high season, especially from December to March, it is crowded and the sand is scorching. Don't forget to bring your flip flops! The hotel has a beach service for its guests, who can consequently help themselves to complimentary cushioned plastic deckchairs, parasols, and beach towels. An attendant is also on site to watch over the area. A word of advice: don't stray too far from the shore so that you can go swimming while leaving your belongings on the sand. The best strategy is to do as the locals: take just your bathing suit, a towel, and a pair of flip flops! Showers are available. The pedestrian avenue is lined with bars, stands, and restaurants where you will find all kinds of ice cream, hammock, bracelet, jewellery, and souvenir vendors. To the left you have admirable views of Sugarloaf Mountain and the islands of the bay of Rio. As far as water sports are concerned, surfers and body-boarders will be in seventh heaven with the large rolling waves here. Beware of strong currents, though. There is no need for sandals as there are no rocks in the water, only sand. Relax, have a caipirinha in one of the many bars or play beach volleyball - this is, after all, one of the most popular sports on Copacabana, along with beach soccer of course, which now boasts a countless number of courts! Military police are present to ensure the safety of tourists.

    To know

    The Pre Catelan restaurant, which is overseen by French chef Roland Villard, was voted one of the world's 10 best hotel restaurants by Hotels Magazine. The Sofitel Rio de Janeiro, which belongs to the luxury range of hotels run by the Accor group, also boasts the Luxury Hotels stamp of approval, and is one of the few hotels in Rio in which every guest room has a balcony. The establishment's 21 conference rooms can seat from 8 to 2,500 people, and of you happen to be arriving by helicopter, there is a heliport just in front of the hotel. The business centre is open from 7:00am to 8:00pm and has 5 computers with free Internet access, as well as a printer, a photocopier, and even a scanner. The hotel lobby enjoys direct access to the traditional Shopping Cassino Atlantico, which houses some of the city's main antique dealers and art galleries.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      sauna, hammam, massage, spa, keep fit, beauty salon, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      beach volley, football, golf, gym, sports, fitness, water-polo, mountain bike

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The exceptional cuisine!
    • The ideal location between the legendary Copacabana and Ipanema beaches
    • The panoramic views from the guest rooms
    • Free Internet access
    • The 2 swimming pools, the sauna, hammam, and ultra modern fitness centre

    disadvantages

    • The 8 storey building is a bit short on charm

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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