Brazil has always looked amazing to me and has been high on my bucket list for the past 5 years. Last year, in 2020, I had the flights booked that would have also included Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, but as you could probably guess, they were all canceled because of the pandemic. This year, in 2021, the restrictions have been lifted and I’ve been able to make my dream trip finally come true! My first hotel in Brazil was the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro. After my all-night travel from Mexico City, I was excited to arrive and get some proper sleep even though it was about seven in the morning.
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Firstly, the location of the property is simply perfect. Located in Copacabana, one of the most popular beaches in the world, it’s at the center of everything. The whole city of Rio de Janeiro is at your fingertips! All that is between the hotel and Copacabana beach is a road that is easy to cross on foot.
Before coming to Brazil, I was living in Mexico City, Mexico. From airport to airport it was approximately 16 hours plus another hour of taxis on each side. I left early in the afternoon and arrived at 7am Brazil time. I had this dream that I would be able to sleep on the plane and wake up rested and ready to go, boy was I wrong! I barely slept but was still excited to get to the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro and get a few hours of sleep before I got busy exploring! Arriving at the hotel was great as it has a nice entrance and a spacious lobby. A bit old-school but beautiful nonetheless. The staff provided a friendly and smooth check in and informed me that my room was waiting on the 7th floor.
The room design was bright, clean, and refreshing. It was very simple but provided a very enjoyable and comfortable setting. The room was equipped with a stunning beach view, large king size bed, minibar, capsule coffee machine, working desk, and a lounge chair near the window. The room was on the smaller side but still overall quite comfortable.
Keeping with the design of the bedroom, the bathroom was also fairly simple but bright and welcoming. They kept the white and black accents throughout. There was a combined bathtub shower unit, single sink vanity, and a solid selection of toiletries. I really appreciated that they had a Gillette shaver in the shaving kit, much better than the standard cheap shaver most hotels use that slice you up like Edward Scissorhands! I was also happy to find two pairs of flip-flops for use at the beach.
I must say that the team of the hotel took great care of me and delivered me some tasty treats too! One of these treats was a Brigadeiro which is a traditional Brazilian sweet made with condensed milk and cocoa.
On the rooftop of the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro Hotel is the gym, rooftop pool, spa, bar, and lounge. The facilities were of high quality, in the gym there were lots of newer model machines and free-weights. Throughout my stay the gym was moderately busy but never too difficult to find equipment to use. The view from the rooftop is really quite stunning, especially when the weather is nice.
A perk of staying at the JW Marriott is the use of the beach equipment is included. If you’re unfamiliar, Copacabana vendors usually charge quite a bit to sit on their chairs and use their umbrellas. However, if you’re a guest of the hotel, you’ll be able to use these free of charge.
The Carioca Restaurant
The JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro Hotel has a restaurant on the first floor called The Carioca. Carioca means anything related to the City of Rio de Janeiro. The restaurant offers all-day dining.
The breakfast focuses on mostly Brazilian but also Western cuisine, and is in a mostly buffet format. A few items are also available à la carte such as eggs and omelets. The food and service was mostly good but some of the food could have been a bit more moist.
Lunch at The Carioca Restaurant is where things got a bit more exciting! I had a chance to sample several dishes, mostly of the local cuisine, that really impressed me. I can highly recommend the rib rolls, Brazilian beef stew, and their fried tapioca cubes.
On the ninth floor of the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro Hotel is the club lounge. It features high ceilings, comfortable seating, and a beautiful view of Copacabana. The club lounge offers a happy hour from 5 to 7 PM daily which includes small bites as well as some drinks such as wine and beer. The area fills up quite a lot during these hours.
Another food and beverage outlet of the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro Hotel is the Illy Cafe located in the lobby. Here they serve light fare, coffee, and have a full bar with splendid cocktails. For my last evening, I had dinner there. I went for a bacon cheeseburger, Red Negroni, Caipirinha, and tapioca ice cream for dessert. Not only was what I ordered fantastic, the service was impeccable and friendly too!
The JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro Hotel in Brazil is an overall quality product. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and would return again. That being said, there were some places to be improved upon. The property is a bit older than other JW Marriott’s that I’ve visited around the world and could use some sprucing up. Also, although most of the food and beverage were good, there were a few things here and there that could have been perfected. All in all, this classic property is located in a prime location and has a lot of features that make it a desirable hotel to stay at.
JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro
Av. Atlântica, 2600 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22041-001
Phone: +55 (21) 2545-6500