My longtime dream of visiting Brazil finally came true at the end of 2021. I had been planning to come for years and even had a trip booked last year but it got canceled due to the pandemic. Finally, the situation had improved and the borders had open, so it was my time to slip into the country! I started with Rio de Janeiro which I had previously seen so many beautiful pictures and videos of. I ended up staying for a full month, and at the end of my stay, I spent a couple nights at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro.
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The Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro is very famous both in and outside of the city. I had been looking forward to the visit for the entire month leading up to it! From the hotel, there are many amazing views. One of the main reasons the hotel is so famous is its location, it sits at the base of one of the most popular slums in the city called Vidigal. There is a busy road that separates the two, but it is close nonetheless. That being said, the property felt very secure. The contrast that can be seen in Brazil is quite astounding!
I arrived at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro in the afternoon and was greeted by a friendly porter who took my luggage directly from the taxi. I was very happy that it all started off on a good foot. When I entered the lobby, I was happy to see that it was spacious and modern. It was decorated for Christmas and had a very grand and luxurious feeling. I met a friendly receptionist who help me check in at the front desk. She was very kind, although there was a small issue with my reservation, eventually it was all sorted out.
For the first night I stayed in a Club lounge access Guest room, 1 King, Partial ocean view, High floor, Balcony on the 25th floor, just one floor down from the top floor. For the second night, I stayed on the 19th floor and was upgraded to the Tropical Suite which I will discuss after.
First let’s discuss the Club lounge access Guest room, 1 King, Partial ocean view, High floor, Balcony on the 25th floor. This room had a fairly standard hotel room layout with the closet and bathroom at the entrance, and then opened to the sizable bedroom and balcony. The room had a south facing view with a very good view of the Vidigal Favela and the ocean. Some of the features of the room included a very comfortable king-size bed, lounge chair with ottoman, working desk and chair, alarm clock with lightening port, capsule coffee machine and tea station, and closet with a safe and an iron. The room was comfortable with a cohesive design.
The bathroom was of great quality as well, just like the room. It had a shower stall, single sink vanity, and Sheraton branded toiletries.
For the second night, I was upgraded to a Tropical Suite. The suite versus the room was quite drastic. The suite was located on the 19th floor and had a bit more elegance than the standard room. The suite was equipped with a large living room and seating area, dining room with dining room table, a bar with capsule coffee machine and tea station, half bathroom, spacious bedroom, and a full master bathroom.
It was nice to be able to move around a bit in the suite and I greatly enjoyed having views in two directions as it was on the corner of the building. This was overall a lot more elegant and more luxurious than the standard rooms, as one would expect. If you really want to enjoy yourself, get a suite!
I’d like to point out the marvelous master bathroom that had a dual sink vanity and a splendid Jacuzzi tub. The views from there were also very impressive facing Ipanema Beach. So spacious!
The Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro is definitely a full-on resort. Although it’s within the city of Rio de Janeiro, it feels slightly separated and has all of the facilities that most worldwide resorts have. For example, the property is equipped with beach access, multiple pools, tennis courts, well-equipped fitness center, spa, multiple restaurants, and an atmosphere that feels like you’re on holiday!
On the top floor of the property is the L’Etoile Restaurant. The restaurant has French Cuisine with a strong Brazilian touch. I went for a degustation menu accompanied with wine pairing. This way I got to try nearly everything that the restaurant could offer!
Firstly, the views from the dining room were simply jaw-dropping. I was greeted by polite staff and taken care off well throughout the evening by Raian. Overall, I enjoyed a variety of unique dishes. Some of the plates I loved, and others, not as much. The ones I did love included the tuna tartar, a risotto prepared with fermented cassava, and one of the two desserts. I appreciate that the chef was trying to be creative and inventive, but overall I felt that the entire menu needs a bit more work to really pull it all together.
The breakfast of the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro is located on the ground floor. The dining room looks out over the ocean and pool. The breakfast is in a large buffet format with mostly Western items. There are a few local dishes as well. It’s possible to get a few items a la carte as well.
Both mornings the hotel was absolutely bustling with people as it was completely booked. This meant that breakfast was a little bit crazy, the first day especially. The service was overall decent even considering this fact, but I had to be more proactive if I wanted to get attention.
Lastly, let’s discuss the club lounge on the 26th floor. First, I was excited that I had club lounge access at check in. This usually means a special breakfast, afternoon snacks and refreshments, and an evening cocktail hour. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed because all the club lounge had were soft drinks and a coffee machine. Although the setting was beautiful there just didn’t exist what I was expecting for international Marriott standards.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort, Brazil. The property is definitely a fully fledged resort and has just enough distance from the hustle and bustle of the city to feel like you are truly away on holiday. I’ve been told it’s one of the best hotels in the city, and although I appreciated parts, not everything was up to par with worldwide resort standards. Even considering this, I would be happy to return and enjoy another stay. If you’re looking for a higher-end hotel in Rio de Janeiro, check out the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort Rio de Janeiro.
Av. Niemeyer, 121 – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22450-220, Brazil
Phone: +55 21 2274-1122