A March 2001 trip
to Rio de Janeiro by Eve Carr
Quote: Rio de Janeiro. It’s big and bold, lively and luxurious, and offers you a world-class destination filled with fascinating attractions, exciting nightlife, outdoor adventures, gourmet dining, and accommodations that pamper. Stay here and you will capture the endless energy that fills this vibrant city as well.
Hotel | "Carlton Rio Atlantica"
But, with such a pleasant ambiance about this hotel, you may never get to the beach. Rooms, especially the suites, are spacious, offering you functionality, as well as style. The rooftop pool lets you enjoy a private resort atmosphere, and the fitness room, on the same floor, lets you keep in shape.
You’ll need it if you plan to eat breakfast here. There is a huge breakfast buffet downstairs in their main dining room, and, if you are staying under their Executive Program, a smaller, but still quite large, one on the same level as the pool. With so many options, it’s difficult to make a selection. Personally, I liked the smoked salmon and the fresh rolls. But, this is Rio, so don’t miss the array of fresh fruits.
I always judge a hotel by the shower, and this one gets a 10. I enjoyed a rain-forest-style shower where the water is directly overhead. With powerful water pressure and plenty of hot water that’s easily adjusted, it’s a wonder that I ever came out. Of course, I was probably thinking of the breakfast, mentioned earlier.
The staff at the Carlton Rio Atlantica was friendly and gracious and most helpful. At the business center, for example, I could always count on the staff to help me make e-mail connections, reconfirm an airline, or give me information about the city. The staff at the front desk, as well as those attending the rooms were courteous and efficient, as well as friendly.
With all of these features, plus its stylish modern setting, no-smoking floors, sauna and massage available, 24-hour room service, I thought this hotel was a definite winner. And, as they say in the ads, there’s another advantage: location, location, location.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2001
Pestana Rio Atlantica
Avenida Atlântica 2964
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
(55) (21) 254 86 332
Restaurant | "Colombo Coffeehouse"
While you can grab a quick bite to eat on the lower level and be on your way, to really experience the flair and style of Confeitaria, plan to take you time and dine upstairs, where you will feast on a buffet fit for royalty. But "buffet" really doesn’t do justice to this upscale dining experience because servers are always there to assist you in any way—including quickly removing your plate when you want to return to sample additional dishes.
From an array of crispy salads, artistically composed with the freshest of ingredients, to a dessert buffet that will make you think you are in dessert heaven, the cuisine of Executive Chef Renato Freire and his staff will be a highlight in your scrapbook of culinary adventures. Plan on a visit to their gift shop, and you’ll be able to take home a tasty souvenir of your dining experience as well.
On your way out, be certain to tell the host or hostess about your dining experience. More than likely, you’ll be talking to owner Roberto Souza de Assis, his wife or daughter, who actively work together to let this century continue to enjoy this architectural masterpiece.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2001
Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 20050-030
+55 21 22322300
Today, Feijoada is enjoyed by rich and poor alike. While you can order Feijoada at places such as Casa de Feijoada (house of Feijoada) all week long, the Caesar Park Hotel has a weekly Feijoada celebration. Absolutely make reservations for this weekend treat because you will not only be able to taste this delicious dish, but do so in style. It’s the place to be on Saturday for the native cariocas, as Rio residents are called.
You’ll enjoy a definite party atmosphere at the Caesar Park as you are greeted and served by people in native costume, enjoy festive live entertainment, dine in a setting that makes you feel as if you are at a private function—and, best of all, enjoy not only Feijoada, but a whole buffet of Feijoada so you can select just the type you’ll enjoy the best.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, you might want to try a caipirinah de cachaca, a native drink made from cachaca — crushed sugar cane—that is similar to rum. Warning, a little goes a long way. For those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, Rio offers a refreshing variety of fruit juices.
Another warning, don’t eat so much Feijoada that you don’t have room for dessert. The dessert buffet here is as large as it is delicious. And, for those who have more will power than I do, there’s an ample selection of fresh fruit.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 5, 2001
Caesar Park Ipanema
Av. Vieira Souto, 460
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Attraction | ""Hippie" Fair Crafts Market"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 6, 2001
Hippie Fair of Ipanema
Praça General Ozório Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You don’t have to be religious to enjoy a trip to the top of the Corcovado mountain to view the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Take the incline train that makes the steep climb upward, and you’ll enjoy Rio’s nature along the way.
If you weren’t making your way through an Atlantic rainforest, you’d almost think that you were in the steep Alps of Europe.
After you leave the train, you have a number of stairs to climb before you are at the statue of the Christ, but, believe me, it’s worth it just to see the incredible view of the city below.
It’s an exhilarating feeling to be up so high and look down on the dramatic city below — even for someone who is not particularly fond of heights. It’s just so peaceful to look out over this grand city.,P>
Back in the city, look up at the statue, and you’ll find it difficult that you were there. (Of course, if you purchase the souvenir plate with your photo on it, you have proof.
Rua Cosme Velho 513
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 22241-090
+55 21 5581329
Attraction | "Sugarloaf (Pao de Acucar)"
Then you catch another cablecar to go all the way to Sugarloaf. Here you can see everything from rainforests and Rio’s dramatic skyscrapers to magnificent ocean views. Sugarloaf is one of Rio’s major attractions. Take the ride yourself, and you’ll see why.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
55 21 2461-2700