Sofitel Hotel – Carnival’s best of both beaches
In a good way, be warned of the trap that is Sofitel. The hotel offers two beaches in walking distance, shopping mall connected directly to the hotel, and food from top notch chefs. You could honestly live at the hotel and forget that you are in Rio de Janeiro.
When you first arrive at Sofitel Hotel you notice that it’s located at the end of Copacabana beach. It is a very short walk from the car to the check-in desk. You are greeted with a bonjour which at first seems confusing being in Portuguese speaking Brazil. However it’s later discovered that you are at a French hotel. The lobby is decorated with flowers and glass, and a gentleman offering refreshments to cool you off from the Brazilian sun. Check-in was short and the receptionist comes from around the counter to tell you your room number and hand you your key. The receptionist then points you to the hall of elevators. Six elevators are in the main lobby and two more elevators are located next to the pool to prevent long waits.
The elevator opens to your floor which is finely decorated with oversized mirrors, art, and a sitting area. The halls smell of freshly polished wood which lines most of the walls. Opening the room door reveals more of the same. The wood floors, doors, and hall lead to a bed with a headboard crafted from the same wood. Instructions are included for the nine types of pillows the bed offers based on your sleeping habits. From the bed you can see a window into the shower made from marble tiles. On the other side of the bed is a glass desk that leads to a furnished balcony.
A simple balcony, with a not so simple view. In the morning it offers a sunrise as the sun appears over Copacabana beach. At night you can see the sun disappear into Ipanema beach which is a short two blocks away. The balcony also provided views and the sounds of the block parades, which were a daily occurrence during carnival.
The hotel offers a breakfast that host eggs made to order, and Belgium waffles. There are numerous pastries, cheeses, and traditional Brazilian foods. The most amazing part of the breakfast was the absolutely perfect fruit bar. Typically it’s hard to get excited about a fruit bar. However, this extensive fruit bar seemed to have a person find fruit that was sweetened to perfection. In addition, the fruit had brilliant textures and colors. You sit down to breakfast located near one of the pools which overlooks Copacabana beach. A waiter approaches you with more pastries and offers you beverages that include Mimosas. Before your breakfast is complete a manager makes sure that it was to your satisfaction.
Sofitel offers complementary beach service to include chairs, towels, and light refreshments. It’s one of the few spots that offer beach chairs with a cushion. The full size gym rivals that of most of the smaller gyms in the US. The full size spa is candlelit, quite, and very relaxing. The hotel has two pools rotated depending on what time of the day maximize sunlight. While one pool is in use the other is cleaned, and this task is completed daily.
The rooms are a bit smaller compared to comparable hotels on the Copacabana beach. However, they are better decorated, with better views, and more bang for your buck. As the Carnival Package included breakfast, a feijoada party, and were slightly cheaper. Sofitel offers different levels of service depending on your budget. The hotel offers a VIP service and for those who need require more, Club Millesime is an option. Club Millesime offers a separate check-in, dining facility located on the rooftop, amongst other perks. For those needing more space, the presidential suite has a large bedroom, kitchen, dining and living room. Every window in the unit is a patio leading to a 180 degree view.
Sofitel is the perfect wave amongst a sea of hotels. Although, a little dated on the outside, the inside is well kept with a superior staff. Great food, and awesome views make it a must stay while in Rio de Janeiro.
For more information please visit Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana