Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Holiday Inn Fortaleza, Brazil
BY RAMSEY QUBEIN
Arrival Experience: The beachfront Holiday Inn Fortaleza is the only major full-service U.S.-branded hotel in this Brazilian city, and as a result commands a great deal of respect from locals and visitors alike. Its location just across the road from Iracema beach gives business travelers something to look forward to after meetings, but it also propels this Brazil hotel to the top of the charts for leisure guests as well. A bright, tiled lobby features a conversation area to the left, and a friendly reception desk directly in front of the revolving door. Modern art is sprinkled throughout the space, but many guests immediately divert their attention to the crashing waves visible through the glass windows.
Dining: The hotel benefits from two acclaimed restaurants. The street-facing O Capo serves a cooked-to-order breakfast buffet packed with colorful fresh fruit and a sizzling tapioca station allowing all guests to sample this Northern Brazilian specialty (sweet or savory, your choice!). Across from the main entrance is Marcel, an award-winning French eatery of which the hotel is quite proud. The chef is highly regarded especially for his delectable soufflé, and this has become quite the draw for local business folk in the know.
Accommodations: The Holiday Inn Fortaleza towers 21 stories, and every one of the guest rooms and suites have a view of the ocean, thanks to a brilliant architecture layout of the building. Studios with king beds are especially popular, as are the suites that have separate living areas and balconies. All units benefit from sofa beds making them ideal for families. The hotel has completed a thorough renovation of its air-conditioning system keeping all guests cool from Fortaleza’s steamy humidity. Other recent refurbishments saw the addition of new bedding including crisp, fitted sheets and clever labels dividing the stacks of pillows into firm and soft categories. Coffeemakers, complimentary wireless high speed Internet, full-length mirrors, flat-screen cable TVs, and refrigerators with two free bottles of water are appreciated extras.
Other Amenities: An outdoor swimming pool has great views of the water, and a whirlpool is a nice way to unwind after a day of meetings in the hotel’s modern event space, which can host over 200 conferees at one time. A glass-walled sauna is especially unique, giving those who want dry heat continued views of the ocean. The fitness center and children’s play area also feature glass walls to take in those views or for parents to keep an eye on the little ones. Families also appreciate a special room on the second floor where they can prepare snacks and formula for kids.
This hotel doubles as a business and resort spot that captures the attention of domestic and international travelers. It sits across from the main hot spot on the beach, where public celebrations (like New Year’s Eve) take place, and is sure to be in high demand during the upcoming World Cup games that will take place in Fortaleza in 2014.
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