Published on April 1st, 2014 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Stunning Views at JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro
During my most recent visit to Rio de Janeiro, I was a guest at the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro, one of the best-known luxury hotels in Brazil’s original jet-set destination — a city that’s hotter than ever, thanks to the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics (find out about some last-minute World Cup travel packages and deals here). Here’s a review of my experience.
THE STYLE: The 229-room JW Marriott’s imposing marble façade makes it easy to recognize along the shore of Copacabana beach. The lobby is set around an atrium that manages to be cozy and welcoming rather than overpowering, with stylish décor elements and very attentive service.
THE GUEST ROOM: I stayed in room 933, an adequately sized space on the Executive floor, which has a separate check-in/checkout desk and includes free WiFi and access to the lounge. My room faced the interior atrium, which provided sufficient natural light during the daytime (if having a view is important, you should splurge on one of the rooms that overlooks Copacabana Beach). In-room amenities included a large flat-screen TV, minibar, safe deposit box, bathrobe and coffeemaker. The bathroom was stocked with generously sized Alma Brasil bath products.
My favorite part of staying on the Executive floor was the access it provided to the Griffin Club, a comfortable lounge with large windows that offer a stunning view of Copacabana beach. The JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro keeps its Executive level guests well fed, with generous snacks served in the afternoon (I ate way too much pão de queijo — the addictive Brazilian cheese bread), and a different offering of hot foods every night, including pea soup, bolinho de bacalao (codfish balls), sandwiches and an array of cheeses. The Wrap-N-Go area, open 24 hours a day, features bottled water, coffee and light snacks — a great convenience.
HOTEL FEATURES: One of the hotel’s biggest selling points, in addition to its prime location, is the rooftop area, which has an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and a glass-enclosed gym that provides inspiring views of the city and beach. On-site dining and entertainment options include The Carioca, a stylish lobby bar, Taiyou Sushi & Sake Bar, which is open for dinner, and Terraneo, which serves breakfast along with a view of the beach. The hotel also has 12 meeting rooms and 7,266 square feet of meeting space. On-site parking costs U.S. $21 a day. Since it’s located just about in the very middle of Copacabana Beach, the hotel is well situated for strolls in either direction, as well as quick taxi rides to Ipanema and the attractions closer to downtown Rio de Janeiro.
BEST FOR: Business and leisure travelers looking for upscale amenities and outstanding service, in the heart of Copacabana.
RATES: $359 and up.
MORE BRAZIL TRAVEL TIPS:
• Q&A: Douglas Mayhew, Author of “Inside the Favelas,” on Rio de Janeiro
• 3 Must-See Rio de Janeiro Restaurants, from Menumixx.com
• Top 5 Must-See Oscar Niemeyer Architecture Sites