Many visitors to Rio opt out for private apartments on several websites that specialize in leasing such properties. If you insist on staying in hotels in Rio, those at Copacabana are nice inside, but look awful outside, and the neighborhood has seen its age. Ipanema is a nicer place to stay than Copacabana, but there are not many hotels around here, and all of them are fairly pricey. Mar Ipanema charges about US$250 and above, with breakfast for a room during winter season, and it is always packed all year round. It looks like a property out in the 1960s. The lift is very small, you will feel claustrophobic with 4 people inside almost kissing each other or smelling other´s breath. There are only 2 lifts in this old property, and so they are always people crowding to get in and out. The room is cramped, especially the bathroom. Although I like the tiled walls in the bathroom, the shower area looks like a little prison cell for solitary confinement, and definitely not for big-sized people because it is very narrow space to shower. The toilet bowl is so close to the wash basin you can scrape your arm against the basin while you´re doing your daily business there. What I dislike is the fact that the hotel gives you a tiny bottle of shampoo, and a tiny bottle of conditioner: (a) it´s very hard to squeeze the gel out, (b) a tiny bottle is not enough for party of 2 or 3 guests, (c) such tiny offerings are not a sign of environmental friendliness at all, but stinginess.
Breakfast is alright, with fruit, cereal, ham, and lots of bread. Avoid the sweet confectionary, because it is all sweet but tasteless. Coffee is weak. Staff at Mar Ipanema are great people, very helpful even if their appearance at first does not look like approachability. Location of Mar Ipanema is on west end part, about 10 to 15 minutes walk to the Metro stop.
Tip to visitors to Brazil: in general, exchange rates for ALL currencies to Brazilian real are very poor, especially at the airports, where a commission of 15 real is charged for commission. It is very hard to get Latin American currency in your home country, so you are at the mercy of the exchange businesses. Many tourists have complained to the Brazilian tourism authorities, but with no avail. Some people prefer to use the ATM to withdraw cash rather than pay hefty fees or ridiculous exchange rates to change money.
Another alert: don´t be shocked that going to the airport can cost about 90real. If possible, find someone willing to share the cab, but then again, many yellow cabs in Rio are so tiny they can't fit in huge suitcases.
At the beach, you don't see as many teeny tiny bikinis as you would imagine. Just remember the teeny tiny cabs, the teeny tiny hotel and rooms in Rio.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Mar Ipanema
- Mar Ipanema Rio De Janeiro
- Mar Ipanema Hotel Rio De Janeiro, Brazil