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“Teeny no-bikini hotel”
Review of Mar Ipanema Hotel

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Mar Ipanema Hotel
Ranked #72 of 286 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 July 2012

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.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Hilltriber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2012

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel.

I was very disappointed that you had so many complaints about your stay and Rio. I am very surprised to be honest. I am glad though that you thought our staff was helpful. Let´s address each topic you mention:

Our hotel was built in 1987, and gone through a complete renovation as of last year, therefore, the Mar Ipanema Hotel is the only 100% renovated hotel in the Ipanema/Leblon area. Our decor is based on Brazilian themes, valuing our culture, through Brazlian furnishings, handcrafts and arts. Since we are a small property, with only 86 rooms, we do believe that we do not need larger elevators or more elevators for that matter (we have two elevators that hold up to 7 people).

About the toiletries offered by the hotel, as you could have read on other reviews, this is the nicest cosmetic brand in Brazil: Natura (sold everywhere around the world), and we are very proud to offer these amenties to our guests. All toiletries are produced from fruits, flowers and nuts from the Amazon Forest, and all of our guests love it. All of the packages of these toiletries are made from recycled material, and are eco friendly. Also, our housekeeping staff would be glad to give you more shampoo should you need it. I am surprised you didn´t like them.

About our breakfast, we serve strong Brazilian coffee, and we never had any complains about it being weak, especially because it is not the characteristic of the Brazilian coffee beans. The sweets served are varied and include: chocolate cake, orange cake, vanilla flan, pastries, porridge, and fruit cakes, therefore I don´t believe they all taste the same, as they are made from completely different ingredients.

Concerning the price of the cabs to the airport, the airport is far away from the city center, and as a comparison, the flat rate is absolutely the same as in NY: approximately US$45. Plus in Rio you do not pay tolls or gratuity. On all large cities, international airports are far from the center, and the prices charged in Rio are in no way different than big cities as NY, Paris, London (taking cabs from the airport in Paris and London are even more expensive).

I am sorry that even the bikinis at the beach were not of your satisfaction.

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed 21 July 2012

This hotel is a great value! We stayed 4 nights in early March. It is in a great location within Ipanema. It's only two blocks from the beach and within walking distance to the restaurants, bars, and nightlife in Ipanema (the area is very safe to walk at night). It's also only 10-15 minute cab ride to the restaurants in Lebon or Copacabana beach. The hotel has been recently renovated. Rooms are simple with modern elements and very clean. The breakfast is excellent. It offers a good variety of fruits, pastries, cold and hot dishes. The breakfast is actually in the DeVassa restaurant, which is adjacent to the lobby. The hotel also offers complimentary beach towels and chairs. You can just pick them up/drop them off in lobby. We felt the staff was very helpful whenever we had questions about the places we wanted to go. Mini bar prices are very reasonable and the fridge has plenty of space for you to put your own things. The only thing that I would note as a room for improvement is that we noticed a few instances of the towels having stains on them. They were clean nevertherless, and other than that, our stay was great. Given the narrow selection of boutique, new, or newly-renovated properties in Ipanema and Copacabana, this hotel is a solid 4 st arand a GREAT VALUE. We would definitely stay there again and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DCFrequent_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Dear guest,

First of all thank you so much for your great review! I have to say that I love when our guests post pictures of the hotel. These pictures are the most reliable source of information for future guests staying with us, and I can´t thank you enough for doing so!
I am so happy to know how much you enjoyed your stay with us! All of our rooms are 100% renovated, and yes, sometimes it could be difficult to find a brand new hotel in Rio. I am glad you pointed that out!
About the towels, please rest assured that I´ll meet with our housekeeper and our general manager urgently to address this matter, which is absolutely not acceptable for us.
Again, thank you so much for your kind comments! I hope you can stay with us again very soon!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed 21 July 2012

I stayed here in March with some friends after a business trip in Rio. The hotel was clean and perfectly serviceable. We had three ladies -- this two weeks' worth of luggage each -- in a very small room with three twin beds. It was cramped to say the least, but very comfortable.

I emailed the hotel ahead of booking with some questions. The management replied within 12 hours answering all of my questions. I only have nice things to say about the management -- from reservations, to dining suggestions, to splitting the bill onto our three credit cards at the end -- super helpful.

We had friends staying on the Copa side, so we never used the umbrella and towel services available during the day time, but we did use towels one night to go down to the beach for night time beach drinking. Very convenient location to the beach, well lit and well situated.

Breakfast is offered in the neighboring restaurant / bar. It's pretty standard Brazilian breakfast buffet fare -- just fine and included in the price.

Overall, a very good value and location!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank MrDarcyAndElizabeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Dear guest,

What a great review about your recent stay at Mar Ipanema Hotel! Thank you so much for taking the time to post it and sharing your experience with other future guests!

I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, and even happier to know how helpful our staff was during your stay. Your feedback is very important to us!

I have to say that going to the beach for sunset/night drinks is definitely a great idea!! It is so relaxing to sit down at the beach, having a cold beer or coconut water and enjoying the sea breeze. Good tip!

Again, thank you so much for your comments! Wish you all the best!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed 20 July 2012

Staff spoke English, knew the bus schedules, managing reservationist was very welcoming and willing to help with travel plans---she even had bowls in the room for my service dog!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Suzanne079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Dear guest,

It was an honor to meet you and your family (dog included, obviously)! Thank so much for your kind words! I wonder how the rest of your trip went. I hope everything worked out fine for you.

It was a pleasure having you here, and I hope that we can see each other again in the future!

Again, thank you very much for your comments about our great staff!

Best wishes!

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Reviewed 19 July 2012

Good location, in the middle of Ipanema, just 150 metres from the Ipanema beach (Posto 10) and 250 metres from the Lagoa. Ipanema is a much better location than Ipanema. A lot of nice restaurants in the vicinity, trendy and not to expensive (e.g: Market, Gula Gula, Balada Mix, Zazá Bistro, Via7,...) and of course the Devassa bar, in the same building of the hotel, which is where they serve breakfast. The breakfast buffet is very good (nice bread, homemade cakes, natural fruit juices ...). Bus stops to everywhere, just in front of the Hotel; dont worry, it´s safe do ride the buses, and also inexpensive (around 2.75 reais per trip). Take the 511 bus to Pao de Acucar, and the 583 bus to the tram station to Corcovado), avoid spending money in City Tours. To go the historical centre, take the "Metro na superficie" and then the Metro. I recommend the day trip to Angra dos reis (boat trip, with 4 stops to swim, and lunch included). Overall,a nearly perfect place to enjoy Rio de Janeiro. But don´t expect luxury. Helpful staff.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Joao B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmandaAbreu, Manager at Mar Ipanema Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Dear guest,

Wowwww!!! Such a complete review!!! Not only you are helping guests pick a hotel to stay, but you are also helping them to move around the city! Great tips there!
Thank you very much for your awesome review! We really appreciate that you took time to share your comments and suggestions with other guests!
On behalf of our staff I would like to thank you so much for doing so, and we hope to see you again very soon!

Best wishes,

Amanda Abreu - Sales Manager

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Additional Information about Mar Ipanema Hotel

Address: Rua Visconde de Piraja 539, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22410-003, Brazil
Phone Number:
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Ipanema , Lagoa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#32 Family Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#33 Romantic Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#51 Business Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: €86 - €216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Mar Ipanema Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 86
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Also Known As:
Hotel Mar Ipanema
Mar Ipanema Rio De Janeiro
Mar Ipanema Hotel Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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