I booked the Sheraton Rio Hotel and Resort for $250+ tax which came out to $288.00 on a BRG (Best Rate Guarantee) rate. The lowest rate was $349+ tax which was almost $400 a night! I put in a Suite Night Award and was confirmed in a Junior Suite 5 days before check-in. I chose this location because there were only two Starwood Hotels in Rio de Janeiro and the Sheraton Rio was closest to the main beaches.
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The Sheraton Rio is located in Leblon, one of Rio’s safest neighborhoods. What’s special about this hotel is that it is the only beachfront property in Rio.
There are several options on getting to the hotel. You can take a regular taxi for R$90 ~ $45 USD (with no traffic) or three busses from GIG which cost R$15.50 ~ $7 USD. Use Google maps, bus transit directions for more information. You can also use a radio taxi at a fixed price, but the price is much higher. Radio taxis are great if you know there is a lot of traffic and you’ll be riding in a much newer model car.
I arrived at the hotel via taxi and was greeted at the front door by the bellman. The Sheraton Rio has recently been renovated and the lobby looked amazing.
To the right of the lobby, there were sweeping views of the beautiful ocean.
The front desk agent informed me that I was upgraded to a Junior Suite with a balcony and a full ocean view. I told her that I wanted 500 Starpoints as my Platinum amenity. She informed me that the Sheraton Club Lounge has been temporarily located to the 5th floor in the Mirador restaurant.
I went up my room and the Junior Suite was quite spacious in an L shape room.
The bathroom was an open layout with no doors between the bedroom and the bathroom. It contained the usual Sheraton amenities and two bottles of complimentary water.
The best part about the room was the sliding balcony with sweeping views of the ocean and the Rocinha favelas.
I went down to the Mirador Restaurant for evening appetizers since it was a temporary Club Lounge for Platinum guests. There were light bites along with a caipirinha bar.
The best part about the Club Lounge was the caipirinha bar and a Club Lounge attendant showed me how to make one.
I had a little bit of everything and a caipirinha.
Breakfast for Platinum guests was at the Mirador Restaurant which was set up buffet style. It even had an orange juice machine just like the Sumaq and VIP Lounge in Lima.
The food was great and contained Brazilian specialties like pao de quiejo (cheese bread) and Brazilian sausage.
I requested late check-out and was granted since I was on a favela tour on the day of check-out. I checked out at 3pm and took two buses to the International Airport for a total of R$16 ~ $8 USD. It was a memorable stay as I had a fantastic view and the location could not be beat. It is only a 15 minute walk to Leblon Beach from the hotel and a 30 minute walk to Ipanema Beach. You can get to Copacabana Beach by bus (30 minutes) or taxi which would take 10 minutes depending on traffic.