By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For those looking to relax during a stay in the Cidade Maravilhosa while also being close to the most important sights and business centers, the two Sheraton Hotel & Resorts in Rio offer the solution. Both of the luxury hotels lie directly on the beach and at the same time are in reach of the city’s most important business hubs and attractions.
The Sheraton in Leblon is the only resort within the Zona Sul (South Zone) and is one of the cities’ most iconic luxury hotels. It is conveniently located at the end of Leblon on Avenida Niemeyer, just a little further up the road than popular Mirante do Leblon (Leblon lookout, also known as Mirante H. Stern).
Beneath the hotel is a little secluded bay, with the hotel’s own access to the beach, where the hotel offers beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, sports and activities as well as waiters serving appetizers and cocktails.
“Not only the infrastructure but the location of Sheraton Rio is unique, having the convenience of being next to the most sophisticated and hyped streets of Leblon neighborhood,” Sarah Moreira, the Sheraton’s Communications Director, told The Rio Times.
The hotel has 542 rooms and suites, all with private balconies offering spectacular views to the sea, and some to the famous beaches of Leblon and Ipanema. It was chosen as the best hotel 2012-2013 by readers of the Viagem travel magazine.
American guest H. Wayne Lanier, Jr. was impressed with the hotel’s infrastructure. “I am here for work, but I would bring my family here, especially for the beach,” he added.
The Sheraton in Leblon also offers several first-class restaurants and bars, as well as tennis courts and a spa, which are open to the public. There are also shuttle buses into the city and to the airport, guaranteeing convenient service for the guests.
The hotel is also well-suited for business clients, as it lies conveniently between the business hubs of Centro and Barra da Tijuca. The hotel itself has facilities for meetings from 10 to 1,000 people in one of its fifteen meeting and event rooms, all equipped with the latest technology. Catering services and event management, such as a pool party with samba music, are offered as well.
“The hotel also offers wireless high speed internet connection throughout the entire building, a Business Center as well as the Link@Sheraton experience with Microsoft – a brand initiative by Sheraton Hotel & Resorts, this is an area in the hotel lobby for guests to stay connected to what’s most important to them,” Ms. Moreira explains.
In preparation for the mega-events that will soon take place in Rio, such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the Sheraton in Leblon will renovate its rooms and remodel the public areas in the next 12 to 15 months.
A second branch of the Sheraton was built ten years ago in Barra da Tijuca, a new and buzzing neighborhood in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone), which is also the location of many Olympic competitions and Rock in Rio, as well as Riocentro, Latin America’s largest business center.
The Barra hotel has 292 rooms, which are well-equipped for work with desks and office space. The rooms also have balconies towards the sea, with views onto Barra’s beautiful 18km-long beach. The hotel currently offers several specials for its ten-year anniversary.
The two Sheraton hotels are part of the Sheraton Hotel and Resorts group, which dates back to 1937 and is part of the Starwood hotel group. There are 508 Sheraton hotels worldwide; seven of them are in Brazil, set to help meet FIFA’s required 55,000 hotel rooms during the World Cup.