By William Jones, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 9th Court of Public Finance has just granted an injunction preventing any change in the name of The Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Orient Express group, owners of the hotel, aim to change the name of the hotel to align with its brand, ‘Belmond’  but were challenged in court by businessman Omar Resende Peres Filho.

Icon of Rio, Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The hotel is an icon of Rio along Copacabana Beach, photo by Ricardo Carreon/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Judge Gisele Guida de Faria considered that the name of the hotel to be part of the city’s ‘intangible’ property, protected by Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional or IPHAN (The Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage). The decision is preliminary but valid until further judgement, mandating that the original name must be retained. In case of non-compliance, the hotel operator may be fined R$500,000.

“Indeed, it is not just the property, but rather, the entire set of material goods and intangible characteristics that make up the historical and cultural heritage styled and known as Copacabana Palace Hotel,” wrote the judge in a statement.

The change was scheduled for March 10th and would be renamed “Belmond Copacabana Palace” in and on all documents, invoices, towels, dishes and cups used in everyday life,  the exception of the change was for the façade of the hotel where the sign could not be changed.

The Copacabana Palace Hotel is one of the most famous landmarks of the Brazilian city and the area. Consisting of 216 rooms, a semi-olympic swimming pool, tennis court, three-story spa two bars, two restaurants and a nightclub, to some, it is regarded by some as the finest hotel in the whole of South America.

Originally opened in 1923 the hotel has played host to such famous faces such as Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Diana Princess of Wales, Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Bardot, Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti, and considered part of the cultural heritage of the city.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. Just another fine example of Rio city government meddling in the affairs of private business.


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