WHAT’S IT LIKE? A modern, 18-floor block, the Marina All Suites enjoys a beachfront location in buzzing Leblon, but unless you look out of the window, you could easily forget you are in Rio staying in this indistinct, modern property. The hotel opened in 1999 and has 39 suites. Staff were friendly and helpful when I stayed – recommending good local places to eat and providing assistance when needed. The only real problem was with the lift, which were slow and unreliable. On one occasion it got stuck on the 18th floor so I had to take the stairs down to my room.
WHERE IS IT? On the seafront opposite Leblon beach. It is 25km to Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International airport, and 14km from Centro.
ROOM FACILITIES I was staying in a standard-category De Luxe suite on the 11th floor. It offered partial ocean views from the side of the building, 39 sqm of space with one bedroom, a bathroom and a living room with a sofa, chair, glass coffee table, workdesk and flatscreen TV. The décor was neutral with pale flooring, light wood furnishings, cream walls and beige curtains.
The bathroom had a walk-in shower, bidet, robes and slippers but there was not much space to put washbags. Other facilities included air conditioning, wired/wifi internet, minibars, safes, hairdryers and 24-hour room service. The suite was fine for a short stay but lacked personality – you could be anywhere in the world staying at this hotel.
For longer-stay guests, the next category up (Super De Luxe) has 51 sqm of space and a kitchenette, while Master suites are 55 sqm and have front-facing ocean views. The best suites are on the Club floor, which are more contemporary in design with fresh white walls and splashes of colour in the upholstering, or the Design suites, which come in a range of sizes and each feature interiors created by different Brazilian designers. Beth Lucena’s Opala suite (602) and Tarcila Paiva’s Rubi suite (403) look the most modern and upbeat, while Jairo de Sender’s Onix suite (502) is a classy, masculine choice.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS There is a 50-seat ground-level venue with outdoor tables called Bar do Lado – this was very busy and a little rowdy when I checked in in the afternoon. On the second floor is Bar d’Hotel, a relaxed eatery with 70 seats and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The décor is completely different to the rest of the hotel – bright yellow chairs, wacky artwork, turquoise sofas and black flooring. I didn’t think it really worked, but it had great views of the beach, albeit from inside through salt-splashed windows.
I only tried breakfast, and wasn’t overly impressed. Guests can have both food from the buffet (a decent selection of fruit salad, cereal, yoghurt fresh juice, pastries and bread), as well as à la carte dishes. I wanted to try something Brazilian, so ordered a tapioca crêpe. It turned out to be one of the most unpleasantly bland things I have ever eaten – a dry pancake made from stale, slightly crunchy, tiny polystyrene balls with some flavourless, cheese glue in the middle. I wasn’t sure if that was how it was supposed to be or whether this was just a bad one. Either way, I didn’t eat it.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES As well as a business centre with a couple of computers, a scanner and a printer on the 16th floor, there is an meeting room for ten delegates, an executive lounge and a mini movie theatre with eight seats, a 70-inch screen and surround-sound.
LEISURE FACILITIES There is a small, open-air rooftop pool with dazzling sea views through high glass walls on the 18th floor. On the same level is a modest gym with Life Fitness machines and free weights. A steam sauna is available 24 hours and there is a treatment room offering massages between 10am and 10pm.
VERDICT A good choice for business travellers who want spacious rooms and the option to self cater if they are staying for longer amounts of time in the city. Choose your suite carefully, though, and make sure you have forward-facing sea views for the best experience.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 39 suites – De Luxe, Super De Luxe, Master, Luxe Club Floor, Super Deluxe Club Floor, Master Club Floor and nine Design suites.
HIGHLIGHTS Spacious suites, Leblon location and sea views.
PRICE Flexible (cancellation up to 24 hours) internet rates for a midweek stay in July started from R$787 (£225) for a De Luxe suite.
CONTACT Marina All Suites, Av Delfim Moreira, 696 Praia do Leblon; tel +55 21 2172 100; marinaallsuites.com.br