A look inside the hotels of the Rio 2016 Olympics
Lobby of the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro.

A look inside the hotels of the Rio 2016 Olympics

Rio de Janeiro will be celebrating the opening of the 2016 Olympics tonight. Along with the new stadiums built for the games, the city has opened numerous new developments from subways and ports to museums that look like starships. But possibly the biggest area of growth is the number of new hotels the city has seen. The Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau reports that room capacity in the city has gone from 28,000 to 43,000, and that’s not including hostels and Airbnbs, which push the number closer to 60,000.

On a recent trip to Brazil with Embratur, Travelweek got to see three brand-new hotels ready to meet Olympic-level demand.


Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro

Two new hotels are located in Barra da Tijuca, which has seen the majority of the development for the upcoming games. The area is 45 minutes from the airport and Copa Cabana and boasts a 17 kilometre stretch of beach, a nature reserve (Marapendi Lagoon), Barra Shopping with 700 stores, the Riocentro Exhibition & Convention Center, the ‘Rock in Rio’ music festival sit and the new stadiums that will host 85% of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The host hotel for the fam was the five-star Grand Hyatt Rio de Janiero, billing itself as an ‘urban resort’ and definitely impressive for any client. Opening just months ago, the resort combines large open areas with water fountains and greenery that match the Atlantic Ocean and Marapendi Lagoon that border each side of the resort.

Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro

Lobby of the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro.

The new resort features 436 guestrooms including 42 suites and a Presidential Suite. All rooms include large bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and a separate rain showers. Possibly the biggest selling point is that all rooms feature a balcony with view of the ocean or the lagoon. In the centre of the resort sits a large pool with sun beds, but if you prefer the ocean, it’s only steps away and the resort provides beach butler service offering a chaise lounge, towel, water, plus they will clean your swimwear for you at no extra charge. The hotel also offers beach and lagoon activists, plus transport by boat to a golf course.

Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro  Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro

Three food options are available with Italian, sushi and lounge bar restaurants. Presidential Suite and seventh floor guests also have access to the Grand Club lounge which offers complimentary breakfast, nightly hors d’oeuvres and access to the Grand Club boardroom. On the lower level guests will find a 24-hour fitness centre, yoga/movement room and a full-service spa with nine treatment rooms.

During my stay, one side of the hotel went unnoticed until a tour showed off the property’s 21,500 square feet of exhibition and meeting space. The hotel has two large ballrooms with the largest accommodating up to 600 attendees. There are also several different meeting rooms and loft kitchen areas that make the space ideal for a self-contained convention where guests can stay in the hotel, attend large sessions and break-out to smaller meetings and parties. All meeting areas come with amazing views of the lagoon or beach.

For more information see grand.hyatt.com.


Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro

Also part of the Barra developments is the new Hilton, which swaps the ocean views for being a javelin throw away from the new Olympic stadiums. It’s also closer to the exhibition and shopping centres, plus the new transit systems in place to get to famous locations like Copacabana.

Built for a mix of business and leisure markets, it features 298 guest rooms with amenities that include a Champaign House bar serving pool-side beverages, both located on the roof of the building. The gym/cardio room is also located on the rooftop. In the lobby guests can enjoy the signature restaurant with room for 140 guests and the lobby bar.


Lobby of the Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro.


Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro’s Restaurant.

The Hilton also provides approximately 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space including 10 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, with total capacity for up to 950 guests.  All rooms feature modern audiovisual equipment, soundproof walls, wireless Internet access and all the amenities and services.


Roof top pool.

The hotel is 100% booked for the Olympics with 90% of the booking coming from one organization. A hotel rep couldn’t comment on what organization that was. For more information go to hilton.com.


Prodigy Hotel Santos Dumont Airport – Rio de Janeiro

Airport hotels don’t typically come with a wow factor, but this Prodigy property wins on convenience and views. When using Rio’s domestic airport, Santos Dumont Airport, clients can take an easy stroll through an attached shopping mall that in turn is attached to this hotel.

Once checked in, guests can take in the amazing view of the ocean and iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. The view is best taken in from the infinity pool, panoramic restaurant or bar located on the roof of the hotel. Other amenities include the lobby bar and restaurant which proved to be popular meeting spaces for guests during the visit too.

Prodigy Hotel Santos Dumont Airport – Rio de Janeiro

Prodigy Hotel Santos Dumont Airport – Rio de Janeiro

The 290 guest rooms are well laid out, making the square footage feel roomier than most hotels. They also offer free WiFi and have large screens in common areas with flight arrival and departure times.

Prodigy Hotel Santos Dumont Airport – Rio de Janeiro

For the MICE market, the hotel has a large auditorium that can seat 726 guests in auditorium style and 11 additional meeting rooms ranging from 28 people to 165 people in auditorium style. For more information go to prodigyhotels.com.br.


This article originally appeared in the June 16th, 2016 issue of Travelweek. To subscribe to Travelweek, click here.

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