Did you know that there is a secret Treasure Hunt going on for those who want to set foot in the ravishing Rio de Janeiro ? The contest is to find the best kept secret spot in this bustling Brazilian beach capital from where you can feel the pulse of Rio – wave after wave. OK, may be a bit exaggerating because there is no official Treasure Hunt or anything as such. But Team Onetimefashionista can proudly announce that we have found one of the best places to stay in Rio de Janeiro from where we could enjoy the best this amazing city had to offer. Let us tell you one by one why Hotel Arpoador Inn is one of the best possible places to stay in the best Brazilian city which is bursting with energy and life.

Guests leave their shadows behind at this Hotel?

The welcome starts the moment you set foot

Colours in the lobby to invoke enthusiasm and vigour This is what we saw the moment we entered the lobby We looked left and some comfy arrangements to sit and relax

Some neatly kept fresh free beach towels already creating the curls of the waves Everytime you are at reception, treat yourself to some fresh lemon water or fruits

You can take a brief pause at the Reception to plan and pose for your day in Rio And you can wait for the limo to arrive to take you for dinner

The pre-arrival communication with this hotel was one of the smoothest, most responsive and most friendliest ones we have ever had. The Reservation Manager Flavia Moreira made us feel warmly welcome through her written communication to our queries and questions. Even the Restaurant Manager Miguel, also chipped in with a friendly email highlighting the specialities of the hotel’s own restaurant “Temporada”. We knew that we would be arriving at Rio on 13th of March, the day of our 8th marriage anniversary. So we wanted to have a special dinner somewhere nice in Rio de Janeiro. Surprisingly after doing our intensive online research of the restaurants in Rio, we realised that the best option was found in our very own hotel’s restaurant called “Temporada”.

Hungry upon arrival, this is what they suggested us for lunch in Restaurant Temporada Neatly kept menus at the restaurant of the hotel had plenty of delicious options The beach-side entrance to the Restaurant Temporada

Restaurant Temporada – Count the colours or count the waves?

The breakfast options are plenty, the fruits are diverse and juicy

What’s inside the jars are before they are sliced and made ready for you Sumptuous bread & breakfast making you ready for Rio

Restaurant Temporada – You decide where you want to have your meal?

Restaurant Temporada – Outdoors seating arrangements, right next to the sea!

While you stir your cup of tea, you can’t get your eyes away from the waves, they are just there!

An outdoor breakfast at Arpoador Inn is an experience worthwhile

Upon arrival at the Arpoador Inn, we were warmly welcome by Jose Maria and his team. The freshly infused lemon-cucumber water kept at the reception perfectly cooled us down to be in sync with Rio’s warm weather. However we faced a small setback upfront as we were taken to our room upstairs when we realised that pictures online could be a bit deceiving. Not the best looking room to be honest in terms of interior design, furniture and aesthetics since we had lived in much better looking rooms elsewhere. It appeared that the two of us have started to live off our suitcases when we are out travelling, so the room appeared a bit tight on space. Also as far as aesthetics is concerned, we really felt the room could have had more colours or vibe the city itself offers to visiting guests. No paintings, no booklets or information cards for visitors in Rio, nothing much on the great city itself – we felt that the Hotel could have taken some fairly easy and inexpensive measures to score higher on the interior design aspect of the rooms or lobbies. On the plus side, the toilet and bath had rainforest flavoured toiletries in abundance which was very welcoming and assuring. We remained optimistic thinking that there may be something better in store for us and that was indeed the case as we soon found out.

A lot of white does give a sensation of purity and cleanliness

Options are left there incase you want to munch something quick

The facilities for shower and toiletries were in abundance The Hotel Reception kindly provided us with the socket converters used in Brazil A mountain top, a monumental statue, a magical experience – only in Rio Even if we had qualms about the size of the room, this view through the window of room 508 confirmed that Jesus loves us!

It will not take a newcomer to realise in a short while upon arriving at Arpoador Inn that the location of the hotel is a prized one. You could walk all along the Avenue Vieira Souto along the Ipanema Beach or you could walk 10 minutes to arrive at the long curvy stretch of the famous Copacabana Beach – you will notice that all the big and fancy hotels may be facing the ocean but they are separated from the beach by the busy Avenue Atlantica or the Avenue Vieira Souto incase of Ipanema. So you will still have to cross the road and let your feet do the talking with the golden sands of the iconic beaches of Rio. Surprisingly enough, incase of Arpoador Inn, once you come out of the exit of the Restaurant Temporada, you are literally on the beach! The Hotel offers free beach towels as well for the guests which was very handy. See the map here for yourself to see the location – No crossing roads, no distance between the hotel and the actual beach – it is just at the door step to the roaring waves of Ipanema. We strongly recommend you to avoid staying at Copacabana by all means because Ipanema is the better looking beach hands down. If you are lucky to get rooms available in Arpoador Inn, reserve immediately and we recommend to reserve directly with the hotel.

As soon as you will come out of Arpoador Inn and turn left, you will see the recently inaugurated statue of Tom Jobim who was one of Brazil’s most famous artists and is mainly known for his bossa nova songs such as “Girl from Ipanema” and “Samba do avião”, which made Rio de Janeiro world famous.

Tom Jobin’s statue as soon as you come out of Arpoador Inn

Vanguards of safety and security right next to the Hotel and all along the beach The Twin Brothers mountain of Ipanema are always visible from the Hotel Just next to the Hotel we took a walk during the weekend when Ipanema Beach was packed with people View from the Hotel outdoors – On a busy weekend, Ipanema Beach busy all the way upto Pedra do Arpoador You can take some lazy pictures while having lunch at the Outdoor facility of Arpoador Inn

This magical sight over Ipanema is within 3 minutes walk from the Hotel Arpoador Inn

We arrived in Rio on the day of our anniversary on 13th March and we had an unforgettable dinner at the outdoor arrangements of Restaurant Temporada – the signature restaurant of the Arpoador Inn. No surprise that the food we had was simply delectable, the sight and sound of the restless Pacific waves offering foamy and ferocious white waves every second was not in the menu but served complimentary. We later confirmed that you will not find any other restaurant along Ipanema or Copacabana Beach with such intimate experience of the ocean while dining. You may be dining from all other hotels with sea view, but the distance from the water will be considerable. In case of Arpoador, you may have to have a dinner conversation a bit louder because the sound of the waves will compete with you.

During lunch on Day 1, our wedding anniversary 13th March, somehow we sat on the table with the same number!

Lunch on Day 1 started with some delectable fresh fish and steak Fresh fish on lunch Some steak and mushroom with mashed potatoes There is only the umbrella of the Hotel Arpoador Inn to protect you from Rio sun

Will you watch people, watch waves, or have your food? Arpoador Inn has too many choices

We have a few words to say about the staff at reception, at restaurant, including the doormen. We initially thought that some staff are nice, some are a bit cold – that is the general norm. But we stayed at this hotel for over a week and we did not see any drop in the quality and warmth of service by the staff even once. Jose Maria, Thiago, Miguel (Restaurant Manager) all dealt with our queries and requests with equal level of sincerity. One person who stood out considerably was none other than Nunoo. If any company wants to arrange any training on Customer Service especially in the hospitality industry, one can do a case study on how Nunoo deals with guests.

Making our mark at the entrance of Arpoador Inn – “Rio, we have arrived!” As soon as we unpacked at the Hotel, we took the celebratory walk along the sands of Ipanema Drop your suitcase at Arpoador Inn, hit the sands and make your mark in Rio! Do you think the waves will fall sliding down the left side of your screen? The elements of Ipanema in full flow Come out of Arpoador Inn, take a left and keep walking until you reach at Post 11

We have travelled to more than 35 countries and are familiar with all kinds of quality of staff, especially at the Front Desk. We would rather save time here by saying that Nunoo is the person who will make guests come back again to stay at Arpoador Inn when visiting Rio – Simply outstanding. This guy was our go-to-person for all kinds of information, assistance and service we needed to make the most in Rio. He helped us get a reliable and professional taxi to travel to Ilha Grande. He also got in touch through his own network of acquaintances to get us in contact with one of the best photographers in Rio who later conducted our anniversary photo shoot in some beautiful locations in the suburbs of Rio. The hotel also offers money exchange services if requested in advance. So Nunoo was our ATM as and when we required some Brazilian Reals in exchange of our British Pounds. More importantly, we made a mistake while figuring out which plugs to use in Brazil. The two-pin plugs we carried from the UK were not the right two-pins needed in Brazil, where it was infact a bit thinner. The Hotel staff were kind enough to provide us with the right converters, otherwise we would have been without our favourite devices.

Candle light dinner, cocktails of our choice, limitless sea in front, dressed up our best and soothing sounds of waves crashing on the beach. If perfection has a moment, this be it! All set for the anniversary dinner date night

We also noticed a physical trainer who came during early hours twice a week. She led the kitchen staff and waiters outside in open air and conducted a light exercise class. It was a wonderful sight and we realised that the company/hotel that takes care of the health of its staff in this way, will surely take care of its guests.

A comfortable stay, a location not to die for but to live for every moment, a group of exceptionally sincere and friendly staff and the experiences to have inside and right outside the hotel – Arpoador Inn ticked all the boxes that every voyager would have loved. We sincerely thank Flavia Moreira, the Supervisor of Reservations, for inviting us over to have this wonderful experience at Arpoador Inn. This blogpost is a sincere expression of gratitude from Team OneTimeFashionista and we eagerly hope to revisit Rio in coming days only to stay in one of the best locations in the entire city – the cosy corner of Hotel Arpoador Inn.

A friend? A staff member? A guide? All. Shehzaad is posing with Nunoo The coconut kiosk right next to the hotel, just on the beach! The sky can have a sip, the sea can have a sip, what is left for you and me?

Sunset overlooking Ipanema Beach, seen from Hotel Arpoador Inn’s restaurant Temporado’s seating area

It is worth noting in summary that the following attractions are within easy reach of this Hotel.

  • Ipanema Beach – just next to it, no crossing roads
  • Copacabana Beach – 10 minute walk
  • Restaurants – 5 minute walk
  • Pedra do Arpoador (Rock of Arpoador, great site for watching sunrise and the Ipanema Beach in one view) – 3 minute walk
  • Christ the Redeemer – 10 minutes by taxi
  • A coconut water kiosk – As soon as you come out of the hotel, turn left
  • Fun, energy, sunshine, beach, waves, good-looking people, dogs – everywhere in Rio!
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