Cities we love
Contributed by Jens Hoffmann
Besides all the problems in Brazil, it is fantastic to be here.
Do you know another place where beach related jobs generate 3 billion €?
Do you know Rio?
Check-in was at the beautiful Fasano hotel. Its on Avenida Vieira Souto in the heart of Ipanema beach.
Star designer Philippe Starck’s first hotel in Brazil pays homage to the golden age of bossa nova.
Channeling the heyday of Jobim and Gilberto, the staff wears Ocimar Versolato inspired uniforms.
Distinctly Brazilian materials like Îpe flooring and the enormous piquiá tree stump used for the reception desk are mixed with Grecian marble, 19th-century Argentinean brick and Chinese onyx. The guest rooms have Sergio Rodrigues furnishings and Starckian ear-shaped mirrors and come with private balconies affording sweeping views. Overseeing the Al Mare restaurant is a chef from Florence’s Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri, while the Renata de Abreu Spa offers La Prairie treatments.
The 5*star hotel Fasano combines the glamour and sophistication of Rio’s most finest address with the commitment to excellence.
Its a bit poshy but always fun to touch down here. So when we spoke to guests at the roof top pool of the Fasano Hotel your conversation always turns to where you stayed before and you will get a variety of answers, yet everyone agrees that with the Fasano in Rio finally has a star on the hotel scene.
To the right is the check-in and elevators, to the left are the plush couches of the lobby lounge and straight head, we can follow the narrow white curtain enclosed, lit pathway to Londra, one of Rio’s sexiest bars.
No faint sexy beats of any kind can be heard in the lobby (no problem, just guests chattering in multiple languages. This is something that we will determine is a consistent, yet easily correctable flaw in many areas of the hotel.
The staff is polite, accommodating and an obvious example of General Manager, Fabio Prado’s extraordinary management style. At check-in were handed a little black book which holds a map, note pad and the Fasano Black Card. The Black Card is our room key, yet we found out, it also open doors all around the city.
Once in the elevator, which we needed a room key to operate, we selected our floor. We stepped out of the elevator into a Philippe Starck wonderland of dark wood, dimly lit hall with an almost triangular shape. We noticed that the room numbers are not on the doors; they are illuminated on the floor in front of them, which is undeniably creative. We found an oddly shaped, striped chair in the center of the floor, which after a few Caipirinhas, we later discussed what we believe it was shaped to resemble.
Once we crossed the threshold of the ocean view room, we found an open area where our attention was immediately directed to the unobstructed view of Ipanema beach. We realized that regardless if we were in the shower, in bed or on the balcony, we always had a view of the surf and sand.
When staying at the Fasano, room selection is a certain thing. There are 82 basic rooms with a courtyard or ocean view. There are also 7 suites and 3 deluxe suites, all with beautiful panoramic ocean views. Our suggestion is to only go with an ocean view room in the category of your choice, but make sure it is on a higher floor, so the noise of the street does not bother your beauty sleep. House & Hotel tip, as high as possible.The courtyard views are really views of the very close neighboring buildings so you are looking at wall.
Glancing beside our bed we found a complementary pair of Brazilian Havaianas flip-flops in our size. Wow. We slid them on and headed to the roof top pool. Lounge chairs to allow guests to soak in the sun surround the pool. Also, there is a covered lounge with tables where guest can enjoy a nice lunch. As we dined tuna-tartar, we found ourselves gazing at Ipanema and Leblon beaches, and on a clear day, Christ the Redeemer.
The only thing this rooftop is craving is music. With no music, there is no vibe so consequently, no real scene. Also on the rooftop you will find a small, yet adequate gym with windows that face the pool.
Having to watch the bodies sweat will always make you feel guilty that you did not join them before getting into the pool.
Where to Dine: There are two restaurants associated with the Fasano. Al Mare is a bright, all white restaurant on the property. They serve up classic favorites like ravioli as well as the freshest seafood in Rio. They also have a wonderful selection of wines and cocktails.
Guests of the Fasano can take a complimentary hotel car to the off site restaurant Gero, named after the man himself Rogério Fasano. This darker, Italian inspired restaurant should not be missed.
The Bar Scene and a tip: Londra is an intimate dark and richly decorated bar that draws global celebrities and the beautiful people of Rio de Janeiro. A great perk of staying at the Fasano is that guests are granted immediate access to the hottest bar in Rio, Londra.
If there is a wait, and there usually is, all you need to do is walk up to the front and show your Fasano Black Card.
I love it.