Sheraton Barra Rio de Janeiro Master Thread

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by jbcarioca, Mar 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The Sheraton Barra has become very popular for people who want access to Barra da Tijuca, the fastest growing area of Rio de Janeiro city and the center of activities for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics. It is probably the best hotel in Barra now, and will be until the Grand Hyatt opens in another year or so.

    The hotel is across the street from the beach and has easy access to lots of restaurants and bars in addition to the Barra beach.
    http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1452
    Please post your comments and questions about the hotel here.
     
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  2. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    For ease of figures, our exchange rate was $1 US = 2.15 Brazil Real.
    Took a radio taxi from the airport, R$99 it was just too easy after getting off the long plane flight and gathering our bags.

    I chose the Sheraton Barra de Tijuca for a number of reasons: cheap room using cash n points being one, but more importantly I wanted a non-packed, relaxed beach scene for the first few days we were in Rio and the Sheraton Barra delivered.

    We arrived about noon and were checked into room 1009. Front desk did offer platinum amenity at check-in. Room was a nice layout, not ocean front but 3 rooms “back” and close enough that when we sat out on the patio, one could easily hear the waves pounding the shore. The patio was nice to sit in the evening and have a drink.

    Breakfast wasn't offered to me (plat) but perhaps because we were on a cash and points rate ? Anyways, breakfast was 42 Real for both of us. After one breakfast we decided the buffet is good but it is so much stinking food we didn't need and we could eat much better for less later on in the day at other meals.[​IMG]

    Our Bed was not lush but comfortable enough. Bathroom is long and a bit narrow, shower is very strong/good.

    The pool area is very crowded (many chairs close together) and I’d recommend going to beach anyways as that is what is so nice about Barra de Tijuca. Everyday we took a long walk on the nice boardwalk that lines the LONG Barra de Tijuca beach.

    We did try the spa, a couples massage for 55 minutes was R$270. Both Mrs Sweet Willie & I remarked the masseuses were ok but really didn’t have good techniques of the good masseuses we’ve been to. Still very relaxing and we weren’t sorry we used the spa.

    There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the Sheraton Barra (we walked to/from all of the below). The concierge also mentioned restaurants which would provide free transportation to/from the hotel & restaurant but we found more than enough within walking distance so we never went to any of these “free transportation” restaurants:

    We never ate at the Sheraton Barra for dinner, we had a couple lunches by the pool (the pizza is good, our favorite being the dry meat & catupiry cheese
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catupiry Mrs Sweet Willie also enjoyed the Sheraton Burger & the club sandwich.)

    On Saturdays, the Sheraton has a buffet of various Brazilian dishes, I was disappointed that we did not realize that is was only served on Saturdays. Included in the buffet were at least 8 different kind of “stews/soups” including feijoada which may be considered the national dish of Brazil.
    http://www.brazilbrazil.com/feijoada.html

    At night we had a couple of Caipirinhas most nights at the bar on the first floor. At R$12 a drink, it was ok priced I thought.

    For dinner:

    About 4 blocks away, we walked to dinner at FRATELLI RESTAURANTE. It served the most tender/flavorful octopus I’ve ever had, simply delicious. We also split a pizza which was good. The “optional” appetizers they put down before the meal were delicious so we weren’t too ticked off when we saw they charged for them. We learned our lesson and when sitting down at a restaurant, we’d look at the “optional” items they were going to set down to see if we wanted them, most of the time we didn’t, guess we lucked out at Fratelli.

    A little further after Fratelli Restaurant, about 7 blocks away from the Sheraton Barra is the Churrascaria Tourão located Praça São Perpetuo 116
    It is a large loud place filled with families that serves very good grilled cooked meats that they slice for you tableside, there is also a large buffet full of salads, appetizers and desserts. We only spent 102 Real all in for our meal, this included quite a few beers and drinks.

    In that same square is a small supermarket with deli, the big 1.5 liter bottle of water in the hotel room costs 11.50 Brazilian real, the same bottle in this supermarket costs 1.45 Brazilian real. We also were able to stock up on some beers, wine, snacks. This market also sells some very good baked goods including cheesebreads and the best brigadeiro we had while in Brazil http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigadeiro Also, the supermarket has it's own food serving area, almost a mini-restaurant that served very good food, including the best sandiwch I think it was called carne asada (steak) sandwiche for only 5.50 Real, terrific.

    Also in that square is a micro-brewery restaurant They serve German food but we had a few other items. The fried shrimp appetizer (we didn’t expect them to be fried but sautéed) were actually excellent and a ton of them. We then spilt a fish cooked with spices and dende (palm) oil. Very good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_oil

    After some very heavy meals, we took a break and ate a Minimok which is a sushi & yakatori place only ½ block from the hotel. It was not as cheap as some of the above meals but a nice change of place. Afterwards is a pastry & bake shop right next to minimok open late for coffee & a treat.

    There is also another sushi place the opposite way from Minimok which looked good.

    As a data point, to get to Leblon a flat rate taxi ride was being offered by the “taxi” desk of R$52.

    --
     
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  3. jk2
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    jk2 Silver Member

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    How far this hotel from the city?
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Define "city" for that. It is ~45 minutes from Copacabana with "normal" traffic which is, IMO, too far for a hotel if you're planning to be a tourist in Rio. Spending more than an hour to get back to the hotel at the end of the day of sightseeing sucks.

    The breakfast spread was large in volume but the quality did not impress me. Dinner was also quite disappointing. Junior Suite upgrade was nice - the seating area in the room was reasonably sized - though it meant being at the back of the building adjacent to the ice machine and service elevator. Also, the sliding doors to the balcony didn't properly seal in my room so it sounded like I was in a wind tunnel with the strong winds last night.

    I would avoid staying there unless you really don't want to be in the middle of things and don't plan on getting into things during your stay. If that's you then it is a viable property out that way.

    On the plus side, the local bus (route 322) does pass right in front of the hotel and can take you to the main beaches for BRL 2.75.

    ETA: The couples massage is now BRL 475 for 90 minutes; there is no 55 minute option for couples (though there are single massages for 50 minutes at BRL 160 each).
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    If you compare Sweet Willie and Wandering Aramean you'll get the idea. There are Barra people who detest Zona Sul so want to be in Barra. There are Zona Sul people who will go to Barra only under duress. I am on the Wandering Aramean side but some members of my family are on the other. Barra di Tujuca is in the city of Rio de Janeiro, if which it is a Bairro, roughly equivalent to a borough in New York City. Each has it's own center and flavor. As a place for a tourist to stay it is fine if you like beaches and a slightly suburban style. If you have a car it has easy access to many of the finest restaurants in the city. If you like high style you can go to the Village Mall which has a cinema with reclining seats and table service, as well as lots if high end shops.

    As WA has said, 'define city'. However, I live in Rio de Janeiro so I do not have a tourists point of view.
     
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