I decided to spend my 41st birthday in Brazil this year, and we decided on the Sheraton Grand, I am so glad we did! The two hotels we were considering, were the Sheraton Grand, and the JW Marriott Copacabana. I am sure the JW was an ok hotel, but the reviews weren’t the best, and the Sheraton Grand was the only hotel in Rio that has direct beach access, as all other hotels are built across a road, street or highway from the beach. For these reasons we decided on the Sheraton Grand! My friend and Co-worker Shane went with me on this trip and also had a room at this hotel.
I detailed all the ins and outs of booking on this post HERE, but I will sum it up… I saved about half price using Marriott Best rate Guarantee. Enough said!
We used UBER from the airport to the hotel. I think it cost around $20 USD, and was in a clean safe car. Uber in Brazil is very cheap, easy and plentiful ! It took about 30 minutes from GIG airport.
Arrival / Check-In
Being an Ambassador Level Guest with Marriott Bonvoy, I am often treated very well, especially at foreign properties!
This was NO EXCEPTION. Of course, my FABULOUS Ambassador , Brandi made all the arrangements beforehand, as this was my birthday trip! Upon arrival, once I gave my name, the clerk made a quick phone call, and the front office manager came out to greet me personally and hand me my keys, etc…, it was all done for me! I loved this, and it made me feel very special, which, in my opinion what Ambassador level guests should feel like, as we worked very hard to get where we are!
Upon arriving to the room (suite) I surprised the housekeeping and Guest Services manager, in my room preparing it. They were very nice, and was just doing some last minute touches to the suite.
The Room / Suite
What can I say about this Suite, other than WOW!
I was upgraded to the Petropolis Suite which is the Vice Presidential Suite, and it was absolutely fabulous! The suite had a dining area, living area,
office area, bedroom, guest bath, and master bath.
There were 2 balcony’s, one facing the ocean, and the other facing there pool and mountain.
The decorations, and furniture were very nice, and stylishly appointed! My Dining room table had seating for 6, and there was a sectional sofa in the living room, so the suite was definitely equipped for entertaining!
If I had to make any complaint at all about the hotel, it would have to be the lounge. I wouldn’t even go as far as to call it a complaint as it was the only thing about the hotel that really didn’t blow me away.
It was very nice, and furnished well, but it was small, and the options for food was VERY LIMITED, especially for me as a vegan! With all this said, I guess we were lucky at all to have a lounge as many resorts do not have one at all!
BUT like I have always been told, if you are going to do something, do it well, so if they are going to have a lounge, maybe they should put a tad more effort into it!
The food in the hotel was OK. I cannot say it was fabulous, but it for sure was NOT BAD! With that said, I, as a Vegan, probably am not the best judge for everyone on food, as I did not try the buffett, or the steakhouse, etc. I did eat several veggie sandwiches at the pool, and they were very good! The breakfast for elites was served upstairs in the French restaurant , L’Etoile and seemed like for non-vegans, there were fabulous options, here is what I got:
There is also a pizza place that served good pizza (I had it without cheese). I will have to say this section is incomplete for everyone, but for a vegan, the food was OK.
The spa was nice, and ok, but nothing to rave about.
I did have 3 massages while we were there , just because I was in relax mode! The massages were not cheap but not exspensive, and as part of the “resort fee” a discount was given, and the spa even gave me a birthday discount on top of that , which was very generous and nice!
My ambassador always arranges ahead of time for there to be a male masseuse on staff if possible , as that’s all I will be massaged by. This was taken care of , and was waiting upon my arrival.
The massage rooms overlooked the pool and Ocean and the masseuse would open the doors
and you could hear the waves, it was very relaxing!
The spa also had a steam and sauna room, as well as a relaxation room, and a very nice locker room! It was one of the better spas I’ve been in, in a Sheraton or similar before, but not the best of higher end hotels.
There were 2 pool areas, the main one for adults, and one for children. One complaint a lot of people had were the kids kept playing in the adult pool. The staff were usually on top of this and gently urged parents to take thier kids to the appropriate pool! There pool was nice and clean, not huge but not small.
The bar was good and the staff very attentive around the pool. On of the best parts of there pool was down a flight of steps from the pool was the ocean, and that was that was the thing that set this hotel apart from the others; direct beach access.
I have to say, with the exception of a few bartenders and other staff we ran into, the staff at the Sheraton Grand were very helpful, caring, and attentive! I felt like I was known to everyone, and this is a feat with such a large hotel, I was called by name many times by people I hand met yet, and I like this a lot!
The fact that the Front Office Manager checked me in was great, also!
Overall I will say the staff were very good, and in my opinion, this can make or break a hotel!
Overall I would say I definitely recommend this property, and am actively planning my return to Rio and to this hotel! Although the Sheraton Grand Rio is not the most luxurious or modern hotel Ive been, its for sure a great hotel and on my list of great hotels of the world!
Thanks for reading and PLEASE TRAVEL MORE!