07 February 2011
Stay in True Rio Style
The Copacabana Palace is a destination in its own right.
It featured in the 1930s movie Flying Down to Rio. Orson Welles threw furniture from his suite into the pool after he broke up with local movie siren Dolores del Rio. Evita Peron arrived with thirty pieces of luggage. Princess Diana commandeered the pool for a dip at 2 am one night.
Situated right on Copacabana beach, it is modelled on the Negresco hotel in Cannes, complete with sumptuous reception rooms hung with incredible chandeliers and doormen so elaborately costumed they look like army generals.
Be sure not to miss the secluded hallway of photographs of great showbiz stars, celebrities, sportsmen and politicians who have stayed over the years. Nearby is the spectacular room where the old casino, once the scene of fortunes made and lost (casinos are still banned in Brazil) echoed to the rattle of the roulette wheel. It, too, is rarely seen by hotel guests but is the scene of Rio's most amazing parties.
By Roderick Gilchrist, writer for UK publications including The Daily Mail and The Spectator