Blessed by a dramatic topography of undulating ocean bays with ribbons of seemingly endless white sand beaches framed by lush mountains, Rio’s natural advantages and good looks automatically propel it to the top of the world’s most stunning metropoles.
The Rio of the 1950s and 1960s gave us sultry Bossa Nova and a sensual interpretation of mid-century modern architecture and design. Ipanema Beach, Immortalised forever in Antônio Carlos Jobim’s iconic “Girl From Ipanema”, is famous the world over for its long, picture perfect beach, swaying palm trees and scantily-clad beachgoers and volleyball players. Part of Rio’s allure has always been to marry tropical elegance with the casual and an anything goes ethos, to create an intoxicating tonic like no other. It is this Rio that one experiences when staying at Hotel Fasano Rio De Janeiro, which embodies the best of Rio and its motherland.
The Fasano family arrived in Brazil more than a century ago, from Italy, and first established its reputation for attentive and upscale hospitality in São Paulo. Known initially for its gastronomic excellence in cafés and then restaurants, the family opened its São Paulo hotel in 2003 to immediate acclaim. The family’s name has since become a synonym for discreet luxury.
Ideally located in the Arpoador section of Ipanema, the beachfront Fasano in Rio benefits from being on a somewhat quieter part of the beach, affording a sense of intimacy and discretion, while at the same time being a stone’s throw from the cafés, boutiques and parade of gym-toned bodies that make Ipanema so desirable and fun.
Being Philippe Stark’s first hospitality project in Brazil, the Fasano is a love story to Brazilian modernism, known for its ingenious combinations of tropical woods, man-made materials, curvilinear shapes, light shafts and spaces that seamlessly flow from in to outdoors.
Sometimes the Fasano feels dark and clubby, yet at others light and breezy. Irrespective, the results are always pitch perfect and ocean vistas never far away.
The lobby is a symphony of well-considered soft furnishings in leather, carved wood tables and sophisticated upholstery. Cleverly positioned floor-to-ceiling roller blinds reveal walls of windows that look out to garden nooks and more ocean. Philippe Stark’s signature flowing white curtains create theatrical dividers throughout the space.
Upstairs, the 89 rooms and 10 suites continue the tropical-chic look, and play with dark accents, mirrors and natural light to create spaces that are as comfortable as they are easy on the eyes. Be sure to splurge on a deluxe room for unobstructed ocean views.
Onsite Al Mare all day dining restaurant focusses on Italian-inspired seafood. Breakfasts include a kaleidoscope of the freshest and most exotic indigenous tropical fruits available.
The hotel’s moody and sexy bar, Baretto Londra, boasts deep brown leather and cowhide chairs and sofas, and a giant Union Jack flag in homage to London, the owners’ favourite city. Evocative of a British private members’ club, Baretto is a perpetual hot ticket and one of the city’s most exclusive watering holes, particularly over the weekends.
While the gym and spa more than hold their own in the luxury boutique hotel category, it is the rooftop pool that truly impresses and catapults the Rio outpost of Fasano into global best status. The incredible views span the entire oceanfront, all the way down Ipanema past Leblon and to Tijuca mountain range. Sipping a passionfruit caipirinha here at sunset, seated at the poolside rooftop bar, is the epitome of tropical sophistication. Rio is known as the “Cidade Maravilhosa” or “Marvellous City”. Nowhere is it more marvellous than at the Fasano.