Weekend Getaway at the Grand Hyatt, Rio de Janeiro
Last weekend, Matt and I stayed a night at the Grand Hyatt in Rio de Janeiro. The hotel is located in the upscale neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, just west of the popular tourist areas of Copacabana and Ipanema. The draws for us are the amazing pool and private beach. The hotel itself is also really luxurious and is nestled on a strip between the ocean and lake providing beautiful views from whichever side you’re staying on.
I like to request a room on the lake side because I think that's the better view, though you can get an ocean view if you want. The lake is beautiful and at night, the city is all lit up on the other side. I seriously could just sit out on the balcony and stare at it all day.
The rooms themselves are also super nice. Floor to ceiling windows, lots of space, amazing bathrooms. And every room also has a balcony.
The pool at the Grand Hyatt is awesome. It's large, scenic, surrounded by greenery, and there are plenty of chairs, etc. There is a bar/restaurant right off to the left side where you can order food and drinks and the waiters will bring it to you!
One of the best things about this hotel is the private access to the beach. The Grand Hyatt maintains an area furnished with staff that provides towels, water and umbrellas. The beach is also very clean compared to some of the other beaches you'll find in the city.
There are two restaurants that I would recommend for dinner in the area. Both are local chains that also have counterparts in the Ipanema area where Matt and I stay. So if you're not in Barra, you could still go to either of these places if you're staying in around Zona Sul of Rio (which encompasses the Copa, Ipanema and Leblon areas of the city).
Esplanada Grill: Go here if you want steak
Esplanada Grill is our favorite restaurant in Rio. There are two locations, one in Barra and one in Ipanema. We go to the one in Ipanema all the time. If you want the experience of a high-end Brazilian steakhouse, go here. They have AMAZING steak (and I don't even really eat steak...but I do here!) and I also recommend getting the pão de queijo (AKA, brazilian cheese bread). While you can get cheese bread practically everywhere in Rio, the best cheese bread I've had is at this place.
I know it sounds kind of odd to recommend a pizza place for a nice dinner, but this pizzeria is unlike any pizza place I've ever seen in the U.S. It's high end, and a bit on the pricier side for pizza. (Large pizzas are between $25-30 each...and by U.S. standards, they're more like mediums). But the food is amazing. Their ingredients are fresh and you can tell everything is made to order, from scratch. Also, they have the best chocolate cake that I've ever tasted in my entire life, along with a good wine selection (and you can bring your own bottle too for a small corking fee). Much like Esplanada, Braz has two locations too, one in Barra and one in Jardim Botanico. We frequent the one in Jardim a lot, and have also been to the location in Barra.
Both of these restaurants have impeccable service on a consistent basis, which is also another reason I recommend them. If you go to one or both of these restaurants, you won't be disappointed. <3
I leave you with one more photo of the beautiful view from the balcony on the lake side. Has anyone else reading ever been to Rio? Leave me comment with your favorite places!