Sao Paulo-elite, Brazilian pop-stars, Latin Top-Models
Reason to Stay
Rooftop Pool, Beachfront Location, Lobby Lounge
Originally intended to be the Rio-outpost of the Faena Hotel and Universe, this glassy midlevel high-rise on Ipanema Beach was resurrected by Sao Paulo's Fasano family after some financial issues with the original developer. The result is a sophisticated and tasteful luxury hotel located along an up-and-coming strip of Ipanema Beach. The glassy institutional facade offers a sleek entryway leading to a masculine lobby area with walls of antiqued-brick, hand sewn Iranian carpets and '50s honey-wood chairs assembled from local antique shops that feel far more Fasano than the flamboyant Starck. The main reception counter is constructed of a single solid Amazonian log, attended by a stylish young staff in earthy-green dresses and matching headbands. <br /><br />Fasano al Mare, offers a stylish sibling to the Fasano's nearby gastropub Gero, but with a groovy white-marble decor of billowing white curtains and atmosphere reminiscent of Morgan's or Mondrian's Asia de Cuba. Adjacent to the restaurant is a more subdued lobby lounge, called Londra, with its flickering candle ambiance of dark brick walls and banker club chairs evocative of Sao Paulo's Fasano Hotel. The life and soul of the hotel is in fact found on the rooftop, with what could be one of the sexiest hotel pools created in the last 10-years. A beefy, all-white Carrera marble infinity edge creates a magical reflection of the distant mountainside, surrounded by steel barstools and teak-deck loungers with blue-striped towels overlooking Ipanema Beach. <br /><br />Sadly the Speedo and bikini wearing gods and goddesses of the area are not allowed into the main pool area, which is for guests only, meaning that to see any of Rio's true natural wonders you'll have to hit the beach or bring them up yourself.
Initially conceived as a condo-hotel to be designed by Philippe Starck, the residence-concept was fully dropped in lieu of a pure 5-star hotel with the lofty-designer marginalized to include the Fasano family's more conservative design aesthetic. You won't be dazzled by the hotel's industrial facade, modernized by a glassy series of balconies offering dazzling views of Ipanema Beach. Guest rooms are arranged amongst eight floors and include dramatic hallways adorned with modernist art and glossy-wooden doors. Those booking into an entry-level superior room are not especially impressed by size. Compact spaces offer a predictable layout but with beds arranged in asymmetrical layouts similar to Starck's work at Buenos Aries' Faena Hotel and Universe. Warm Brazilian Cherry floors offer the occasional vibrant throw rug while wall-mounted plasma screen TVs and oblong mirrors line the bedroom walls. Gone are Starck's all-white color scheme of yesterday, that may have been quite lovely in Rio, nixed for a more masculine decor of exotic woods and 50s Sergio Rodriguez chairs. A small glass-enclosed patio area with wooden deck offers two compact chairs and privacy divider between rooms. Hoping to find the oversize spa bathrooms one finds in Fasano's Sao Paulo address, rather conformist bathrooms offers techy-fixtures with sexy Rio photography and signature toiletries. While there is little doubt that the Fasano is the hottest Rio hotel property to open in decades, those looking for more plush accommodations may want to splurge on a higher room category, like the Ocean View Suites on the upper floors offering more expansive terraces, separate living rooms and upgraded bathrooms.
Gourmet Restaurant, Lobby Lounge, Designer Hotel
Rooftop Pool. Restaurant, Bar, Lounge, Designer Hotel