Monday, October 5, 2009

Rio Celebrates Olympic Win

Madrid might have had the most international promotion when it came to the 2016 Olympics, but Rio remained the victor in the bid to be the first South American city to host them. In many ways, it makes perfect sense: this well-known city will have an opportunity not only to redeem itself after a years of international promotion, but after the NYT's reports of clashes between the rich and poor in the city's more downtrodden zones. Rio's victory is going to catapult the city to further fame, giving a welcome boost to Brazil's economy. While surely these considerations passed through the minds of Pele and President Lula, backing the bid and weeping upon Rio's selection, Brazilians themselves seemed to care about nothing more than an opportunity to redeem themselves in front of the world. Unsurprisingly, parties were the order of the day after Rio's afternoon victory, with a huge crowd outside the Copacabana partying in bikinis and green and yellow t-shirts amidst balloons of the same color near the beach. Will you be joining the festivities in 2016?

First, Rio de Janeiro's Olympics bid video is a must-watch by anyone considering a trip to South America. One of the most photographed cities in the world and home to one of the new World Wonders (the Cristo statue atop the soaring mountains), it had plenty to show off.

*Christ the Redeemer: This statue, built to celebrate 100 years of Rio's independence, wasn't simply elected one of the New Wonders of the World. Its perfect location makes it accessible for tourists to visit on a hike or tram ride, and the view of the city itself from the Corcovado Mountain is enough to sway you to go up there.

*Sugar Loaf: Another essential spot for viewing the city, Sugar Loaf can be accessed by one of two cable cars running along the mountain's steep slopes. Enjoy the ride as you prepare your camera for the snapping, because this is going to be unforgettable!

*Jardim Botanico: Rio's botanical gardens are a must-visit for anyone interested in the natural flora of a tropical paradise. Spanning acres of land, the gardens were founded in 1808, complete with neoclassical additions and romantic sculptures scattered about its grounds.

*Parque Enrique Lage: This public park in Rio's south Zone is located in the Jardim Botanico neighborhood, at the foot of the Corcovado mountains. Formerly the residence of industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, a singer, the mansion was remodeled in the 1920s both indoors and out. It became a public park in the 1960s.

Obviously brimming with natural beauty and plenty of tourist sites, Rio happens to be home of some of the most luxurious hotel locations in the world, with rooftop pools, impeccable service, and views of the Lagoa, Corcovado, and Pao de Acucar straight from its location. If you need to know where to stay, here are a few tourist-favored spots with the WhataHotel! seal of approval.

Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro
: Ipanema's certainly a must-see in Rio, so what could be better than enjoying a hotel stay straight from there? While the Girl from Ipanema might not be prowling the oceanside, you can step down to one of Rio's most famous beaches to enjoy a cold coconut water, a bake in the incredibly warm sun, and even a bout of swimsuit purchasing done beachside. Head back into your hotel from some of their top-rated restaurant cuisine and a star-studded guest list.

Copacabana Palace Hotel: One of the grandest hotels in all of South America was right there to witness the 2016 Olympic bash on the beach, and now it's going to quickly fill up with an impressive who's who of A-listers planning to experience Rio the right way. This location, positioned on Copacabana Beach, features hardwood floors, chandeliers galore, and the Hotel Cipriani Restaurant, which is one of the most glamorous in the city.

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro: The parade of luxury hotels in Rio just doesn't stop, and this is another testament to the popularity of the city's views--and the love affair Rio has with doing things luxe-style. One of the area's popular meeting points for the well-heeled, the Hotel Fasano offers spectacular views for guests and a great fitness center and massage offerings after a long, hard day at...the beach. That's the life!

Why wait till 2016? Visit Rio now !

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