Meliá opens luxury hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Meliá Hotels International has launched its first luxury hotel from the Gran Meliá brand in Brazil with the official opening of Gran Meliá Nacional Rio.
Located in Rio de Janeiro’s most exclusive area, São Conrado, Gran Meliá Nacional Rio is one of the most anticipated hotel openings in South America.
Originally built in 1972 by world-renowned architect, Oscar Niemeyer, the famous ‘Hotel Nacional’ has reopened as the Gran Meliá brand’s flagship property after more than a decade of being left abandoned. Following extensive renovations, the property has been restored to its former glory, maintaining the hotel’s original features, with the modern Spanish flare of the Gran Meliá brand.
During its 70s and 80s heyday, Hotel Nacional was renowned as a celebrity hot-spot, with A-list guests including Liza Minnelli, BB King and James Brown.
Located in the South Zone of the city and moments from São Conrado beach, Gran Meliá Nacional Rio boasts 413 rooms, including one presidential suite and 66 executive suites. The circular design and glass façade of the property means that guests can enjoy panoramic floor-to-ceiling views of Rio de Janeiro from their room or suite as well as the communal areas.
Recognised as a national heritage site, Gran Meliá Nacional Rio houses some of Brazil’s most treasured modern art, including the ‘Painel de Carybé’ created by Hector Bernabó (aka Carybé), and featuring 270 individually sculpted concrete slabs depicting classic carioca characters.
Burle Marx’s gardens are also a stunning legacy belonging to the hotel and feature 46 species of native Brazilian plants and classic paving stones, known as ‘calçado’, which have been imported from Portugal. Roberto Burle Marx was a Brazilian landscape architect whose designs of parks and gardens made him world famous.
Gabriel Escarrer, vice chairman and CEO at Meliá Hotels International, said: “Rio de Janeiro is a city with a huge amount of history, incredible architecture and a booming luxury market. The outstanding cultural heritage, art and natural scenery available in the city really enriches the traveller’s experience.
“We are very excited to finally launch this unique property with such a huge historical significance in one of Latin America’s most important cities and we believe it has the potential to bring back the time of splendour of the city’s tourism.”