A Weekend Getaway at The Emiliano Rio
If you walk down Avenida Atlântica, you'll probably notice a building that is quite unlike the others. It's unique white holed façade distinguishes itself from the mostly gray and older constructions on the beach avenue.
This is is the Emiliano Rio hotel, one of the most beautiful hotels in Rio de Janeiro.
Designed by Arthur Casas, the façade of the building is meant to break the continuity of the concrete blocks of the builds around the edge. The massive retractable panels (cobogós in local architectural parlance) give the Emiliano an ever-changing appearance.
When opened they offer an unforgettable view of Copacabana, however when closed they still allow lighting, natural ventilation and a view of the sea while still offering privacy.
Inside is just as breath-taking as outside. The interior of the hotel is influenced by Brazilian modernism. The fabric and textures used for the furniture in the reception area and in the rooms draw on hues of green, while the decor includes pieces by major names in Brazilian design of the ‘50s, such as Rio native Sergio Rodrigues, as well as by contemporary designers, such as Paola Lenti.
The surfaces are also marked by the lighter tones of 100% Brazilian materials, including wood, white Paraná marble, granite, and stone.
Recently, I was invited to spend a weekend at the Emiliano, and here are some recommendations for anyone who needs a little pampering when they are in Rio de Janeiro.
The Ocean King Junior Suite
Friday at 3pm: Friendly and exceptional service at the Emiliano is guaranteed the second that you step onto the premises. Front desk staff speak a variety of languages including English and are eager to please. Each guest, no matter the room, are offered an on-call butler, room turn-downs and beach service.
The Ocean King Junior Suite is around 60m2 and features a spacious interior and exterior with a breathtaking view of Copacabana beach.
As we entered our suite, we were pleasantly surprised to see a bowl of tropical fruits and two large coconuts filled with cold coconut water waiting for us on the table that is perfectly placed between the bed and the couch.
Everything in the suite is designed and positioned in a way to highlight the main feature — the view.
A pair of Emiliano branded Haivanas are perfectly placed at each side of the enormous king sized bed that is covered in a variety of different shaped pillows. It's almost impossible not to do a trust fall into the bed. As my body hits the sheets I am instantly rewarded with how soft they are (Egyptian cotton by the way) and how I effortlessly melt into the mattress and the pillows.
Then there is the bathroom, a room which is often an afterthought in many other hotels, but not at the Emiliano. All the rooms are equipped with a beautiful Victoria Albert bathroom in wet areas, which are integrated with the bedroom by a tempered glass wall.
There is also a private toilet area. The toilet is a toto toilet which boasts heated seats, a bidet function and an air-purifying system that deodorizes during use.
But that's not all. There is also a closet/sink area which is just as spacious as the bedroom and offers the perfect place to get ready for a night out on the town. The bathroom is also stocked full with Santapele natural cosmetics which were created at Hotel Emiliano and are cruelty-free and 100% vegan.
Finally no room is complete without a mini-bar filled with water, beers and a bottle of Moet & Chandon. Plus a Illy coffee machine if you need an extra kick at the end of a long afternoon of lounging.
P.S. If you are look for the ultimate Spa getaway, The Emiliano also has an Ocean Spa Suite, which is located on the top floor of the hotel and offers a private area for spa treatments, massages and special baths.
P.S.S if you a car, the Emiliano also offers private parking services at a cost.
Dinner at the Restaurant Emile
Friday at 9pm: After spending an afternoon lounging on the balcony, drinking a couple of beers and working away on my computer, it's time to get ready for dinner.
We don't have to go too far as Restaurant Emile is located in the lobby of the hotel. One of the stand-out features of this restaurant is that it has beautiful green and lush vertical garden that provides a little extra to the ambiance of the location.
But let's talk about the food.
The restaurant's executive chef is Camilo Vanazzi who uses French techniques, with a bolder personality. His recipes have striking colors, a combination of textures and an incredible presentation – creating a mixture full of bossa. The restaurant was also voted the best French restaurant in Rio in 2020 by Veja Rio.
There are many options on the menu, but we personally decided to try the Emile Experience, which consists of 3 courses (1 starter, 1 main course and 1 dessert) for R$170 ( approx. EUR€28 or USD$32) excluding drinks. The food was delicious, and I would personally recommend the Grilled Angus Tenderloin with minas cheese aligot, Brazilian cashew nuts crumble and black garlic sauce. But in the end, whatever you choose, you can't go wrong.
The price vs value of the restaurant was well worth it. After finishing off the 3 course dinner, we were off to bed, ready for a Saturday full of relaxation.
Saturday at 9am: Breakfast and brunch at the hotel are both served in the same room as dinner. The lush green vertical garden continues to be a show-stopper whether it be in the morning or the evening.
To say that the breakfast at the Emiliano is an unforgettable experience is an understatement. In fact, I've never had a better breakfast in a hotel.
Service begins with the basics. Different types of cold cuts, bread and cheese are brought to your table along with a generous fruit plate filled with different types of fruits. Coffee and/or tea is also served along with any type of juice.
Then there is the all-you-can-eat breakfast menu filled with savoury and sweet options, such as croque monsieur, french toast or any type of egg of your choosing.
My advice? Come hungry.
A Day Spent At The Pool
Saturday at 11 pm: One of the best things to do at the Emiliano is to relax. And there is no better way to relax than at the hotel's rooftop pool.
We end up grabbing the last available lounge chair that is positioned perfectly in front of the hotel's long L shaped infinity pool. It also provides an unobstructed view of the Copacabana landscape.
This is the perfect opportunity to test out one of my Now in Rio Swim bikinis.
The rooftop pool can only be accessed by hotel guests which allows for some privacy. It also has everything you need including towels and even sunscreen.
If you are feeling peckish the pool also has a bar area where you can order a burger or a sandwich that will pair perfectly with a glass of champagne or a refreshing caipirinha.
A Late Afternoon Massage
Saturday at 4 pm: On the 11th floor of Emiliano Rio, Spa Santapele is a true Oasis.
The spa is a true urban refuge dedicated to health and well-being, with massage rooms, sauna, and a 24-hour Fitness Center. Expert therapists offer a great range of massages, such as shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, reflexology, aromatic massages, exfoliation and facial treatments.
I opt for a 60min aromatic massage with essential oils that cost R$449,00 (approx USD$85 or EUR€72). As I wait for my massage to begin, I am offered a reusable bikini, slippers and a robe before being ushered into a massage room. 60 minutes feels like 5 and after the massage I am offered a warm glass of tea that I enjoy in a dim candle-lit area that plays soothing and relaxing music.
Going Out For Dinner
Saturday 8pm: Although the Emiliano also has a rooftop restaurant, the hotel's prime location means that many amazing restaurants are just an UBER drive away.
We decide to take a walk down the boardwalk and have dinner at S Bistrô in Leme before heading back with an UBER and collapsing head first in our king-sized bed, completely blissed out after a day of pure relaxation.
A Quick Beach Day
Sunday 9 am: Another day, another amazing breakfast. Although the days are better spent lounging by the rooftop pool, the Emiliano also has beach services for anyone who wants to spend the day at the beach.
So whether you want to lounge underneath an umbrella or go stand-up paddling, the front desk staff can help you with any of your beach-going needs.
My favourite thing to do in the mornings in Rio de Janeiro is to take a walk down the boardwalk and feel the sand between my toes before stopped at a local quiosque and drinking a refreshing cold agua de coco (coconut water).
Sunday 12pm: Alas, all good things have to come to an end.
After a quick snooze in the sun, we are back in our room and packing everything up again. Check-out is as simple as check-in. And as we are escorted out of the Emiliano and handed our luggage by a smiling concierge, I am 100% sure that one day I'll be back again to enjoy the magic that is the Emiliano Rio.